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#00367 German Pz.Kpfw KV-2 754(r) Tank

00367 Box Cover


This kit depicts a KV-2 Model 1940, specifically the vehicle that was captured by the Germans and pressed into service with Panzerkompanie 66, a special purpose unit that was formed for operation Herkules, the planned invasion of Malta.  This operation was never carried out and the vehicles were eventually returned to the eastern front in August 1942 where they saw action against the RKKA.

The kit understandably shares many components with Trumpeter’s kit #00312, with the addition of several parts to depict the modifications made by the Wehrmacht.  These include a commander’s cupola from a Pz.Kpfw III or Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf G, fitted in front of the original turret roof hatch, an external ammunition rack mounted over the rear hull overhang, and German tool stowage.  The turret shell is a reworked item with a hole for the German cupola, so the kit cannot be built as a standard KV-2 Model 1940 in Soviet service.  Note that Trumpeter kit #00312 represents a vehicle from the final production batch manufactured in May/June 1941.  The vehicle used by Panzerkompanie (z.B.V.) 66 however, was one of the first 86 KV-2 Model 1940s completed in November/December 1940, and differs in certain details.  For complete accuracy, the kit must therefore be modified slightly.  The required modifications are outlined below.

The kit includes Omsh pattern tracks, pressed steel two-part resilient road wheels, pressed steel rubber rimmed return rollers and early pattern drive sprockets with sixteen hub attachment bolts.  The torsion bar hubs are of the early pattern with six retaining bolts.  All of these features match surviving photographs of the KV-2 in service with PanzerKompanie (z.B.V.) 66.

Like kit #00367, the kit’s fenders are of Trumpeter’s wider pattern.  However, surviving photographs of two KV-2s used by PanzerKompanie (z.B.V.) 66 show that the fenders were significantly narrower than the tracks.  The fenders should therefore be replaced using the steps described in General Comments.

The kit includes three initial pattern large rectangular stowage boxes and three revised stowage boxes.  The instructions direct you to use the three initial pattern stowage boxes on the number 7, 8 and 9 positions and a single revised stowage box on the number 5 position.  However, photographs of the vehicle used by PanzerKompanie 66 show four initial pattern stowage boxes, so you will need to modify one of the revised boxes by removing the grab handle and reinforced ends from its lid, or use a stowage box from an aftermarket set.

The kit includes a German fire extinguisher for the number 3 fender position, which matches photographs of the subject vehicle.  The author cannot find any photographs that verify the presence of the sledge hammer and shovel on the number 4 and 6 positions, but Trumpeter should be allowed the benefit of the doubt on this subject.  The veracity of the rack of four jerry cans on the number 10 position is also borne out by photographs, as are the six spare track links stowed on the number 3 position.

The kit provides a Notek night driving light for the left front fender, but for some reason Trumpeter have portrayed the two “regular” headlamps as sirens rather than lights.  These must be replaced for accuracy using items from the spares box.  Commendably, the kit includes the wiring conduits for the German lights.

The kit includes the standard Soviet antenna mount, but photographs indicate the vehicle serving with PanzerKompanie (z.B.V.) 66 used the Fu.Spr.Ger. ‘d’ radio set with the antenna mounted on the glacis within the cylindrical cover for the original Soviet antenna.  Tamiya’s German Pz.Kpfw. IV On-Vehicle Accessories set (#35185 ) contains the correct antenna base.

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.  These cables are correct for the vehicle used by PanzerKompanie (z.B.V.) 66.

Photographs show that the KV-2 used by PanzerKompanie (z.B.V.) 66 was fitted with a stowage rack above the rear hull overhang to carry 20 152mm rounds in their stowage tubes.  The Trumpeter kit correctly includes this rack along with 19 rounds.

The turret is a modified version of the part included in kit #00312, with a hole in the roof for the German commander’s cupola.  As noted above, this hole means that the kit cannot be assembled as a 'standard' KV-2 Model 1940.

The vehicle fielded by PanzerKompanie (z.B.V.) 66 came from the first production batch manufactured in November/December 1940, which featured thinner armor on the recuperator cover.  These vehicles were discernible by the absence of grooves on the sides of the recuperator cover, which were added to avoid having to reposition the attachment bolts for the mantlet.  The kit however, uses the parts from kit #00312 and includes the grooves.  If you simply fill the grooves, you will also partially obscure the attachment bolts on the face of the mantlet.  Instead, you must sand down the sides of the recuperator cover, thinning the part to remove the grooves without obscuring the attachment bolts.

KV-2 Model 1940s from the early production batch also lacked flanges around the episcope covers and ventilator covers.  You should carve and sand the flanges away from the kit parts and simulate the weld beads using putty or thin plastic rod softened with liquid cement.

As noted in the discussion of kit #00312, the 152mm gun barrel is 3mm too short and features overly prominent joints between the segments of the barrel sleeve.  The kit parts should be replaced with an aftermarket item such as Jordi Rubio TG-79.


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