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Caesar

Set CM7713

German Afrikakorps

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2012
Contents 16 figures
Poses
Material Plastic (Fairly Hard)
Colours Grey

Review

This is another in the Caesar 'Assembly Series', where the box contains no complete figures but instead a multitude of parts from which figures can be fabricated. All the sets released in this batch were for German World War II subjects, and this one covers the famous Afrikakorps as they fought to aid the Italians in North Africa.

As a set of parts the first thing to do with this product is examine the sprue, which is pictured above. The contents are much the same as the other sets such as the German Infantry 1943 already reviewed. You get two copies of the main sprue where the main body parts are to be found, plus some generic small sprues of faces (with no upper head) and a sprue of weapons and kit common to all the sets released at this time. The common sprues contain all the usual weapons and items of equipment that these or most other German soldiers might carry during the Second World War, while the main body parts sprue is of course dedicated to the Afrikakorps. The total of 16 torsos all wear the tunic and are not greatly different one from the other, but the legs are in two groups - two pairs on each sprue wear shorts while the rest have long trousers, so clearly mixing these two styles would result in some pretty silly soldiers. Some of the arms have sleeves rolled and some don't, but mixing these would be somewhat more sensible although still not ideal. This rather limits the range of possible matches, but as with the other sets we actually found it fairly difficult to produce especially nice poses with what is on offer. The main sprue also contains other items specific to the desert soldiers, which means it contains a number of the early tropical helmet, one of which we have used in our representative sample pictured above.

The merits of this format are discussed in our earlier review, and much the same comments apply here too. The differences in clothing reduce the possible mixing, yet other forms of clothing have had to be ignored to avoid making the problem worse. The parts we tried all fitted pretty well together, but inevitably the result is something of a compromise as can be seen. In our view dedicated sculpts are much better, although the quality of the sculpting is very good, with the weapons being better than many of the soft sets produced by this company. The hard plastic is necessary to allow for a good bond with ordinary cement, and there is no flash, this this is well made.

The accuracy is pretty good, although since you can decide on levels of kit, ammo pouches etc. the customer has a big say in exactly how the figures will look. It can be a slow process to put together a body of troops here, since some could easily have 10 or more pieces. It would be hard to say what more such a set could provide, although clearly a wider range of limbs would be welcome, and having sufficient to have some spare after all the torsos are used would be a good thing. Ultimately we don't think this method produces very good figures, but for some this may be exactly what they want. For what it is this seems like a good set, but time will tell if the format becomes popular.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality
Pose Number 10
Sculpting 9
Mould 10

Further Reading
Books
"Afrikakorps 1941-43" - Osprey (Elite Series No.34) - Gordon Williamson - 9781855321304
"Afrikakorps Soldier 1941-43" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.149) - Pier Paolo Battistelli - 9781846036880
"German Combat Equipments 1939-45" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.234) - Gordon Rottman - 9780850459524
"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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