German 81mm Mortar with Crew (winter) 1941-1945

Kit #: 6209 Preview by Rob Haelterman


The German military made extensive use of mortars during WW2, with the 8 cm Granatwerfer (GrW) 34 arguably being the most important type; it was produced and used throughout the war. Even though the boxtop does not mention it, it is this type that we get in this box. At first I wasn't sure if the box contained the GrW34 or the kurzer 8 cm GrW 42 (produced between 1941 and 1945). The latter had a barrel length of 747mm compared to the 1143mm of the GrW. As the barrels in this kit are 15.7mm long (which corresponds to 1130 scale mm in 1/72), they are without doubt the longer type.

In this box you get two mortar teams: one firing and one moving. The box leaves nothing to the imagination as both the drawing at the front as the pictures at the back clearly show what to expect, except that the rear says "1 mortar", while you get two. Together with the instructions there will be little doubt about the way these figures assemble.
Diorama potential is obvious.

I am not sure why the boxtop says (winter) 1941-45. The GrW34 was in use throughout the war and so were the greatcoats the figures are wearing. Sure, greatcoats would be worn when it got cold, but this was not limited to winter months. By the end of the war, better winter clothing would have been available, but the greatcoat would still be a common sight. In summary, as far as I can tell, this set will do fine in any theatre of operations. It could arguable even be used in a DAK setting, assuming that we are looking at an attack during one of the cold desert nights.

On the other hand, while a two man crew is possible, a three man crew might be more typical. Some extra rounds of ammo and/or ammo boxes would have been welcome as well.
Compared to previous mortar sets by Zvezda, the crew is now carrying pistols, which are appropriate for a dedicated mortar crew.

Obviously, these sets are aimed at the wargaming community (with a stats card, flag and base) and while this might drive up the cost due to extra parts not needed for static modeling, it also reduces the cost due to a larger sales potential. Besides, I actually like the bases as they are very practical for handling the figures during painting, while the flag is a good source for thick plastic when scratchbuilding. One of the bases has a mortar base plate integrally molded, but a separate base plate is provided.



The parts

Two sprues are provided for four multi-part figures, flags and bases.
Casting and detail is really good, except at the level where the two mold halves meet. In this area some resculpting will be necessary. The joints between the parts will also need a bit attention, but as the plastic react well to MEK, they can easily be smoothed out.

As far as I can tell, these figures have accurate anatomy, gear and uniforms, even if they are a bit on the tall side and the shoulder boards are missing on the greatcoats. The mortar is the best I have seen in this scale from any manufacturer. No longer does the moniker "wargaming" put any fear into the hearts of the static modeler. The modeler would still need to hollow out the barrel, but that's about it. The sight that was missing in previous sets of mortar crew by Zvezda has now been added.



[1] http://svsm.org/gallery/80mm_granatenwerfer34/IMG_5145
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8_cm_Granatwerfer_34
[3] http://www.efour4ever.com/mortars_german.htm
[4] WW2 Germans

Review sample purchased by the author.


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Article Last Updated:
27 February 2017
09 March 2017

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