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Soviet KV-8 Heavy Tank Kit First Look

by Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2012 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject Soviet KV-8 Heavy Tank Scale 1/35
Kit Number 1565 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Very nice detailing throughout Cons No interior
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $53.95

First Look


The Kliment Voroshilov series of heavy tanks were major contributors to the defeat of the German invasion into Russia as well as the ultimate defeat of the German war machine. These heavy tanks could withstand just about anything the Germans could fire at them due to their heavy armor, but with that protection came a cost - reliability. The drive trains in the KV series would break down or even when they did work, the weight of the tank would adversely affect maneuverability.

The KV-1 was produced alongside the T-34 as the primary tanks for the Soviet Army with variants produced of each to accept new capabilities. One variant of the KV-1 was designated KV-8. The KV-8 was designed to look like the standard KV-1, but it was equipped with a flame thrower in the turret. To make room for the flame thrower gear, the 76.2mm main gun was replaced with a 45mm gun whose barrel was mounted inside a 76.2mm barrel to retain the larger gun's appearance.

Trumpeter has released another member of the KV series of tanks with an impressive line-up already on store shelves. This is the first KV-8 that I'm aware of in this scale in plastic.

This little gem consists of over 340 parts and is presented on eight trees of gray styrene, two trees of brown styrene track links, and one fret of photo-etched parts

As with most tank projects, this one starts off on the lower hull with the side plates that have the suspension mounts added to the common lower hull core. The upper hull modules are also installed early in the process with the engine deck and crew compartment sections.

Once the torsion arms, road wheels, and return rollers are in place on either side of the hull, you have two choices for track. The first is the standard vinyl (rubber band) track that will simply pop into place, or the styrene track sections that will glue into place. With the styrene track (molded in tan), you have the upper and lower track runs molded as single parts and the upper runs even have the proper track sag molded into place. Individual track links are used to interconnect the upper and lower runs around the drive sprockets and return rollers.

The turret is next and it has some nice detailing with a tank commander's pintle machine gun, aft-firing machine gun port, and coaxial guns. The mantlet has the special aperture for the flame thrower in addition to the dummy 76.2mm gun barrel.

The final step is to install the fenders, stowage bins, fuel tanks, and tow cables.

A small set of markings are provided to replicate a KV-8 with a tactical number of White 43.

This is another nice addition to the KV-series of tanks and while there is no interior in this kit, the real tank was fairly Spartan inside so it wouldn't be difficult to scratch build an interior or simply put some crew figures in the hatches to bring this beast to life.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!