by: Felix Bustelo [ ]
Shipping containers, commonly called intermodal containers, are standard sized corrugated steel containers used world-wide to ship goods. They can be transported to and from seaports by truck or rail and loaded onto container ships for overseas shipping. These two photoetch sets from Black Dog Models provides shipping containers, flatbed trucks and personnel to populate a dock diorama.
Set S70007 contains eight 40’ and eight 20’ containers and 36 figures. Set S70008 contains five 40’ containers, five flatbed truck trailers and cabs, and 46 figures. The brass is relief etched which gives the containers the distinct corrugated texture and tires, windshields, grill and other details on the trucks. The brass is a tad thick and sturdy and there are etched bend points to facilitate bending the items into shape. The locking rods for the doors are present for each container. Each set has an airbrush mask for the Maersk and Hanjin lettering and logos, but the masks are for the 40’ containers only. No instructions were provided with my samples but assembling these are rather straight-forward.
For this review, I assembled one truck, two 40’ containers and one 20’ container. You will need a photoetch bending tool to construct the items. The locking rods are thin and can bend or break off easily. I found the truck cabs somewhat difficult to bend into shape as the hitch section and actual cab are one piece. While working with it and trying to bend the underside of the cab, the cab broke off cleanly after a few repeated bends to get the cab sit over the wheels properly. This turned out to be a blessing as I was able to work with each section separately and fit them correctly. I would suggest cutting the cab apart for the hitch, as it would be easier.
I have never used a mask before and I found them impossible to use; now this may be due to my inexperience but the paint bled underneath the lettering and it was a bloody mess, so I ditched that container. I prefer decals and I am aware of some aftermarket sets for containers in 1/700 scale.
Assembled and painted, the truck and containers look good and you can take some liberty in what colors to choose. I was generally satisfied with the results as these were quick and dirty builds for this review. These sets are overall well done and will help make up for a busy dock scene.