Some time back, I bought a CD entitled Through Their Eyes from a seller in the UK. The CD is a compilation of three private photo albums of Afrikakorps members that contain hundreds of candid photos. Some of the photos are quite interesting; some not so much. Some are high quality; some less so. Regardless of the quality, the disk was a veritable gold mine of photos that captured everyday life in the Afrikakorps.
The photo below is of a scene that probably took place behind the lines in North Africa on a daily basis — filling up the ubiquitous jerry cans with the most precious commodity in the desert: water (some would say fuel was even more precious). The photo is copyrighted by James Payne. It is reproduced here for discussion purposes.
Here’s the recreation.
I’ve concluded that these recreations sometimes look better when more is included so this color photo encompasses the entire truck. I clipped the base of the figures to try to make them look more realistic. They do look better, in my not unbiased opinion.
For those interested, here’s the source of each piece:
- Truck: Hobby Master HG3911 Opel Blitz with 20mm Flak 38, DAK (canvas cover from another HM Blitz);
- Figure standing on wooden plank: Preiser 72509 German Air and Ground Crew;
- Figure filling up jerry cans: Airfix 1755 Luftwaffe Personnel;
- Figure kneeling drinking water: Caesar H070 Afrika Korps;
- Water tanks: Woodland Scenics D212 Fuel Tank Kit;
- Palm trees: Woodland Scenics plus several unknown Chinese brands;
- Retaining wall: IMEX 519 Battlefield Accessories;
- Jerry cans: ValueGear V03D Jerry Can/Tarp Roll Set German;
- Sand: 150-101 Kinetic Sand by Waba Fun; and
- Plank: The soldier with the pith helmet is standing on a plank made of real wood — it’s a coffee stirrer.
Here’s the notional picture. What a difference a little paint can make.