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In-Box Review
135
Para 3 inch Mortar and Crew
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by: Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]

Introduction

Resicast makes the only 1/35 scale 3 inch mortar around that I know of. This set contains 1 x 3 inch mortar complete with a crew of Paratroopers, so probably a first on both accounts. This set has been around for a good number of years, but for those unfamiliar with it here is a quick look at what you get.

The Set

Packed in the standard Resicast zip plastic bags it comes with a paper insert depicting the finished and painted mortar and crew to aid painting. The set is cast in light grey resin and appeared free from damage or air bubbles.

Along with the mortar and figure parts is an A5 page printed in black and white showing pictures of the built mortar and crew. There should be sufficient information on this sheet to enable successful building of the set, but it would have been nice to see a separate part listing and the inclusion of the build pictures from the 35.2223 mortar set.

The Mortar

The mortar includes the tube, which is excellently moulded and pre drilled, base plate, bipod and elevating mechanism, mortar sight, and handles. You get 4 mortar bombs, 2 metal mortar cases and 3 sets of mortar bomb containers along with the sight case, and fuse box. This should be a reasonably easy build, although some on the parts are quite small so care should be taken when removing them from the plugs, especially the base plate that has 4 very small ‘legs’ attached and the mortar bombs as the fins are very delicate. Looking at the references I have for the equipment this kit gives a 1st class representation of the mortar and accessories.

The length of the tube is 36mm from the ball swivel joint to the top, with an approximate diameter of 2.5mm, for those who want to check the accuracy. The barrel length is stated online as 54 inches, but that does not say whether or not the base plate is included in the measurement. If it is then the mortar is spot on.

The bombs are excellently detailed with 6 small fins, there is good detail on the 3 inch ammo boxes and bomb containers. The sight, base plate, adjusting legs and handles all have excellent detail, and this kit will build into a very acceptable weapon.

The Crew

To complete the picture you get a crew of 4 paratroopers to man the mortar. The paratroopers used the standard infantry weapon for fire support.

Crewman 1 (NCO i/c):
The figure comes in 6 parts, the body cast as a whole with separate arms, head, satchel and digging tool. This depicts a kneeling figure with the right arm resting on the right knee and the left arm raised about chest height, giving the signal to fire the mortar. The figure is dressed in a Dennison Smock, and trousers ‘parachutist’; these garments are well depicted with good detail and nice folds in the cloth. Also, all the studs are present and in the right place.

Over the smock the figure is wearing 37 pattern webbing consisting of belt, left and right ammo pouches, short stabbing bayonet on the left hand side of the belt and water bottle on the right. All the buckles and brasses are well sculpted, and the right hand shoulder strap is designed to hang down on the top of the upper right arm, a familiar picture to many! To complete the figure the soldier is wearing anklets and ammo boots both of which are nicely detailed.

The arms come as separate items and are both well depicted with good detail. On the right arm is part of the fallen web strap.
The head comes wearing a camouflaged paratroopers helmet with the chin strap fastened above the rim. The face is excellent showing that of a young soldier with his mouth slightly open giving the order to fire the weapon.

Additional equipment comes in the form of the digging tool and a respirator case. I am not keen on the Resicast digging tools, but they can be left off or replaced if you wish.
Over all this is another excellent figure from their Paratrooper range, highly detailed and well sculpted. The figure should paint up very well indeed.

Crewman 2 – Bomb Loader:
Depicted standing and loading a bomb into the tube, this figure comes in 5 parts. The body comes cast as a whole with separate head, arms, hands and bomb.

Again dressed in standard paratrooper clothing with skeleton webbing, this figure has the short stabbing bayonet on the left hand side and the respirator case moulded to the webbing in the style worn by some troops. No water bottle this time. Again brasses and buckles are all present and correct, the overall moulding is excellent and the uniform well detailed. The right hand pocket of the smock is bulked out with some extra kit. The upper body is bent slightly forward in the act of loading the tube.

The head this time sports a paratroopers helmet with netting. The face of the trooper is excellently done, the loose chin strap hanging down the right hand side.

The arms come without hands, the hands being moulded onto the bomb. The arms are pre-drilled for easy fixing of the hands at the right angle.

Another excellent figure, again highly detailed in all areas.

Crewman 3 – Kneeling Loader:
This time the figure is in 7 parts, with a full body, head, left and right arms, left hand holding the bomb, respirator and digging tool. Dressed in the Dennison Smock with no webbing, the figure carries an ammunition bandolier over his right shoulder and around the lower left side of his smock. Nice folds and creases and with all the correct detail, this figure should paint up really well. Anklets and ammo boots finish off the uniform.

The head wears a paratroopers helmet complete with camouflage net. The chin strap is fastened below the chin and the face has good facial details, the expression being one of concentration.

Both the left and right arms have nice folds and cuff detail, the left hand is supplied separately and is holding a mortar bomb, and the left arm is pre-drilled to accept this. The bomb is very well depicted.

Additional equipment comes in the form of the Respirator and digging tool, but neither will be required for this figure as he has no webbing.

Again an excellent 3rd crew member adding variety of finish to the overall set.

Crewman 4 – Bomb Fuser:
The forth and final crewman is again kneeling, this time on both knees. The figure comes in 7 parts, full body, head, right hand, left arm, left hand with bomb, digging tool and respirator. The right arm is moulded to the body and the figure is dressed as before in Dennison Smock and parachutist trousers. The smock is well detailed, the left hand front lower pocket being bulked out a bit with kit. Over the smock the figure wears 37 pattern webbing in skeleton order, no bayonet this time, but with a water bottle in a canvas carrier on the right hip. Again, as with the other sets, the webbing has all the right buckles and brasses well depicted. Ammo boots and anklets complete the uniform.

The head wears a standard Mk I helmet with no scrim or netting, and the chin strap is clearly shown around the lower face. The facial features are excellent and these heads will paint up very well indeed.

The left arm and hand are separate, the left hand holds a good representation of the mortar bomb, while the right hand is also separate and designed to show the figure fusing the bomb.

Additional equipment is in the form of the small digging tool and respirator. These are optional items you can add or leave off as necessary.

Conclusion

Another cracking set of paratroopers from Resicast. The Dennison Smocks are excellent and all are open at the neck showing either BD or a scarf underneath. All too often we hear the call for more action type British figures, and these certainly fit the bill manning the weapon in the firing position.

The 3 inch mortar is excellently detailed, the bombs, although requiring careful handling are excellent representations of the actual shells. Coupled with the ammo boxes and tubes this set will build into and excellent stand alone kit or as part of a larger diorama adding detail and interest however used.

The Resicast paratroopers are just amazing with a level of detail that few other manufacturers come close to. Considering how long ago these were originally made, the set has stood the test of time well and holds its own with anything currently on the market, if not out doing it.

No personal weapons come with the set so you will have to source these as needed. I would like to have seen some additional mortar bomb tubes as often wartime pictures show the mortar pits surrounded with bomb carrying cases. I am not sure if additional boxes and cases are available as a separate set, but if not they would be a welcome addition. Unfortunately no decals are provided for the 3inch mortar boxes or tubes.

Resicast are the only manufacture I know of that makes light support weapons for the WW2 British/Commonwealth modeller, except for Accurate Armour who do a cool version of the 4 inch mortar. I reviewed the excellent Resicast .303 Vickers Machine gun set here on Armorama some time ago.

It would be good to see a set of standard infantry to man the mortar which is also available as a separate kit No 35.2223, as it would also be good to see a set of paratroopers to man the .303 Vickers MG. Kit No 35.222.
Normal precautions apply when working with resin. This mortar was one of the first resin kits I ever tried to build, so should be buildable by most people.

Useful Links:

Mortars in Miniature:
www.mortarsinminiature.com

Visual Collector.Com:
visualcollector.com

Stephen Johnson UKWeb On Line:
Link 1
Link 2
Link 3
Link 4

A Build Log of this set has been started on the Forums.
SUMMARY
Highs: A beautifully detailed and accurate set of a much used British and Commonwealth weapon. Everything you expect from Resicast.
Lows: Some build instructions for the mortar, or a list identifying the kit parts would be helpful for some. No decals are provided for the ammo boxes/tubes.
Verdict: Highly Recommended.
Percentage Rating
92%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35.5509
  Suggested Retail: 52.00 euro
  PUBLISHED: Sep 14, 2009
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.73%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.29%

About Alan McNeilly (AlanL)
FROM: ENGLAND - EAST ANGLIA, UNITED KINGDOM

Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...

Copyright ©2019 text by Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Hey Al, A very comprehensive review. Been watching your build of this kit with interest. The whole kit looks great, nice detail. Cheers jjumbo
SEP 13, 2009 - 02:55 PM
Hi John, Thanks for the comments, always appreciated. Al
SEP 14, 2009 - 04:08 AM
   

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