Built Review
US C Ration Boxes
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by: Russ Amott [ RUSSAMOTTO ]


An army is useless unless it can be fed and clothed. I haven't seen anyone come out with boxes of spare uniforms yet, but recently there have been a number of companies that have released ration boxes. Plus Model now offers a set of US C ration boxes made from laser cut balsa wood.

the boxes

The set comes in a simple plastic envelope with a card backer. The balsa wood sheet is very thin, giving a nice scale appearance. There are 30 parts total, with separate ends, sides and top and bottom sections that will allow the modeler to make five ration boxes.

Each of the boxes also has laser printing on the sides and ends that on my sample was partially legible.

Because the wood is so thin, care must be taken to remove them from the sheet. Once removed with a sharp knife, I used a file to smooth down the end. I used wood glue to attach the parts and found that it created some minor warping of the wood, so some pressure was needed to hold the parts in place.

Assembly is fairly simple, but care is needed to make sure that the parts are all facing the right direction.

Once completed the boxes look very nice. The only clear issue I noted is that the actual ration boxes are made from actual individual boards, with four boards on the top, where this set has solid sections. A careful modeler might be able to cut the sections straight to get the appearance of the individual boards.

Apart from the separate board sections, the boxes do look good, and as mentioned above, there is a good scale appearance, if the modeler chooses to leave the box top off.


This is a handy set that will provide some potentially nice detail to a diorama setting.
Highs: Laser printing on the box sides, good scale appearance.
Lows: Single piece box sections, as opposed to the separate boards on the actual box.
Verdict: This is a potentially useful diorama accessory for many different settings.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 418
  Suggested Retail: $9.00
  PUBLISHED: May 30, 2012
  NATIONALITY: United States

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About Russ Amott (russamotto)

I got back into the hobby a few years back, and wanted to find ways to improve, which is how I found this site. Since joining Armorama I have improved tremendously by learning from others here, and have actually finished a couple of kits. I model to relax and have fun, but always look to improve. ...

Copyright 2021 text by Russ Amott [ RUSSAMOTTO ]. All rights reserved.


James, thanks for geting this posted.
MAY 30, 2012 - 08:21 AM
How does this compare to the actual dimensions of the C rations box given here: LINK How about the markings? I can't read them very well in the photos. Thanks, Tim
MAY 30, 2012 - 02:34 PM
Tim, thaks for that link. I was searching for it while getting the review up but missed it. The markings are laster printed or branded on the surface of the wood, so they are a little fuzzy. The box end marking is the same as on the photo you provided in the link, US Army, Field Ration C, 8 rations, Wt 40 CU 1 1, but it is not clear black print. The side label is less clear because of the size of the printing, but there is a US legible, and a seal. Most of my stuff is packed right now, but I will try to find something to give a decent measurement on the box dimensions.
MAY 31, 2012 - 01:20 AM
Tim, the measurements are 9/16" long, 3/8" wide, 1/4" tall for the box. It is wider and a little shorter than the Tamiya plastic boxes that come with the M4A3 75mm kit.
JUN 05, 2012 - 12:32 PM
IIRC one of the Osprey "The US Army in WWII" volumes, mentions that these wooden boxes were mostly issued to units in the Pacific. Reason being that they better suited the tropical climate than the cardboard boxes.
JUN 06, 2012 - 10:19 AM

Click image to enlarge
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