by: Alan McNeilly [ ]
For some bizarre reason known only to the plastic kit manufacturers there are not many British/Commonwealth infantry support weapons around in 1/35 scale. Accurate Armour produces a detail set for the British 4.2 inch mortar. Set G007 also come with a 10cwt trailer in which the mortars were transported.
The British developed the Ordnance ML 4.2 inch mortar in 1941 and issued it in 1942. Originally intended to equip chemical warfare companies of the Royal Engineers, the Mk III became the standard infantry heavy support weapon. It was first used at El Alamein and not long after the chemical warfare companies were disbanded and one company of each divisional machine gun battalions was re-equipped with the mortar and it was also issued in numbers to the Royal Artillery.
The mortar was used throughout the war from 1942 onwards to provide heavy fire support for the infantry. Carried in a 10cwt trailer the mortar was towed by a Loyd Carrier or T16 carrier although other vehicles could be used too.
The model was mastered by Leo Hassing and Rob Tearle and the set comes complete with mortar, bombs, tubes and equipment. Decals are supplied for the ammunition markings and also included in this set is the 10cwt trailer already mentioned.
The mortar can be displayed fully deployed or packed in the trailer, but as far as I know no one has gotten around to making an infantry/Royal Artillery crew yet!
The set comes packed in a sturdy card board box with the product and manufacturers details on the top. The top of the box also contains two colour pictures, one of the loaded trailer and one of the bombs and tubes. On the front side is a further coloured picture of the complete contents.
Inside the box you gat a plastic zip bag containing all the kit parts, plus an 8 page colour set of instructions, a fret of PE and a set of decals and some plastic rod.
Moulded in light grey resin, the set was free from any damage or air bubbles that I could detect.
The instructions are printed in an 8 page A4 colour booklet. The front page has details of the kit plus 3 useful colour pictures of the painted mortar rounds, and two top views of the loaded 10cwt trailer. Also on the front page are the contact details for the company.
Page 2 is given over to general instruction about working with resin, safety, tools and glue needed. It also contains guidelines about dealing with unwanted air bubbles.
Page 3 had four colour pictures detailing the assembly of the 10cet trailer. Parts numbers are clearly identified and correspond with those on the sprues.
Page 4 has three colour diagrams and details the layout of the kit in the trailer, the assembly of the mortar and the identification of the additional weapon accessories.
Page 5 contains the painting guide again with three colour pictures two of which relate to the completed kit.
Page 6 has two further pictures of the loaded trailer attached to a Lloyd Carrier, just in case you need a hint on what vehicle you should use to two it.
Page 7 contains the assembly instructions, which should be read first and also additional information about painting the kit parts. Finally on page 8 is a listing of the parts and quality so that you can check you have received everything you need.
Overall the instructions are well laid out, with good clear pictorial diagrams to aid successful building. Excellent reference is provided to aid painting and identification of parts.
The mortar consists of 7 basic parts, a nicely done base plate with the correct configuration, mortar tube that has a pre drill end, although you may want to deepen this a bit. You get an extended bipod for the mortar if you want to model it erected and a collapsed one for stowage in the trailer if that is your chosen route. Part 18 is the tube collar which is hollow and allows the angle that you set the mortar at, the elevating handle and sight unit complete the kit. All the parts are extremely well done, the detail is sharp and this should build into a fine example of the kit.
To go with the mortar you get 16 mortar ammo tubes for the bombs, these are nicely done with the carrying handles in place. You get 12 mortar bombs to paint and finish as you desire. Also included are a sight bag, spares bag, cable reel and handle and a telephone box. Again all these are high quality items and look to be correct.
To carry the mortar in you get a 10cwt trailer, consisting of 5 main parts, floor, front and rear gates and side panels. The 10cwt trailer was a wooden affaire and the planking and metal supports are all nicely done. The axel and suspension units come as separate parts, again well depicted as are the wheels for the trailer. To finish the trailer you get a handbrake, handbrake bracket, break arm leaver, towing eye, and hinge. The tail gate cane be modelled up or down again to suit your preference. This also appears to be an excellent representation of the actual kit.
Photo Etched Parts
You get tie down loops and straps, mudguards for the trailer, and mudguard angles to help position them correctly, some chain and a hasp.
0.5mm plastic rod is provided for the handles and brake rods.
The kit provides decals for the mortar bomb tubes and rounds. Eight of the bomb markings are for HE bombs whilst 4 are for smoke bombs. Placement and painting of the bombs is covered on page 5 and page 1 of the instructions.
Overall a cracking little set, it contains everything you might need to build a detailed and accurate representation of both the mortar and trailer. The detail as one would expect is terrific and the instructions appear clear and logically laid out. You gat a decent amount of tubes and bombs to populate any display or to pack into your trailer. There are some small parts so take care when removing them form the sprues.
The addition of the markings for the bombs and tubes is a very welcome sight as so often you get the kit but not the markings to go with the item.
This could easily be a stand alone item or added to a large scene. The mortar and ammunition can be bought as an individual set, No G006 if you do not want the trailer or wish to add additional fire power to your setting.
Care will need to be taken placing the PE mudguards, not being a fan of PE I would have preferred these in resin.
Accurate Armour thoughtfully make a vehicle to tow the kit with, see their Kit No K139 Loyd Carrier Towing (4.2 inch Mortar).
The only thing I can think of that would add to the set would be a closed and/or rolled back tarp for the trailer and perhaps some 4.2inch mortar boxes to go with the tubes. So perhaps there is an AM opportunity there for a set of boxes and additional bomb tubes. The tarp, well you can probably make that for yourself, but a rolled back one would have been a nice finishing touch.
Now all that is required is for some kind soul to make an Infantry/Royal Artillery crew to go with the currently available mortars.
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