World War Two Era Replica/Prop Cocktail Molotov





Introduction: World War Two Era Replica/Prop Cocktail Molotov

The cocktail Molotov first appeared during the Second World War in the hands of the Soviet military to take out enemy tanks. Brainchild of Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov, this petrol bomb was simple in its concept. A glass bottle filled with petrol and oil (the oil was to thicken the petrol). A rag put at the opening of the bottle and light on fire. When thrown the bottle would break on impact exposing the petrol to the flame and thus igniting. This was its primitive form.

The Red Army received two types of petrol bombs: ones with self-igniting mixture KS and ones with inflammable mixtures Number 1 and Number 3. These mixtures were made of ordinary petrol, thickened by OP-1 hardening powder into a type of napalm.

Petrol bombs with inflammable liquids Numbers 1 and 3 were sealed with conventional corks. Ampoules with chemical agents were used for ignition. The liquid ignited when contacting the chemical agent in the ampoules - this occurred as both the bottle and the ampoule broke when hitting a tank. The ampoules were attached to the bottle with a rubber band or were inserted in the bottles. Another ignition mechanism used matches, attached to the bottle with rubber bands. These fuse-matches were sticks fully covered with igniting agent.

In this Instructable I will only discuss about the primitive Molotov (the bottle with a rag) the petrol bomb with chemical igniter and the fuse-matches. 

I advise you to improvise, change the design and be creative but most of all Have Fun!

Warning: What you do with these props/replicas is up to you. Make sure you are not violating any laws. Use at your own risk. If misused prepare to deal with the consequences.

I do not identify and do not sympathize with any kind of political beliefs or ideologies. The images and information provided are only for demonstration and personal use in prop/replica making of historical importance.

Sorry about grammar and language errors – English is not my native language.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Materials (simpler version):

 1 - Wine or Liquor glass bottles

2 - Corks

3 - Rag or piece of cloth

4 - Food Coloring Yellow

   - Water

Materials (fuse match version)
Same materials has the simpler version plus:

1 - Kraft Paper

2 - Cord or Lamp Wick

3 - Rubber bands

Materials (chemical igniter version)

- Same materials as the simpler version plus:

1 - Glass or plastic ampoules (can use test tubes or other similar container)

2 - Food coloring Red

3 - Rubber bands


Tools needed

1 - Glue

2 - Scissors or X-Acto knife

3 - Funnel

4 - Mixing Bowl and Measuring Cup

5 - Eye Dropper

6 - Drill (not necessary)

7 - Glue Gun (not necessary)

   - Printer

Step 2: Simple Version

This is the primitive version just some petrol in the bottle and the rag to set it on fire. You can make this version with any kind of label or even none at all. In the PDF there’s a Russian Vodka Label but you can also get very good French captured labels in this site “”.

Print the label and glue it to the bottle.

Now take the cork and drill or carve two holes, one on each side. If you want a replica sealed Molotov, make sure you don’t drill the holes all the way. Get two pieces of rag and glue them on the holes.

Molotov’s used petrol so their color would be yellow. Add the food colorant to the water until you get a nice tone. Pour the water into the bottle and place the cork.

You should now have a simple durable cocktail Molotov replica.

Step 3: Fuse-Match Version

This version was a bottle filled with inflammable liquid and attached to it there were a fuse like a candle that was ignited with a matches or a friction strip.

Dye water yellow with the food colorant (to match the petrol color) and fill the bottle with it – just like in the previous step.
Get a cork and shut the bottle close. 
Print the Soviet Mixture No. 1 instructions label and glue it to the bottle (label provided in PDF).

To make the candle like fuse and friction strip get some Kraft paper and wrap it around the cord (or the wick) in a round shape. Take another piece of paper and wrap it around itself, or around a strip of cardboard to make the friction strip.
Attach them to the bottle with rubber bands.

Step 4: Chemical Igniter Version

This version was the same as the previous one but instead of the fuse and it had glass ampoules filled with a chemical that ignited the mixture inside the bottle when the glass broke.

Dye water yellow with the food colorant (to match the petrol color) and fill the bottle with it – just like in the previous step.

Get a cork and shut the bottle close.  Print the Soviet Mixture No. 1 instructions label and glue it to the bottle (label provided in PDF).

The Ampoules:

Original ampoules were just that – ampoules shut close with the chemical inside. For this homemade replica we have to use simple materials. You can use laboratory glass or plastic test tubes, individual cigar case etc. (sometimes there are individual cases for cigars that are transparent plastic)
I used two small test tubes that got from the hospital that they use to take blood samples. If you find a better material please let me know.

Dye some water red with the food colorant. Fill the ampoule (whatever container you used) with the water and seal it so it doesn’t leak.

Attach these “ampoules” to the bottle with rubber bands.

Sometimes the ampoules were inside the bottle. If you want to make this version make sure you drop the ampoule inside the bottle before you shut it close.

Step 5: Finish

If you want fully accurate replicas I advise you to make a lot of research and try to find the best materials. What I offer you are viable nearly accurate ways for replica making – sometimes there is a detail wrong due to budget or materials available.

Hope you’ll be happy with what you made as much as I am.



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    Thanks for these instructions, it will look great in WW2 Soviet reenactment !

    Actually, it was made in response to Russia. During the invasion of Finland, Molotov, a high-level Soviet politician would broadcast on the radio every evening that Russian planes were flying over to drop food aid. Instead, they were dropping huge cluster bombs everywhere. People started calling these Molotov bread baskets. When a Finnish brewery started manufacturing these to fight back against the Soviets, they started calling them Molotov Cocktails.