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KV-1 Model 1939 (October to December 1940)

This sub-variant requires some work to back-date Trumpeter's kit #00356.  However, many of the parts required to construct a Model 1939 are provided in the kit as optional parts.  The major piece of work required is the construction of the unshielded rear-facing machine gun on the turret, which must be converted from the existing mount.

Some points to note:

  • The kit provides the regular curved rear hull overhang which was introduced in early May 1941.  Hulls manufactured prior to that time featured the creased curved overhang with a flat spot on the upper portion of the plate.  You can modify the kit part by sanding it to match the contours of the upper hull sides, or use the part included in Trumpeter's kit #00311 Russian KV "Big Turret" Tank.
  • Omit the two rearmost lifting eyes from the transmission compartment roof plate, and fill their locating holes.  The kit provides four lifting eyes, but there should be only two.
  • The kit includes optional applique armor plates for the hull front, driver's front plate and upper hull sides.  However, these plates were not introduced until early June 1941.  DO NOT fit them to your model.
  • Use the machine gun mount for the driver's front plate (part D6), NOT the pistol port (part N14).  The machine gun mount was introduced in early October 1940.
  • DO NOT fit the inspection port in the center of the domed engine access hatch.  This port was not introduced until the end of 1941, long after the ehkrany program had ceased.
  • Use the early pattern radiator intake screens (parts D10).
  • The kit includes a flange around the driver's episcope cover.  This flange was not introduced until late March 1941.  Remove the flange and simulate the weld bead attaching the cover to the hull roof plate with putty or styrene rod softened with liquid cement.
  • The kit includes three stowage boxes of the revised pattern introduced at the end of January 1941.  Vehicles manufactured prior to that time carried three boxes of a similar design, but without the reinforcing plates on the ends of the lids, and without grab handles on the lids.  You can modify the kit parts by sanding away the handles on the lids and the reinforcing plates on the ends.  Alternatively, you can use the stowage boxes from Trumpeter's kit #00311.  Fit two boxes on the left-hand fender and one on the right.
  • Fit the cross-cut saw and its bracket from the left-hand fender.  The saw was not relocated inside the lid of the stowage box on the right-hand fender until mid-March 1941.
  • Fit the cylindrical stowage tube on the right-hand fender.  The tube was not eliminated from new production vehicles until the end of June 1941.
  • The Izhorskiy Plant was the sole manufacturer of turrets at this time, and used blind holes, drilled and tapped from the inside, to attach the turret roof plate to the front, sides and rear.  You should therefore eliminate the circular marks around the edges of the turret roof plate, but leave those on the front and rear plates.
  • Turrets manufactured at this time also featured mitered corners between the front, sides and rear plates, with a weld seam at the apex of each corner.  You should sand away the torch cut marks and weld seams from the front and rear of the turret side plates, and round off each corner slightly to represent the weld bead at the apex.
  • The kit includes flanges around the turret episcope covers and ventilator cover.  These flanges were not introduced until mid-March 1941.  Carefully remove the flanges from the episcope covers and from the ventilator cover molded onto the turret roof plate, and simulate the weld bead attaching the covers to the roof plate with putty or styrene rod softened with liquid cement.
  • The kit includes the shielded machine gun mount for the turret rear plate.  This mount was not introduced until early February 1941.  Vehicles manufactured prior to that time carried an unshielded mount.  Modify the mount (part D11), to remove the armored collar. Carefully cut away the armored collar and fill the "dent" in the middle. It is probably best to do this with cyanoacrylate adhesive.  Now, drill two holes in the front face of part D11 to match the apertures in the original cover (part D12) and work these with file and hobby knife until they match the drawings and photographs on pages 184, 185 and 291 of KV - Technical History and Variants.  Finally, fill the two slots in the rear turret face that will be exposed by the removal of the collar.
  • The kit instructs you to locate the two grab handles on the upper edges of the turret sides (parts D15) forward of the side-facing episcope covers.  This is correct for a vehicle manufactured from February onwards, but earlier turrets mounted the grab handles aft of the episcope covers.  Fill the locating slots and relocate parts D15 further aft as shown in the plan view on page 498 of KV - Technical History and Variants.
  • Carve away the rectangular reinforcing plates from either side of the trunnion cheeks on the turret front plate.  These were not fitted until the introduction of the F-32 gun in January 1941.
  • Use the optional parts for the L-11 gun and mantlet.  Note however, that the L-11 mantlet is open at the bottom, while the kit part is molded with a solid bottom.  Also, within the housing, the gun itself is noticeably thicker in diameter; this is presumably the forward end of the gun breech, rather than the actual barrel.  If you wish to depict these features in your model, carve and sand away the lower face of part N4, and add the base of the gun barrel using metal or styrene tube approximately 9mm long and 7mm in diameter.  I should note that these modifications will be almost invisible when the model is complete, so you may wish to omit them.
  • Fill the groove in the right-hand side of the recuperator cover, and eliminate the central attachment bolt on the right-hand side of the mantlet.

By following these steps along with the kit instructions, you will create an accurate representation of a KV-1 Model 1939 manufactured between October and December 1940.

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