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#00311 Russian KV “Big Turret” Tank

00311 Box Cover

This kit represents one of the 20 series production KV s bolshoiy bashniy manufactured in June/July 1940 and fitted with the MT-1 turret.  Despite their small numbers, these vehicles did see service in the summer of 1941.

Trumpeter’s kit is based on many of the same components as their early KV-1 kits, but they have showed a commendable attention to detail in including a number of components specific to the very early production examples of the KV series.  The kit provides the correct pressed steel two-part resilient road wheels with eight cooling vents on the inner discs rather than the later six, early drive sprockets with sixteen hub retaining bolts and the initial pattern cast return rollers with rubber rims and six reinforcing ribs.  This is the only plastic kit available at the time of writing that includes these road wheels and return rollers.  The torsion bar hubs are of the early pattern and have the correct six retaining bolts, molded integrally with the suspension arms.

As noted in General Comments, the kit provides fenders that are 1mm wider than those provided in Trumpeter’s kits of later production variants.  While there was considerable variation in the width of the fenders between individual vehicles, photographs of the KV s bolshoiy bashniy show the fenders to have been considerably narrower than the tracks, and the kit fenders are therefore on the wide side of what is acceptable for scale accuracy.  On the plus side, the fender stowage boxes are the correct initial pattern without grab handles or reinforced edges on the lids.

The kit provides the correct creased curved rear hull overhang.  Again, this is the only plastic kit available at the time of writing that includes this particular component.  Like Trumpeter’s other kits of the early variants, the engine compartment and transmission compartment roof plates have the correct bolt configuration.

The kit provides a pistol port for the hull front, since the ball machine gun mount was not introduced until the KV-2 Model 1940.

Early style tow cables are included in the kit.  These have grommets at each end rather than the cast steel ends of the later pattern cables, and feature sleeves covering the ends of the cables themselves.  You will need to drill out the ends to accommodate the brass wire provided for the cables.

The early pattern domed engine access hatch with a single lifting eye is provided and while the central inspection port is included in the kit, it is not mentioned in the instructions and should be omitted as the KV s bolshoiy bashniy were completed some 18 months before the inspection port was introduced.  Similarly, both types of radiator intake screens are provided but the instructions correctly indicate the early type.  Both the hull hatch and the transmission access hatches are the correct early type with curved edges.

The kit provides the correct MT-1 turret for the KV s bolshoiy bashniy.  The turret is molded in two halves with a separate roof and front plate, into which fits the gun/mantlet assembly.  Most small details including hatches, grab rails and vision devices are also separate moldings.

The turret front plate lacks the vision port and pistol port covers to the right of the gun mount.  The apertures are present but the covers are missing.  The covers can be easily added using two small discs of styrene.  Lay the discs on a soft surface such as a cutting board and press down with the rounded end of a paint brush handle to obtain the correct slightly domed appearance.

The barrel for the M-10 gun is molded in two halves with a separate end cap.  Unfortunately the kit barrel is approximately 3mm too short.  The kit barrel features the armored reinforcing band around the muzzle, though this was not fitted to the MT-1 turrets.  The barrel also features deep grooves around the circumference of the barrel, representing the joints between the sections of the barrel sleeve.  In reality, these joints were barely visible.   Jordi Rubio produce a replacement barrel (TG-83) in turned aluminum that correctly lacks the grooves and the armored band.

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