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KV-1 Model 1942

Trumpeter 1/35 KV-1 Model 1942 Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review August 2005 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject KV-1 Model 1942 Scale 1/35
Kit Number 0358 Primary Media 329 parts (307 in grey styrene, 18 clear vinyl keepers, 2 vinyl track runs, 2 clear styrene, 1 twisted copper wire)
Pros Best KV-1 kit now on the market; choice of either styrene or vinyl track will be popular with many modelers; thorough job of research appears obvious with moldings Cons Some ejection pin marks on the "hard" plastic tracks will be annoying to remove
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $24.95

First Look

In early May 1942, the commander of the 6th Guards Tank Brigade, Colonel Maksim Skuba, received notice that seven Stalin prize arts laureates were going to present a KV-1 tank to his brigade. The seven (three artists and four writers) named the donated tank "Besposhchadniy" – "Fearless" – and provided it with a poem and artwork. Artist Kukrynskiy painted a cartoon of the tank blowing Hitler into pieces; author Marshak wrote this poem:

"Through the blazing fire we go In our heavy tank On to the rear of the enemy Where we smash him in the flank. Your tank's crew is fearless Our eyes never close As we carry out Stalin's combat orders!"

According to the Soviet archives, its best combat episode was one where it took on 28 German tanks and knocked out five before withdrawing. But it was later knocked out by the Germans, with the commander Khoroshilov being killed and driver-mechanic Tsarapin being severely wounded.

"Besposhchadniy," while knocked out after only 700 kilometers, was recovered, survived the war, and is preserved at the Museum of Armored Vehicle Technology at Kubinka outside of Moscow .

This tank was a late production Model 1942 KV-1 with all of the basic features of those tanks – "simplified" welded/bolted production turret, cast all-steel wheels, cast return rollers, and a UZTM produced hull with flush fitting glacis applique panels, "flat" engine access door, and "square" hull rear section.

First Look

Trumpeter now seems to have set its sights on catching up to DML for quality and accuracy, and this kit is a very aggressive move in that direction. It also makes use of what DML calls "slide molding" or using multipart molds to create such things as hollow molded gun barrels and exhausts. It is also priced very reasonably, and as such should be a winner in that area.

Detail-wise, there are many nice touches to this kit. The hull is molded in three basic parts – a central form and two applique sides, which is unique. The central hull shows a dip on the sides at the rear, so one can bet that either an SU-152 or KV-1s will follow later on; the applique parts are squared off to replicate the KV-1 Model 1942 hull. All of the jounce stops are separate and correct, and the road wheel arms are each made up in two parts (there are two different grease caps, so make sure you do not get them confused.) The wheels have the interior cast reinforcement ribs, and are really well done. The drivers have both interior and exterior bolt details, as well as the correct mud scraper.

The separate track is well done, as it "link and length" with a pre-cast "droop" in the upper runs. As noted, there are two or four injection pin marks on each link, even the long runs, and while cleanup will be tedious it doesn't seem as bad as many other single-link sets.

Oddly the kit provides interior details for the engine deck air intake grilles but only two sets of plastic parts and no etched grilles or frames for an etched grille (one set appears to be for an SU-152 or KV-1s as noted earlier).

The hull details are all separate, including separate front and rear hull roof sections and fenders. While the fenders come with the track slap deflectors on the bottom (!) note that the actual fenders came in three sections, joined at the second and fourth braces on the sides. A choice of early or late model viewer covers is included (this one takes late, whereas the KV-2 kit takes the early model).

The turret does a beautiful job of replicating the screwy "bolted/welded" construction that drove me crazy about a year ago. It consists of bolting the parts together against an angle steel frame, and then filling in the bold heads with weld bead plus welding up the seams. (One reason these tanks took nearly 18 times as long to assemble as a T-34 Model 1942.) While not called out on the box or specifically by name in the directions, optional parts are also included for a KV-8 flamethrower tank (they are shown at the bottom of page 8.)

Only one finishing option is provided – "Besposhchadniy" from the 6th Guards Tank Brigade, May 1942.

Overall this is a gorgeous kit, and eclipses the older (but still accurate if fussy to assemble) Eastern Express kit. From the parts breakdown, more are going to follow.