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#35375 Russian Heavy Tank KV-2

Box Art


Tamiya has provided us with a newly tooled kit of the KV-2. Built out of the box, the kit represents a vehicle from the second (May/June 1941) production batch, with flanges around the periscope covers on the hull and turret, and the uparmored recuperator cover with grooves on the sides to allow access to the mantlet mounting bolts. Note that the final vehicles from this production batch had applique armor on the front of the hull and mounting points for the box-shaped fuel/oil tanks on the fenders, which are not included in the kit.

Quality of the molding is excellent, as we have come to expect from Tamiya. The kit measures out accurately against published drawings. Note however, that certain dimensions are slightly smaller than the Trumpeter kits. The differences are not enough to affect the accuracy of the model to any great degree, but they do mean that you cannot use aftermarket sets (e.g. radiator intake screens) intended for the Trumpeter kits, on the Tamiya kit. However, Passion Models set P35-155 is specifically designed for the Tamiya KV-1 and KV-2, and provides the radiator intake screens, fender brackets and other parts in photo-etched brass.

The hull is comprised of separate, flat pieces for for the bottom, sides and rear, rather than the traditional single-piece tub, with a reinforcing bulkhead across the middle of the hull for extra strength. The bottom of the hull includes rivet detail, plus the crew escape hatch, engine maintenance access hatch and drain plugs for the fuel and oil tanks. The hull side plates even feature slight roughness on their edges, to simulate torch cuts.

The kit provides the early pattern suspension swing arms, with six bolts on the torsion bar end caps. This is appropriate for a KV-2. The swing arms have holes on their inner sides that match locating pins on the lower hull sides, to ensure correct alignment. If you wish to model a vehicle in a diorama setting on uneven terrain, you can easily cut off the locating pins to allow the swing arms to be positioned appropriately.

The road wheels are the two-part resilient pattern, with six cooling holes on the inner discs. This is the pattern fitted to KV-2s in mid-1941. The wheels are molded in two halves, with a separate inner disc on the outside of each wheel for good detail definition.

Tamiya provides new, correctly sized idler wheels (parts Q8 and Q9) in this kit. The undersized idlers from the KV-1 kit (parts A19 and A20) are included in this kit but are marked 'not for use'. The idlers are molded in two halves each.

The drive sprockets are also molded in two halves each, with a separate boss fitting inside the sprocket with a short axle that mounts the sprocket to the hull. The central hub covers are molded separately and have the correct 16 attachment bolts. The sprockets, though not the road wheels or idlers, use poly caps for a press fit, allowing them to be removed or to turn. This is useful when aligning the link-and-length tracks to the sprockets.

The return rollers are the rubber-tired pattern with round hubs, which is correct for a mid-1941 KV-2.

Note that you must attach the mud scrapers (parts B6 and B7) after you fit the sprockets to the hull. If you attach them before mounting the sprockets, the sprockets will not fit.

The mounting plates for the towing eyes are of the diamond-shaped pattern with filled bolt holes present on their outer faces. This is correct for a mid-1941 hull. The front mounting plates and towing eyes are separate parts that attach to the lower front hull, though the rear mounting plates are molded integrally with the lower rear hull, and the towing eyes attach to them.

The nose plate is a separate part with 11 filled bolt holes on both surfaces, which is the correct pattern for a KV-2 from the second production batch as depicted by the kit.

The tracks are link-and-length, and represent the 700mm Omsh pattern fitted to all KV-2s at the factory. The upper track runs feature molded-in track sag, which is slightly less than that recommended in the Technical Manual for the original vehicle, but certainly well within acceptable tolerances.

The lower rear hull has the tail light mount molded in situ. The exhaust air outlet grille and deflector plate are both separate parts. The grille is molded solid and would benefit from replacement with a photo-etched part

The glacis plate and driver's front plate are molded together, including finely rendered weld beads along the edges. The driver's visor is a separate part but the kit does not include the vision block or mounting arms, so you cannot depict the visor in the open position unless you are prepared to do some scratch-building. The cylindrical guard for the antenna mount is separate from the antenna mount itself, allowing good detail definition on the mount. The headlamp and horn are separate parts and the kit includes the armored conduit for the power cables, though you will need to add the cables themselves from thin wire.

The fighting compartment roof plate, engine compartment roof plate and transmission compartment roof plate are molded in one piece, with weld beads along the edges of the fighting compartment roof plate but not the other two plates, since they were bolted in place. The lifting eyes on those plates are molded in situ, and lack holes for the lifting rings. You will need to drill out the eyes prior to assembly.

The radiator intake screens are molded solid, and replacing them with aftermarket photo-etched parts will improve their appearance. The screens have the flattened front ends, which is appropriate for a May/June 1941 vehicle.

The crew hatch in the forward hull top and the two transmission access hatches are molded separately and can be attached in the open position. The locking bars and cams are molded separately from the hatch covers, but the kit does not include the operating handle on the crew hatch.

The engine access hatch is the domed pattern without the water filler cap in the center of the dome, which is appropriate for a KV-2. The lifting eye at the rear edge of the hatch is molded solid, and requires drilling out. The kit does not provide the cable and hook that was used to secure the hatch in the open position. The locking mechanisms either side of the lifting eye lack the square bolts inside the holes.

The exhausts are molded in two halves - upper and lower - with hollow ends. The edges of the open ends are nicely thin.

The rear hull overhang is the correct flattened-curved pattern, and includes weld beads along the edges.

The fenders are molded in one long piece each, with separate skeletal fender brackets. The horizontal flanges on the bottom of each bracket are molded integrally with the fenders, and feature the correct six bolts. The vertical flanges on the inner edges of the brackets are molded integrally with the hull sides, and feature three bolts each which is correct for a May/June 1941 hull.

The kit includes three large rectangular stowage boxes for the fenders - one on the left fender and two on the right, which is correct for a May/June 1941 hull.

The turret, like the hull, is assembled from multiple pieces for good detail definition, and features a subtle rolled steel texture. The two ventilator covers in the roof are molded with open slots, and the kit includes blanking plates that fit underneath.

The commander's hatch in the turret roof and the large maintenance hatch on the rear plate are both molded separately and can be depicted open, though there is no interior detail in the turret.

The mantlet is also assembled from multiple parts, and represents the uparmored type fitted to the May/June 1941 production batch. The gun barrel is molded in two halves with a separate hollow muzzle. The barrel features prominent grooves depicting the joints between the three sections of the barrel sleeve, but these joints were barely visible on the real vehicle, so you should fill them in. The muzzle ring lacks the four holes around its circumference. The barrel is best replaced with an aftermarket item.

The kit provides a length of string, which must be cut to size, for the towing cables. The cast ends of the cables are molded from two pieces each. The turnbuckles that secure the rear ends of the tow cables to the hull sides are molded in a single piece each.

The kit includes two figures - a full standing figure carrying a map case, and a half figure for the hull or turret hatch. Both figures are molded in multiple parts including separate parts for the flaps of their leather tankers' helmets.

Markings are included for two different vehicles:

  • A Red Army vehicle with a single tactical marking represented by a black '4' inside a white diamond on the rear face of the turret. This vehicle is shown on page 440 of KV - Technical History and Variants and was abandoned in Lithuania in July 1941.
  • A beutepanzer captured by the Germans and used by the Wehrmacht's 269th Infantry Division in the winter of 1941/42.

In summary, Tamiya has provided us with a nicely molded, modern kit of the KV-2. There are a number of improvements that can be made, but with these minor updates and modifications, the kit will build into a fine representation of a May/June 1941 production KV-2.


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