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- Soviet 120mm Mortar, M1938/43 -
World War II, Korean War


The Kit:

This is a 1/35 scale offering from the joint Italian and Russian firm of Italeri/Zvesda and is molded in styrene plastic.

The Details:

I added 25 additional parts to detail this model kit. The majority of these parts being bolt and rivet heads made with the Historex punch set. I also added a length of Builders In Scale chain to the bipod legs.

The Baseplate:

Some putty filling was required and the welding was rescribed. The lifting handles were replaced with wire rod.

The Ammo Crate:

Hardly any original detail was present at all. I added 58 parts, mostly in the hinge areas with bolt heads added along with the two locking latches. I also added the rope handles, made from Amati ship rigging. I also re-scribed the wood grain.
120-2 Base and Groundwork:
The base is oak and is 3-1/2 inches in diameter, stained with a natural stain and sealed with multiple coats of Polyurethane. The groundwork is Sculptamold with stones, static grass, tall grass and dried flowers.

Shown here being towed by the T-20 Komsomolyets kit in 1/35th scale from Toga, having built this combination well before I decided to build this collection of mortars. At the time, I did not have any reference material to rely on.

Komsomolyets The trailer, included in the Italeri/Zvesda kit is basically built out of the box with some straps made from strips of drafting tape added to secure the mortar. There is a dust cover applied to the end of the mortar's tube, this being made from tissue paper and diluted white glue.
Painting, Weathering and Finishing:
Acrylic paints and flat coat were used throughout. Artist oils thinned with an odorless brush cleaner and thinner were used for the washes.

General Mortar Info:

6-120mm mortars were assigned to each Soviet Infantry Regiment.

Soviet Wartime (1941-1945) production for all models of the 120mm mortar totaled: 46,600 units.

Quite an effective and popular weapon, this weapon was captured, copied and deployed by the Germans as the Granatwerfer 42 during World War II. It was also captured, copied and deployed by the Finnish Army as the Model 1938 and remained in Finnish service well after WWII had ended.

This weapon was used in large numbers by Chinese Communist Forces during the Korean War. Lacking any substantial artillery support during the initial invasion across the Yalu River, the ChiCom forces relied heavily on the M-1938/43 Mortar for in-direct fire support.

M1938/43 Ammo Crate Soviet 120mm Mortar Bomb Type Soviet 120mm Mortar Bomb Types Soviet 120mm Mortar Fuse Types Soviet WWII Limber
M1938/43 Side View Soviet WWII Limber

Actual Mortar Data:      
Caliber: 120mm        
Length of Barrel: 1.862m

Soviet Field Manual

Soviet Field Manual

Soviet Field Manual

Finnish Field Manual

Length of Bore: 1.536m
Weight: 280.1kg
Elevation: +45 to +80
Traverse: +/-30

Soviet Field Manuals


Finnish Field Manual

Bomb Weight (HE): 16kg  

ID Sheets: M1938

PD Sheets: M1938

Maximum Range (HE): 6,000m    

German Language Post War ID Sheets


T-20 Komsomolyets General Info:


Based on the T-38MI Light Tank and the T-40 Amphibious Tank of the late 1930's, the T-20 was developed to fill a requirement for an semi-armored artillery tractor to transport light artillery, in particular the Zis-3 76.2mm, the 45mm anti-tank gun or the M1938 120mm mortar and crews. Another version of the T-20 lacked the rear seats to allow for the transport of light artillery, anti-tank and mortar ammunition.

In Service: 1937-1945      
Production: Approximately 4,400 - STZ Factory No. 37  
Armament: 1x DT 7.62mm Machine Gun      
Armor: Steel plating, riveted construction
Length: 3,450mm (11.3ft)      
Width: 1,859mm (6.1ft)    


Height (W/O protective tarpaulin):1,400mm (4.6ft)


Speed: 40kmh (25mph)      
Range: 150km (93mi)


Crew: 2+6      
In captured German WWII service, this vehicle was designated: "leichter gepanzerter Artillery-Schlepper 630(r)".
The T-20 design formed the basis for the SU-57 Self-Propelled Anti-Tank gun. 

Mr. Mathias Fritzsch - Germany
Weapons of the Korean War
Mr. Tom Bebbington - United Kingdom
Mr. Vesa Toivonen - Finland 
Mr. Mathew Messiaen - Italy

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Unless otherwise specified, all models built, painted, photographed and are owned by the author.
Mortars in Miniature, Created and Maintained by
Kevin Robert Keefe, Copyright 2014
 All Rights Reserved.