About Me

My photo
No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

1974 [WWII] Afrika Korps (2nd version), 1711 / 01711 / 01711-6 / 9 01711 / A01711 - HO/OO

Some will say the best set (in either scale) ever made. Well...some of the sets by Revell, Zvezda or even now (late 2015) some of the recent stuff by Orion give these a run for their money, but I'm still one for thinking this was the best set ever made...by Airfix.

Several of the poses had already been issued in 1:32 scale when this set appeared to replace the older set which we looked at here. There is a rule here; the HO-OO only poses have shorts and helmets, while the 'both-scale' poses have caps and bloused, baggy trousers, the 'exception that proves the rule' being a crossover figure - prone firing, with shorts and a cap!

Reversed artwork on the 1980 catalogue image, I guess things were a bit hectic in the office what with bankruptcies and takeovers and the like going-on in the background!

Corrected image in the 1985 catalogue, this is one of the 'thumbnails' from the long-boxes, and is generally taken to be Erwin Rommel (the Desert Fox).

Indeed; he's simply described as a 'senior staff officer' in the catalogue blurb from the 1975 catalogue (image courtesy of Blog visitor Kostas), which seems to be a carry-over from the earlier sets with its mention of anti-tank guns!

Box art from the Atlantic effort, as I have no intention of starting an Atlantic Blog (there are two very good ones out there and PSR), it might as well go here, the figures are compared in the next image...

...along with the jingoistic blurb on the back of the box! The ratio was not 10:1 as stated (poor little Fascists bullied by the nasty Allies!) but closer to 2:1 (3:1 is preferred for an offensive against a prepared enemy); from Wikipedia: "195,000 men and 1,029 tanks under Montgomery made their move against the 116,000 men and 547 tanks of Panzer Army Africa."

The figures were rather fine* in a cartoon'ish sort of way, like the British Infantry by the same manufacturer there were a number of dancing loons, but there were also some useful poses*, although the plethora of knives, grenades and such-like in other hands was a bit OTT, and the separate head gear was hilarious, rather than practical, but they looked better if firmly attached with a bit of glue or a blob of filler.

* I'm kidding myself aren't I? The last four are 'OK' the rest are bloody silly! As always with Atlantic the line-drawings on the box seemed to refer to a better set than the contents!

OBE's with this set are minimal, they have had several cleaning sessions over the years and this is all that's come in painted since the last clean. The chaps from the 54mm set can all be painted-up for any other theatre, and both the officer and the grenade thrower (with the grenade removed) make excellent AFV or SPG crew.

Not much of a colour variation until the Heller muck-up (with an F) when they appeared in a dirty-snow grey for some reason!

Ah, yes! Not only did the horrible Allies outnumber poor old Rommel by 10:1 (according to an Italian blurb writer), but a Spanish artist shows us how the Allies devastated the Axis from the air, with squadrons of tank-busting Messerhurriefires in European theatre markings...it's just not cricket...from Montaplex...the copying pirate types!

Although - if they had numbers of 75mm armed AMX13's at their disposal, the DAK should have performed better than they did!

The figures: Quite close copies, and among the better of Montaplex's piracies, the colour isn't bad either compared to some of the stuff you get when you finally open the little envelope...they could have been bright pink or a washy apple-green!

Several of the figures make for easy single-cut conversions, I did some a few years ago, but they must be in storage as they're not in with the main lot, so I quickly cut these up to show a few of the combinations. The OBE on the end is a heat-conversion to save the surrendering man's honour by putting him to directing traffic or an aircraft?

Comparison with the Matchbox set, there's not a lot in it, the matchbox figures are very good, but I think the Airfix figures just take the trophy? The Matchbox MG42-gunner is poor and the 'Rommel' figure is a dwarf! AND...it's those silly bases again!

The 'Kit' set of figures from Esci seems to reference some of the Airfix 1:32nd scale set and some figure poses from - I think - Tamiya (I will look at all this on the main blog one day, as it explains one of the anomalies in Garratt's encyclopedia), anyway there were some nice poses and some straight lifts, however the Esci addition of ammo for the MG was a nice touch, as the Airfix set didn't get the sprulette of four ammunition-boxes scaled down from the 54mm ancestors. The Esci set also had a useful and quite accurate mortar, with ammo-boxes and mortar bombs (not illustrated here)

Links

Airfix Tribute Forum
Another Slippery Slope (navigate for the other DAK posts)
Paul's Bods (I think he's only done the one?)
Plastic Soldier Review

No comments: