This is something I recently finished. It is a crazy looking female wasp called a Pelecinid, they're common enough here in North America but I don't think they're too common elsewhere. Standing on a Silver Birch leaf.
I wish I had a picture of a real one of my own so I could upload it but you can do an image search in your favourite search engine online for "female pelecinid" or "pelecinus polyurator" to see more examples (or click the link below). The females have the groovy tails, the males are more regular looking type wasps.
This instructible isn't very instructive, it's mainly just a few work in progress shots I took during creation for consult with or approval from the client. He seemed fairly happy with the end result, I'm waiting to hear how the person he gives it to feels about it, they're both Entomologists so they'll be excellent judges for the subject matter.
Here's how things start. Usually there's a "skeleton" and/or an "outline" of the subject which is then added to, bulked up, etc. So, the evolution of the leaves went something like: do the outline of the leaf edge, attach the main vein, general shape bent to form, stem bulked out, other veins added and shaped. Then the same process for the other two leaves was done at a smaller scale, then the three were attached. Final image has a mocked up pelecinid I had made in the early stages negotiating with the customer, if you look closely you may notice it looks off compared to the finished version, and that's why.
And the insect came into being like this: skeleton parts assembled, tail and body attached, bulked out, legs and wings attached, more bulking out of the body and tail. Then the legs were bulked out, wings shaped and detailed. Lastly the head and antennae were shaped.
And of course, the last step is putting it all together, attaching it to the base and painting it up.
I really wanted to take more pictures...better pictures...of the finished project but time got away from me and I was really hard pressed to finish it on time. It was meant to be given as a christmas present and it was BARELY dry to the touch when it was picked up on the 24th. So I didn't get a chance to set up the lights and camera...