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KV-1 Model 1940 w/ Up-Armored Welded Turret (August/September 1941)

This sub-variant is a fairly simple conversion from Trumpeter kit #00357 Russian KV-1 's Ekhranami.  The only modification required is to omit the ehkrany and update the turret to represent the up-armored (90mm) turret introduced at the beginning of August.  You will need the applique armor parts for the upper hull sides from kit #00356.

In Step 1 of the kit instructions, DO NOT open up the holes in the lower hull sides (parts B1 and B2), but DO open up the four round holes just below the top edge of the hull sides as indicated in the instructions.  DO NOT open up the forward holes near the centers of the fenders (parts C1 and C14) but DO open up the rear-most holes on part C14 as indicated in the instructions.  DO NOT open up the holes in the turret shell.  Follow the instructions to open up the holes in the hull top (part A27).

In step 2, omit part M1.

In step 3, omit part M3.  Omit the two rearmost lifting eyes from the transmission compartment roof plate (part C6) and fill their locating holes.  The kit provides four lifting eyes on the transmission compartment roof plate but there should be only two.

Follow step 4 of the instructions, but add two armored strips to the forward corners of the engine compartment roof plate using strips of 2mm x 2mm square section styrene, using the upper drawing on page 101 of KV - Technical History & Variants as a guide.

In step 5, the nose plate (part C5) features 11 filled bolt holes across each face.  In July, the number was reduced to 8 equally spaced bolts.  You should sand away the molded-on detail and either recreate the bolt holes by drilling shallow holes and filling them with putty, or leave the plate smooth since on many vehicles, the holes were almost impossible to see.

In step 6, omit the hull ehkrany (parts N7, N8, N9 and N11).

Instead of the hull ehkrany, fit the applique armor parts from kit #00356 (parts N1, N2 and N3).

In step 7, DO NOT open up the hole in the engine access hatch (part C2).  The inspection port (part A18) was not fitted until the end of 1941. 

Some vehicles manufactured at LKZ in late August and September used flat engine access hatches, and you can obtain this hatch from kit #00358 (part P3) though the kit part represents the later hatch with two lifting eyes.  To represent the early pattern hatch appropriate for August/September 1941, you should remove both lifting eyes, sand their locations smooth and add a single lifting eye between the two latches at the rear edge of the hatch using one of the left-over lifting eyes from step 3.

Omit the hull ehkrany (parts N5, N6, N10 and N11).

In step 8, assemble the road wheels and bow machine gun as directed.  Assemble the drive sprockets but check your references for the vehicle you are modeling since the number of retaining bolts on the covers was reduced progressively from 16 to 12 and then to 8 in August.  To represent the 12-bolt or 8-bolt covers, modify the covers from kit #00357 by removing every third or every second bolt.

In step 9, assemble the tracks as directed.

Follow steps 10 and 11 of the instructions.

Follow step 12 of the instructions, though I recommend leaving the tracks off the model until after initial painting.

In step 13, omit the cross-cut saw and its bracket (part M6).  By this time, the saw was located inside the lid of the stowage box on the number 7 position.

In step 14, replace the grab handles on the upper edges of the turret sides (parts N4) with brass wire, and eliminate the upward bend in the handles.

Omit the turret ehkrany.

For a turret manufactured by the Izhorskiy Plant, still the most common manufacturer of turrets in August, sand away the ring-shaped marks on the turret roof, but leave the six bolt holes around each periscopic sight cover and the round marks on the front and rear plates.

Further modify the turret roof by carefully removing the two rear-facing episcopes and filling their locating holes.  Divert momentarily from the prescribed assembly sequence, and attach the rear-facing episcope covers (parts P5) further aft, so that their rearmost corners touch the edge of the turret roof plate (NOT the top edge of the turret sides).  See the drawing on page 311 of KV - Technical History and Variants for guidance.  Locate the episcopes themselves inside the covers. Note that the spacing and angle of the covers and episcopes is unchanged.

Add the chamfer beneath each side-facing episcope cover by carefully filing the top edges of the turret side plates, then add the 'splash bar' beneath the chamfer, using the drawing on page 311 of KV - Technical History and Variants as a guide.

Fill the socket in the center of the turret hatch (part D19).  KV-1 turret hatches did not include the socket, though KV-2 turret hatches did.

Follow step 16 but omit the cylindrical stowage tube from the right-hand fender (parts M12, 14 and M15).  The tube was eliminated at the end of June.

Many vehicles at this time carried the small 50-litre box-shaped fuel/lubricant tanks on the fenders.  Unfortunately the Aber items are incorrect in size and the only correctly sized items at the time of writing come from Zvezda's KV-1 Model 1941 kit.  Hopefully another manufacturer will rise to the occasion and produce correct after-market tanks in resin.  In the meantime, you can either cannibalize a lot of Zvezda kits (hardly worth the expense), cast your own using the Zvezda item as a master, or use the Aber brackets only and depict one of the many vehicles on which the brackets were present but the tanks themselves were missing.

In step 17, attach the tow cables, though again you may wish to delay this step until after initial painting.

By following these steps along with the kit instructions, you will create an accurate representation of a KV-1 Model 1940 manufactured at LKZ or ChTZ in August or September 1941.

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