by: Russ Amott [ ]
Everyone needs to eat, and for armies the issue is how to get food to the front. For the United States in WWII, the method involved packaging complete meals in cans. The system was efficient in government terms, but the meal selection was limited, the cans heavy, and long term consumption could lead to malnutrition. Nevertheless, the C ration had a long life, serving not just in WWII but on into Korea and Vietnam.
Legend Productions offers a set of C ration boxes with late war markings for use as a model or diorama accessory.
The set comes in a small box with a photo of the completed kit contents on the front. This is also the assembly instruction. Inside the box are four resin pour blocks with two boxes on each block. The boxes have fine wood and board texturing. Once cleaned up they measure .359" wide, .564" long and .237" high. This comes out to 12.5" wide, 19.7" long and 8.3" tall. The actual box dimension, according to Tim Streeter's Modeling the US Army Website http://www.usarmymodels.com/ARTICLES/Rations/crations.html
12.75" x 19.25" x 7.75". An actual box measurement was 12.75" x 19.6" x 8", so the Legend Productions resin boxes are quite close in measurement.
The decal sheet included has markings for the top, both ends and the front of the box, with the printing clearly legible, if you can see print that small. The date of issue is March of 1944. There are enough decals for all 8 boxes. My sample had two decal sheets, so there is a full set of extras, but I don't know if this was intended or an error. The decals are very thin and snug down well with decal setting solution.
I painted the boxes with a mix of Tamiya desert yellow and deck tan, added a coat of gloss and placed the decals. That was it. With the boxes completed they are ready to be placed where I want.
In conclusion, I think this is a very handy accessory set, properly sized and with all the markings included. It should prove to be very useful. Browsing online revealed prices from $10.40 US up to $12.50. Many locations offered free shipping.