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KV-1S Kit

Trumpeter 1/35 KV-1S Kit First Look

by Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2012 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject KV-1S Scale 1/35
Kit Number 1566 Primary Media Styrene, PE
Pros Nice exterior detailing, distinctive subject Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $54.95

First Look

KV-1S Kit
KV-1S Kit
KV-1S Kit
KV-1S Kit

The Kliment Voroshilov (KV) tanks were the Soviet Army's fleet of heavy tanks during the defense of Russia and the subsequent defeat of Germany. Weighing in at approximately 45 tons, the KV could endure more direct fire punishment from German panzers than virtually any other tank on the battlefield, though it was far from being 'bulletproof'. The T-34 was considered a medium tank at approximately 26 tons and these too played havoc with the panzers. In contrast, the Panzer IV was classified as a medium tank at approximately 25 tons, the Panther was still classified as a medium tank at approximately 44 tons, but it wouldn't be until the arrival of the 56 ton Tiger and its famous 8.8cm main gun that the KVs would really meet their match.

While the KV's armor was strong, it suffered from mobility problems as it didn't have sufficient engine power and the main guns were the same as those being installed into the lighter T-34s. Experience had shown that mobility enhanced survivability as much as effective armor, and the KV designers developed a version of the KV-1 with less armor and a smaller turret which made the resulting KV-1S far more maneuverable on the battlefield. Over 1300 examples were produced of this variant and the results would find their way into future variants of the KV and subsequent Josef Stalin (JS) series of tanks.

While it might be difficult to get your head around a 'lightweight' version of a heavy tank, the KV-1S certainly saved the KV series of tanks and Trumpeter has recreated this variant as another installment of its long line of KV variants produced to date. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on 11 parts trees plus 12 trees of tan (rust) colored styrene, one tree of clear styrene, and one small fret of photo-etched parts.

Among the features and options in this kit:

  • New parts to represent this new variant including new engine deck
  • Several options for the rear of the hull
  • Individual track links (88 per side)
  • Smaller turret with commander's cupola
  • T-34/76-type main gun with optional metal barrel

The kit has the usual outstanding details that Trumpeter provides for the exterior of its armor kits. As with the other installments previously released in the KV series, there is no interior detailing provided (hence the lower price).

The kit provides markings five different tanks:

  • KV-1S, White 25, 'For Stalin'
  • KV-1S, no tactical number, 'Moscow Kolkhoznik (Moscow Collective Farmer)'
  • KV-1S, White 23
  • KV-1S, White 2-1
  • KV-1S, White 641

This is a nice looking kit and replicates one of the more common silhouettes for Soviet armor during the late war and into the 1950s. This should provide the modeler with a simple build that will go rather quickly over a weekend.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!