ARM: Review - Trumpeter KV-1 s Ehkranami

Kit Review: Trumpeter 1/35 Scale Kit Number 00357; Russia KV-1S'
Ehkranami; 297 parts (292 in grey styrene, 2 black vinyl track runs, 2
clear styrene, 1 length of twisted copper wire); retail price US
$24.95
Advantages: continues to cover the entire family of KV heavy tanks;
very nicely done kit
Disadvantages: wrong rear plate on hull
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all Soviet modelers
This is the sixth Trumpeter KV series tank kit to be released.
When the Germans invaded the USSR in June 1941, rumors of the German
panzers were circulating that said at least one of them had a 100mm gun
which could defeat any known Russian tank. This caused a bit of a
panic, as the Soviets had not figured on such weapons being in service
with the Germans. As it turned out they were not, and it was still some
17 months before they began to run into the Tiger with its 88mm gun
that could knock out the big KV series tanks.
But as a precaution, both the KV-1 and the T-34 were ordered to be
fitted with applique armor plate as fast as possible. This commenced on
1 July 1941, but by the end of the month it was seen that the Germans
did not have any wonder tanks and the order was rescinded. Therefore,
only about 85 tanks in Leningrad and 24 in Chelyabinsk were built with
this suite of applique armor fitted. They survived longer than some
other tanks, and were seen with slogans painted on their turrets. The
best known one was "Bey fashistskuyu gabinu!" (Fight the Fascist
Reptile!")
Trumpeter has now release this tank as a kit, using three new sprues
for its KV collection. These provide the new turret - the so-called
"welded/bolted" turret, so named as it was initially bolted
together and then the bolt heads were covered in weld bead and the
seams welded up - and the applique, plus a set of the heavy-duty
welded wheels with central rubber shock absorbers.
In common with all of the other KV kits, the two come with a one-piece
hull with applique sides suitable for early-model KV tanks. As it is a
1941 version, it does not come with vinyl keepers for the road wheels,
which simply cement in place. Tracks again offer 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 taillight.
The applique is correct as it comes with "stand-off" mountings ;
the cover of the Kolomiyets book on the KV heavy tank (Istoriya Tanka
KV) has a clear shot of a KV-1 s Ehranami on the cover (note that there
is no apostrophe between the "S" and "Ehkranami" as it is the
Russian word form for "With Applique"). The one on the cover has an
early model hull with level glacis applique amd lower pane; but most of
the KV-1 s Ehkranami tanks appear to have had the early model rear deck
(flat plate and curved end) as provided on the KV "Big Turret" kit
and not the one-piece curved plate which comes with the kit. The plans
in "Istoriya Tanka KV" show the latter plate, so apparently it was
during this production run that the factory began to shift over to
speed things up.
There were some comments about the rear vision devices not being far
enough to the rear, but again these plans show them right where the kit
has them. They do show up as sitting in quite a ways on the KV tanks
with the "welded/bolted" turret, both with and without applique;
they do sit farther to the rear on the cast turreted tanks.
The kit's directions also show the proper placement of the bins and
other accessories on this version, so it is pretty much dead on the
money.
Only one finishing option is provided, overall 4BO green with the
above cited markings. Another one (not provided in the kit) is
"Pobeda Budet Za Nami!" (The Victory will be Ours!) But I am not
sure where you can find the decals.
Overall this continues the nice job done on the KV tanks by Trumpeter,
Cookie Sewell
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AMPSOne
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