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Trumpeter 1/35 KV-1 s Ehkranami Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review June 2006 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject KV-1 s Ehkranami Scale 1/35
Kit Number 0357 Primary Media 297 parts (292 in grey styrene, 2 black vinyl track runs, 2 clear styrene, 1 length of twisted copper wire)
Pros Continues to cover the entire family of KV heavy tanks; very nicely done kit Cons Wrong rear plate on hull
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $24.95

First Look

This is the sixth Trumpeter KV series tank kit to be released.

When the Germans invaded the USSR in June 1941, rumors of the German panzers were circulating that said at least one of them had a 100mm gun which could defeat any known Russian tank. This caused a bit of a panic, as the Soviets had not figured on such weapons being in service with the Germans. As it turned out they were not, and it was still some 17 months before they began to run into the Tiger with its 88mm gun that could knock out the big KV series tanks.

But as a precaution, both the KV-1 and the T-34 were ordered to be fitted with applique armor plate as fast as possible. This commenced on 1 July 1941, but by the end of the month it was seen that the Germans did not have any wonder tanks and the order was rescinded. Therefore, only about 85 tanks in Leningrad and 24 in Chelyabinsk were built with this suite of applique armor fitted. They survived longer than some other tanks, and were seen with slogans painted on their turrets. The best known one was "Bey fashistskuyu gabinu!" (Fight the Fascist Reptile!")

Trumpeter has now release this tank as a kit, using three new sprues for its KV collection. These provide the new turret – the so-called "welded/bolted" turret, so named as it was initially bolted together and then the bolt heads were covered in weld bead and the seams welded up – and the applique, plus a set of the heavy-duty welded wheels with central rubber shock absorbers.

In common with all of the other KV kits, the two come with a one-piece hull with applique sides suitable for early-model KV tanks. As it is a 1941 version, it does not come with vinyl keepers for the road wheels, which simply cement in place. Tracks again offer either black vinyl one-piece sections or 28 part "link and length" styrene as with previous kits. The styrene ones have some ejection pin marks that need cleaning, however. Also, the gun barrel and tow cable heads are "slide molded" so are pre-drilled, which eases one chore. Twisted copper wire is provided for the cables. Lastly, clear plastic lenses are provided for the headlight and taillight.

The applique is correct as it comes with "stand-off" mountings ; the cover of the Kolomiyets book on the KV heavy tank (Istoriya Tanka KV) has a clear shot of a KV-1 s Ehranami on the cover (note that there is no apostrophe between the "S" and "Ehkranami" as it is the Russian word form for "With Applique"). The one on the cover has an early model hull with level glacis applique amd lower pane; but most of the KV-1 s Ehkranami tanks appear to have had the early model rear deck (flat plate and curved end) as provided on the KV "Big Turret" kit and not the one-piece curved plate which comes with the kit. The plans in "Istoriya Tanka KV" show the latter plate, so apparently it was during this production run that the factory began to shift over to speed things up.

There were some comments about the rear vision devices not being far enough to the rear, but again these plans show them right where the kit has them. They do show up as sitting in quite a ways on the KV tanks with the "welded/bolted" turret, both with and without applique; they do sit farther to the rear on the cast turreted tanks.

The kit's directions also show the proper placement of the bins and other accessories on this version, so it is pretty much dead on the money.

Only one finishing option is provided, overall 4BO green with the above cited markings. Another one (not provided in the kit) is "Pobeda Budet Za Nami!" (The Victory will be Ours!) But I am not sure where you can find the decals.

Overall this continues the nice job done on the KV tanks by Trumpeter.