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Airfix

Set 1711

Afrika Korps

All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1962
Contents 46 figures
Poses 20 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Tan
Average Height 22 mm (= 1.58 m)

Review

This is another of the sets produced by Airfix in the early sixties which was later completely redone to create the type 2 set. It is not hard to see why this was done, as the figures here are poorly detailed and rather too toy-like. There is a lot of inaccuracies, but the inclusion of many peaked field caps and shorts mean the set certainly has the flavour of its subject. The poses are numerous and for the most part useful, though the man apparently bayoneting would have been a rare sight indeed during the actual fighting. No-one has a light machine gun, and the heavier machine gun is shown with a single stalk supporting it rather than a bipod. The anti-tank gun too is more suggestive of the weapon in general than a model of an actual device, although it is the same as that in the German Infantry set so the same tentative identification would apply.

These figures are perhaps a little better than the German infantry set, with more effort made to create a real face and slightly better detail, but they remain poorly defined and with many areas such as hands and weapons that are just featureless bits of plastic. Flash too is a problem, as usual.

The officer is particularly interesting. He stands out from his men not only because he is a little taller than them, but mainly because the level of sculpting is a great deal better. His face is properly contoured and his hands have easily distinguishably fingers - a real novelty! In fact in all respects he is a far superior model, and some have tried to suggest that this is a model of Rommel himself. Well that may be, but he does illustrate what could be achieved even in those days if sufficient care was taken.

Once the second type set was produced this set was retired and slowly disappeared, and clearly there are many other sets which are a great improvement on this one. Still it is not without its charm and will stir fond memories in many people of a certain age.

Ratings

Historical Accuracy 5
Pose Quality 6
Pose Number 10
Sculpting 3
Mould 4

Further Reading
Books
"Afrikakorps 1941-43" - Osprey (Elite Series No.34) - Gordon Williamson - 9781855321304
"German Combat Equipments 1939-45" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.234) - Gordon Rottman - 9780850459524
"German Soldiers of World War II" - Histoire & Collections - Jean de Lagarde - 9782915239355
"Infantry Weapons of World War II" - David & Charles - Jan Suermont - 9780715319253
"The German Army 1939-45 (2) North Africa & Balkans" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.316) - Nigel Thomas - 9781855326408

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