Ok - Forward! Into this review! we go –Today we are looking at Masterbox’s newest release and the third in its “North Africa Desert Battles” series after MB 3580 “British Infantry in action, Northern Africa, WW II era” and MB 3592 "Hand-to-hand fight, British and German Infantry. Battles in Northern Africa” – we have seen and reviewed these other sets – let’s have a look at this set to see what the German infantry is made of – quite literally…
MB3593 - "Zum Sturm! Vorwärts!" German Infantry, DAK, WWII Era - North Africa Desert Battles
Kit type: Injection moulded
Sculpted by: A. Gagarin
Artwork/Painted by: A. Karaschuk
Available in the UK from: Models for Sale
On one sprue with five figures attached to them all in tan styrene this is a compact set of soldiers – all are in the position of the attack with their officer leading them on. The soldiers are all dressed in desert fatigues and are carrying similar weapons. Here is the sprue layout, showing the troopers parts all grouped together in each corner and the officer in the centre of the sprue.
The tan styrene is a well sculpted – but suffers a little from a need to clean each of the sprues a little on the seams. These seams aren’t at horrible places and will take not much to clean up – but it is a little disappointing as usually the sprues of Masterbox are a little cleaner than these.
The detail is fine with each sculpture. All of the clothing and folds in the equipment and soft cover helmets drapes nicely and looks realistic. The shoes (feet) and hands all look to scale and the faces look good - all of these faces are very different and none of them this time look like “Golems” – they look like faces. Against the competition from resin figure makers I think MasterBox do pretty well.
The soldiers are all wearing the M1942 desert weight tunics, on which you can clearly see the pockets and straps for their gear and the medals on the soldier’s chest – it’s very easy to pick these out when painting as well as the detail in the soldier’s pants and boots. While three soldiers are wearing the high tropical boot of leather and canvass one trooper is wearing the shorter boot with galoshes while another is wearing just the short boots under long (Desert weight) tropical trousers.
The four figures in more detail
These is a mix of shorts and longer trousers – a choice of either bare helmets or fabric covered ones and even an Afrika Corps Tropical Field Cap or “Afrikamutze” for the officer to go along with the map pack and pistol holster he carries.
And the officer…
The soldier’s weapons are adequate here in their reproduction, you cannot see any grains in the wood of the rifle but the parts are all there and they will look great with a paint job with some nice thin acrylics. Included are the choice of either a holstered or a “wielded” p-38 pistol on the officer figure (with also a spare pistol as a little bonus) and for the enlisted men there is a choice of a single MP 40 machine pistol and three Mauser 98K bolt action rifles (to which you can attach a bayonet) – all of these soldiers carry the appropriate ammo pouches which have been moulded separately to the torso and can be included as necessary.
The soldiers all have the option of an entrenching tool, a gas mask, a bread bag, an M-31 mess kit, a Seitengewehr 84/98 bayonet, and of course a “coconut” (a brown Bakelite canteen)
The troops are seen on the attack – running forward at the urging of their officer – now all of these troops look pretty natural and one is even in the unusual but totally feasible position of shooting from a kneeling position. For those who like their action packed dioramas this is where it’s at and the whole of the “North Africa Battles” series is an example of Masterbox’s ability to take a bit of a risk with a figure set.
The construction instructions are on the back of the box in the usual fashion undertaken by MasterBox – the colour call outs are from Vallejo colours which many modellers use nowadays – along with a map of the sprue that has the numbers needed to identify some of the pieces as MasterBox don’t print sprue numbers on their trees. Really you don’t need a massive instruction sheet with these so it’s perfectly adequate for the construction purposes at hand here.
MasterBox again walk the line between the high price resin kits and some of the very “average” figures brought out by some other companies – they have come out again with a winning kit on price and detail/quality. This is a great kit to use to emulate German soldiers on the attack in the Western desert. Nice choice of alternate clothing and weaponry this will go well with the other sets in this series – if you had them all it would be mother of all battles!
Here is a pic or two from Masterbox’s website of them all together…
Our sincere thanks to Masterbox for supplying us with this review kit.