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#00358 Russia KV-1 Model 1942 Simplified Turret Tank

00358 Box Cover

Out of the box, this kit represents a KV-1 Model 1942 with the late production simplified welded turret featuring dove-tailed joints between the plates, as manufactured in the spring or early summer of 1942.  The kit also includes some, but not all, the parts needed to build a KV-8 flamethrower tank manufactured during the same period.

Like all the Trumpeter kits, the lower hull is comprised of a tub that includes the underside, hull sides and the lower front hull.  The underside includes bolt detail for the torsion bar attachments and engine bearers, the filled bolt holes along each side of the underside plates, the drain ports for the transmission and final drives, and the emergency escape hatch.  The oil drain port under the forward left-hand corner of the engine compartment is missing however, and the circular access port beneath the engine is represented as a recessed circle where it should be flush.  If you wish, you can fix this with a disc of thin stryene sheet.

The actual hull side plates are separate components that are added to the lower hull tub.  Note that there are certain holes that must be opened in the hull sides.  You must do this before attaching them to the lower hull tub.  These holes are illustrated in Step 1 of the kit instructions.

The hull sides include integrally molded base plates for the suspension swing arms, shock absorbers, mud scrapers and idler mounts.  The bolts on the shock absorber mounts have the correct conical heads, and the swing arm mounts include the grease fittings.  The plates include six bolt holes beneath each return roller mount, as on the real vehicle.  The middle row of holes are used as the locating holes for the separate return roller mounts and are slightly larger than the others but you can, if you wish, depict a damaged vehicle with a missing return roller mount.

The lower rear hull is a separate component that fits between the hull side plates.  The fit of this part is not very precise and some trial fitting will be necessary to ensure that it lines up correctly with the hull sides.  The part should in fact overlap the bottom of the hull tub slightly.  The lower rear hull includes an integrally molded tail light housing, with a separate clear part for the tail light itself.  The grille beneath the rear hull overhang and the exhaust air deflector plate are both included and the deflector plate is commendably thin.  However, you may still wish to replace it with a brass part if you want to depict some operational damage in this area, which is evident in many photographs of KVs in service. 

The lower rear hull includes integrally molded base plates for the rear towing eyes, and these include filled bolt holes.  The forward towing eyes are separate components that attach to the hull tub, but these do not include the filled bolt holes. By the spring of 1942 however, most new production vehicles lacked the bolt holes and the mounting plates were simply welded to the hull.  You can therefore sand away the circular marks from the lower rear hull.  A few late Model 1942s in August and September 1942 carried circular mounting plates rather than the trapezoidal plates included in the kit, so check your references for the specific vehicle you wish to model.

As implied above, the suspension swing arms are separate components with hexagonal locating plugs that fit into holes in the hull sides and ensure the correct angle.  The swing arms are of the correct late pattern and include the correct three retaining bolts on the torsion bar caps.  These are parts G3.  The earlier caps with six retaining bolts (G2) are also included in the kit, so take care to use the correct parts.  The shock absorbers are also separate pieces that fit onto the base plates molded onto the hull sides.  The separate components provide good detail definition but you must take care to make a good joint since the main shock absorber housings and the base plates were in fact single castings.

The sprocket mounts and return roller mounts are separate components that accurately depict the shape of the real assemblies.  Like the return roller mounts, the hull sides beneath the sprocket mounts include bolt holes as on the real vehicle.

The idler mounts and adjustment mechanisms are separate assemblies with three parts each.  Again, the parts provide good detail but you should take care to fill and sand the seams on the 'big ends' of parts A3 and A7.

The nose plate is smooth without any filled bolt holes across each face.  This is correct for a spring 1942 vehicle.

The kit includes the single-piece all-steel road wheels introduced in October/November 1941 and used until September 1942, so these are correct for a spring 1942 production example.  The return rollers are the all-steel pattern and are also correct for this variant.  The sprockets feature the correct 8 bolts securing the convex hub cover, and the idlers include the grease fitting on their hubs.  The mud scrapers are the correct welded design, though you must take care when attaching them to ensure that the joints between the separate mud scrapers and the base plates molded onto the hull sides are filled, since the base plates on the rear vehicle were part of the mud scrapers themselves.

As on all Trumpeter's KV kits, the tracks are the reinforced Omsh pattern that were introduced in July 1941.  These are correct for a Model 1942 produced in the spring of 1942.  Split-link tracks with the guide 'bump' on the split links appeared in the spring of 1942 and were fitted to some Model 1942s so check your references for the vehicle you are modeling.

The forward portion of the upper hull, including the glacis plate, driver's front plate and forward hull top, is molded as a single piece.  The glacis plate includes integrally molded bases for the front fender brackets, and these include bolt detail.  The protective cover for the antenna mount and the armor fillet protecting the underside of the machine gun mount are separate moldings.  The armor fillet lacks the drain hole in the forward face, but this can be easily added with a hobby knife or the edge of a file.

The kit provides applique armor for the lower front hull and the driver's front plate.  All KV-1 Model 1942s carried this applique armor, in addition to the chevron-shaped armor fillet on the hull top forward of the turret ring, and the applique armor on the upper hull sides.  The kit includes all of these armor plates.  However, the applique armor on the driver's front plate is the shorter type characteristic of hulls manufactured at UZTM.  The vehicle represented by the kit decals, 'Besposhadniy' ('Merciless') of the 6th Guards Tank Brigade in the late spring of 1942, carried the taller armor plate fitted to hulls manufactured at Factory No. 200.  For greater accuracy, you can replace part D18 with styrene sheet, using the kit part as a template but extending the top by approximately 3mm.

On the driver's front plate, the kit provides a well-detailed and accurate machine gun mount, driver's visor, headlamp and siren.  The headlamp and siren include integrally molded brackets but these are best replaced with aftermarket parts, scrap styrene or brass.  Depending on whether you fit the applique armor or not, there are alternative parts for the power conduit.  Use part N8 for a vehicle without applique armor, and part D16 for a vehicle with applique armor.

The crew hatch in the forward hull is the correct late pattern with a raised lip.  However, the hinge and locking bar bolt detail on the exterior face of the hatch cover is raised where the bolts were actually set in holes and should be flush or slightly inset into the surface of the hatch  The kit includes the hinge, locking bars and operating cam on the interior face of the hatch cover, but the grab handle and operating handle are missing.  The driver's epsicope cover includes a flange, which questionable for a Model 1942 hull from the spring of 1942.  It appears that some vehicles had the flanges and some did not, but I have not found a photograph of 'Besposhadniy' that clearly shows the cover.  The fuel, oil and water filler caps are all present, correctly positioned and of the correct design.

The bolt configuration on the engine compartment and transmission compartment roof plates is correct, with seven equally spaced bolts across the rear edge of the engine compartment roof plate, and the same number on the front and rear edges of the transmission compartment roof plate.  The bolts have the correct flat heads for a spring 1942 vehicle.  The lifting eyes are present and of the correct shape, including those beneath the turret bustle.

Two engine alternative access hatches are provided; a domed hatch with inspection port and a flat hatch with a shallow V-shaped armor fillet.  Both are appropriate for a Model 1942 hull in the spring of 1942.  However, Trumpeter's instructions show the inspection port as optional; it is not.  All Model 1942s with the domed engine access hatch carried the inspection port.  Similarly, the kit instructions show a shallow dome (part P16) as an optional fitting for the flat hatch.  I have found no evidence that KV-1 Model 1942s carried this fitting in service, and I recommend that you omit it from your model.  Both hatch options provide the correct two lifting eyes.  The cable and hook used to secure the hatch in the open position are provided as a separate part.

The radiator intake screens are separate moldings.  The kit includes both early and late pattern screens, but the late pattern are appropriate for a spring 1942 vehicle.  The screens are molded solid however, and the model would benefit from their replacement with etched brass items.  The exhausts include open ends, avoiding the need to open them up with a drill or knife.

The transmission maintenance hatches are separately molded and are of the correct pattern for a Model 1942 hull, with beveled edges.  Like the crew hatch in the forward hull top however, the bolt detail is raised where it should be flush or slightly inset.  The hatch covers include interior detail and the kit includes hinges allowing you to position them in an open position.

The exhausts are correctly proportioned and their apertures are hollowed out.  They are adequate as is, but you can replace with with aftermarket parts if you wish.

The kit includes the angular rear hull overhang which is appropriate for a Model 1942 hull.

The fenders are Trumpeter’s narrow version, and are correct in width when compared to my measurements of actual vehicles.  The kit fenders feature integrally molded flanges for the fender brackets with the correct four attachment bolts.  The hull sides lack flanges for the brackets, which is correct since by the spring of 1942, the brackets were welded to the hull sides.  The kit provides a mixture of solid and skeletal brackets with enough spares to give you a variety of options, since different vehicles carried slightly different combinations.

The kit includes a single small rectangular stowage box for the number 7 fender position, though it lacks the mounting brackets.  Two sets of spare track links are included for the number 9 and 10 positions.  These are correct for a Model 1942 in the spring of 1942, but the parts include four integrally molded mounting brackets rather than the correct three.  Remove the outermost forward bracket from the parts before attaching them to the fenders.

Correct late pattern towing cables are provided, with cast ends.  The rear attachment brackets and turnbuckles to attach the cables to the hull sides are also included.  Each bracket and turnbuckle is molded as a single assembly however, and you may wish to cut away the brackets and substitute aftermarket parts for better detail definition.

The kit provides a late production simplified welded turret with interlocked joints between the plates.  The turret shell features torch cut detail on the sides and alignment pin marks on the front and rear.  Roof fittings such as the ventilator and episcope covers include flanges, and photographs confirm that the 'Besposhadniy' had the flanges.  The kit instructions direct you to use the box-shaped cover for the gunner's periscope, which is correct for 'Besposhadniy' but the kit also includes the more common conical cover.  The grab handles are included for the edges of the roof plate and these are quite thin but you may wish to replace them with brass wire.

The rear-facing episcope covers on the turret roof are incorrectly positioned.  They should be located at the very rear edge of the turret roof plate, with the rear-most corners of the flanges touching the rear edge of the plate.  For accuracy, you should cut off the integrally molded episcopes, fill the original locating holes and move the episcopes and covers directly backward to the edge of the roof plate, using drawings as a reference.

The episcope and ventilator covers include flanges, which is correct for this variant.  The conical covers for the periscopic sights feature bolt detail on their rear sides but lack the small holes in the tops.  These can be easily added with a fine drill bit.  The grab handles for the edges of the turret roof are included and correctly located, though you may wish to replace them with brass wire.

The turret hatch includes the base plate for the P40 anti-aircraft machine gun mount, but this is incomplete and lacks the rectangular socket into which the butt of the machine gun was placed when travelling.  For accuracy, you should add this from scrap or aftermarket parts.  The hatch cover itself includes a socket in its center but this is incorrect; the socket was not present on KV-1 turret hatches (though it was present on KV-2 turret hatches).  Fill the socket and sand it smooth, leaving the hinge bolt detail.  The hatch cover provides some interior detail including the locking bars and cam, but the locking bars should be slightly offset to accomodate the machine gun mount.  The operating handle and grab handle are also missing.  If you wish to display the hatch in the open position, you should replace the operating mechanism with aftermarket parts.

The ZIS-5 gun and its mount are accurately depicted and the gun barrel is a single piece with a hollow muzzle.  The kit part is adequate but you may still wish to use an aftermarket barrel instead.  The rain guard above the mantlet is commendably thin and includes bolt detail.  The configuration of the rain guard is correct for an ZIS-5-armed KV-1, with the rear edge riveted to the upper edge of the turret front plate.

The kit provides a number of optional parts.  However, the instructions do not include any guidance on which parts are appropriate to use together, so you must take care here:

  • Part A18 is the inspection port for the domed engine access hatch.  All Model 1942 hulls fitted with the domed hatch carried this port.
  • Part P2 is the plate that reinforced the joint beneath the turret bustle on early simplified welded turrets, prior to the introduction of the interlocked joints.  This part is useful if you wish to backdate the turret to an early production example, but you must then eliminate the interlocked joints.  These early simplified welded turrets were superceded in late 1941, prior to the introduction of the Model 1942 hulls so if you choose to backdate the turret, you will need to borrow a Model 1941 hull from Trumpeter kit #00359.
  • Parts P14 and P15 are applique armor plates applied to some late production simplified welded turrets in the spring of 1942. However, 'Besposhadniy' did not carry these plates.

The kit also includes gun and mantlet parts to build the 45mm gun and ATO-41 flame projector for a KV-8 or early KV-8S flamethrower tank.  However, photographs and factory records suggest that most if not all of the 102 KV-8s built on Model 1942 hulls were fitted with uparmored welded turrets and not with simplified welded turrets as provided in the kit.  The first 25 KV-8S vehicles carried simplified welded turrets but mounted those turrets on KV-1S hulls, not Model 1942 hulls.  You therefore have two options to build a KV-8 or KV-8S using these parts:

  • Take the early welded turret from Trumpeter Kit #00356 and modify it to represent an uparmored welded turret by relocating the rear-facing episcope covers and adding the chamfered edges to the side plates below the side-facing episcope covers.  Add the small splash strips below the chamfers.  Mount the KV-8 gun and mantlet from this kit and fit the completed turret to the hull from this kit to represent an accurate KV-8 flamethrower tank.
  • Add the KV-8 gun and mantlet to the simplified welded turret as shown in the kit instructions, but mount the completed turret on an Eastern Express KV-1S hull to represent one of the first 25 KV-8S flamethrower tanks.

The markings provided in the kit also require minor correction.  While the markings provided for the turret sides are accurate, 'Besposhadniy' carried the vehicle name painted across the applique armor on the driver's front plate.  Several aftermarket manufacturers produce decals for this vehicle, but all of them make the same omission.  However, by combining aftermarket decals with those from the kit, you can source the additional marking.

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