Call It Done: Trumpeter 1/144 Mörser Karl-Gerät

Concluding my trilogy of outlandishly impractical Second World War German big guns in 1/144 is Trumpeter’s Mörser . The 600mm caliber Karl-Gerät was demonstrably more consequential than the K5(e) and Dora, with six Karl-Geräte having seen action from 1941 to 1945 on the East, notably including against Polish resistance fighters in Warsaw, and even in the West in the Ardennes and at Remagen. With its crew of 21 and accompanying ammuntion handling transporter vehicles and cranes, it must have looked like a circus act in action. Remarkably, its firing rate was one round per 10 minutes, practically rapid fire in comparison to the K5(e) and the Dora.

Trumpeter’s 1/144 rendition of the Karl-Gerät includes one sprue with all the parts. The tracks, sprockets, and idlers are mercifully molded in one piece per side. Assembly is straightforward with few separately molded parts. Fit is good but the parts are afflicted with stealthy, tricky flash on part edges–I’m still noticing flash that I missed every time I look at the model.

Having applied early war dark gray to the K5(e) and Dora, I opted for some variety with the Karl-Gerät, so I gave it a late war panzer yellow camouflage scheme. Which was tough in 1/144. The ammunition got a coat of Rub-n-Buff Pewter, followed by a generious powdering of green pastel to simulate the transparent green lacquer coating of German artillery ammunition.

The decal sheet includes white and black markings for vehicles III through VI, with Norse god names ‘Thor’, ‘Odin’, ‘Loki’, and ‘Ziu’. I wanted to make it a ‘Loki’, but the finicky decals, which responded only to hot water, disintegrated while sliding off the paper, so ‘Loki’ became ‘Thor’. AK wash for panzer yellow vehicles brought out the beautifully molded details, and some final dot filtering added some tonal variation.

My trilogy of impractically baroque Wehrmacht heavy artillery in 1/144 is done. Back to my regularly scheduled program of non-microscopic models.

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