Gothic Line Miniatures: Africa in 1:48 | Print |  E-mail
Written by Don MacVittie   
Friday, 30 July 2010

It has been a while since I wrote a review for the site, my apologies, as real life – work and family – have taken precedence. Since I now have some free time, I’m re-starting reviews, but only on new miniatures, the items I had stacked up for review when I quit writing will just be fodder for my brush, as some of them have gotten years old, and I would hate to misrepresent a vendor by reviewing something that doesn’t exist anymore, or has been re-mastered.

Africa Corps Gothic Line Miniatures with the Tamiya 1:48th Opel Blitz

With that said, the new GOTHIC Line Miniatures came about at the same time that I decided I could pick up some new reviews, so I ordered their entire product line to offer up for your consumption.

Gothic Line Miniatures Makes 1:48th metal miniatures for tabletop wargaming and is based out of Portugal. Their line is small – five packs of WWII figures – so you won’t likely make them your primary vendor, but it is good to know you have some options for differing poses and uniform bits when building your WWII armies.

The packs come as British 8th Army infantry section (four figures), British 8th Army MG Section (four figures – gunner, assistant, two riflemen), Africa Corps infantry section (four figures), Africa Corps MG section (same arrangement as British), German Falschirmjager (four figures) and Rommel with his guards (two guards and Rommel in shorts).

It’s a pretty solid start to an Africa line, and there’s certainly enough here to play our preferred 28mm game - NUTS by Two Hour Wargames.

Overall, the quality of these figures is pretty high. There were a couple of British figures that had mould alignment issues that made much clean-up of the helmets, but this is common enough when doing miniatures, and you should just be careful preparing them.

The first thing that struck me as very cool about these miniatures was their supplied bases. The bases are resin, and what some would consider a weakness, GOTHIC has made into an undeniable strength. The top side of these bases is pebbled with sand, and the figures are desert figures, so you have a base suitable for tabletop use without further ado. We painted them with two sand colors and moved along.

Upright figures measure 1.5 inches/3.7cm high. Multiplying that out, that makes them six feet tall to the top of their helmets. A good height, and since only some figures are upright, it doesn’t look like every soldier is the exact same size.


Most figures are armed with the relevant rifle, and the rifles are relatively accurate – though I would like to see just a bit more width to the stock of the Lee Enfield the British figures carry, but that really is nit-picking, since they’re not flat little toothpicks like far too many 28mm vendors’ weapons. The other weapons – Thompson SMG, Bren Gun, MG34, and MP40 are also accurate. The ancillary weapons – grenades and pistols – are likewise accurate. The German paratroopers carry Model 39 “Egg” grenades, Africa Corps carry stick hand grenades, and the British carry Mills Bombs.

At this point, things diverge enough that we’ll roll through each set and talk about equipment, quality, etc. Before we do though, I’ll offer one note. Some of these figures have a “rough” look to their finish at the closeness of the camera. This has nothing to do with the models, and everything to do with the weather and spray primer. Please look past it if you notice it, and to the design of the figures themselves.


British 8th Army figures



The Eighth Army figures are solid examples of 8th army soldiers in action, eight figures, eight poses, so there’s plenty of variety. The equipment is standard for the weapon being wielded, most have entrenching tools, the suspenders correctly flow below the belt on the back, all have a single canteen.


They look pretty darned good, faces are well crafted, hair is visible on all figures, all are dressed in shorts and short sleeved shirts, four of the eight available figures wear backpacks, one carries a Thompson, one a Bren Gun, all the rest have Lee-Enfields. One figure is throwing a hand grenade.


The mix of figures is good for a squad in most skirmish games. Get two copies of the “British 8th Army Rifles” pack and one of the “British 8th Army Light Machine Gun” pack, and you’re set – twelve figures, a Bren an a Tommy Gun.

German Africa Corps figures


The Africa Corps packs are much the same in composition – two packs of Rifles and one of the LMG team, and you have a squad for most skirmish games. Again, eight figures, eight poses, so getting two of each rifle is not going to make your army seem like a recreation of The Clone Wars.


The figures themselves are again solid representations of their historical counterparts. Each is in long pants and long sleeves (one figure has the sleeves rolled up), three figures wear helmets, five wear caps. All have bread bags and canteens, y-suspenders and tropical belt. Some have gas mask containers, and all have ammo pouches appropriate to weapon. The one thing missing from these figures is the extra barrel for the MG-34. The box that generally held such a barrel is not on any of the figures of the MG pack. The cleaning kit is being worn by the gunner though, so it’s only the barrel, perhaps they left it back in their trench when they launched the counter-attack.



Rommel with Guards




I’m a Rommel fan, so I’ll tell you up-front that when GOTHIC offered me Rommel for free if I ordered one of each other pack, I took it. This pack was free, up to you if that changes your level of trust in the review, but I do try to be fair to all vendors. As has always been our policy, we just like to keep you aware of the potential for bias.

Note: As a summer sale, Gui of Gothic Line Miniatures is extending this deal - buy one of each pack and receive Rommel with guards for free - to any customer ordering until 30 September, dependent, of course, upon availability.

GOTHIC did an interesting thing with Herr Rommel. They chose to craft him in shorts in a pose that is commonly sculpted in long pants. It took me a while to find a decent picture of Rommel in shorts, but there is one here

(Compliments of WW2aircraft.net forums).

I used this and modified it by the number of pictures that I have seen of Rommel in uniform and the memoirs of Hans Von Luck to change the color of his uniform to tan. He holds a map case, his guards both wear MP40s with correct ammo pouches, they are otherwise equipped like other Africa Corps figures, and he is detailed like the others – his Iron Cross is visible and paintable, the decorations on his hat are there, though some of them were fine enough that I skipped painting them even with the magnifying goggles an a brush accurately named “insane detail” (30/0). With his golden eagles, red waffenfarbe (shoulder boards),  and braid, the lack of a little detail painting is not so terrible, but you might be able to paint in the bit of braid and german circle that I skipped.



This pack is only three figures, but if you have a hankering for a Rommel figure, it is definitely well done for this scale.

Falschirmjager




We don’t keep a ton of Falshirmjager around, and don’t have a 1:48th – or even more general 28mm - army of them for these figures to hop into, so we’re not certain what we’ll do with them… But something always comes along. Maybe they’ll get a role in that Larger Than Life pulp game we’re planning.



These figures do lack a bit compared to the others in that there is only the one pack of them. That makes it harder to make an army of strictly Gothic Line figures, but since they’re nicely crafted, you can slip a few into your existing army for variety.

I painted these figures up in splinter camouflage and call them members of the Ramke Brigade, simply because everything else that came in the Gothic box was desert. The picture they include on the box is actually the more traditional invasion of Crete uniform.


Like the other figures, they come four figures, four poses. One MP40 and three riflemen, one of the riflemen throwing a stick grenade. They all wear the jump suit over top of their Luftwaffe uniform (in our case the tropical version of the Luftwaffe uniform), and the stick grenade is actually a tiny bit incongruous, since none of the figures carries stick grenades, but one does carry model 39 grenades attached to his ammo pouches.



They’re nice figures, none of these guys is kneeling, but whether that’s a strength or weakness is entirely up to your discretion. They are equipped in the standard manner – Bread Bag, canteen, shelter half, gas mask container, most have ammo pouches – the grenade thrower does not have ammo pouches.



Conclusion

We’re in love with these figures. We’re itching to finish up this review and get them folded into our armies so we can see how they play on the table-top. The biggest problem you’ll face is caution on sizing. I have given you the size of the figures, you’ll have to determine if they fit with your armies and your tastes. I’m of the opinion that different sized figures make for a realistic looking army, but of course there is a limit there. 25mm figures are unlikely to go well with these figures, for example. After we’ve geared up our review process and gotten some fresh content, we’ll likely go back for more of these figures.

Purchasing

As of this writing, Gothic Line does not have distributors, but can be ordered directly for $9.50 (USD) per pack of four plus shipping. Order them online here



Next >
All Rights Reserved ©web hosting servicesHotel