Two, curiously parallel 'panics' emerged during the first weeks of the German invasion of Russia. The first, from the German side, was that they had grossly underestimated the actual numbers (and quality) of the Soviet tank forces' capabilities, the second, from the Soviet side, that German AT capability was far greater than originally envisaged. Both were in fact true. The latter from the point of view of the Soviets, led to a series of conversions to their KVs which would involve the addition of extra armor. Thus was born the 'Ekranami'
program... The program essentially called for a series of bolt-on 'kits' to be produced for the KV-1 model 1940, redesignating them as the KV-1 S Ekranami Model 1941. There were two distinct variants in this program, Modification 1 and modification 2. The difference was simply that in the first, only the turret received bolt-on plates, whereas in the latter, additional armor was added to the hull sides. Modification 2 is the subject of this recent release from Trumpeter
in 1/35th scale...
some preliminary comments about this review.
Unlike the other reviews I have published on the KV-1s from Trumpeter
, this comes into the category of a 'first-look' . One of the fortunate aspects of the KV for the Trumpeter
design team, is the commonality of components used in many KV variants. This kit is based on an earlier model from the company, the small turret KV...
trumpeter's KV-1 S Ekranami
00357 - Russian KV-1‘s Ehkranami
, is a 1/35th scale kit comprising some 230+ parts moulded in a light-grey plastic. The kit, comes in the standard packaging with some nice box-art by Vince Wai
- who is also (coincidentally) a long-time member of the site. Apart from the plastic components, an additional set of vinyl tracks are included along with a length of brass wire (for the tow cables). Apart from the instruction sheet, a full-color sheet is included for the color scheme and decal placement....
The kit follows the by now standard 'modular pattern' with items such as the hull-tub, upper-deck and suspension arms being common to all the models in this series. The turret is the same as provided in the 'small-turret' kit...
There are some changes, new roadwheels, the bolt-on armor and the 'square' stowage boxes are provided...
My previous comments on the other models in this series, should in essence be sufficient so, to avoid the danger of repeating myself, I will attempt to deal with the kit's updates...
: The most notable change is the provision of new roadwheels. These are the correct reinforced (cast) type. The earlier road wheels did tend to shatter with the additional weight of the armor modules... The front idler is well reproduced although perhaps the central disc should be less pointed.
The Armor Modules
These consist of a series of armored plates bolted onto the following areas:
1) Onto the turret (two per side)
2) Externally covering the crew compartment: Two panels above the fenders and two larger sections above and behind the suspension.
3) An angled front panel increasing the armor thickness of the fromt glacis plate.
The moulding on all of these parts is first-class, with the bolt-heads well reproduced.
A useful (and missing from some of the other KVs in this series) addition is the provision of three of the flat storage boxes seen on many KV variants. These are generally well-done (see photos) although the more exacting modeller may want to substitute them with some of the PE sets currently available. The (often-seen) padlocks on these boxes are not
included...Also included is the cylindrical container which could be the storage for a telescopic, barrel cleaning-rod.
The turret scales well with the plans I have. The rear MG has the correct 3/4 'crescent' where it bolts onto the turret. The mantlet is excellent with all the correct 'holes' and bolts well reproduced and would not require replacement. The gun barrel is a good reproduction of the 76mm F-32 gun which again, should keep most people satisfied. Slide-moulding has been used to good effect to 'mask' the solid nature of the moulding.
The common factor on all of the KV models, are the plastic engine grilles and the lack of the rear hull grille. These SHOULD
be replaced by PE items, as the difference is notable... I'm also not the greatest fan of the fender supports which seem a trifle on the thick side. Internal hatch detail is also lacking and some 'dressing-up' of this area would be a useful (and simple) improvement.
Markings are provided for one vehicle - a typically 'flamboyant' vehicle with slogans. The decals have good register with the minimum of carrier film....
An excellent, well-researched and very competently executed model of one of the most striking of the KV variants. There are a lot of additional possibilities with this kit, to only add the turret armor produces a good model of 'Modification 1'. Even using the earlier roadwheels can also provide a slight variation... Trumpeter
seem to be improving with every variant they produce of this series. I do however feel that the inclusion of the PE grilles would be a nice touch (if only for the engine grilles). The sophistication of their moulding is also improving considerably although in the case of the KV series, 'over-engineering' would be a gross mistake, Trumpeter
seem to haev got the 'balance' exactly right. Once again to repeat my earlier comments, the KV series is something which deserves some serious research, it WILL
look o.k. out of the box, but with a few extra details it could really become a spectacular model... This is a series for modelling, not kit-bashing....
Very Highly Recommended
Further details - references etc...
My evaluation was principally done using Jochen Vollert's
publication, Soviet Special Nª 2002 - KV-1 Soviet Heavy Tank of WWII: Early Variants
, a review of which, can be seen: HERE
My 'Ekranami' was purchased from LuckyModel
who provided their usual fast and efficient service.
In the last month or two, I have been updating 'Armor Resource Nª 2 - the KV
, which has linked together all the published articles on the site covering the KV. It can be seen HERE!