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You are here: Home KV Series Plastic & Resin Kits 1/35 Scale Rye Field Models #5041 Russian Heavy Tank KV-1 Model 1942 Simplified Turret

#5041 Russian Heavy Tank KV-1 Model 1942 Simplified Turret

This is a 'combo' review that encompasses both Ryefield Models' kit #5041 'Russian Heavy Tank KV-1 Model 1942 Simplified Turret' and RFM's upgrade set #2036 'Upgrade Solution Series - KV-1 Model 1942 Simplified Turret' which provides addition parts in photo-etched brass and 3D-printed resin. Comments that relate specifically to the upgrade set are in italics.

As the title implies, Rye Field Models' (RFM) first KV subject represents a KV-1 Model 1942 with the angular rear hull overhang, and a simplified welded turret with interlocked joints between the plates, as manufactured at ChKZ in the spring or early summer of 1942. The kit provides decals for a single vehicle: the well-known 'Besposhadniy' with the turret sides adorned with a cartoon contributed by a number of prominent Soviet artists. The decal sheet includes the third name painted on the driver's front plate above the driver's vision port, which is missing in many other kits that provide decals for this vehicle.

As with many current generation kits, the lower hull is comprised of separate bottom/lower front, lower rear and sides, rather than the traditional tub. This allows good detail rendition on all components, without sacrifices due to molding limitations. The underside includes bolt detail for the torsion bar attachments, engine bearers and the filled/welded bolt holes along the sides. The emergency escape hatch is correctly depicted, as are the oil drain ports under the transmission, final drives and oil tank.

The hull sides are separate plates to which you attach the shock absorbers and the mounts for the sprockets and return rollers. The parts include locating pins and holes to ensure that the bolts on the outsides of the mounts are correctly oriented with respect to the hull.

The applique armor for the lower front hull is provided as a separate part, allowing you to omit it if you wish. However, most if not all KV-1s manufactured in the spring or summer of 1942 had this armor.

The lower rear hull is a separate component, with the mount for the tail light molded integrally. The tail lamp itself is provided as a transparent part, and the cover ring over the end of the mount is a separate, photo-etched part.

The kit includes optional parts for the towing eye mounts, allowing you to depict the early trapezoidal mounts or the later circular mounts as commonly seen on the KV-1S. The circular mounts were seen on late KV-1s in 1942, and some vehicles carried a mix of trapezoidal and circular mounts, so check your references for the particular vehicle you are modeling.

The torsion bar swing arms are provided with integrally molded torsion bars with keyed ends that allow you to create a 'working' torsion bar suspension. RFM provides optional parts for the torsion bar end caps, allowing you to model the mid-production pattern with domed caps and three retaining bolts each, or the later pattern with flattened caps and three bolts, which were most common on the KV-1S. Both sets of caps include locating pins and slots to ensure that the bolts are correctly oriented relative to the swing arms.

The road wheels are the reinforced cast pattern as fitted to KV-1s from late 1941 through to the end of KV-1 production, when the KV-1S was introduced. The road wheels are molded in two parts each, and include poly caps allowing the wheels to be fitted and removed if necessary for painting and weathering.

The sprockets are comprised of inner and outer sections, each with a toothed ring, separate center hubs and poly caps allowing them to be removed. RFM provides optional parts for the inner sections allowing you to model a vehicle with or without the reinforcing ribs on the hub castings. These were most common on the KV-1S, but were seen on some late KV-1s.

The idlers are molded in separate inner and outer sections, plus poly caps allowing them to be removed. The idler mounts include workable adjustment mechanisms that, with careful assembly, will allow you to adjust the track tension when you add the tracks.

The tracks themselves are the 700mm pattern with the guide 'bump' and are provided as individual links with separate pins so that, with careful assembly, they will remain workable.

The forward section of the upper hull includes the glacis, driver's front plate and fighting compartment roof plate as a single piece. The kit parts include finely molded weld beads along the edges, so you do not need to add these from styrene rod or putty. The kit renditions are rather fine however, so you might want to add your own weld beads to 'beef them up' a little.

The applique armor for the driver's front plate is the taller pattern seen on vehicles from Factory 200. This is correct for Besposhadniy.

The hull hatch is a separate component and can be opened and closed. The driver's periscope (not just the housing) is included as a transparent part. The armored glass vision block for the driver's vision part is also provided as a transparent part, and can be fitted or omitted as you see fit. The driver's vision port cover is a separate part and includes the mounting brackets so you can depict it open or closed, with or without the armored glass vision block in place.

The hull machine gun includes the breech and ammunition magazine, though no other interior parts are provided.

The hull hatch is the flat pattern with a raised rim, which is correct for a 1942 vehicle. The hatch can be depicted in the open or closed position.

The upgrade set provides photo-etched parts to replace the locking mechanisms on the insides of the hatches, including the operating handle.

The applique armor for the driver's front plate is a separate component, allowing you to omit it if you wish, though all KV-1s manufactured from mid-1941 onward carried this armor. The vee-shaped fillet of armor on the hull roof, which protected the front of the turret race, is provided as a separate part.

The headlamp and siren each have separate photo-etched mounting brackets (two parts for the siren, one for the headlamp). The armored conduit for the cabling is included in the kit, but you will need to provide your own cables from thin wire.

The upgrade set includes replacement 3D printed parts for the headlamp and siren. However, the styrene kit parts are very nicely molded and the 3D printed parts do not appear to offer much, if any, advantage.

The antenna mount and its cylindrical armored guard are a separate, single part. The guard includes the weld bead that attaches it to the glacis, and correctly depicts the gap in the weld bead over the drain hole at the front of the guard.

The nose plate is a separate component, and depicts the all-welded type without any filled bolt holes. This is appropriate for a spring/summer 1942 vehicle.

The engine compartment roof plate and transmission compartment roof plate are a separate, single part, including the rear overhang. The part includes cutouts for the separately molded engine access hatch, radiator intake grilles and transmission access hatches.

RFM provides two options for the engine access hatch: the flat version with the vee-shaped armor fillet welded on, or the domed version with radiator filler port in the center of the dome. The kit instructions show the lifting/retaining cable on the flat version but not the domed version, but the cable was fitted to both types of hatch. The vehicle depicted on the decal sheet used the flat engine access hatch.

The kit includes photo etched lifting rings for the engine compartment and transmission compartment roof plates. However, these are flat rings whereas the real rings were round in cross-section. You may therefore want to replace the kit parts with rings made from thin wire. The lifting eyes to which the rings are fitted, are all separate parts.

The kit includes both early and late pattern radiator intake grilles. These are comprised of a styrene frame with a photo etched mesh that you must bend to shape and glue on top. The late pattern grilles, with flattened front ends, are the correct ones for a 1942 production vehicle.

The upgrade set includes 3D printed parts for the exhausts, with hollow ends and extremely thin edges. While the styrene parts are also very thin, the 3D printed parts are a definite improvement.

The transmission access hatches can be depicted in the open or closed position, though no interior parts are provided for the transmission compartment.

The upgrade set provides photo-etched parts to replace the locking mechanisms on the insides of the hatches.

The fenders are molded separately, with each complete fender as a single piece. The horizontal portions of the fender brackets are molded integrally with the fenders, and have four attachment bolt each, which is correct for a 1942 vehicle. The kit includes full sets of solid and skeletal fender brackets, so you can mix and match to suit the vehicle you are modeling. The brackets have no vertical flanges attaching them to the hull sides, which is correct for a 1942 vehicle since by that time, the brackets were welded to the hull sides.

The upgrade set provides replacement fenders in photo-etched brass. These include the fender brackets, with both the skeletal pattern and the solid pattern. While the photo-etched parts are useful if you wish to model a vehicle with damaged fenders, the fenders are provided as single, full-length parts, so you will need to do some surgery to depict a missing section. The photo-etched fenders feature separate retaining bolts which are extremely tiny. You may wish to replace these with hexagonal styrene rod or bolts from Grant Line or Tichy Trains.

The kit includes a single long rectangular stowage box for the left-hand fender. The wooden mounting blocks, steel brackets and restraining straps for the stowage box, present on the Bovington vehicle, are not included in the kit. If you wish to depict a vehicle with this method of securing the stowage box, you will need to add the brackets, blocks and straps from styrene strip, etc. However, photos of Besposhadniy appear to show a different method of attaching the stowage box, possibly by a bracket on the bottom of the box, secured to the fender.

The upgrade set includes a replacement, hollow stowage box in photo-etched brass. The set includes two brackets on the bottom of the box, to secure it to the fender. This attachment method is consistent with photos of Besposhadniy, as noted above.

The kit also provides spare track links for the rear of each fender. There are two options here: two links or three links on each side. The spare track sections are molded as single pieces.

The upgrade set provides six 3D printed spare track links with separate pins and photo-etched brass mounting brackets and butterfly nuts. While the track links themselves offer little improvement over the well-rendered styrene parts, the mounting brackets are a definite improvement.

RFM provides braided copper wire for the tow cables, and styrene ends of the correct, later cast type. The turnbuckles that secured the rear ends of the tow cables are provided as single styrene pieces.

The exhaust air grille under the rear hull overhang is provided as a photo etched part, while the exhaust air deflector plate immediately beneath it is a styrene part.

The upgrade set includes a photo-etched deflector plate to replace the styrene part in the kit. The styrene parts are commendably thin but if you wish to model a vehicle with a bent or damaged deflector plate, the photo-etched parts will make this easier.

The turret depicts the simplified welded type with dovetailed joints between the plates. RFM has correctly rendered the shortened turret bustle with the rear-facing periscopes at the very rear of the turret roof. However, the turret base (part B11) includes the scalloped-edged reinforcing plate on the outside of the joint between the floor of the turret bustle and the lower rear of the turret. This was quite rare, though not unknown, on turrets with the dovetailed joints. It is an easy task however, to sand away the reinforcing plate.

Like the driver's periscope, the side- and rear-facing turret periscopes are included as separate, transparent parts. The periscope covers lack flanges on their edges, which is appropriate for a 1942 production example.

The kit provides optional gunner's sight housings: both the rectangular 'box' version and the 'pepper pot' truncated cone version. Both were seen on simplified turrets but the vehicle depicted on the decal sheet was fitted with the box-shaped sight housing.

The commander's hatch can be depicted in the open or closed position, and includes a photo etched operating handle and separate grab handle on the interior.

The upgrade set provides a complete replacement for the locking mechanism on the interior of the hatch, going further than just the operating handle and grab handle.

The kit also provides a complete DT anti-aircraft machine gun on its P40 mount for the commander's hatch. The gun and mount are comprised of a combination of styrene and photo etched parts. RFM gives you a choice of two different machine guns, with and without the ribbed section on the barrel.

The upgrade set includes additional photo-etched and 3D printed parts for the machine gun and mount, including the securing bracket on the hatch rim, and the elevation mechanism including the elevation handle.

The gun barrel is a a single-piece slide molded item with a hollow muzzle. The kit parts depict the 76.2mm ZIS-5 gun which is appropriate for a 1942 production example.

The upgrade set includes a photo-etched rain guard over the top of the mantlet.

In summary, RFM has given us a KV-1 with state-of-the-art 21st century moldings, that appears correct in almost every detail.


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