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#35066 KV-1 (Type C) Russian Heavy Tank

35066 Box Cover

This kit represents a KV-1 Model 1941 completed in the spring of 1942 with the early cast turret.  The designation “C” was used by the Germans to refer to all KV-1s with cast turrets, including the Model 1941, Model 1942 and KV-1S.  It is highly probable that the preserved example at the Royal Armoured Corps Tank Museum at Bovington was used as the prototype for this kit, since the kit parts display many of the characteristics of that vehicle.

The lower hull is molded as a conventional tub that includes the underside, hull sides and lower front hull.  The lower front hull has a large rectangular hole that is covered during assembly by an applique armor plate.  While this forces you to use the applique armor, all KV-1s manufactured after mid-1941 featured applique armor, so this does not limit your options.  The nose plate is smooth without filled bolt holes, but this is appropriate for a spring 1942 vehicle.

The lower hull tub includes integrally molded suspension swing arms, return roller mounts and idler adjustment mechanisms.  Molding limitations restrict the definition of these fittings.  The return roller mounts are too thick and lack the correct taper, but this is difficult to see when the return rollers are in place.  The base plates for the swing arms lack the grease fittings, though this will go unnoticed by all but the most srupulous observer.  The torsion bar hub caps feature the correct three retaining bolts.

The lower rear hull is a separate molding, and includes the housing for the tail light.  The exhaust air deflector plate is added to this part and features the correct cut-out, though the plate itself is rather thick and would be improved by carefuly sanding along its edges.

The kit provides single-piece all-steel road wheels without lightening holes, which were introduced in October/November 1941 and are correct for a spring 1942 production example.  Correct all-steel return rollers are included, and the sprockets feature the correct eight retaining bolts for the concave covers on their hubs.  The tracks are the reinforced Omsh pattern which are evident in photographs of the Aberdeen and Bovington vehicles in late 1942, though some vehicles in the spring and summer of 1942 also carried split-link tracks with the guide 'bump' on the split links.

The upper hull is molded as a single piece with integral fenders.  The glacis plate features an integrally molded protective cover for the antenna base, and the curved armor fillet that protected the underside of the machine gun mount on the driver's front plate.

The driver's front plate includes an applique armor plate, but this plate features chamfered upper corners.  These corners are present on the Bovington vehicle but I have been unable to find any evidence that they were used on vehicles in Soviet service.  I suspect that the British cut away the corners of the applique armor, either before or during the vehicle's technical evaluation in late 1942.  I recommend that you replace the kit part with a new plate from sheet styrene, though you will need to cut away the integrally molded machine gun mount.  The driver's visor is a separate part.  The front portion of the power conduit for the headlamp and siren is molded onto the front of the applique armor, and the appearance of the model will be improved if you cut it away and replace it with styrene rod or wire.

The driver's episcope cover lacks a flange, which is appropriate for a Model 1941 completed in the spring of 1942.  The crew hatch is the correct pattern with a raised lip around its circumference.  The forward hull features a chevron-shaped armor fillet protecting the turret ring and there are two small bars of armor on the forward corners of the engine compartment roof plate, all of which are correct for a spring 1942 vehicle.

The forward left-hand fuel filler cap, between the hatch and the turret ring, is missing entirely.  The filler caps behind the turret ring are too tall and should have flat tops, rather than the domed tops as depicted on the kit part.  They should be cut away and replaced with styrene discs, using the forward right-hand filler cap as a guide for the size and details.

The engine compartment roof plate features the correct eight paired bolts along its rear edge, and the same configuration is present on the front and rear edges of the transmission compartment roof plate.  The bolts on the front edge of the engine compartment roof plate are missing however, though their absence is largely hidden by the turret bustle when the turret is in place and rotated to the front. 

The engine access hatch is the correct late domed pattern with the inspection port, and includes two lifting eyes.  The cable and hook are molded integrally with the hull top and lack definition.  The hatch cover itself is approximately 3mm too wide, and should be cut away and replaced with an after-market item.

The radiator intake screens have the correct bolt configuration for a Model 1941 completed in the spring of 1942, but they are of the early pattern with a continuous curve along their entire length.  These screens were superceded by the later pattern with flattened front edges from May 1941 onward, and are therefore incorrect for a Model 1941.  They should be cut away and replaced with aftermarket items, though this will be difficult without damaging the surrounding bolt detail.

The lifting eyes at the rear corners of the engine compartment roof plate, and on the transmission compartment roof plate, are present but are undersized and depicted as round where they should be flattened from side to side.  The holes are also missing.  The exhausts are the correct pattern but are molded solid and should be opened up with a drill and hobby knife, or replaced with aftermarket parts.

The transmission maintenance hatches are the correct flush-fitting type seen on Model 1941 hulls in the spring and early summer of 1942.  They include bolt detail on their outer faces but the bolt holes should be flush with the hatch surface, not raised as depicted on the kit parts.

The kit’s fenders are approximately 2mm too wide.  The integrally molded fender brackets are all of the solid type, whereas the Bovington vehicle and the Aberdeen vehicle carry a mixture of skeletal and solid brackets.  The brackets feature the correct four bolts attaching them to the fenders, and lack flanges and bolts on their vertical edges attaching them to the hull.  This is also correct since the brackets were welded to the hull side from early 1942 onward.  However, the brackets are rather thick and should be thinned down with careful sanding, or replaced with aftermarket items.

The upper hull sides feature several curious rectangular blocks that sit on top of the fenders.  These blocks are not present on the real vehicle and should be removed.

The kit provides two small rectangular stowage boxes for the fenders, but does not include the mounting brackets.  The instructions direct you to place the boxes back to back on the number 7 position.  This configuration is visible on the vehicle at Aberdeen but photographs reveal that the vehicle only carried a single box when it arrived in the United States in 1942.  The outermost box should therefore be omitted.  The kit also includes two cylindrical fuel tanks, and the instructions direct you to fit these to the number 6 and 8 positions on the right-hand fender.  While these tanks were seen as early as the spring of 1942, they did not become commonplace until late 1942 or early 1943 except for a short time in late 1941 on the M-17-engined vehicles.

Attachment brackets for spare track links are molded onto the number 9 and 10 fender positions.  These brackets are appropriate for a spring 1942 vehicle, but there should be only three brackets, not four as depicted in the kit.  Cut off the forward outermost bracket.  The small rectangular metal strips that held the track links in place are also missing, but these can easily be added from styrene strip.

The kit provides an early cast turret with ZIS-5 gun. Conical housings for the gunner’s and commander’s periscopic sights are provided, which were most common in the spring of 1942.  The epsicope and ventilator covers lack flanges, which is also correct.  The turret hatch includes the base plate for the P40 anti-aircraft machine gun mount, though this is somewhat simplified and can be enhanced with aftermarket parts.

The gun barrel is well molded but would benefit from replacement with an aftermarket item.

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