In-Box Review
U.S. Army Field Ration K
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by: Scott Lodder [ SLODDER ]


The kit is a set of K Rations. It contains pieces to make the larger 'cases' of meals and pieces that represent the individual meals themselves.

You really have to look at this kit to see it for its fullest potential.
My first impression of the kit was very ‘flat’. I saw a bit of rectangular resin bits and a piece of card board. I had to open the bag, dig in and really take stock of the kit to understand what it is.

In the box

The contents of this 'box' is 16 resin parts, heavy paperstock sheet and decals.
Upon opening the bag you will find:
1. Stiff cardboard piece with three pre-printed K ration boxes.
2. Five resin blocks with 15 individual meal boxes.
3. One big resin block with nine individual boxes molded as one.
4. One decal sheet with decals (7 each breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
Unless you see a fully built kit the 'box' does not do the contents justice. The image on the Plusmodel website does show a fully built kit.

The Kit History

Wikipedia has a great entry for K Rations, and another great article can be found Here.

I found it very interesting that K rations were made specifically for each meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner. The decals try to mimic this, each is slightly different. The history is quite in-depth. It turns out that K Rations' biggest flaw was calories, not enough for a soldier in combat. They were supplanted by C Rations. K Rations were first procured in 1942.

Historically K Rations were dispensed in a generic tan colored box. The kit brings this to you accurately. The internal boxes of individual meals are originally printed in basic black and white, the decals are of this type. Later in production the boxes were printed with the name of the meal and a designation letter in a different color. Breakfast was printed in brown, lunch in blue lettering, and dinner was olive. The decals wouldn't work for the later printing, although in this scale I don’t think anyone without direct knowledge and a magnifying glass will notice.

Another interesting historic note that this kit loosly supports is that "KS" branded boxes are the early (pre 1944) wooden crates. The "KS" crates had the old black and white labeled meal boxes. The cardboard kit boxes here represent the "KS" brand in the labeling and color. Where the box 'misses' is in basic shape. If the cardboard material was used with different configuration it could be acceptable. The traditional ‘cardboard box’ shape with top and bottom ‘tabs’ or ‘flaps’ is what makes this representation fall a bit flat. Historically the KS large box has a flat top that would get lifted off in one piece, not flap style.


The real box came in at 22.25” x 12.25” x 8.25”
This scales down to .64” x .25” x .24” (1.64cmX.89cmX.6cm)
The kit box measures in at 2.4cm X 1cm X .6cm
The length is pretty far off. The other two measurements are fine.

final Impression

Meal time dioramas are very popular and this kit can fill the niche. This kit has two highlights, the decals and the cardboard outer box. The decals are great realism catchers, as is the outer box. Separately these features are very nice.

Where the kit misses a bit is on the construction of the outer box and the size of the box.
The up side of this kit is that it can be ‘dropped’ in a diorama and it will instantly create interest. If it’s not the center of attention the miss-cues shouldn’t detract.
Highs: Decals and labeling of the kit. Overall idea and completeness.
Lows: Miss-matched design and small size inaccuracy.
Verdict: Not a must have. Good supporting detail for a diorama, but not a center piece.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 311
  Suggested Retail: Varies
  Related Link: Item Webpage
  PUBLISHED: Dec 06, 2009
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Plus Model!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Scott Lodder (slodder)

I modeled when I was a teenager. College, family and work stopped me for a while. Then I picked it back up after about 12 years off. My main focus is dioramas. I like the complete artistic method of story telling. Dioramas involve so many aspects of modeling and I enjoy getting involved in the ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Scott Lodder [ SLODDER ]. All rights reserved.


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