Italeri 1/35 Nebelwerfer 41

KIT #: 324
PRICE: The equivalent of $5 when new
DECALS: None needed
REVIEWER: Spiros Pendedekas

One day build


The Nebelwerfer 41 (15 cm NbW 41) was a German multiple rocket launcher, utilizing 15 cm Wurfgranate 41 projectiles. It served during WWII with units of the “Nebeltruppen”, which were German Chemical Corps units that not only had the responsibility for poison gas and smoke weapons, but were also used to deliver high-explosives during the war. The name “Nebelwerfer” is best translated as "Smoke Mortar", with Allied troops nicknaming it “Screaming Mimi” or “Moaning Minnie” due to its distinctive sound.

Like virtually all German rocket designs, the Wurfgranate 41 projectile was spin-stabilized, in order to increase accuracy. Unusually, the rocket motor was in the front, the exhaust venturis being about two-thirds down the body from the nose, with the intent to optimize the blast and fragmentation effect of the rocket as the warhead would still be above the ground upon detonation. However, this proved to greatly complicate manufacture without much improvement and it was not copied on later rocket designs.

About 6000 NbW 41s were built, together with almost 5,500,000 Wurfgranate 41s. Well preserved survivors can still be spotted at museums today.


Italeri introduced this kit in 1983 and reboxed it only once, back in 1995. A copy of this latter issue was discovered, still wrapped, in March 2021, at a bookshop that used to sell modeling stuff more than 25 years before. It was offered to me for the symbolic price of €5.

The kit comes in a small side opening box, with an attractive Nebelwerfer model as a boxart. Upon opening the box, I was greeted with two grey sprues, 87 parts in total, of which 69 are for the launcher and trailer construction, the rest being 6 projectiles and equal 2-piece containers. Molding is good but not perfect, with some flash, mold lines and ejector pin marks visible. The firing tubes walls look believably thin. Since I have zero experience in armor, I cannot further comment about parts rendition and accuracy, other than the fact that parts look sufficiently detailed and realistic!

Instructions are typical Italeri, looking clear, additionally containing a short history of this relatively uncommon type and four b/w pics of the completed model. Color callouts are provided where needed.

Exclusively occupied with plane models, some more complicated than others, seeking not only some kind of creative break, but also some “modeling expansion” towards armor, I had no reluctance whatsoever in unwrapping that little box and attempting to put the kit together “in an afternoon”, basic hand painting included, with minor corrections and weathering to be done next morning…..just like old times!


Being an absolute beginner in armor modeling meant by definition performing the radical act of following the instructions! I thus started by putting together the firing tubes, which are nicely casted in two blocks that have to be joined; then a multitude of “bits and pieces” (supports, triggers, mini levers, hoses, sprockets etc.) were attached onto them circumferentially. Fit was not bad, however many of the above small parts practically had no positive attaching location, meaning that the modeler has to have many reference pics from different angles handy, as to figure out the exact location of each part. The b/w completed model pics, provided by the instructions, proved very helpful.

Leaving the basic weapon assembly to dry, I proceeded to the trailer, which was comprised of three subassemblies: the 8-piece gun carriage and the pair of 4-piece connecting rods that are joined at the front, in order to form the trailer coupler (the modeler has the option to position the rods “deployed”, which is a nice posture for a diorama).

The 9-piece cradle, containing the driving trunnions, was then assembled and attached onto the rear carriage, followed by the 7-piece spade, which was also attached. Both the cradle and the spade are positionable.

The kit offers six 1-piece projectiles, but with so many monstrous sink marks, that I had to toss them. On the contrary, their respective 2-piece containers looked nice, so I assembled them, in order to accompany the Nebelwerfer! The two wheels had four nasty sink marks each onto the tires inner walls, sadly interfering with the tire thread: they were sanded off as best as possible, and then the wheels had their hubs attached.

All the above assembly process lasted a bit more than one hour of intensive work. With glue still curing and no need for any further filling or sanding, I took all assembled parts to the paint shop!


While instructions called for dark grey overall, the truth is that NbWs’ color shades were up to the local Commanders, who had allowances to modify the camo, in order to blend with the local conditions. Having seen quite a few khaki-ish Nebelwerfers on the Net, I was not at all reluctant to break my Hu72 Khaki and brush paint all components with my trusty #2 red sable brush. The paint was used straight from the tin: luckily, it was sufficiently thick as to help covering minor assembly imperfections, yet sufficiently thin, as to be brushed smoothly – no beads, drips and the like!

Happy with painting, I left everything to dry overnight. Next day, I hand painted the tires, as well as the six projectile containers with Hu32 dark gray, which comes close to RLM66. Upon paint drying, I brushed all parts with a protective coat of Future.

It was then weathering time: first, I dry brushed all raised details with Testors Steel, then applied a black wash, which gave at places a used, grimy/oily look. Upon drying I used brownish/blackish dry pastels to complete the weathering process. A final Humbrol matt coat was brush painted at all components, sealing the pastels and giving the model its final hue.

I attached the main launcher onto its cradle, then attached the wheels and did a bit of aligning before calling the Nebelwerfer done!
Being an absolute rookie armor/artillery modeler, I might not be entitled to comment about this kit’s accuracy and detail. However, this is a solid, above average molded and reasonably detailed kit of this not so widely known weapon. Judging from what I see in the net pics, the finished model definitely looks like a relatively accurate Nebelwerfer.

Though parts count is not exactly low, construction is not complex and the kit can be easily tackled by a modeler with just a few kits under his belt. Painting could not be easier, it can even be brush painted! Being a piece of artillery means that you can weather it as much as you like, the more the better!

I started and finished this kit within one day in three roughly one and a half hourly sessions, separated by paint drying intervals. It was my intention to put it together, brush paint it and finish it within that time frame, with glue maybe not oozing out of seams, “just like old times”, but, definitely, still uncured!

The Italeri kit, seemingly (and strangely) not reissued since 1995, is not (as of 2021) the easiest to find, let alone at a sensible price. However, if you happen to get your hands on one, go and build it: either super-detail it (quite a few AM goodies are available), or put it together out of the box (OOB). In the latter case, you might be tempted to finish it within a couple of days, letting those wonderful youth "lightning speed build" modeling memories fulfill your mind.

Happy modeling!

Spiros Pendedekas

31 May 2022

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