The If.9, the cart depicted in this set, was one of a series of carts used by the German army during the 39-45 conflict. Its designation was Combat Cart for Heavy Grenade Launcher (in other words the 8cm mortar). This simple cart has been correctly done here, and is properly set for hitching to a single horse. Our photograph shows the cart empty but the box artwork shows that the model can also be made with a cover over the top, and with an open payload of either cans or, naturally enough, the 8cm mortar itself, all of which are included in the set. The mortar is split into its component parts and stowed for transportation of course, which is not an arrangement we have seen from any set except those from Preiser. The horse attaches to the forked tongue by traces made in a soft plastic which we have not illustrated here, but these and all the parts, including the payloads, can be seen in the image of the sprue.
The cart model is very fine and relatively straight forward to put together. With a metal axle the wheels can turn freely, and the whole thing is beautifully produced, despite being so small (it is 1/87 scale after all). Preiser have long been masters at this sort of high quality model, and have also been very generous in the accessories they provide, so it is no surprise that this set also includes many such pieces.
The four figures are all imagined walking alongside the cart, perhaps guiding the horse or simply holding on to the vehicle itself. The figures are quite basic, but with a comprehensive range of accessories including a wide variety of weapons and kit there is much scope for constructing as complex a figure as you could wish for. The basic poses are all quite appropriate, and while the detail on them is not quite as clear as it could be, with so many exquisitely detailed accessories to add to them there is really no room for complaint about anything here.
Preiser’s ongoing commitment to depicting the German army in all its many facets continues with yet another unusual tool of war in a non-combative situation. Modellers looking to depict life behind the lines, or to show the German army on the march rather than in battle, will have much cause to thank Preiser for their choice of products, and this cart is another excellent example of the high standards this company regularly achieves.