J's Work is a manufacturer of diorama accessory products from China. They offer four different diorama themed series; Paper Plant series, Terrain series, Diorama Accessories series and their latest line of products, Plastic Model Kit series. This review deals with their first Plastic Model Kit release, a modern military equipment set.
The set comes in a small, end opening box with artwork of the kit items on the front and instructions for assembly located on the rear. Inside the box are two pairs of plastic styrene sprues, labeled A and B, inside a plastic sleeve. The plastic appeared similar to that used by Kinetic, or found in older Trumpeter and Dragon releases.
The "A" sprue holds four 55 gal/200L metal drums and two plastic chemical drums in half sections, top and bottom sections for the metal drums and a lid for the chemical drums. There are also four body sections for the .50 cal ammo boxes. This will allow you to build 8 55 gal drums and 4 chemical drums, plus four ammo boxes.
The "B" sprue has four each of 5 gal/20l fuel and water cans of the modern plastic type, two 20mm ammo boxes, the box ends and lids for the .50 cal ammo boxes and two plastic transit cases.
The molding is quite good, with small details, such as lettering on the fuel cans and the latches on the ammo boxes present. There was a small amount of flash and a bump in the mold present under one of the fuel cans that is visible on the sprue but doesn't affect the kit parts at all. The plastic is somewhat brittle, and especially on the box ends for the 20mm ammo boxes, there was a stress line present at the sprue attachment point, which is sturdy. This resulted in three of the boxes breaking on the stress line, leaving a notch in the kit part.
I spent some time trying to identify some of the items. As near as I can tell, from internet searches, the transit cases are the 73L model. The primary manufacturer of this case is from China. Surface details match the actual case, but the latches on the kit part are oversized plastic tabs. They required some trimming on the inside to get the top and bottom to fit. There should also be handles in the end recesses that are not present, but could be scratch built from bent wire. The plastic chemical containers are the 125L type, and are also manufactured in China. The recessed middle does not match the box art. The lid presses into place and is secured by a metal band with locking tab. This detail is present on the kit, and while somewhat simplified, is acceptable for the scale as it is quite small. There is a prominent joint seam on the bottom of the drum but on the real thing it is visible, so only minor filling is needed, if it will be visible at all. The site I visited, alibaba.com
, stated the drum was suitable for chemicals, food, dry ingredients and liquids.
The 55 gal/200L drums are fairly generic and join fairly well. The ridge detail on the sides will make joint cleanup a little tricky, but otherwise they are as good as any other plastic kit barrel I have seen, with cap detail on the surface.
The water and fuel cans look like items I saw online. The water cans have the handle molded on one half and joined cleanly. The surface detail isn't as deep as other manufacturers' cans, but is still nicely rendered, with all details that I could see in photos visible on the surface. The caps have four exaggerated tabs and don't match any reference photo I could find, nor do they match the artwork on the box. I don't know what happened there. The fuel cans also have all surface details present and nicely done. The center handle is molded as a separate part, and each half has the outside handle molded on it. It took some filing to get it to fit, but it looks nice when in place. The cap has a notched edge that is very faint but also appears as in photos.
The .50cal ammo boxes took a lot of work trimming the end pieces to get them to fit, and then further filing will be needed to clean up the corners. The lids feature a molded on handle with decent appearance. The 20mm ammo boxes come with all sides in separate pieces. The sides lined up all right, but not along the inner tab molded to the large sides. The bottom piece is recessed and the lid didn't fit. It is narrow with the ends extending out as tabs. As mentioned above, the box ends, which again feature good latch detail, are brittle and had small stress lines visible. Three broke off on the stress line and left a notch on the kit part, visible in the photos. I was using a new #11 blade and carefully scoring the attachment point. I don't know if this was just my sample or if it will be a common feature in the kit. In comparison to photos, the lid to the 20mm ammo box didn't match the actual item very well, nor again do they match the box top art. There are no decals included for either type of ammo box, both of which have prominent markings.
Overall, the kit is a mixed result. The metal and plastic drums and the 5 gal cans are very well detailed. The drums could be built with the lids off, although the plastic sides would not be to scale. The grooved center on the chemical drums could be filled with some styrene stock to match the box top artwork or to add some variety. The transit case can be fixed with some very basic scratch building and is a very nice accessory, though I did not see a specific photographic reference of where the box was used. It is generic in appearance and would create options for the modeler. The ammo cans are not so good, especially the lid on the 20mm ammo box, and missing basic stencil markings.
The usefulness of this set would be based on what the modeler is looking to add. I would say as long as you aren't getting it just for the ammo boxes, it should be fine. It will be suitable for any current model theme, both military and civilian, and could feature prominently in many "what if" themed builds. For a first plastic kit, it's a fair effort. I would certainly get this kit just for the other items, but the ammo boxes are a disappointment.
J's work products are available exclusively through Lucky Model.