by: Reimund G. Manneck [ ]
Named for Soviet Marshal Kliment Y. Voroshilov, the KV-I heavy tank played a major role in the defense of the Russian homeland in the Second World War. It had very heavy armor, which was 75mm thick at the front, a powerful diesel engine and heavily armed 76.2mm gun and three machine guns. In the end of 1940, an improved version of the KV-I began production. The new tank designated KV-Ie (“e” stands for “ekranironaiy”, or “with shields”), sported bolt-on appliqué armor plates of 25mm – 35mm thickness. These were added to the turret and hull using large bolts.
Tamiya’s 1/35 scale KV-I kit originally dates from 1972. It was originally released as a motorized tank. Tamiya calls this tank KV-IB, which was the designation given to the tank by the Germans. It is in fact a KV-1e model 1940. The kit contains 136 injected molded dark green parts, and 2 vinyl tracks, along with a sprue of vinyl “keepers” for the road wheels. Assembly is very simple and the model can definitely be completed in a weekend if built out of the box.
All parts are crisply molded and free of flash. However, the plastic Tamiya used is very hard and very thick in some areas, specially the fenders.
The overall detail is really good except for four areas.
1) The road wheels and tracks are the least detailed parts of this kit. The outer road wheels are ok, but the inner ones lack any detail. Options here would be to substitute with aftermarket or detail the wheels by drilling the lighting holes on them.
2) The vinyl tracks are horrible with very soft detail only on the outside. An aftermarket set is highly recommended.
3) The fender support braces (the triangular shaped pieces on the fenders) are molded solid, instead of having a hollow center. Modifying this with strips of plastic sheet or P.E. would be nice, but very hard to do. The plastic is very thick and hard in this area and leaves plenty of possibilities for a disaster.
4) The last problem I see is the fact that the exhausts are molded solid. This is not really a big deal, a few minutes with a scriber and sand paper will take care of that.
Decals are provide for three different tanks, all painted Russian dark green. Two of the options show blazing patriotic slogans on the sides of the turret. They look pretty cool, but will pose a challenge to apply since they will have to conform over the numerous bolts on the sides of the turret. A standing figure is included and while it looks acceptable it would benefit from a replacement head.
Overall I think this kit can be turned into a good-looking model with a little work and added tracks.
Copyright ©2020 text by Reimund G. Manneck [ ]. All rights reserved.
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