Trumpeter 1/35 KV-1 Model 1941 Kit First Look
|Date of Review
|KV-1 Model 1941
|240 parts (235 in grey styrene, 2 vinyl track runs, 2 clear styrene, 1 twisted copper wire)
|Offers another interesting KV-1 variant to the line-up
|Some ejection pin marks on the "hard" plastic tracks will be annoying to remove
The KV-1 was designed as a heavy tank to provide the crew with ample protection against enemy defenses. Weighing in at over 47 tons, the KV-1 Model 1941 was armed with the 76mm ZIS-5 or F-34 main guns, plus three machine guns. While the tank was well-protected, it was limited by is mobility and would eventually be neutralized by concentrated German fire.
The Germans were out-classed against these heavy tanks as the Panzer IV was only a 22 ton vehicle. It wasn't until the Panther and Tiger were sped into development that the Germans had a comparable combat vehicle. Nevertheless, it was usually mechanical problems and logistical support that were the worst problems faced by the KV series tanks.
Trumpeter has released this third installment in the Soviet KV heavy tank series, the KV-1 Model 1941. The previous two were the KV-1 Model 1942 and KV-2. There are at least two more KVs in the pipeline, the KV-1 'big turret' (early KV-2) and the KV-1S.
As with the previous releases, this kit is molded in light gray styrene and consists of 235 parts on 10 sprues plus the lower hull and turret, lenses on a clear sprue, a copper wire for the tow cable, and a pair of 'rubber band' tracks.
Construction of the lower hull is unique, though consistent with the previous Trumpeter KV releases. The lower hull has applique sides that have the version-specific bolt patterns and suspension support mounts. A separate transmission cover is added to the rear of the hull. If you're wondering about the detail of the road wheels, suspension, etc., there are a significant number of parts that are specifically suspension/wheel-related and it takes seven steps of the sixteen total assembly steps in the instructions just to complete this area!
You have your choice of sectional track or rubber band track to drive your KV-1. The sectional track is several contiguous sections of track molded together, inter-connected by individual track links that span the turns around drive sprockets and return wheels. The upper section has nice droop areas pre-molded between the return rollers.
While assembly of the upper hull and turret are by no means as complicated as the lower hull, the detailing is still very nicely done. You have your choice of two gun mantles which I presume to be representative of the ZIS-5 or F-34 installations.
Tool stowage boxes are provided to mount on the separately molded fenders. These boxes will virtually eliminate external stowage of pioneering tools. To make up for this, the fenders are mounted to the hull sides with individual brackets, just like the real thing.
One additional set of options provided in the kit are sections of additional armor for the hull sides of the crew compartment, and one section of armor that protects the front drivers area, though this armor also blanked off the hull-mounted machine gun. Check your references to see if the machine you're modeling had the supplemental armor added.
As with the previous releases, this Trumpeter KV-1 is absolutely gorgeous straight out of the box and renders all KV kits offered by other manufacturers obsolete. At the MSRP of under $25 USD, it is also cheaper than the Japanese kits of lesser quality.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!