ARM: Review - Trumpeter KV-1 Model 1942 Cast Turret Tanks

Kit Review: Trumpeter 1/35 Scale KV-1 Tank kits:
Kit No. 00359, Russia KV-1 Model 1942 Heavy Cast Turret Tank; 311
parts (288 in grey styrene, 18 clear vinyl keepers, 2 black vinyl track
sections, 2 clear plastic, 1 twisted copper wire); retail price US
Kit No. 00360, Russia KV-1 Model 1942 Lightweight Cast Tank; 310 parts
(287 parts in grey styrene, 18 vinyl keepers, 2 black vinyl track
sections, 2 clear plastic, 1 twisted copper wire); retail price US
Advantages: correct variants of the last two major production models of
the KV-1 to see service; correct details provided for each one, but
"mix and match" is also possible (see text)
Disadvantages: some confusion among modelers may result (see text);
ejection pin marks on "link and length" tracks will need cleanup
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all Soviet modelers
Trumpeter is now up to five kits of the KV series tanks in release and
at least two more (an early Model 1941 and an applique - "S
Ehkranami" - are listed as well) basic models are coming; these
will pretty much complete the entire major production series of KV
As WWII - "The Great Patriotic War" - got into high gear, so
did production of all Soviet tanks that were in full scale production
in June 1941. The production of KV tanks was moved from Leningrad to
Chelyabinsk in October 1941, and all efforts at production were then
focused on getting the number of parts down, reliability up, and
numbers produced increased. To this end many of the "Cadillac"
production techniques used on KVs were eliminated or changed, and new
designs of components were evaluated and placed into service on the
production line. As a result, between May 1941 and Spring 1942 the
hours required to built a KV-1 fell from over 25,000 to just over 9,00
Among those were three different turret designs, made in several
different factories. Among them were the "Simplified" welded turret
(Trumpeter makes a kit of this version as their kit number 00358), the
"Heavy" cast turret, and the "Lightweight" cast turret. The
difference in the last two was that after doing some preliminary
assessments of where KV-1s were penetrated, it was decided to lighten
the new cast turret by thinning the top and rear sections down and
leaving a thickened skirt at the base of the turret and a thickened
ring around the rear machine gun position, which were seen to be weak
spots in the turret. At the same time, a few original
"Welded-bolted" turrets were still produced. Each had an item
designator: the "welded-bolted" turret was production assembly 57;
the "simplified" welded turret was assembly 157; the
"heavyweight" cast turret was assembly 257; and the
"lightweight" cast turret was assembly 957.
The latter two turrets were similar, but differed depending upon which
factory made them. Turrets cast at UZTM had a broad face, which
permitted the centering bars for aligning the mantelet mounts to be on
the face of the turret. Turrets cast at Factory No. 200 were narrower
across the face, with the result that small "sponsons" had to be
cast into the front face of the turret to mount the alignment bars.
Hulls also differed, but due to using similar parts the only way to
tell them apart was the applique armor plate on the front of the
glacis. A UZTM hull had the applique level with the top of the hull,
whereas Factory No. 200 plates stuck up several inches above the hull
roof and were usually "dog-eared" to avoid having too sharp a
section that could injure the crew.
The hulls could have either a one-piece curved rear plate that stuck
up about an inch above the top of the rear decking or an extended rear
with a flat rear plate set at about a 45 degree angle. Also, tanks
could have either a "domed" engine access cover (to clear the air
cleaner) or a "flat" engine access cover and a different air
cleaner. Production runs were interspersed and it was not possible to
use one or another feature to tell the tanks apart; only the serial
numbers would indicate when the tanks were actually built. For example,
both the APG and Bovington KV-1 tanks are Model 1942s, with the UZTM
"Lightweight" cast turret, domed engine access covers, and "one
-piece" rear hull plates; based on their serials, they were probably
built in May 1942.
Trumpeter have very cleverly split these features among these two new
kits, so that they are not simply one kit with two different turrets.
The "Lightweight" turret kit has the lightweight turret from UZTM,
a UZTM hull with a "domed" access cover and the flat plate hull
rear section. The "Heavyweight" turret kit has the heavyweight
turret from UZTM, and the "one-piece" hull rear section.
In common with all of the other KV kits, the two come with a one-piece
hull with applique sides suitable for late-model KV tanks. each has a
different set of sprues (see listing of parts used in the KV kits at
the end of the review) for its hull and turret components. The
"Heavyweight" turret is molded top and bottom, whereas the
"lightweight" one is molded in two halves, a top and a base. Both
have correct profiles, including the visible "skirt" on the
"Lightweight" turret.
Each comes with the late-model cast wheels and all steel return
rollers; note that the cast wheels use Tamiya-style vinyl keepers
whereas the 1941 variants do not. Detail is outstanding with casting
webs for strength on the backs of each wheel half. Also, there are
separate centers for covering the suspension arm joint with the torsion
Tracks come as either black vinyl one-piece sections or 28 part
"link and length" styrene as with previous kits. The styrene ones
have some ejection pin marks that need cleaning, however. Also, the gun
barrel and tow cable heads are "slide molded" so are pre-drilled,
which eases one chore. Twisted copper wire is provided for the cables.
Lastly, clear plastic lenses are provided for the headlight and
Each kit comes with specific marking and finishing directions. The
"Heavyweight" one has a winter scheme and one of three numbers may
be used for a single unit. The "Lightweight" one comes with two
slogans, "Za Rodinu!" (For the Motherland) or "Pobeda Za Budet"
(The Victory Will Come). It also has Guards badges and stars.
Overall these are outstanding kits, and the only problem may be
confusion among some modelers not aware of the differences in the kits
or the two versions of the tank. Hopefully this review helps sort them
out for people who want a specific combination. (It is also easy to buy
both and swap turrets, as the Soviets at Chelyabinsk certainly did!)
Cookie Sewell
List of Kit Sprues in Trumpeter Kits and their parts breakdown.
A 68 Foredeck assembly and suspension details
B1 2 Sides (Early)
B2 2 Sides (Late)
C 38 Model 1941 fenders and rear hull details
D1 18 Turret race and front hull details
D2 10 Model 1942
D3 15 Model 1941
E1 12 Welded wheel centers (Late)
E2 12 Welded wheels (Late)
F1 48 Fenders and details
F2 6 Engine deck - squared off
F3 9 Optional KV parts
G 78 Cast wheels (Late)
H 19 152mm KV barrel and details
J 30 Welded wheels (early)
K 22 KV "Big Turret" turret and details
L 25 KV-2 turret details and race
P 18 KV-1 Simplified Turret base and details
Q 5 Engine deck - rounded
R 4 Lightweight Cast Turret
S 2 Lights (clear)
T 28 Link and length tracks
- 18 Clear vinyl wheel keepers (cast wheel versions only)
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a keeper. thanks cookie.
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