German Afrika Korps

Atlantic 1:72 Scale Figure Review

German Afrika Korps, 1:72 Atlantic 1569.

Atlantic released the 1:72 scale German Afrika Korps in 1977, four years after Airfix established the industry standard with its own Afrika Korps figure set. Rather than follow this outstanding example and fill in any gaps in the range with compatible poses, the sculptors at Atlantic once again went their own way. The result was a set of figures with few, overly heroic poses, non-regulation weaponry, and grotesquely incorrect assault packs on consistently hulking figures that are incompatible with other 1:72 scale soldiers.

It should come as no surprise that Atlantic had to stop production in 1984. The moulds of most of the figure sets are said to have been sold to Iraq, where they are probably still languishing today as a result of dictatorship, wars and Western trade restrictions.

Contents

Figures in 11 Poses – 25 mm equal 180 cm Height

  • Officer with Pistol 08, signaling
  • Officer with Pistol 08, kneeling, firing
  • NCO with MP 38/40, signaling
  • NCO with MP 38/40, standing, firing from hip
  • NCO with MP 38/40 and Stick Grenade 24
  • Machine Gunner Nr. 1 with MG 34 and Cartridge Box, prone, firing
  • Rifleman with Karabiner 98 kurz and levelled Bayonet, running
  • Rifleman with Kar. 98k, kneeling, firing
  • Rifleman with Pistol 08, standing, firing
  • Rifleman with two Stick Grenades 24
  • Rifleman with Knife, in Melee
  • Separate Headdress (60)
    • Steel Helmet M35 (32)
    • Field Cap M41 (16)
    • Tropical Helmet (12)

Evaluation

Good choice of subject, these German Afrika Korps miniatures might have been a welcome addition to the existing Afrika Korps from Airfix.

German Afrika Korps, 1:72 Atlantic 1569.

The exaggerated action poses severely limit the versatility of these soldiers. The sculptor probably lacked a clear idea of how an infantry section of the Afrika Korps might behave when approaching the enemy or in combat with them. Accordingly, we are dealing with an unusually large number of melee fighters here, waving hand grenades around wildly, attacking an imaginary enemy with a drawn dagger, or engaging in pistol duels.

The set contains an unusually large number of officers and non-commissioned officers, but far too few riflemen to field a platoon of riflemen or panzergrenadiers.

The submachine guns, carbines and pistols in this set are much too large, but the MG 34 is clearly too short. The machine gunner is missing his standard sidearm, but instead many of the riflemen are armed with a pistol.

One of the non-commissioned officers has one of the two cartridge pouches for three MP 40 box magazines, the second is mistakenly equipped with M.1911 cartridge pouches for the Karabiner 98k, and the third has no cartridge pouches at all. We are obviously dealing with a disordered unit that, in the heat of battle, simply picked up random weapons lying around.

The kneeling rifleman seems to be prepared for every imaginable combat situation; he has cartridge pouches for his carbine and two additional MP 40 cartridge pouches. It's just a shame that he doesn‘t have an MP 40 slung across his back so that he may use the six magazines somehow.

The field blouses in this set are a bit too short. It would have been better to show the soldiers in tropical shorts and a tropical shirt and to leave the field blouse off altogether. This type of campaign dress can be shown on several figures simply by removing the tails of the field blouse along with the unnecessary pistol pouch.

German Afrika Korps, 1:72 Atlantic 1569.

The figures do not show any significant mould lines, but there are noticeable ejector pin marks on a few thighs and shoulder blades, which need to be filled with filler wax prior to painting.

The Afrika Korps from Atlantic is probably best suited as a repository of headgear and small equipment for dioramas, and heads without headgear for conversions.

German Miniatures of World-War Two