J's Work is a Chinese manufacturer of diorama accessories. As part of their product line they offer a series of silicone moulds 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 modeller to design their own diorama base.
This review will focus on the large hex pavement section, PPA 3043. As this review is very similar to the large cobblestone mould I reviewed, much of the text will be copied from that review.
The white silicone mould section comes in a plastic sleeve with a cardboard insert containing basic instructions on how to use the mould. The mould itself measures approx. 3"x5", or 75mm x 125mm. To use, pull out the mould, rinse it off, pour in the mould 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.
When I removed the mould 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 mould, leaving a depression on the finished piece. The mould 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 mould. The instructions state to pound the table surface or jiggle the mould carefully to work air bubbles to the surface. The mould 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 mould.
Once set, I removed the cast and examined it. The surface of the hex block 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. They are uniformly spaced, but the surface of the road is very uneven, with the stones randomly set higher or lower. I think the effect is very severe, leaving a scale difference in stone height of several inches. Unless the roadway was in a state of severe disrepair or had suffered damage from an earthquake or bomb strike, I cannot imagine a surface looking as rough as this. I did a Google image search and found numerous examples of stone block roadways using different shapes for the stones, and none were as rough as this roadway. I sanded down the surface of the block as evenly as I could and found that some stones lost the joint definition completely while others were untouched, and this after removing nearly 2mm from the surface. I think the effect would have looked better had it been more even and not so severe.
The mould is very easy to use, and the material looks long lasting. The finished cast is a very rough roadway, potentially too rough for practical use. You can try levelling the surface of the roadway or you may wish to demonstrate one that is severely damaged. J's work does make individual hex stones in a similar silicone mould that will allow you to make the road on your own terms.
J's Work products are available exclusively through Lucky Model http://www.luckymodel.com/scale.aspx?department=MAIN with this mould retailing for $5.99 with free shipping.
Highs: Mold is easy to use. Lows: the uneven appearance of the finished casting may be too severe for practical use.Verdict: Over exaggerated appearance limits the use of this product.
About Russ Amott (russamotto) FROM: UTAH, UNITED STATES
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. ...