by: Andras [ ]
The first time I learned about Ostmodels was when I was browsing Henkís Military Modelling website. The company is based in Australia, and is focusing on a niche of AFVs neglected by other manufacturers. Their models are designed for both the modeler and for the wargaming market. You will find experimental tanks, paper panzers, or tanks manufactured by smaller countries (like the Nimrod AAA tank). It is a very small company, and models are made on orders, so you have to wait if you fancy any of their products, but the wait is definitely worth it. Not to mention it's nice to know that the model you bought was made for you especially. (And itís not as if most modellers did not have a couple of boxes in our stash to finish, anywayÖ)
There is precious little information available about the KV-5. Planning of the tank (Object 225), based on the experience gained with the KV-4, started in 1941. The planned role of the tanks was to act as a break-through tank; this lead to some unusual features in the design. The hull was relatively low (less than a meter high), which meant that the driver and radio operator/machine gunner needed their own separate turrets/compartments to sit in. This also provided the driver a cupola with a good field of view even buttoned up. The three-man turret was very big and spacious, with a turret ring diameter of 180 cm, and contained a 107mm gun. (And judging by the size possibly a book shelf.) The whole tank was heavily armored (which was needed for both the intended role, and for the fact that the tank had an enormous silhouette presenting a tempting target), and weighted about 100 tons. Due to the lack of adequate engine to move this much metal, the vehicle had two parallel V-12 engines mounted as a power plant (which accounts for the unusually long chassis). Because the siege of Leningrad necessitated the increased production of heavy tanks of proven design, experimental work was suspended in the Kirov Plant to build the KV-1. Since the Russians did not seem to share the fascination of superheavy tanks with the Germans, focusing on the production of the more practical, lighter, more mobile medium tanks instead, the KV-5 project was eventually cancelled.
The kit is packaged into ziplock bags, which is enough to protect the parts from breaking. It consists of about 120 parts of light polyurethane resin. As you can see from the photos, the parts require a lot of cleanup to remove the fine membrane, but fortunately no sawing, apart from the plug at the bottom of the turret. There are some bubbles present, but nothing serious; with some filler all can be taken care of. The hull comes as one piece; the sides are two separate parts. The lower part carries the road wheels, and the return rollers on the top. The top part carries the mudguards. This will leave you with a very prominent seam in the middle, on the level of the return rollers, which is somewhat difficult to fill and sand smooth. Perhaps Green Stuff or some similar modeling putty could be used to fill it in, and smooth it off while itís pliable.
The casting quality is generally very good. Very fine details are molded onto the turret and the hull; however the detail on the roadwheels is somewhat soft. It will not be noticeable once painted and weathered, but if you feel inclined, you may substitute them for KV wheels from any plastic kit. The wheels are not positionable, but you can always cut the arm off from the hull, and glue them back in a different position.
The tracks come in sections. The detail is good in general, although there are the occasional casting imperfections, and some of the finer details are soft; make sure you position the tracks on the side where these would be hidden. You will notice that the tracks are straight, even though, as we know, they should bend around the return rollers and idlersÖ veteran resin kit builders know the solution: hairdryer or hot water. Heat will soften the tracks (make sure you donít boil or char them), and you can bend them around the idlers/return rollers. After they cooled down (and dried) you can paint them, and fix them in place.
The turret is made of one piece. The armor plugs for the pistol ports are relatively small, so be careful not to mistake them for casting imperfections. Some of the molded-on lifting hooks were damaged, but it is not very difficult to make new ones from wire. Assembly of the turret is quite easy: find the location of the handbars, and glue them on (alternatively you can substitute them for wire ones), attach the gun mantle and barrel, the hatches, and the machine guns. The gun barrel is made of resin, but unlike in most resin kits, it has a metal core. This solution ensures that the gun will not warp, or start sagging, which, admittedly, is a hilarious sight, but itís less so funny when it happens to your model.
There are no instructions included with the kit, only a technical drawing of the tank, and a photo of the modelís prototype. This is to be expected with resin models; you will need references, patience and some common sense where to glue things. The game World of Tanks actually has pretty good 3D models, so even those could be used as references. Itís really difficult to determine how accurate the model is compared to the original, because it was only a paper panzer Ėin other words, there is no original. There was no prototype built, and the only technical drawing available was probably used to make this model as well. Obviously it measures up very well to this drawing.
The build was actually quite pleasant once I was done with the cleanup. The cleanup is tedious, though. Fire up your favorite DVD or TV show, get a scalpel, and start removing the thin film around the parts.
The build was actually quite pleasant once I was done with the cleanup. The cleanup is tedious, though. Fire up your favorite DVD or TV show, get a scalpel, and start removing the thin film around the parts. This is a very welcome representation of a unique tank; the only model available in any scale (to my knowledge).