Built Review
WWII US Rations
WWII K Ration Box Set (8 ea), WWII C Ration Box Set (early)
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by: Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]


"What's for dinner?" Never fear, Legend Productions provides the answer for all your 1/35th scale US WWII figures with the release of two sets of standalone ration boxes; C rations and K rations.


Much like the ammo crates they have released these have been spotted in various WWII US armor upgrades and stowage sets previously. What you get in these new boxes are 8 crates with all appropriate decals. The crates are all excellent castings with no bubbles or flash anywhere but they do have the large pour plug. Beware of the strong chemical odour when cutting away the pour plug and have whatever mask is most appropriate for you.

Just like the ammo crates I finished one box of each to give you an idea of what they look like when finished. They paint up very nicely and the decals snuggle down very easily, I didn't use any setting solution at all, just a gloss coat to eliminate silvering.

While they look nice when done I am not yet convinced that they are 100% accurate. What information I have on WWII rations is that both the K and C ration where packed in a wooden shipping box with an inner box of fiberboard (a heavy cardboard as far as I know). The castings don't quite look like a wooden crate, but neither do they look like the fiberboard crate. The wood crate should be obvious with wood grain details, wood panel pieces, etc. while the fiberboard should have a prominent seam where the top opening flaps would be. Neither of the sets have either of these features so I am left with a question of what are they? They look an awful lot like a fiberboard product with an outer slip cover where the actual box of rations slides out from the side. That may well be what they are, but if so I have never seen WWII rations of that style. I am more than willing to be corrected which would certainly change the rating of my review. Without that I can only give a lukewarm endorsement; buried under other stowage they would be great, the decals are top notch so if you want to add the top opening flaps by engraving a shallow line they would be perfect. Otherwise be aware that they may not be quite accurate.
Highs: They look very nice when painted and decals have been applied.
Lows: May not be accurate for US WWII rations, not of a style that I am aware of.
Verdict: If you want something that looks good or are willing to add some extra detail; go for it. If you are looking for something out of the box that is accurate I would avoid them.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 1299, 1301
  Suggested Retail: ~$10.00 each
  PUBLISHED: Aug 01, 2015
  NATIONALITY: United States

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About Rick Cooper (clovis899)

I have been modeling for about 30 years now. Once upon a time in another century I owned my own hobby shop; way more work than it was worth. I tip my opti-visor to those who make a real living at it. Mainly build armor these days but I keep working at figures, planes and the occasional ship.

Copyright 2021 text by Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]. All rights reserved.


Based on the information I collected and posted on my website some years ago (and may likely have been used by Legend to create this set), I think Rick's review is a bit off base. LINK I picked up the C rations set at AMPS and I believe it is spot on in terms of size and markings. It is clearly a wooden box, not the fiber box. The separate panels are clearly present, as is a subtle wood grain. It's not the typical out-of-scale gouges one typically sees on pieces that represent wood (think Tamiya "rations" box included with Sherman sets). Those gouges are an easy way to represent wood, to contrast it from a metal surface, and take a wash quite well. But by and large they are overdone for what they represent (grain, not crevices). Even what is present on the Legends pieces may be a tad much compared to their real counterparts. Wood grain is more than texture, it's also coloring, as you can see in the color photos in my article. That's up to the modeler, of course, and is more difficult to accomplish than a quick and easy wash. Check out how aircraft painters do wood grain on biplanes for some tips. I invite you to read my article and draw your own conclusions, but I would give this a 100% rating. I have no association with Legend other than being an occasional purchaser of their products. Cheers, Tim PS: I also bought a set of Legend .50 cal ammo wooden boxes, which also are excellent. I really like the fact that Legend is issuing accurate markings with these accessories, which have been lacking in the few other attempts to cover these items (Verlinden's old ammo box set comes to mind).
AUG 02, 2015 - 06:25 AM
Sorry, I had composed this with logical paragraphs which got lost in the execution of the reply...
AUG 02, 2015 - 06:27 AM
I think Tim has the right idea here. Back when wood grew on trees and wooden boxes were used for almost everything, the grain and quality was very smooth and to achieve the wood look on these boxes is going to be more by paint than texture. Thanks for the great review, I think I will order me a set or two.
AUG 02, 2015 - 11:27 PM
Thanks Tim! Your comments are more useful than the actual review here. If these items get a 100% from you that's good enough for me!
AUG 04, 2015 - 05:10 AM
Tim, Thanks for your input; I said I was more than happy to be corrected and I meant it. However, (you just knew there would be a however!) One of the things that throws me off a bit with these boxes is that every one in the set is perfect. I'm guessing that most people look at the box top photos and are thinking "cardboard box", not wood. Every example I have seen seems to show the box top wood as a couple of different slats, something clearly not evident on the Legend pieces. In fact, the Legend pieces look a bit to perfect, more like the crates have been machined from Grade A birch plywood like you might use for nice cabinetry, not a box of rations. I understand the scale argument, but in 1/35 if your wood grain is to scale with no hint of knots, nails, imperfections, etc. (like the Legends set) it looks an awful like metal or maybe to give the benefit of the doubt, cardboard. Even your link (which is incredibly helpful and should be bookmarked by every serious WWII modeler) shows every crate with imperfections. With all that said please understand I respect your opinion, you are far more the expert here than I, and I am not saying any of this to get into some kind of ridiculous flame war, only wanted to point out my perspective in looking at the crates. If you think they deserve 100%, (I would agree with that on the decals which are tremendous) I'd say let's split the difference and round up to 90%! Cheers, Rick
AUG 04, 2015 - 10:26 AM

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