Old but still packed a punch - Mortaio da 149

This is an Italian license built variant of the Krupp 150mm Morser M1881. In 1881 it was a good, modern weapon. By the time that WW1 rolled around, it was thoroughly obsolete. It lacked a recoil system and had to be re-laid between shots. However, the Italians desperately needed artillery; so, they were pressed into service.
The kit from Vargas Scale Models is a little jewel. The resin 3-D printed parts are delicate and highly detailed. The kit includes the ammunition and implements associated with the weapon.

I assembled it out of the box and primed with Mr Surfacer 1000.

I decided to finish this as it would have appeared in WW1 - very worn; but well maintained. The hairspray technique was used to give it that worn look. I gouged up the wooden platform to give it a very used appearance. I used the excellent LifeColor Rust and Dust set for the platform metal metal work and an uneven coat of Tamiya XF-78 Wooden Deck Tan for the wooden parts. I gave the wooden portion a sloppy coat of Winsor & Newton oils and wiped up the excess until it looked like old wood.

After a coat of hairspray, I gave everything a light coat of Tamiya XF65 Field Gray. Much of this was peeled/chipped off with a flat brush and water.

After drying, I sealed it with Model Master Sealer for Metalizer. After hairspraying again, I gave it a light coat of Life Color UA 213 Grigio Verde Chiaro. Most of this was again peeled off with a damp flat brush to reveal the underlying colors.

Weathering was accomplished with W&N oils and with AK enamel weathering products. After sealing with Model Master Clear Flat, I hit the wear areas with a 6B pencil and Ushi Chrome pigment.

As the kit came with a good selection of ammo and implements, I decided to display it on a simple firing platform.

This was a quick build and I learned some new techniques in the finishing and weathering. I’m really pleased with how it came together to portray this fine old piece.


That is excellent Rick. One of the nicest renditions of this type I have seen.


Thanks Peter. These old WW1 guns are fascinating. It is great to see kits of them available now. CAD and 3D printing have changed the cost structure and allow even small companies to produce very high quality kits of obscure subjects.


Beautiful work indeed.
I have done several Vargas kits and have loved every one of them.

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Thank you Chris. I think I’m keeping Vargas in business single handedly. I’ve got 12 of his kits finished and in the display case, 2 on the bench, and at least another dozen in the stash. If you are fascinated by the innovation that occurred in WW1 and the interwar period, he is the go-to guy for interesting kits.

Superb weathering ! You should be very proud of what you have achieved with this model, congratulations.

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Thank you, Laurence. I am very proud of the model. Even a simple build like this can look stunning if well painted and weathered.

Amazing results! I really like the layering of the paint and the wood finish, outstanding!
Maybe you can find a crew?

Paska, thank you! I have a pair of Italian gunners; but, when I put them next to the model, discovered that they are WAY too tall - 6’3". Back to searching for figures again…

Very nice. Beautifully weathered.

Thank you Ralph. I’ve been working on improving my weathering and trying new techniques.

I got on off-line question on how to purchase the Vargas Scale Model kits. There are two sources:
Vargas Scale Models eBay Store
Jeff V’s Corner Store

Super duper job if I do say so myself!

~ Eddy :tophat:

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Thanks Eddie. It was an easy build which allowed me to spend more time experimenting with hairspray and multiple layers of paint. I also used more oils in the weathering than I usually do. It all came together nicely.