by: Engin Kayral [ ]
DAK - Deutsches Afrikakorps was the Axis Forces which operated in Libya and Tunisia during the North African campaign from 1941-1943 in World War II. It started as a gesture of support by Adolf Hitler to Mussolini to reinforce Italian troops in Africa against Commonwealth forces. On February 1941, Erwin Rommel was appointed to command German troops in Libya which only consisted of a light Panzer Division at first but grew rapidly in a short period with the addition of more Panzer divisions and support units.
Unlike the unfortunate Wehrmacht soldiers on the Eastern front who suffered from the Russian winter in their clothes suitable for moderate climates, Afrikakorps soldiers were well equipped in tropical uniforms and equipment.
The figure comes in 125 x 85 x 30 mm.standard Romeo Models light blue cardboard box. The front cover shows a big and 2 small photos of the figure painted by Danilo Cartacci from front, back and head with alternative hat close-up. The photos can serve as a good painting guide.
Inside the box, there is a small certificate in English and Italian with the product code that the modeler can ask for the missing or damaged parts from the company.
Parts are well protected between two slabs of thick white polyfoam to avoid the risk of damage and figure base is placed under the polyfoam not to damage the figure parts.
The figure is sculpted by Paul Deheleanu and made up of 11 white metal. All parts are cast clean and crisp in very good details. There is almost no need for a serious clean up. A quick sanding of slightly visible vertical seamlines or only metal brushing will make it ready for priming.
Torso : He wears DAK tropical shirt in light olive color with the same color necktie. It is a pullover shirt with 4 small plastic buttons, long sleeves and two box-pleated patch pockets with pointed flaps. The shirt comes without shoulder straps but can be worn in lieu of field blouse with both breast eagle and shoulder straps added. Over his shirt, he has light olive green M1940 tropical field blouse in open-neck style with four pleated patch pockets with buttoned flaps; two on the breast and two on the skirt. It is fastened at the front by five olive green painted metal buttons. Cloth folds, army collar patch, breast eagle, metal badges, shoulder straps with lining, neck strap of binoculars and belt buckle are all well defined.
Right leg and Left leg fit together well. He wears light olive tropical breeches with integral cloth waist belt and two slash side pockets. As for the footgear; he has brown leather and olive green canvas combined high leg lace-up boots. Laces, vertical support on the back and leather parts of the boots are well defined. The leather part of the boot is high inside and low on outside.
Head : It shows nice facial details and makes a good fit to the neck.
Headgear : The kit includes 2 alternatives both very suitable for a DAK officer. First one is Peaked field cap. It was the most popular headgear for Afrikakorps and was closely styled on Bergmütze of mountain troops. It was manufactured from light canvas material and featured a long peak giving excellent protection to the eyes. Unlike the mountain cap, the side flaps were false. The olive color of the cap quickly faded on strong desert sun. Many soldiers bleached their headgear as a faded cap was the mark of veteran campaigner as the dark cap was a mark of a new boy. Eagle emblem and ventilation holes on the side of the cap are well represented. Over the cap, he carries a German Afrikakorps desert dust goggles made of dark brown leather and metal lens holders. Second option for the headgear is Pith helmet. It was a conventional sun helmet made from compressed cork, and covered with segments of olive green canvas cloth. The interior of the helmet was lined with red cloth. It featured leather binding to the edge of the rim, a leather sweatband and a leather chinstrap. Insignia, matching that on the steel helmet, consisted of two light metal alloy shields, one featuring the national eagle and swastika emblem in silver on black, and the other national colors of red, silver and black on slanting stripes. The helmet was widely issued but was not particularly popular with the troops, who almost particularly discarded it in favor of the field cap. Pith helmet was often work before the frontlines for semi formal occasions. Details of helmet are very well defined.
Left arm : Posed to put his hand on his thigh. It shows nice cloth folds.
Right arm : Posed to put his hand on his pocket. Cufftitle is marked for an easier painting.
Mapcase : He carries a light brown leather mapcase on the right back. Flap cover, pencil holder part and strap with metal buckle are well defined.
Luger holster : He has a dark brown Luger holster attached to his belt on the left side.
Binoculars : He carries a 10x50 Dienstglas binoculars commonly used by panzer and artillery troops.
Figure base : Desert sand texture and rocks are nicely represented. Holes on the ground make the figure assembly easier.
The following books can be useful when painting this figure.
- Osprey Publishing Elite Series 034 Afrikakorps 1941-43 by Gordon Williamson & Ron Volstad
- Squadron Signal Publications 3400 Afrikakorps in Action by Bruce Culver & Ron Volstad
A nice sculpted figure in a good pose, cast in classic high quality cast of Romeo Models. Alternative headgear is thoughtful.
Very Highly Recommended