That has potential to be a nice plane.
Not just the potential. It's a nice plane, period. Especially for this kind of money. It doesn't require any serious work out of the box. Literally the only thing I did was lap the sole and even that wasn't absolutely necessary. I just like a smooth finish on the sole because it makes the plane glide better. The only thing I can find wrong with mine is that the blade opening is 1mm out of centre to the right. But who the heck cares about something like that? I certainly don't.
The Dictum comes out of the same Chinese factory that builds WoodRiver. Several years ago, there was a great deal of controversy (rightly in my opinion) when WoodRiver produced planes appeared to be molded and cast from LN planes. Since then, the factory has attempted to create an identity of its own, and brought in Rob Cosman to aid in design. This block plane moved the appearance away from the #60 1/2 by incorporating the look of the Stanley #65 knucklehead lever cap.
Yep, it's the Quansheng made plane. And there isn't much they can do design wise. I mean, a plane is a plane and the form is dictated by function.
I wrote a comparison of the LN #60 1/2 when reviewing the Veritas NX60, which is another of my favourites: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolReviews/VeritasPremiumBlockPlane.html
I did ponder getting the DX60 but ultimately decided against it. For this kind of money it's a plane I can "abuse" somewhat and not worry about replacing it.
Two of the other shipwrights at work also ordered the Dictum after trying out mine. One of them said: "Why didn't I know about this plane years ago. I've always hated that stupid Stanley thing." For some strange reason the cheap and dirty Stanley 60½ is the standard among shipwrights in The Netherlands. I ditched that piece of crap years ago. Oh boy, how I hate that stupid thing. The stupid little lever on the lever cap always comes loose, the blade is too thin and soft, the adjustable mouth doesn't open and close smoothly and the overall quality sucks donkey balls. I truly don't understand why any serious shipwright would want to use that piece of crap, but like I said, it's the standard block plane over here. And get this, the Dictum costs just €12-15 but you get so much more for the money.
Edit: Okay, so the paint isn't the strongest but to be honest for this money I didn't expect it to be. The top of the left cheek already has a small paint chip missing. It's not a powder coating that's baked on but most likely some kind of spray paint. Does it bother me? Not in the least because it's a tool. It would if the plane would cost €100 or more. It doesn't alter the performance in any way and it performs great.