Personal tools
You are here: Home KV Series Recipes KV-85

KV-85 (August to October 1943)

There were few variations among the 148 series production KV-85s, and the few minor changes introduced during the production run are noted in the text below.  Trumpeter's kit #01569 provides a good basis for your model but unfortunately the kit includes an IS-2 turret with asymmetrical sides rather than the correct IS-1 turret with symmetrical sides, so you must cross-kit with the Eastern Express KV-85 kit #35102 for the turret shell.

Begin with the Trumpeter kit.  Assemble the hull according to Step 1 of the kit instructions.

Note that the instructions direct you to open up three holes along the upper edge of the rear hull overhang (on part WC21).  These are locating hulls for a grab rail along the rear edge of the hull.  This rail was fitted to the KV-85 prototype and possibly to a few early production vehicles, but was not universally present.  Check your references for the vehicle you are modeling.

Most KV-85 hulls lacked the central attachment bolt along the rear engine of the transmission compartment roof plate.  The prototype included the bolt hole but not the bot while on most if not all series production KV-85s, the hole was omitted.  You should shave off the central bolt head and, only if you are modeling the prototype, drill out the hole.

Continue assembling the hull with Step 2 of the instructions.  The kit includes two styles of siren (parts WC13 and WL32).  The style depicted by part WL32 was most commonly seen on series production KV-85s but check your references for the vehicle you are modeling.

Step 3 deals with the road wheels and drive sprockets.  The kit provides all-steel road wheels with eight small lightening holes, which were fitted to most if not all KV-85s.

Continue assembly with Step 4 of the instructions.  The kit provides the early pattern unarmored exhausts.  These were fitted to the initial series production KV-85s but were soon replaced by the shortened exhausts with armored covers.  The kit does not provide these parts but Trumpeter does include them in their SU-152 Late kit #05568 so you can source them from there (the SU-152 kit provides both early and late exhausts).  Note however, that the mounting plates for the armored exhausts differ from those of the unarmored exhausts, so you will need to carve away the mounting plates from part WN11 and replace them with styrene sheet, salvaging and reusing the bolt heads from the kit.

In Step 5, the kit provides individual link tracks with the split link pattern, but these are molded to a scale width of 700mm rather than the 650mm track commonly seen on the KV-1s, or the 608mm track fitted to the first KV-1S production examples.  You should replace the kit tracks with after-market tracks of the correct width.  Friulmodel ATL-54, Masterclub MC135028W, Miniarm B35018, Modelkasten SK14 and Spade Ace SAT-35024 are all suitable replacements.

In Step 6, the kit instructions direct you to add the armored cover for the radio antenna to the glacis plate.  This is incorrect since KV-85s carried a turret-mounted radio set.  Omit part WC26 and fill its mounting slot.

The instructions direct you to carve away the the molded-on bolt strips for the third, shortened mounting bracket on the fenders (parts WL1 and WL10) and replace them with brass parts since the molded-on strips have the wrong number of bolts.  This is much easier to do before you add the fenders to the hull so do this in Step 6, not Step 7 as instructed.

You should also open up the locating slots for the cylindrical fuel tanks on the number 9 and 10 fender positions.

In Step 7, note that the transverse grab rail across the rear edge of the upper hull was fitted only to the prototype and perhaps the first few series production KV-85s.

Note also that the open third fender mounting brackets (pars PE-C1 and PE-C2) rarely appear in photographs.  Check your references for the vehicle you are modeling and if necessary, replace these parts with brass or styrene sheet.

As noted above, Trumpeter provides an IS-2 turret with an asymmetrical roof and a bulge in the left-hand turret side to accommodate the 122mm gun.  This is incorrect for a KV-85 turret. 

Switch to the Eastern Express KV-85 kit at Step 7 of the instructions.  Assemble the turret shell using parts 1F, 2F and 6F.  The kit parts include the casting seams but lack a cast texture, which you can add using Mr Surfacer if you wish.

Use the trunnion cheek castings and gun mount from the Trumpeter kit (parts WW2, WW3, WW5, WW6, WC3 and WQ3) since these are better detailed than the Eastern Express parts and fit to the Eastern Express turret shell without problems.  The Trumpeter kit provides both styrene and turned aluminum gun barrels, so use whichever one you prefer.

Use the pistol ports, lifting hooks and grab rails from the Trumpeter kit to detail the Eastern Express turret shell.  Note that the grab rails represent the pattern used on the KV-85 prototype and initial production examples, but the grab rails were modified before the end of the production run.  If you wish to model a late production example from November 1943, you must fabricate your own rails using Figure 156 on page 357 of KV - Technical History and Variants as a guide.

Like the turret side fittings, the turret roof fittings are better detailed in the Trumpeter kit so graft those parts onto the Eastern Express turret shell

Returning to the Trumpeter kit, assemble four cylindrical fuel/oil tanks and fit them to the number 7, 8, 9 and 10 fender positions.  Omit the fender stowage boxes (parts WL8) since there is no evidence these were fitted to KV-85s.

By following these steps, you will build an accurate representation of a series production KV-85.



Document Actions