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KV-1 Model 1940 w/ Simplified Welded Turret (September 1941)

This sub-variant requires cross-kitting Trumpeter kit #00357 Russian KV-1 's Ekhranami with their kit #00358 Russia KV-1 Model 1942 Simplified Turret Tank, along with a few components from kit #00356 Russia KV-1 (Model 1941) "KV Small Turret" Tank.  Basically, you need to combine the hull from kit #00357, the turret from kit #00358 with some modifications, the main armament from kit #00357 and the applique armor plates from kit #00356.

Start with kit #00357. 

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).  Additionally, open up the three holes forward of the turret ring.

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.

Add the chevron-shaped armor fillet from kit #00358 (part F2) to the hull top forward of the turret ring.

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).

Fill the bolt holes in the flange on the driver's episcope cover (part M5).  By this time, the cover was welded directly to the hull roof plate.  Simulate the weld bead with putty or styrene rod softened with liquid cement.

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 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 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 use the sprocket hub covers from kit #00358 (parts F6), or modify the covers from kit #00357 by removing every second bolt.  The number of retaining bolts was reduced from 16 to 8 in August.

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.

Skip step 14 of the instructions since we will use the turret from kit #00358.  More on that below.

Follow step 15 to build the tow cables.

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.  See below for the turret assembly details.

Switch to kit #00358.

In the instruction sheet, above step 1, DO NOT open up the holes in the sides of the turret shell.  However, DO open up the two holes in the floor of the turret bustle on part P6.

Now skip to step 11.

The turret shell in the kit represents the revised turret introduced in October 1941 with interlocked joints.  For a September 1941 production example, you must eliminate the interlocked joints on the upper turret sides and the bustle by filling them with shims of styrene sheet and sanding them smooth.  For the joints between the sides and roof, the edges should conform to the edges of the roof plate.

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 315 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.

Omit the gunner's sight (parts F17 and F20) and instead use parts F18 and A20 (two of each part are provided in the kit).

Add the reinforcing fillet (part P2) beneath the turret bustle.  On all but the earliest turrets, small rectangular reinforcing plates were added as shown in the drawing on page 201 of KV - Technical History and Variants.  If you wish, add these plates from 6mm x 3mm rectangles of 0.8mm styrene sheet.

DO NOT fit the trunnion cheeks (parts P11 and P12).  Instead, use the equivalent parts from kit #00357 (parts M9 and M10).

Attach the side-facing episcope covers and assemble the rear-facing machine gun (parts D11, D12 and D2) as indicated.

You may wish to replace the grab handles on the turret sides (parts D15) with brass wire, and fill their locating slots.

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.

Assemble the gun and mantlet from kit #00357 (parts M11, M8 and M13).  Attach the completed assembly to the turret.

Add the rain guard from kit #00357 (part M16).  Add the flange attaching the rain guard to the turret front plate using styrene sheet, simulating the rivets with small pieces of styrene rod or brass wire.

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 September 1941.
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