Most of us will have built an AFV model at some time or other, where small arms/close support weapons ammunition boxes have been used. The problem with the ammunition boxes supplied in kits (if shown open) is that if injection moulded plastic is used then the box walls are just way too thick, scaling up to a box that has walls 35mm thick or worse. Plus model have released 7.62mm U.S. ammunition boxes using photo-etch.
The product comes in a clear plastic bag attached to a glossy card on which the product details, and the manufacturers are displayed. Inside that bag you will find a small sealed plastic bag containing one photo-etch fret 70mm X 36mm, which is an unknown steel coloured alloy. A green card is included to help prevent damage to the photo-etch, and a small decal sheet containing 6 decals to be used on the ammo boxes. Inside the main bag is another card in red, again I believe to reduce the risk of damage to the photo-etch. A small set of black and white instructions are included, which measure 103mm X 66mm.
The photo-etch fret contains enough pieces to make six ammunition boxes. The pieces are attached to the fret at very few points and each connection point is easy to cut without causing damage to either itself or a neighboring part. Each ammunition box consists of six pieces. The six pieces are the main box which requires four bends be made to assemble, with each bending point being well marked. The lid also requires two bends be made in it, which again are clearly marked. The hinge of the ammunition box requires a single bend be made, allowing the user to show boxes open or closed and anywhere in between.
The carry handle for the ammunition box is a separate piece allowing the modeller to show the box being carried by a scale figure if so inclined, and a few other options spring to mind. The catch for the ammunition box consists of two pieces, one requiring that four bends be made, the other piece needing only one. This is the stage where fat fingers and bad eyesight will beat you, the pieces are not particularly small, however the piece requiring four bends needs them to be made very close together. Needless to say, it will not be an easy job, even though the areas to be bent are clearly marked. Once these stages are complete all that is required is some paint, and the addition of the decals.
A well laid out photo etch fret with clear instructions, which providing the bends that need to be made are within your comfort level, will create a good and accurate representation of the 7.62mm U.S. ammunition box. I was able to locate the ammunition boxes these mimic online, and they match very well. While I am not able to measure .85 of a mm I can measure .5 and I was happy with the results, each measurement does appear to me at least to be accurate.
Highs: The carrying handle being a separate piece rather than etched detail does allow for more uses rather than sitting on a vehicle or attached to the weapon.Lows: One of the two pieces that are used to make the catch (if used the way instructed) will deter or defeat some people.Verdict: If you want every aspect of your model to be accurate, this product will help.
About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...