A few months ago, I was fortunate enough to review a similar conversion set to this, for converting the Tamiya
KV into the KV1 1939 L11 - this review can be seen: HERE
... Many of the components of the earlier kit are (not surprisingly) incorporated into this recent release. I must admit at this point to having developed a strong interest in the whole 'phenomena' known as the 'Beute-Panzers
every conceivable type of vehicle was impressed into German service and frequently served as the basis for some incredible conversions such as the T34 'Flakpanzer'. In General the conversions were fairly simple, the most typical being the addition of an obsolete turet cupola (usually from Pz IIs or Pz IIIs) with the addition of German improvements such as Notek lights. Normally,the main armament was left in place, no doubt causing headaches to the logistic officers who had to supply yet another type of ammunition for these captured vehicles.
Mig's Conversion Kit
MP 35-252: GERMAN Sturm Pz.Kpf.Wg. KV II 754 r Conversion Set
is a resin conversion set to bring the (very) old TAMIYA
1/35th scale KV kit 'up to date' - any of their KV kits can be used as the lower and upper hull along with the running gear are used the turret is discarded. One feature which is common to both this and the earlier kit, are a series of resin 'plugs' to cover the motorization holes which are a highly unwelcome feature of the donor kit.
The updates to the German version are as follows:
The distinctive storage boxes
German tool jack
German 'Jerry' Cans
Rear storage racks for additional 152mm Ammunition (including shell containers)
A completely new turret, mantlet and 152mm gun barrel (resin) is included. Also, helpfully provided, is a length of copper wire to produce the access rungs on the turret. Full colornstructions are included which are straightforward and require little more than a modicum of experience and common-sense.
Construction of the 'beast'
I began, logically enough, with construction of the running gear of the donor kit along with positioning the plugs into the lower hull. Setting this to one side, I started on largest part of the conversion kit - the turret. This is a VERY hefty piece of resin with the necessity to cut off the excess part at the bottom. A razor saw and taped-down wet'n'dry paper soon got everything nice and flat. Some sanding was also needed n the heavy front mantlet to allow it to be attached onto the turret front. This attachment requires some care - firstly to get it the right way up, secondly to allow a millimeter or so of space to the top of the turret front. No problems were encountered however, it is a process which requires a delicate touch along with constant 'dry' fitting. The penultimate stage with the turret was to drillholes in the marked places to attach the ladder rungs along the sides (three on the right, two on the left) The rungs were added by using thin copper wire.... The last item to be added, was the turret roof armor, which after some sanding and constant dry-fitting, just dropped into place...
I have NOT
yet constucted the Cupola although the parts are well cast and appears to offfer few problems.
The next part was the rear-storage basket for the 152mm rounds. This is cast 'solid' and each of the four upper parts have to have the excess resin sanded away, followed by some cleaning up with a sharp craft knife. The basket goes together well, although there is a slight warpage on the front panel - not too noticeable, but it is there...
Finally, for the purposes of the review, I glued all the storage boxes in place on the upper hull (along with more sanding). Two covers are provided which go on to of the (incorrect) circles on he hull - see photos!
I also added the jack in it's correct possition along with the beautifully cast rack of jerrycans.
Conclusions and some thoughts...
My first conclusion with this kit, is that the quality of it is frankly wasted on the Tamiya
KVs. With the arrival of the new Trumpeter
KVs, at last donor kits are available which compliment the sublime quality of Mig Productions'
The quality of the castings is first class with no perceivable flash or warping (apart from the slight problem with the rear stowage basket). Definition of the turret ventilators for example, is crisp and clean. perhaps, and this is doubtless a limitation of the casting process, some heavier 'casting' detail would have been welcome on the turret sides and rear.
This is not for the absolute beginner, although it would be a good conversion set for someone new to resin conversion sets to 'cut their teeth' on. Certainly at the end of the day, like the KV1 Mod.1939, you get a unique vehicle...
Sadly, I have not been able to apply this conversion kit to the new Trumpeter
kit yet. The conversion set is a quantum leap in quality for the old Tamiya KVs although the latter still have major problems with the runnng gear and the simplified hull detail. For anyone wanting to try their first conversion set, this would be an ideal subject although not for the absolute beginner -
VERY Highly Recommended
Final points and acknowledgements
In the first instance, I would like to thank Miguel 'Mig' Jimenez
for this review sample (and many others he has provided) for more details of this and the many other conversion and accesory sets produced b the company, The Mig Productions Website
is well worth a visit.
Finally, an advisory for those of you who are beginning to work with resin:
When working with resin, particularly in sanding, it is advisable to use a mask or alternatively to use dampened Wet and Dry paper. The dust is extremely fine and toxic and should be avoided at all costs..