Austrian model railroad giant Roco released this INFANTRIEGRUPPE "AFRIKA" EDW - 310S Infantry Group "Afrika" EDW Afrika Korps infantry set as part of their huge HO (1/87) Minitanks series. Minitanks is known for detailing, scale and precision in the model building world ever since. Roco was forced into reorganization recently and the Minitanks series is now distributed by Herpa. For this reason, I refer to the series simply as Minitanks. Herpa's website states,”On October 1, 2007, Herpa has taken on the worldwide distribution of the military series Minitanks. In cooperation with the Modelleisenbahn GmbH (Roco), the line will be continuously advanced and extended.”
Few armies invoke the respect and mystique as the exotic DAK, (Deutsches Afrikakorps). The first units arrived in Africa in early 1941 under the legendary Erwin Rommel to stop the rampaging British from throwing Italy completely off the continent. For the next two and a half years the almost always outnumbered DAK fought pitched battles, won incredible victories, suffered terrible defeats, and grew to an Army group. The war across North Africa is remarkable for its savagery, and chivalry. No notable atrocities occurred. During this time, Prime Minister Churchill uttered his cry, “Rommel, Rommel, Rommel, what else matters, but beating Rommel?”
Packaged in their traditional plastic bag stapled to their orange and blue Minitanks card, the Minitank Afrika Korps Infantry set contains sixteen figures, eight each of two different sets. Two sprues of four fighting figures, two sprues of staff figures. These figures strongly resemble Tamiya's 1/35 four-figure sets of officers and NCOs, and their Afrika Korps Infantry. All figures are provided a clear square base to stand upon.
Minitanks molded several figures with separate arms. The running Landser with Kar 98K is molded with both arms and the rifle as a separate piece.
The infantry are armed with MP 40s, the Kar 98K, and the MG 34. The command group has an MP 40 and Kar 98. Most are wearing the standard harness kit of gas mask canister, water bottle and bread bag.
The uniforms all feature long trousers. The command group uniforms are European style. No tropical hats are molded. Thus, the figures could represent Wehrmacht in practically any theater and season.
The detail is remarkable for such small figures. I painted their eagle on the right breast of the tunics, and Litzen on the collars. Probably explains why my eyesight is failing! The molding is good overall, and excellent on a few of the figures.
No injection marks blemish figures, but a couple had flash to remove. On such small pieces, a rough area is difficult to get rid of.
Minitanks are made in the dominate model railroad scale of HO (1/87). While the level of detail is not equal to a modern 1/72 (or larger) figure, the level of detail is pleasing. A few minutes of work can produce great HO soldiers and enhance the level of detail.
Highs: Good detail. Some separate limbs.Lows: Soft detail on a few figures. Some flash.Verdict: Great little figure models.
About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR) FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES
I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art.
My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling!
My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...