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KV-1 Model 1942 w/ Simplified Welded Turret (February to April 1942)

This sub-variant is a very easy build since Trumpeter kit #00358 Russia KV-1 Model 1942 Simplified Turret Tank represents this variant when built out-of-the-box.  Only minor corrections are required to produce an accurate model of this sub-variant.

The kit provides decals for Besposhadniy ('Merciless'), a vehicle completed in April 1942 that served with the 6th Guards Tank Brigade from May onwards.  The turret sides carried a cartoon of Hitler being blown up by a KV-1, and a poem written by a group of poets who had shortly beforehand received the Stalin Prize.  The kit requires some minor modifications in order to accurately depict this tank, and these are noted below.

Prior to step 1 of the instructions, decide which engine access hatch you will use.  The kit provides both flat and domed hatches.  Photographs indicate that Besposhadniy carried the flat hatch.  If you decide to model this vehicle or another with the flat hatch, DO NOT open up the two holes on the inside of the hatch cover (part P3).  I have been unable to find any evidence that the flattened dome provided as an optional part in the kit was fitted to any KV-1 Model 1942 in service.  If you decide to model a vehicle with the domed hatch, open up the hole in the underside of part F23.

A number of simplified welded turrets in the spring of 1942 carried rectangular reinforcing plates on the lower turret sides.  Check your references for the vehicle you are modeling and if it carried these plates, open up the holes on the inside of the turret shell.  DO NOT open up the holes on the underside of the turret bustle (part P6).

The kit instructions direct you to open up the outermost slot of the steel conduit that carried the power cable for the headlamp and siren; that is, the slot closest to the hull side.  This is incorrect for a Model 1942 hull.  Instead, open up the innermost slot.

Follow step 1 of the kit instructions.

In step 2, note that the kit provides the short applique armor plate for the driver's front plate (part D18) as fitted to hulls manufactured by UZTM.  Besposhadniy featured a hull from Factory No.200 with the taller applique armor plate.  To accurately represent Besposhadniy, you must fabricate your own applique armor plate from 0.8mm styrene sheet, using the kit part as a guide but extending the upper edge of the plate by approximately 3mm.

In steps 3 and 4, take care to use the correct torsion bar caps (parts G7) with three retaining bolts, NOT the alternative parts (parts G2) with six retaining bolts.

In step 4, note that the surround for the crew hatch in the forward hull top (part F15) must be blended into the hull top (part A27).  There should be no seam around the outside of part F15.

Follow steps 5 and 6 of the kit instructions.

In step 7, if you choose to model Besposhadniy or another vehicle with the flat engine access hatch, DO NOT fit the optional flattened dome (part P16) to the hatch cover.

Follow steps 8, 9 and 10 of the instructions.

In step 11, modify the turret roof by carefully removing the two rear-facing episcopes and filling their locating holes.  Divert momentarily from the prescribed assembly sequence, and attach the rear-facing episcope covers (parts P5) further aft, so that their rearmost corners touch the edge of the turret roof plate (NOT the top edge of the turret sides).  See the drawing on page 315 of KV - Technical History and Variants for guidance.  Locate the episcopes themselves inside the covers. Note that the spacing and angle of the covers and episcopes is unchanged.

Check your references to determine the appropriate gunner's sight for the vehicle you are modeling.  Either use the gunner's sight shown in the kit instructions (parts F17 and F20) as fitted to Besposhadniy, or use parts F18 and A20 (two of each part are provided in the kit).

DO NOT add the reinforcing fillet (part P2) beneath the turret bustle.  This was only fitted to early turrets without the interlocked joints.  The kit turret represents the revised design with interlocked joints, introduced in October 1941, and is appropriate for a Model 1942 manufactured in the spring of 1942.

Attach the side-facing episcope covers and assemble the rear-facing machine gun (parts D11, D12 and D2) as indicated.

You may wish to replace the grab handles on the turret sides (parts D15) with brass wire, and fill their locating slots.

Fill the socket in the center of the turret hatch (part D19).  KV-1 turret hatches did not include the socket, though KV-2 turret hatches did.

By following these steps along with the kit instructions, you will create an accurate representation of a KV-1 Model 1942 manufactured at ChKZ between February and April 1942.

Note that Besposhadniy carried the vehicle's name not only on the turret sides, but also on the applique armor on the driver's front plate, centrally above the driver's visor.  If you are building more than one model with the simplified welded turret, you can obtain the extra decal from a second kit.

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