Personal tools
You are here: Home KV Series Plastic & Resin Kits 1/35 Scale Eastern Express #35101 Heavy Flamethrower Tank KV-8S

#35101 Heavy Flamethrower Tank KV-8S

35101 Box Cover

The kit represents one of the final 10 KV-8S vehicles completed in early 1943.  It includes the standard KV-1S hull with sloped rear engine deck and rounded rear overhang, and mounts the 45mm gun and ATO-42 flame projector in the standard KV-1S turret.

The mounting plates for the towing eyes on the front and rear hull are trapezoidal, rather than round as they should be for a KV-1S hull.  They can be carved away however, and replaced with styrene discs.

An exhaust air deflector plate is included, but it lacks the cut-out for the tail light and no tail light is provided in the kit.

The hull sides feature integrally molded mounts for the suspension swing arms, return rollers and drive sprockets.  The swing arms themselves are separate moldings and feature the correct three retaining bolts for the torsion bar hub.  The mounts include two grease fittings rather than one on each base plate, but this is a minor error.  If you care, you can cut off the extra fitting in a matter of seconds.

The tracks are of the narrow split-link type with no guide 'bump' on the split links.  This track pattern was the most common on the KV-1S chassis.  The kit tracks are molded in a very stiff vinyl however and it is difficult to replicate a realistic track sag.  Replacing the tracks with aftermarket items will significantly improve the appearance of the finished model.

The kit provides two sets of road wheels.  One full set of all-steel one-piece wheels with eight small lightening holes is included, and these wheels were the most common type on the KV-1S.  The other set feature eight larger lightening holes, as seen on some KV-1S and at least one vehicle in 1943.  The drive sprockets are the late pattern with eight bolts securing the hub cover, which is correct for the KV-8S.  The idlers are well detailed but the hubs lack grease fittings.

The upper hull is molded as a single piece with integral fenders.  Since the kit shares common hull parts with #35101 and #35102, the opening in the hull for the hull hatch is covered over by a thin film of plastic and must be opened up with a hobby blade and file.  This should present no problem for the experienced modeler.  The engine access hatch is a separate component, as are the transmission maintenance hatches, but the radiator intake screens are molded integrally with the hull top.  The bolt configuration on the engine and transmission compartment roof plates is correct for the KV-1S.  The lifting eyes are present but are solid and should be drilled out for an improved appearance.  The kit includes lifting rings for the eyes but these are overly thick and should be replaced with thin wire or simply omitted altogether.

The fuel, oil and water filler caps are surrounded by grooves that are not present on the real vehicle.  They should be filled for accuracy.  The forward right-hand fuel filler cap is the early pattern with four holes, though the holes are depicted as raised bolts or rivets.  The other caps are the later pattern, more appropriate for the KV-8S, which should have a single square socket in their centers.  Instead, the sockets are depicted as raised circles.  The forward left-hand fuel filler cap is missing entirely.

The fenders are accurate in width, though the outer vertical lips will benefit from light sanding to thin them down.  The flanges that attach the fender brackets to the fenders themselves are molded integrally with the fenders, but the vertical portions of the brackets are separate components.  The brackets are a mixture of the skeletal and solid patterns, but are quite thick and should be sanded down.  Alternatively, you can replace them with aftermarket items or make your own from thin styrene or brass using the kit parts as a guide.  The rearmost bracket on each side does not feature a truncated top edge as seen on many KV-1S hulls.

The kit provides a separate domed engine access hatch with inspection port, which is correct for the KV-8S.  The lifting eyes are solid and will look better if drilled out.  The kit does not provide the cable and hook for securing the hatch in the open position, but the cable can be fabricated from thin braided wire and the hook from thicker wire.

The radiator intake screens attempt to replicate the longitudinal steel rods welded over the mesh on the KV-1S vehicle preserved at Kubinka.  However, the representation is a little crude and should be replaced with after-market items.  Most photographs of KV-1S-based vehicles in service show the rods to be absent, so check your references for the vehicle you are modeling.

The exhausts are separate components but are solid.  They should be hollowed out with a drill bit and a hobby knife, or replaced with aftermarket items.

The kit includes applique armor for the driver's front plate, though the few surviving photographs of the KV-8S suggest that most vehicles did not carry applique armor on the hull front or the driver's front plate.  The armor can be omitted but that leaves you with a problem since there is no other positive method for positioning the machine gun mount.  I recommend placing the applique armor in place but not gluing it, using it as a template to position the machine gun mount, then removing it.  Unfortunately the brackets for the headlamp and siren are molded onto the applique armor, as is the power conduit.  The brackets are crude however and should be replaced with aftermarket items or scrap brass, and the conduit can be replaced with bent styrene rod.

The cylindrical cover for the antenna mount is a separate component but there is no locating pin or tab to position it correctly, and the part must be positioned simply with reference to scale drawings and a modicum of luck.

The kit provides late style tow cables with cast ends.  The ends are included in the kit and the instructions direct you to use thread or wire for the cables themselves, but no thread or wire is provided in the kit.  The turnbuckles and rear attachment brackets are included, but the instructions incorrectly direct you to orient the brackets horizontally, rather than vertically on the upper hull applique armor plates.

Two small rectangular stowage boxes are included for the fenders, though only one is used.  The instructions incorrectly tell you to place the stowage box on the number 5 position, rather than the correct number 7 position.  The kit also includes four cylindrical external tanks, though five are required for a fully configured KV-1S.  They should be located on the number 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10 positions.  No spare track links are included, so these must be sourced from aftermarket sets or other kits.

Grab rails are provided for the top edges of the hull side plates, forward of the turret, alongside the engine compartment and the transmission compartment.  However, the kit omits the horizontal rails on the upper hull side applique armor and the lateral rail across the rear of the transmission compartment roof plate.

The kit includes the unique KV-1S cast turret.  The configuration of the weld seams is appropriate for an early or mid-production turret built prior to the spring of 1943, which matches the production dates for the final 10 KV-8S vehicles.  The gun barrel provided is a one-piece barrel intended for the 76.2mm ZIS-5 gun in kit #35100. The instructions direct you to cut 15mm from the gun barrel to represent the shorter 45mm gun with its outer sleeve that made the barrel resemble the 76.2mm in thickness though not in length.  Depicting the correct inner and outer barrels however will require considerable work.  A better course of action would be to replace the barrel with Aber’s item 35-L52.

Optional gun, mount and mantlet parts are provided allowing you to model a 'regular' KV-1S, though this option is not mentioned in the instructions.

Note that Eastern Express kits #35100 and #35101 contain the same parts with the exception of the decals and instructions.

Document Actions