Built Review
Large cobblestone
Cobblestone pavement large
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by: Russ Amott [ RUSSAMOTTO ]

J's Work is a Chinese manufacturer of diorama accessories. As part of their product line they offer a series of silicone molds for making both individual paver stones and small sections of roadway that are reusable and designed to allow the sections to be joined together with a small amount of trimming for fit along the edges. This allows the modeler to design their own diorama base.

contents and instructions
This review will focus on the large cobblestone road section, PPA 3041. The white silicon mold section comes in a plastic sleeve with a cardboard insert containing basic instructions on how to use the mold. Simply put, pull out the mold, rinse it off, pour in the mold medium of your choice (I use a plaster-like material I picked up at a local craft store), wait for it to set and you have a road section. Pour multiple sections and you have a road or plaza base. Depending upon the medium you use, you can begin the cleanup process while the material is still somewhat soft and easy to work with, which will make it easier when setting multiple sections together.

trial run
When I removed the mold from the plastic sleeve, I looked it over carefully. The individual stones are quite large, with an area in the center that is raised in the mold, leaving a depression on the finished piece. The mold appears well made, with some small air bubbles present that add texture to the finished product.

I prepared a thin mix of my plaster material and poured it into the mold. The instructions state to pound the table surface or jiggle the mold carefully to work air bubbles to the surface. The mold is flexible and will conform to the surface it is placed on, so make sure you have a flat surface. If you with to create a gentle grade, this can be done with the mold.

Once set, I removed the cast and examined it. The surface of the stones is very rough and they appear quite large. I expect they could be used easily for 1/24 scale as well as large stones in 1/35. In examining the spacing, I believe that driving a vehicle over this surface would be uncomfortable, as the scale effect would be a spacing of several inches. The horizontal appearance is also very uneven. I looked up cobblestone roads in a Google image search and found no images of a roadway this rough, although I have seen cobblestones placed like these in areas specifically to prevent vehicle and foot traffic. It is possible the section could also be used for a stone wall face. I sanded down the cast section and after removing almost 2mm from the surface some of the stones were down to the join lines while those in the depression were untouched on the top.

The mold is very easy to use, and the material looks long lasting. The finished cast is a very rough roadway, potentially too severe and uneven in appearance for practical use. If you want a rough, stone roadway or field, this will be the product to use.

J's Work products are available exclusively through Lucky Model http://www.luckymodel.com/scale.aspx?department=MAIN with this mold retailing for $5.99 with free shipping.
Highs: Very easy product to use. Allows the modeler a lot of freedom.
Lows: Surface is very rough and uneven and not as practical for a roadway.
Verdict: Too extreme for a road but may have other uses
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: PPA3043
  Suggested Retail: $5.99 US
  PUBLISHED: Jun 11, 2012

Our Thanks to Js Work!
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 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.


thanks for the review Russ. The surface does look very rough and like you I haven't seen any surface like it. I think 1/35 scale figures would be difficult to pose on it. It might be possible to fill the gaps between the stones with more ground work to make it look like a country lane perhaps?
JUN 11, 2012 - 08:56 AM
I love the J's Work molds for bricks, etc. but have not had great results with their road surface molds. For one thing, it's very hard to avoid air bubbles, so the end results are pock-marked in the extreme. Filling those bubbles becomes an enormous PITA, so you might be just as well-off using a resin roadway.
JUN 11, 2012 - 09:18 AM
Bill I have a few of Hirst Arts molds and I follow their casting methods with some of my own refinements. Refinements might be too strong a word I place the mold on a piece of plywood and place the plywood over a long piece of sprue or a barbecue skewer like a seesaw. Then aften I pour the plaster I just agitate the wood until all the air bubbles rise up to the top of the mould. I put the plywood on a flat surface while the plaster dries out.
JUN 11, 2012 - 09:46 AM
Tom, thanks for getting this up. Bill and Pat, thanks for the comments. I was a little surprised at how rough the mold was on the inside. With the number of images available on line and in reference books, I would have thought there would be a mold that more closely represents an actual road surface. Maybe they will offer a more uniform appearance in a later release. Pat, your idea of filling in the gaps with dirt and grass is good. I had thought also of removing some of the stones to create a rocky field. You would loose your kidneys driving over a road like this.
JUN 11, 2012 - 10:38 AM
Granted that J's Work has other products you've used and liked. That's fine as far as it goes --- but unless my eyes deceive me, this product simply isn't very good. For 6 bucks, modelers shouldn't need all the work-arounds and fill-ins helpfully suggested by the preceding commenters. I'd give this a 50% grade, and tell potential buyers on Armorama they would be better off looking elsewhere. As for J's Work, better luck next time!
JUN 14, 2012 - 01:48 AM

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