Italeri 1/72 KV-1 m41 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||July 2007||Manufacturer||Italeri|
|Kit Number||7049||Primary Media||106 parts (104 in olive stryene, 2 steel colored vinyl track runs)|
|Pros||Re-release of ESCI kit No. 8037, easy assembly and good appearance for wargaming||Cons||"Pantographed" version of 35 year old Tamiya kit|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$14.00|
Modelers are a quirky lot; many are able to split hairs on exactly when a specific sub-variant of a German tank was built and where it was used, or what options were found on a sub-variant of M4 Sherman, but most still have few clues about how the Soviet tanks were built or what designations Russian historians have given them for convenience's sake.
First off, this new kit from Italeri is a KV-1 Model 1942 with "heavy" cast turret from UZTM and a late production hull from Factory No. 200 – essentially modeled on the two tanks provided by the Soviets in late 1942 to the US (S/N 11502) and Britain (S/N 11306) for study. This is the same exact one used by Tamiya in 1972 to produce its kit, which is pretty much what ESCI did about five years later to produce their own line of 1/72 kits. Italeri, who now owns the old ESCI molds, has re-released it in a new box and with far better decals than ESCI ever seemed to provide. (At least Italeri did not call it a "KV-IC" or the German designation!)
As such, it follows the same parts breakdown as the Tamiya one other than a multi-piece hull instead of a "motorization" tub like Tamiya used. It is a reasonably sharply molded kit with very nice detailing of the small parts, and also comes with two figures (copies of the Tamiya crew figures in their kit) but with the same proportions (the figures are 23mm high, which works out to 5'5" tall – Soviet tankers were later short, but not in this tank!)
Since it was a "mini-me" of the Tamiya kit, it comes with two 95 liter fuel tanks and two ZIP bins for the fenders, the same incorrectly located driver-mechanic's hatch (too far to the rear) and all of the other failings of that kit. Sadly they also duplicated the "first generation" vinyl tracks with no interior face details – silky smooth.
For wargamers, however, this kit should be welcome as it is a very easy assembly and looks a lot better than most of the other kits produced in the past such as the Fujimi 1/76 scale ones. If no detailing is desired, a good modeler should be able to slap this puppy together in about an hour or two.
Markings and finishing are included for three tanks: "Moskovkiy OSOAviakhimovets" in white with red lettering; "Shchors" in 4BO green with white lettering; and a mottled whitewash over green tank with the name "KIM" on it in black. (Oddly the color swatch for "flat white" is flat black; Italeri should pay closer attention to its box art as this is the second one with mislabeled colors on it.)
Overall anyone hoping for a new Italeri ground-up KV-1 kit will be disappointed, but it should be quite popular with 25mm wargamers (it bears a logo saying "ALZO ZERO Wargames Approved" to prove that point!)
My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!