Trumpeter 1/35 Scale Kit No. 00358;
Russia KV-1 model 1942 Simplified Turret Tank
by Cookie Sewell
329 parts (307 in grey styrene, 18 clear vinyl keepers, 2 vinyl track
runs, 2 clear styrene, 1 twisted copper wire); price US $24.95
Advantages: best KV-1 kit now on the market; choice of either styrene
or vinyl track will be popular with many modelers; thorough job of research
appears obvious with moldings
Disadvantages: some ejection pin marks on the "hard" plastic
tracks will be annoying to remove
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: For all Soviet armor fans
F I R S T L O O K
In early May 1942, the commander of the 6th Guards Tank Brigade, Colonel
Maksim Skuba, received notice that seven Stalin prize arts laureates were
going to present a KV-1 tank to his brigade. The seven (three artists
and four writers) named the donated tank "Besposhchadniy" –
"Fearless" – and provided it with a poem and artwork.
Artist Kukrynskiy painted a cartoon of the tank blowing Hitler into pieces;
author Marshak wrote this poem:
"Through the blazing fire we go
In our heavy tank
On to the rear of the enemy
Where we smash him in the flank.
Your tank's crew is fearless
Our eyes never close
As we carry out
Stalin's combat orders!
According to the Soviet archives, its best combat episode was one where
it took on 28 German tanks and knocked out five before withdrawing. But
it was later knocked out by the Germans, with the commander Khoroshilov
being killed and driver-mechanic Tsarapin being severely wounded.
"Besposhchadniy," while knocked out after only 700 kilometers,
was recovered, survived the war, and is preserved at the Museum of Armored
Vehicle Technology at Kubinka outside of Moscow.
This tank was a late production Model 1942 KV-1 with all of the basic
features of those tanks – "simplified" welded/bolted production
turret, cast all-steel wheels, cast return rollers, and a UZTM produced
hull with flush fitting glacis applique panels, "flat" engine
access door, and "square" hull rear section.
Trumpeter now seems to have set its sights on catching up to DML for
quality and accuracy, and this kit is a very aggressive move in that direction.
It also makes use of what DML calls "slide molding" or using
multipart molds to create such things as hollow molded gun barrels and
exhausts. It is also priced very reasonably, and as such should be a winner
in that area.
Detail-wise, there are many nice touches to this 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; the applique
parts are squared off to replicate the KV-1 Model 1942 hull. 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 have the interior cast reinforcement
ribs, and are really well done. 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
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
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
late, whereas the KV-2 kit takes the early model).
The turret does a beautiful job of replicating the screwy "bolted/welded"
construction that drove me crazy about a year ago. It consists of bolting
the parts together against an angle steel frame, and then filling in the
bold heads with weld bead plus welding up the seams. (One reason these
tanks took nearly 18 times as long to assemble as a T-34 Model 1942.)
While not called out on the box or specifically by name in the directions,
optional parts are also included for a KV-8 flamethrower tank (they are
shown at the bottom of page 8.)
Only one finishing option is provided – "Besposhchadniy"
from the 6th Guards Tank Brigade, May 1942.
Overall this is a gorgeous kit, and eclipses the older (but still accurate
if fussy to assemble) Eastern Express kit. From the parts breakdown, more
are going to follow.