Throughout WW2 and well into the 70's, the British Army used the 2 (50.8mm) Mortar as a Platoon Support Weapon. First developed in the 30's the 2 mortar came into service in 1938. It could fire a variety of rounds including, H.E. 2-Inch Mortar Bomb, Smoke (Bursting) 2-Inch Mortar Bomb, Parachute Illumination 2-Inch Mortar Bomb, Red Single Star 2-Inch Mortar Bomb, White Multi-Star 2-Inch Mortar Bomb, Practice (firing) 2-Inch Mortar Bomb.The standard service version of the 2-inch mortar had a barrel length of 21 inches and could fire a high explosive bomb weighing 2.25lb out to a practical range of about 500 yards.
It was used widely throughout the Commonwealth Forces and being light in weight, it was easy to transport by its crew of 2. The gunner, normally a NCO carried the weapon, while the No. 2 carried the ammunition. Rate of fire was approximately 4 rds per minute and it provided the infantry platoon with a close support weapon.This set comes with 3 versions of the 2 inch mortar; I believe there were about 8 Mks and a number of variants on top of that.
The set comes in 2 plastic bags and contains an A4 sheet listing the parts and 3 pictures showing the 3 types of mortars provided and where the parts go. You get the early, standard (late) and Para version of the mortar; all parts are cast in a light grey resin. The parts are small and the early tube and bombs require careful handling in order to avoid breaking off any bits. You get 2 of each mortar plus 1 standard mortar fitted with the carrying cover. Also included in the set are 8 bombs, 4 of which have covers and 6 carrying cases. The full parts are listed below:
A 2 Mortar tube standard x 2
B 2 Mortar tube with cover x 1
C 2 Mortar tube short x 2
D Base (late version) x 4
E Mortar bomb x 4
F Mortar bomb with cover x 4
G Bomb carrier open
H Bomb carrier closed
I 2 Mortar tube early x 2
J Base (early version) x 2
K Knob x 2
L Firing lever x 2
The mortar, bombs and associated parts all seem well cast and just a little clean up should be required. Very little is required to remove the parts from the pour stubs other than a sharp X-Acto Blade. This is a simple construction and the base plates fit the tubes accurately.
As far as I know this is the only set of 2 inch mortars available for commonwealth troops. It provides some additional equipment for infantry and paratroopers that is not often shown in displays. With 6 mortars and one closed for carrying (2 would have been better) I would have liked to have seen some more bombs available in the set, but it does provide a useful and, what appears to be, a very accurate version of this small and widely used weapon that covers both early and late periods in the conflict.
These small sets are excellent for getting some experience working with resin. You need to build at a slightly slower pace, but the technique remains the same, clean the parts carefully, avoid inhaling any excess dust. You can wet the parts when cutting and sanding and/or wear a mask. Always test fit before you glue as super glue is hard to separate. I use Zap-A-gap CA , it gives you a little flexibility in drying time, but it can also be instant, especially when you dont want it to be.
For a Mortar crew, see Alan's review here