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REVIEW
MB British Infantry North Africa
c5flies
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Posted: Monday, December 20, 2010 - 03:41 PM UTC
Jim Rae reviews British Infantry in Action Northern Africa WWII, one of Masterbox''s latest figure releases.

Link to Item



If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
vonHengest
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Posted: Monday, December 20, 2010 - 04:04 PM UTC
Thanks for his review Jim, I think I like this set. Let's hope that MB continues down the same road they've been traveling over the course of this next year.
jimbrae
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Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 12:50 AM UTC
Thanks for posting that so quickly James!
AlanL
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Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 04:23 AM UTC
With their, Vickers Crew, and Hand to Hand fioghting set, there's a nice range of battle figuers coming along which makes for a very plesent surprise.

Delighted they changed the original pose of the rifleman, these look much better

Al
exer
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Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 05:47 AM UTC
I picked these up in my LHS last week and very good they are too. I'm not sure I agree with your point about the knee length socks and gaiters (Puttees)


Quoted Text

Figures are sculpted wearing the knee-length socks with the short gaiters. In my opinion, this can be seen in contemporary images but is not a commonly seen (or tremendously likely) combination in actual combat.



AFAIK this was the standard order of dress for Infantry in the Middle East



Also


Quoted Text

the Officer is provided with choice of Beret, Helmet or Field Cap.



If you look closely you'll see that what looks like a beret is actually the upper part of the the two piece officer's peaked cap

The webbing straps where they attach to the front of the web belt are wrong on three of the figures. They end in a weird inverted Y shape- in reality they were attached with a straight brace attachment or straight to the
buckle on the basic pouches.

I'm also not convinced by some of the buckles on the rear of the belts.

Small points I know but there is plenty of reference out there for example on the excellent

Kharkee web site
jimbrae
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Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 06:58 AM UTC

Quoted Text

If you look closely you'll see that what looks like a beret is actually the upper part of the the two piece officer's peaked cap



My bad, Now, if i'd actually built them as I usually do for Reviews i'd have noticed that. It LOOKED like a beret (unlikely as it would have been for a Line Infantry Regt.) and I walked into it.

I've always considered the short gaiters and sock combination akin to the (infamous) stock which was also part of the Standard Order (albeit until the 1840s) it was hated by both soldiers and officers as restricting movement. As the Uniform OoB became more relaxed in the Western Desert, I felt my commentts were justified although not in 100% of cases.It is well done although a bugger to remove if you don't like them
exer
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Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 09:29 AM UTC

Quoted Text

It LOOKED like a beret

I admit I thought that too but thought it looked rather "Polish"

While I agree there was a tremendous relaxation in the order of dress in the North African Campaign, I don't think this applied to front line British Infantry Regiments. Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans yes. SAS, LRDG, Tank Crews yes- Infantry no. Most photos show them wearing Shorts with long socks and either puttees or web anklets.

For anyone modelling the Nortth African Campaign the IWM online Collection is a tremendous reference and they seem to have added a lot more images since the last time I visited


Western Desert, 7 November 1941.

British troops try out a captured German Kettenkrad tracked motorcycle, 6 June 1942.

A soldiers stops to inspect the grave of a German tank crew, 29 September 1942.


A soldier filling a Crusader tank with petrol from a 4-gallon tin or 'flimsy', 27 October 1942.


Infantry inspect a knocked-out …more↓ Italian M13/40 tank, 2 November 1942
russamotto
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Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 05:34 PM UTC
Jim, thanks for the excellent review, and Pat, thanks for the great references. With these uniforms, were they used only in North Africa, or would they have appeared in Hong Kong, or with Commonwealth forces in New Guinea? Which armor would be appropriate to accompany them? I'm interested, but have very little knowledge of British and Commonwealth forces in North Africa.
AlanL
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Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 05:51 PM UTC
Thanks for the pics Pat.

The socks, I'd say were probably hose, thick wollen affairs without feet you wore pulled over the sock up to the ball of the leg. We had them in HK. You can see the Regimental flash worn round the folded top this helped hold them up and was pretty standard in Infantry Regiments.

Not sure if Hose is the correct nameoculture but I seem to recall that's what we called them.

My thooughts anyway.

Al

exer
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Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 10:07 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Jim, thanks for the excellent review, and Pat, thanks for the great references. With these uniforms, were they used only in North Africa, or would they have appeared in Hong Kong, or with Commonwealth forces in New Guinea? Which armor would be appropriate to accompany them? I'm interested, but have very little knowledge of British and Commonwealth forces in North Africa.



Suitable for the Far East although most units would have had the new "Jungle Greens" uniform by late 43. I would say okay for the the New Guinea Campaign with slight modifications such as long gaiters.

As for Armour in the Middle East- this uniform is good from the start of the Campaign in 1940 right through to the End and for the early part of the Invasion of Sicily and Italy,( though in colder weather the Woollen Battledress uniform was worn.) so any tank used by the Commonwealth, Valentine, Matilda, Crusader, Grant, Sherman and more
exer
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Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 10:22 PM UTC
Canadian Soldier Hong Kong 1941. There is also a good page illustrating the Variation of Uniforms worn in the New Guinea campaign on Digger History

some more illustrations
dioman13
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Posted: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 04:40 AM UTC
I think that shortly, my stash of M/B figures will pass my D.M.L. stash. They are getting better with each release. The poses here are spectacular and a much needed set. Well done M.B. and I hope this trend continues. Good review Jim. Seeing as the L.H.S. closed here in Ft. Wayne, these reviews are very well appriciated. Happy holidays to all!!!