Tuesday, August 2

Master Box - No: MB3561 Rommel & German Tank Crew, DAK, WWII era

Masterbox from the Ukraine have released their new kit of six figures from the German Afrika Korps in World War II. These figures are seen atop a Panzer III on the (as Ever) excellent box art by Andrey Karaschuk. There is something different about these figures though from a regular set of soldiers and an officer – this officer Just happens to Be Field Marshal Erwin Rommel – A.K.A. “The Desert Fox”

Kit no: MB3561
Scale: 1/35
Pieces: 46
1 styrene sprue in tan – six figures
Manufacturer: Master Box Ltd
Sculptor: A. Gagarin
Box Artist: Andrey Karaschuk
Price: GBP 8.09 – from Models for sale.
Here was my proposed box art -  I dont know why they knocked it back?
Click on the link below for the REAL Rommel DAK set 3561 from MasterBox..
Here is the real Rommel - Leading from the front

Was he ALWAYS pointing at something? Thankfully here in this set he isnt!
Erwin Rommel was highly regarded by his allies and his enemies, and for one reason especially, he was always close to his men and the action of the front line. It is in this dynamic pose that the sculptor Mr. A Gagarin has captured him and the other soldiers in this set.

Below is the instructions and sprue layout – scroll down to see the break up and the box art - colour call outs and painting instructions.

Forty-six parts make up this single sprue of the usual tan styrene complete with colour instructions on the rear of the box. The instructions are really not needed for such a simple construction, as the figures are separated on the one sprue from each other. They come with their own equipment as well; things like pistol holsters, a hat and binoculars come separated from the figures on the sprues. There are no weapons here if you discount the pistol holsters. This set however is depicted with the soldiers strategizing over Rommel who is holding a map. This would have been a nice inclusion but a 1/35 map is easy enough to source.

Mr. Gagarin has been progressively getting better with each release in his sculpting. While limited with the medium of the styrene moulding process – his faces always portray emotion and as you can see below the details in the torsos of the kits does stand out and the details are very nice and crisp. Not much flash or excess plastic around seams makes this for an enjoyable build process.

While on the uniforms there are three types portrayed here. The ling sleeve uniform worn by Rommel, The long sleeve V-neck and pants worn by another trooper and the short “Trop” uniform worn by the other soldiers depicted. The different headgear here on display shows a M-1940 Cap (Feldmutze) side cap, a M40 Field Cap (Einheitsfeldmutze) and of course the general staffs officer cap worn by the Desert Fox himself.

The arms and legs are all of a good scale and do not look out of place of the ordinary for that matter, different boots from Jackboots to short boots to long lace up boots are portrayed here, shots and pants show something that can often be lacking from styrene figure sets – diversity.

Often to keep design time down the same weapons are strewn on sprues as a sort of “filler” to get the kit out. With this set of six soldiers everyone seems to be looking quite different and in a unique pose. Congrats to the sculptor on the naturalistic stances of the troops, and for showing Rommel in a different position than standing very ramrod straight and proud for a change here are the different troopers – each on a separate part of the sprue

Let’s get on to the main man himself – Erwin “The Desert Fox” Rommel is seen here conversing with the troops under his command (who look to be offices in slightly casual uniforms – nice) and is see thoughtfully in an almost “gentleman’s catalogue” pose with his hand to his chin and sitting on his bottom. Here is the picture that has maybe inspired this sculpt.
The figure’s facial features with high cheekbones, clothes with officer’s peaked cap (but alas minus goggles) make this immediately identifiable as the commander of the Afrika Korps. Clearly you can see the braiding on the shoulder boards and Rommel’s Iron Cross and campaign medals are easily picked out by the naked eye. 

This figure will paint up quite well and to me make a convincing representation of the real man. Famous people are hard to replicate but a nice job has been done here.
A figure of Rommel on his own is often worth more than the price of this box of six figures put together, so this is definitely worth a look. As with the Monty figure and British tank crew Masterbox did a year ago this kit is a great investment and is certainly above the class of figures that currently are coming with vehicle kits. For Eight pounds it’s a good investment to add to your “Afrika” diorama.

Adam Norenberg

Here are some pictures of the kits built up from the people at Master Box, who we thank for this kit to review.Click on their banner to see more of their great and upcoming stuff.

You can get Masterbox kits in the UK from Models for Sale.com