Kit Review: Takom 1/35 scale Kit No. 2006; Soviet Super Heavy Tank KV-5; 506 parts (496 in black styrene, 5 etched brass, 2 clear styrene, 2 vinyl kee pers, 1 turned aluminum barrel); retail price US$54.95
Advantages: first (and probably only) kit of this vehicle in this scale in styrene
Disadvantages: Since it was never built, who knows?
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for diehard KV and "Panzer '46" What If fans
As the KV series of tanks began to progress through evolution and developm ent, in early 1941 a fight broke about among the designers. One group - the "tankists" - wanted to build a very heavy super-tank mounting at least an85mm gun; another - the "artillerists" - wanted a super-heavy self-propelle d gun for fire support. Both teams went their separate directions.
One team worked on what was dubbed the KV-220 design in which a longer and more heavily armed chassis would have seven road wheels and be powered by a new design 850 HP diesel engine. The other team worked on 12 different de signs of what the artillery tank would look like. The first design was dubb ed the KV-3 project, the second one the KV-4 project.
In the midst of this came Vasiliy Grabin, who bragged he could build a gun which could defeat ANY tank in the world for years to come. The government called his bluff, but Grabin delivered and came up with the 107mm ZIS-6 gu n. Even in just its early developmental state he was right, for even then i t could have defeated all later German tanks up to the Tiger II at combat r anges of 1000 meters or less.
The first team designed a new oval turret for the KV-3 and planned on usin g the ZIS-6 in their tank. Two running chassis were built and a mockup of t he turret completed, with firing tests conducted using a KV-2 with the ZIS-6 mounted in it. But final approval by Stalin was ill timed - it was due on 22 June 1941, and after that date all new products were scrubbed.
The KV-4 was considered too restricted, but the design submitted by Nikola y Tseyts was considered the most promising and so a new version based on th at plan dubbed KV-5 was drawn up. This tank woul use a massive turret with the ZIS-6 gun mounted and a machine sub-turret at the front of the hull as well as on the roof of the turret with an eight-wheel chassis and a 1000 HP diesel engine. But the engine was not materializing in time and as a resul t the designers planned to use TWO V-2 engines of 500 HP each as power. But the vehicle was still in final drafting status on 22 June and as a result never saw the light of day.
For reasons best known to themselves Takom has released a kit based on bo th known KV production features and extant versions of Tseyts' original pla ns. The kit does a great job of matching them but as none were ever built i t is hard to say they could have made a mistake!
Based on the engine deck layout this appears to be the final design with t win V-2 engines as the radiator air intakes on the engine deck support that layout. The turret design shows its evolution from the KV "Bol'shoy Bashny " version (AKA KV-2 Early) and looks the part.
The road wheels each consist of a wheel and face and are probably the most detailed KV early production reinforced wheels on the market. The individu al link tracks are tedious but nicely done and will look the part when inst alled.
For reasons again best known to Takom the kit comes with a Chemical Troops soldier in full suit with gas mask and a flamethrower using a stocked flam e gun. Not sure why they did that but he somehow fits right in with the KV-5!
A set of optional markings is provided as well as two finishing schemes, o ne Soviet and one Finnish. (Well, if you are going to dream go whole hog!)
Overall this is a nicely done kit of a tank that never saw the light of da y, so it is hard to fault them for any mistakes!