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 small cobblestone road section, PPA 3042. As this review is very similar to the large cobblestone road section, much of the text will be copied from that review.
The white silicon mould section comes in a plastic sleeve with a cardboard insert containing basic instructions on how to use the mould. The mould itself is approximately 3" x 5", 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 small and even in appearance, 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 cobblestones are small, with a rough finished appearance. The stones themselves have a very consistent appearance and remind me of a road I used to walk along in Lima. I only did one section and so I cannot comment on the fit of multiple sections, but my experience with these moulds is that some trimming or carving of the roadway is needed to get things to fit cleanly. The roadway does have a nice scale appearance and should work very well for this type of cobblestone roadway. Dust or sand can be added over the surface to fill in a bit around the individual stones as well.
The mould is very easy to use, and the material looks long lasting. The finished product looks much like a traditional cobblestone road and the roadway surface is relatively even in appearance. I think it is as ready to use as you can get. I would like the mould to be larger, to more easily fit a model on as a base, but this is a good start.
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.