Personal tools
You are here: Home KV Series Plastic & Resin Kits 1/35 Scale Trumpeter #01561 Russian KV-1 Model 1939

#01561 Russian KV-1 Model 1939

01561 Box Cover

When built out of the box according to the instructions, this kit will produce a 'hybrid' KV-1 combining the hull and running gear from the spring of 1941 with the rounded turret and L-11 gun from the spring or early summer of 1940.  Such combinations certainly existed due to the extensive rebuilding program that took place in late 1941 and early 1942, and there is a photograph on page 19 of Tankograd's Soviet Special No.2002 KV-1 Soviet Heavy Tank of WWII - Early Variants that shows such a vehicle.  To build a very early KV s malenkiy bashniy (literally 'KV with small turret) as delivered from the factory between April and July 1940 however, you will need to cross-kit this kit with Trumpeter kit #00311 Russian KV Big Turret Tank, which provides the appropriate hull details and running gear for a spring/summer 1940 production example.  The necessary changes are noted briefly below, and expanded upon in the Recipes section of the site.

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 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 hull tub, and also include the filled bolt holes. The raised circular marks for the bolt holes are, in my opinion, a little too prominent but can be reduced with some light sanding.  All the towing eyes feature separate towing shackles with integrally molded retaining pins.

The kit provides Omsh pattern tracks with a guide tooth on every link, and with reinforced ends on the links.  These reinforced ends were introduced in July 1941 and are therefore not appropriate to a spring/summer 1940 vehicle, but when appropriately weathered the thicker edges are hardly noticeable so this should not present a problem for all but the most pedantic modeler.  Like all Trumpeter's 1/35 scale kits, the kit includes both 'rubber band' and 'link and length' tracks.

The suspension swing arms are the correct early pattern with six retaining bolts for the torsion bar hubs.

The kit's road wheels represent the pressed-steel two-part resilient wheels with six cooling vents on their inner discs.  These were introduced in October 1940 and are again not appropriate for a spring/summer 1940 vehicle.  Trumpeter provides the correct wheels in kit #00311, and you should use those wheels for accuracy.

The drive sprockets and idlers are correct for a spring/summer 1940 vehicle.  The idler mounts and adjustment mechanisms are separate assemblies with three parts each.  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 mud scrapers mounted on each hull side (parts A5) are the later welded type rather than the riveted type fitted to early vehicles.  You can modify the kit parts by adding the two large rivets to the outer face of each scraper, as shown in the drawing on page 141 of KV - Technical History and Variants.

The return rollers are the pressed-steel rubber-rimmed pattern introduced in March 1941.  These are not appropriate for a spring/summer 1940 vehicle.  Trumpeter provides the correct cast steel rubber-rimmed return rollers with hexagonal hubs in kit #00311.

Like the running gear, the hull parts in the kit come from Trumpeter's kit #00356 Russia KV-1 (Model 1941) "KV Small Turret" Tank.  The hull features the regular curved rear hull overhang introduced in the spring of 1941.  This is not correct for a spring/summer 1940 vehicle.  You can modify the kit part by sanding a flat spot in the upper portion of the overhang, or use the correct part (part K7) from kit #00311.

Trumpeter provides etched brass parts for the exhaust air deflector plate beneath the overhang.  A styrene part is also included in case you do not wish to use the brass parts.

The nose plate (part C5) features the 11 filled bolt holes across each face.  KVs built prior to August 1940 featured 17 bolt holes.  However, the early production KVs exhibited a high standard of craftsmanship and the holes were often all but invisible.  The simplest way to rectify the problem is to sand away the circular marks.

The kit provides a ball-mounted machine gun in the driver's front plate.  This mount was not introduced until October 1940.  For a spring/summer 1940 vehicle as built, you must use the pistol port which is included in kit #00311 and as an optional part in kit #00356.

The kit includes photo-etched brass parts for the radiator intake screens.  These are the correct early pattern.  Styrene parts are also included in case you do not wish to use the brass parts.  However, the instructions direct you to use parts D9, which represent the late pattern screens introduced in May 1941.  The kit includes the correct parts D10, and you should use these, or the brass parts.

The driver's episcope cover (part Y11) includes a flange around the edge.  Flanges did not appear on these fittings until March 1941.  You should remove the flange from the kit part, cement it in place and use putty or styrene rod softened with liquid cement to represent the weld bead.

The kit includes four lifting eyes on the transmission compartment roof plate.  All KVs prior to the Model 1942 had only two lifting eyes.  Omit the two rearmost lifting eyes (parts A28) and fill their locating holes.

Like all Trumpeter's KVs, the kit includes hollowed-out exhaust pipes.

The kit fenders are Trumpeter's wider pattern.  General Comments discusses the fender width and provides guidelines if you wish to replace the fenders with narrower items.  The kit fenders feature the correct six bolts attaching them to the fender brackets, and three bolts attaching the brackets to the hull.

The kit includes three large fender stowage boxes, of the revised type introduced in January 1940.  While these are not appropriate for a spring/summer 1941 as built, all 11 vehicles with the rounded turret were rebuilt between January and March 1941, and at least some of these vehicles received the revised stowage boxes and mounted them in the positions shown in the kit instructions.  To depict one of these vehicles after the rebuild however, you will need to replace the main armament with an F-32 gun, mantlet and trunnions from Trumpeter kit #00356.

To depict a spring/summer 1940 production example as delivered from the factory, you should replace the stowage boxes with the early pattern boxes from kit #00311 and mount two on the left-hand fender, one on the right.

The kit includes the cylindrical stowage box on the right-hand fender, but omits the cross-cut saw and its bracket from the left-hand fender.  The saw was fitted to the initial 11 KV s malenkiy bashniy when built, but was moved inside the stowage box on the number 10 fender position when they were rebuilt and fitted with the revised stowage boxes.  You should use the part from kit #00356.

The kit includes the correct early pattern tow cables with sleeved ends.  Braided brass wire is included for the cable itself.

The turret represents the rounded turret as fitted to the first 11 series production KV s malenkiy bashniy delivered between April and early July 1940.  Chris Lloyd Staples has pointed out several issues with the turret which require correction.  Firstly, the turret roof plate (part Y9) sits too high inside the turret sides (parts Y5 and Y6).  The underside edges of part Y9 should be sanded so that the roof sits flush with the tops of the turret sides.  Second, the entire turret sits too high off the hull when compared to photographs.  The easiest (though not easy) way to remedy this situation is to remove the small lip from the underside of the turret so that it sits lower on the hull.

There are several minor detail problems with the turret, but these can be easily corrected.  The bolt heads around the edge of the turret roof were not present on the real vehicle, since the bolts securing the turret roof were inserted from the inside into blind holes.  Remove these bolt heads, along with the raised bolt heads (NOT the inset ones) surrounding the turret hatch.  Similarly, the flanges around the turret roof ventilator cover and episcope covers were not fitted until March 1941.  Remove these flanges and simulate the weld beads using putty or styrene rod softened with liquid cement.

The kit includes the correct early unshielded machine gun mount for the rear-facing machine gun.  This is the only example of this mount available in styrene.  The mount was fitted not only to the first 11 vehicles with the rounded turret, but to subsequent turrets with the squared-off rear end, manufactured until January 1941.

The trunnion cheeks and mantlet include cast texture.  Trumpeter have updated the L-11 mantlet included in kit #00356 to represent the early pattern fitted prior to late September 1940.  The kit part features the correct groove on the right-hand side of the recuperator cover, and the conical headed bolt on the sloped upper face.  However, the part does not include the open slot beneath the gun barrel, nor the open bottom of the recuperator cover.  The slot can be easily opened up and the closed-in bottom of the recuperator is all but invisible once the kit is assembled.

The kit includes a turned aluminum gun barrel with rifling.  A slide-molded one-piece styrene barrel is also included as an option.

In summary, the kit represents a very specific example - that is, a rebuilt vehicle with a spring 1941 hull and a spring/summer 1940 turret - when built out of the box.  With minor corrections, it will depict such a vehicle very accurately.

Perhaps more importantly for the KV enthusiast however, the kit provides all the components required to cross-kit with kit #00311 in order to produce one of the first 11 KV s malenkiy bashniy as delivered from the factory between April and July 1940.  Furthermore, by adding the F-32 gun and mantlet parts from kit #00356, you can build one of these 11 vehicles as rebuilt between January and March 1941.  The kit therefore provides a variety of options for building the 1940 production variants.

Document Actions