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 up to 35mm thick or worse. Plus Model have released 5.56mm U.S. ammunition boxes using photo-etch.
The product comes in a clear plastic bag attached to a glossy card with product details, and the manufacturers details. Inside that bag you will find another small sealed plastic bag containing one photo-etch fret 70mm X 54mm, which is an unknown steel coloured alloy. A green card is included to I believe 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, which again, I believe, is included to reduce the risk of damage to the photo-etch. A small set of black and white instructions are included, which measure 103mm X 70mm.
The photo-etch fret contains enough pieces to make six ammunition boxes, each ammunition box consists of six pieces. The six pieces are the main box which requires that four bends be made to assemble, with each bending point being clearly 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. 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 others and I will start swearing, the pieces are not particularly small, however the piece requiring four bends needs them to be made very close together. The area the bends are to be made are clearly marked, however it will not be an easy job. 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, and minimal connection points. I have been unable to find any 5.56 ammunition boxes that match the sizes of this product, and as such have concerns about its accuracy. A number of the 5.56 ammunition boxes I have looked at also have transfers on both sides, and with this set only having 6 decals in total it could mean only three boxes can be done correctly. The product size is:
- Length 8.5mm approx.
- Depth 5.5mm approx.
- Width 4.5mm approx.
Because of my concerns about accuracy I have given this product a low percentage score at this time, because I can not find any corroborating reference material. However if someone can allay my concerns about accuracy I will adjust the percentage mark.