ARM: Review - Trumpter 1/35 Scale KV-2 Heavy Tank

Kit Review: Trumpeter 1/35 Scale Kit No. 00312; Russia KV-2 Tank; 327
parts (305 in grey styrene, 18 clear vinyl keepers, 2 vinyl track runs,
2 clear styrene, 1 twisted copper wire); price US $24.95
Advantages: Fully eclipses obsolete Tamiya kit; choice of either
styrene or vinyl track will be popular with many modelers; pretty
thorough job of research appears obvious with moldings
Disadvantages: some ejection pin marks on the "hard" plastic tracks
will be annoying to remove; odd gun barrel does not match production
photos; use of late model hull rear limits options
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: For all Soviet armor fans
Trumpeter has matched its excellent KV-1 Model 1942 with an equally
good stab at the KV-2 heavy tank. It also uses what DML calls "slide
molding" or using multipart molds to create such things as hollow
molded gun exhausts and inner fender details on the mudguards. It is
also priced very reasonably, and as such should be a winner in that
Detail-wise, this kit uses most of the major components of the Model
1942 kit. The hull is molded in three basic parts - a central form
and two applique sides, which is unique. The central hull shows a dip
on the sides at the rear, so one can bet that either an SU-152 or KV-1s
will follow later on (a check of the Trumpter sprues identifies them as
for kit 00356; since the Model 1942 is kit 00358, at least one more is
on the way)
The side applique parts are squared off to replicate the KV-2 hull.
But in an odd choice, Trumpeter has only included the late production
"humped" upper rear plate that was used from July 1941 onward.
Nearly all photos of KV-2 tanks show them with the two-part upper rear
plate/engine deck rear, which was the common one in use. (It was only
after the factory made a conscious attempt to speed up production that
somebody figured out a single rolled plate of approximately 120 degrees
of arc could replace both parts, speed up rolling and cut welding
time.) This may apply to as few as 30 tanks built out of 191 KV-2 tanks
(another 24 were the early model "KV with Big Turret" tanks with
the naval-like MT-1 gun mount.)
All of the jounce stops are separate and correct, and the road wheel
arms are each made up in two parts (there are two different grease
caps, so make sure you do not get them confused.)
The wheels are completely different than the cast metal ones provided
with the Model 1942, and consist of four parts each plus the vinyl
"keeper." They are the correct early model internally buffered
variants, and are very nicely done (including the lightening holes on
the back halves of the wheels, a great touch!) The drivers have both
interior and exterior bolt details, as well as the correct mud scraper.
The separate track is well done, as it "link and length" with a
pre-cast "droop" in the upper runs. As noted, there are two or four
injection pin marks on each link, even the long runs, and while cleanup
will be tedious it doesn't seem as bad as many other single-link
sets. But even the vinyl "one piece" set is not bad, so many
modelers will be happy to use them.
Oddly the kit provides interior details for the engine deck air intake
grilles but only two sets of plastic parts and no etched grilles or
frames for an etched grille (one set appears to be for an SU-152 or
KV-1s as noted earlier).
The hull details are all separate, including separate front and rear
hull roof sections and fenders. While the fenders come with the track
slap deflectors on the bottom (!) note that the actual fenders came in
three sections, joined at the second and fourth braces on the sides. A
choice of early or late model viewer covers is included (this one takes
the earlier models and not the late ones used on the Model 1942).
The turret is very nicely done, with most of the moldings being added
to a "slide molded" main body for the turret with separate front,
rear and base parts. But the odd thing is that the gun barrel consists
of a very bizarre sectional tube that I cannot match to any references
on the KV-2. It does show up on some factory blueprints, but all
production tanks have a smooth tube with a muzzle
protector/reinforcement ring. I suggest replacing it with a Jordi Rubio
or similar turned metal tube.
It also comes with a working rear access hatch, which is a true shame:
the $64 Question has been for years - what is the configuration
INSIDE a KV-2 turret? To date nobody has seen it and only tempting bits
of destroyed or burned out ones from German photos. There is ONE KV-2
extant in Moscow, but nobody has seemingly gotten inside and shot
Only one finishing option is provided - an unidentified tank bearing
the logo "Za Stalina! (For Stalin) but nearly all combat photos of
the KV-2 show it having no markings whatsoever. The sheet does throw in
some red stars as well.
Overall like its "little brother" this is a gorgeous kit, and
eclipses the ancient Tamiya kit.
Thanks to Jay Laverty for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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