ARM: Review - Hobby Boss 1/48 scale Captured KV-2 Soviet Tank

Kit Review: Hobby Boss 1/48 scale Kit No. 84819; German Pz.Kpfw. KV-2 754(r); 271 parts (254 in grey styrene, 14 etched brass, 2 lengths of
brass wire, 1 twisted copper wire); retail price US$29.95
Advantages: state-of-the-art kit of this vehicle in this scale; very nicely done components
Disadvantages: cloned from Trumpeter KV-2 and repeats same decisions; perhaps a “one off” vehicle
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: to all “Quarter Inch” KV fans
    I have to state up front that I am not a big fan of “captured” equipment modeling, as when done by the model companies it is invariably a “suck up” to German armor fans and nobody else (note that there has never been a 1/35 scale plastic injection molded Su-76i kit as a point of reference). The sole reason I picked this one up is that it was on sale from one of the major mail order retailers for $5 so I thought I would check the kit out.
    I have no good idea how many KV-2 tanks were captured by the Germans. Numbers vary by source but only about 190 were built, and most German photos are of gleeful troops standing on top of KV-2 tanks shattered by either bombs or internal explosions. I believe only a single vehicle was actually captured intact, repaired and placed in German service after receiving field modifications for an external ammo rack, an early Pzkw. III/IV type commander’s cupola behind the Soviet commander’s hatch, and other details like the “Notek” light system. Nevertheless, here it is in kit form and in 1/48 scale.
    Hobby Boss has done a nice job with many of its kits, and this one – very obviously cloned from the excellent Trumpeter 1/35 scale kits – is also a nice job. (It should be noted that Tamiya cloned theirs in 1/48 scale as well, but did not correct any of the errors in that kit during translation into the smaller scale). The model represents a standard production KV-2 with the early model road wheels (non- reinforced), rubber tired return rollers, and two-piece tail section for the engine deck (flat plate welded to the curved rear plate rather than a single rolled plate).
    Hobby Boss also brought over the link-and-length tracks from its Trumpeter “big brothers” with the built-in sag included. This is a good idea, and to get it right Hobby Boss also include “sag plates” to get the wrap around the idler and driver wheels correct before joining them to the pre-sagged section. However, the drivers should probably be done free standing in order to get the teeth to engage the holes in the track.
    The hull roof consists of a front section, the engine deck, and the tail section noted above. Hatches are separate, but while the kit comes with a small fret of etched brass the engine intake grilles – with the selector louvers molded in place – are simply solid plastic parts and not etched grilles. Go figure. The etched parts are solely for the fender braces, and attach to the separate fender sections.
    The turret is conventional and again matches the larger Trumpeter one in basic layout. However, the only option for this kit is the German variant as there is a second hole clean molded in the turret roof (S14) for the German cupola.
    The kit provides the additional parts added by the Germans in the form of a nicely done ammo rack which mounts on the rear of the hull, and the “Notek” light system. A diagram shows how to bend the two brass wires to match the system used by the Germans on the original vehicle.
    Only a set of crosses are provided and while the box art shows the subject with whitewash during winter weather the directions are for a three-color camo scheme.
    Overall this is a nice effort and should fit in fine with 1/48 armor collections.
Cookie Sewell
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