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.
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
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.
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.
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.
are provided for four multi-part figures, flags and bases.
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
Review sample purchased by the author.