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Built Review
135
AfrikaKorps
AfrikaKorps: German Tankman
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by: Randy Harvey [ HARV ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Background

The German AfrikaKorps was the German expeditionary force in Libya and Tunisia during the North African Campaign of World War II. The force was kept as a distinct formation and became the main German contribution to Panzer Army Africa which evolved into the German-Italian Panzer Army and Army Group Africa.

"AfrikaKorps" is derived from the original German name properly written in one word. The term refers to the original formation which became part of the ever-expanding German and Italian presence in North Africa from February 1941 to May 1943.

Master Box LTD has released a set of figures which represent three German AfrikaKorps panzer crew members and a local tribesman with a donkey.

Contents

The kit comes packaged in a soft cardboard end opening box with artwork of the figures by A. Kapawyk on the top of the box along with a photograph of a German Afrika cuff band. The bottom of the box has the assembly guide, a photograph of the sprue, a painting guide and a paint cross reference chart.
The kit comes with one tan styrene sprue which contains 36 total pieces. The sprue comes sealed in a re-sealable clear plastic bag. All of the pieces are attached to the sprue with a minimal amount of contact points. I have seen some kits where it seems like the sprue contains more plastic than the pieces that make up the kit. However that is not the case with this kit which makes for easy removal and less clean up of each piece.

When I examined the parts I didn't find any bent, broken or missing pieces. One of the arms for the local tribesman was detached from the sprue, however it was still in the bag and was in good shape. The individual pieces are not numbered on the sprue. The only place they are numbered is on the bottom of the box. As I examined the individual pieces I found what I would consider to be a normal to minimal amount of flash, although there are very obvious seam lines present. I did not find any push out (knock out) marks on the individual pieces, only on the sprue itself. The detailing on the individual pieces is nice and crisp.

No separate instruction sheet is included in the kit, only the basic assembly guide on the bottom of the box. There are no decals included in this kit.


THE FIGURES

The kit comes with three German panzer crewmen and one local tribesman and a donkey. I assembled all of the figures straight out of the box without doing any work on them to show all of the seam lines, flash and gaps. I felt this would be a good way to show the work required on all of them.

The Donkey:
The donkey is made up of seven total pieces. It has a molded on blanket and halter and comes with two cargo bags. The detailing on the main body, head and ears is nice. The mane and tail are fair but they could use more detailing. There is very little flash present, however there are very obvious seam lines which will need to be removed. The fit between the main body halves is poor and will require some shaving and putty to get them to fit flush. The tail fits well, however the locator hole is off center therefore the tail is off center and is too far to the left.

The mane definitely has a gap between it and the neck that will need to be filled. The ears and cargo bags fit well but also have gaps to fill. There should be a lead rope running from the halter to the figures left hand, which could easily be created with string or thread. The fit of the figure to the donkey is not good as there is a very obvious gap between the figure and the donkey. I would strongly recommend making a blanket from paper or tissue paper and custom build it to fill the gap and give it a more realistic appearance.

The Standing German:
The standing figure is made up of eight total pieces. He is wearing the tropical shorts and shirt, with the shirt showing rolled up sleeves. He is also wearing a soft cap, scarf and short lace up desert boots. The figure also comes with binoculars. The box shows a strap with the binoculars, however if you want a strap you will have to scratch build one. The detailing on the uniform and face is nice. The binoculars fit the hands fairly well, but a little work closing up the hands will be needed so that they are shown to have a normal grip.

With all the figures in the kit, there is very little flash present, however there are very obvious seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good although most of them have a gap that will need to be filled.

The leaning German:
The leaning figure is made up of eight total pieces. He is wearing the tropical shorts and tunic, along with a peaked cap, scarf and high top lace up desert boots. The tunic also has the figures decorations displayed. The decorations are the Iron Cross, what appears to be a Panzer Assault Badge and the Iron Cross II Class ribbon through the button hole. The tunic has two additional pieces to add to the bottom of it to give it more of a realistic look. The effect is nice, however it does create gaps that will need to be filled. The detailing on the uniform and face is nice.

The Squatting German
The squatting figure is made up of seven total pieces, and is wearing the tropical shorts and shirt. The shirt is shown with rolled up sleeves with a wrist watch on the left wrist. He is holding a soft cap and is wearing the high top lace up desert boots. The figure has an appropriate haircut for the time period. Once again, the detailing on the uniform and face is nice. The neck has some extra plastic that will need to be removed. The left hand has a small notch between the thumb and forefinger to place the bill of the cap.

The Local Tribesman
The local tribesman figure is made up of six total pieces with two different right arms. He is wearing a robe, head wrap and slippers and has a beard and mustache. The right arm comes in two versions. Both are holding a switch, however one arm is held down at his right side and the other is pointing over the top of the donkey to the figures left. The detailing on the clothing and face is well done.

painting guide

Included on the bottom of the box is a painting guide and paint cross reference chart. The chart lists the brand and brand numbers of the colors needed, but does not list the specific names of the colors. It cross references five different brands of paint as follows:

• Vallejo
• Tamiya
• Lifecolor
• Humbrol
• Agama

There is a basic painting guide for the uniforms however it does not contain a detailed painting guide for the German uniform details such as the rank insignia, piping on the headgear, or the military decorations. Something I would have liked to have seen included, which isn’t, is a painting guide for the local tribesman and the donkey.

CONCLUSION

It isn't what I would call a perfect set of figures, however it is a nice product. I would have no hesitation to recommend it to others. This set could be used to easily create a simple diorama.


References:

AfrikaKorps in Action
Squadron/Signal Publications, #3004
Weapons Number Four
Published in 1979
By Bruce Culver, illustrated by Ron Volstad
ISBN: 0-89747-079-6

Tank and AFV Crew Uniforms Since 1916
Squadron/Signal Publications - #6027
Published in 1979
Martin Windrow with color illustrations by Gerry Embleton
ISBN: 0-89747-103-2

World War 2 Combat Uniforms and Insignia
Squadron/Signal Publications, #6013
Published in 1977
Martin Windrow with color illustrations by Gerry Embleton

Afrika Korps
Ballantine’s Illustrated History of the Violent Century
Campaign Book No. 1
Published in 1968
By Major K.J. Macksey, M.C.

Wikipedia
SUMMARY
Highs: Nice detailing on the parts.Nice casual poses of all figures.The local tribesman figure and the donkey.
Lows: There are no personal weapons or gear for the three German figures.No instruction sheet or painting guide other than the basic guide on the box.The amount of gaps that need to be filled.
Verdict: All in all this is a decent set of figures. It represents a German panzer crew nicely. A modeler will just need to be prepared to spend some time removing seam lines and filling gaps. I feel that anyone who purchases this kit will be pleased with it.
Percentage Rating
70%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: MB 3559
  Suggested Retail: $24.95 MSRP
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Apr 03, 2010
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 91.62%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 84.05%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Randy Harvey (HARV)
FROM: WYOMING, UNITED STATES

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2019 text by Randy Harvey [ HARV ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Armorama. All rights reserved.



Comments

An interesting release. The tribesman is interesting, I suppose one could use him in a modern setting, too...
APR 03, 2010 - 10:43 AM
Harv, Great review....very informative and useful!
APR 04, 2010 - 05:11 AM
a welcome addition to the ever expanding MB range great review too
APR 04, 2010 - 03:55 PM
Thank you for the kind comments guys. I appreciate them very much. HARV
APR 09, 2010 - 01:02 AM
Very good review mate, has convinced me to get this set. I only need the donkey and rider atm, but the crew will be useful for my DAK Pz. III. Any ideas of where to source this one in Australia? I may just wait it out and see if they appear on ebay pehaps. Thanks again! Cheers Damian
APR 09, 2010 - 03:04 AM
Thank you Damian. I am glad that my review has helped you out. Sorry, I don't. I am not very familiar with suppliers for other countries. Thanks again, HARV
APR 13, 2010 - 02:55 AM
Thanks for the reply. I managed to track these down on ebay and won yesterday Now i can add the donkey and rider into my T-62 dio Thanks once again for the review. Cheers Damian
APR 23, 2010 - 07:33 AM
Hi Damian, I am glad you found yourself a kit. For using the donkey and rider in a modern scene I thought a person could place an AK-47 or possibly an Enfield in the riders right hand. It would make it kind of cool looking in my opinion anyway. Thanks again and I am glad that my review helped. HARV
APR 24, 2010 - 07:15 AM
   

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