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KV-1B Photo-Etch Set



S u m m a r y

Stock Number and Description Eduard Photoetched Accessories for Scale Plastic Kits Set No. 35 405; KV-1B
Media and Contents: 112 items on two frets
Price: USD$18 - $22 (available for USD$16.96 from Squadron)
Scale: 1/35
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Solves most of the detail problems with this kit; parts are generally well laid out and quite useful; most do not require origami or heavy bending
Disadvantages: Some parts really are questionable as they are quite difficult to attach to the model, with literally zero footprint for glue adherence
Recommendation: Highly Recommended. With a new set of tracks and some other after-market goodies, can make this old kit a real showpiece


Reviewed by Cookie Sewell

Eduard's 1/35 scale KV-1B Photo Etch Set is available online from Squadron.com


F i r s t L o o k


As time goes on and now with the advent of tools like the "Hold and Fold" using brass or other etched metal after-market parts on a kit is now becoming quite common and in some cases de rigeur. Eduard is currently the "class leader" but is being chased by a number of other companies such as Aber.

However, some of the companies have gone around the bend, and include items which are nearly useless (1/35 scale 1/2" hex nuts 0,.003" inches thick are a bit on the puny size for most folks, me included) or so involved that it would take a Japanese origami master a week to fold into shape.

To their credit, Eduard has avoided most of these pitfalls, and this kit is a real aid to fixing up an old kit like the Tamiya KV-1B. That kit needs help in the worst way, so this does much to help out.

The problem with older kits like the KV-1B is first off, they generally aren't as well researched as new ones. The KV-1B is essentially nothing more than the 29-year-old Tamiya KV-2 kit with a new set of sprues for the turret and some new decals (and a higher price tag!) It still comes with clunky details and, worst of all, one-sided tracks. Tracks are now readily available from many sources (e.g. Model Kasten in plastic and Friulmodel in white metal to name two) so that can be fixed. This set fixes the clunky details at worst and adds a lot of finesse at best.

Thankfully, the KV series tanks were so big and clunky that Tamiya could actually make them in scale without having to futz around with the kit in order to shoehorn in their standard motorization pack. All it really needs are new details and a new gun barrel to fix it up. (Jordi Rubio makes an "L-10" gun which is closer to the L-11/F-32 used on this tank.)

This set provides for new items for the rear radiator exhaust grille, hot air deflector, radiator intake grilles, fender braces and stiffeners, hinges for the ZIP boxes on the fender sides, hatch interior details, the interior braces and the under-fender track protectors not provided with the kit, the AA gun mount, and the view blocks for the interior of the view port covers.

The directions are very clear (a boon to all of us!) and are color coded to warn the modeler what has to be removed, what has to be kept, and what is replaced. Other instructions describe what the modeler must do cut, duplicate, grind, bend, or have his option as to what to use.

The Eduard parts match the photos and items I have on KV-1, but the only finicky comment I could make is that the radiator intake grilles appear to have a square pattern to them and not a diamond pattern as given in the kit. (But then again, both the US and UK examples of KV-1 are Model 1942 type tanks with late-model heavy cast turrets and hulls.)

Incidentally, the kit is (as was normal for most Soviet model subjects prior to 1990) misnamed. The actual vehicle represented in the kit is a KV-1 Heavy Tank Model 1941 with
F-32 gun and applique armor plate perhaps around 100-140 of these were built in July 1941, which somewhat limits the usefulness of the kit. There are a number of problems with the applique armor bits, but the good news is that with some minor work the kit can be built as a KV-1 Model 1941 less the applique. That tank design was built from January to June 1941 and again from August to October 1941. These quickly became the first echelon KV tanks used against the Germans, and due to the lousy performance of the tank and its short-barreled gun, most of them were knocked out and lost by November 1941 when the first tanks mounting the effective ZIS-5 version of the long-barreled 76mm F-34 gun (the difference was the mount, as both guns used nearly identical barrels and breeches.)

Overall the Eduard kit really dresses this model up, and it will be the subject of a new series of articles I am going to be doing for Military Modeler (like the recent one on the T-34 Model 1941).

Cookie Sewell

Review Copyright 2003 by Cookie Sewell
Page Created 28 June, 2003
Last updated 24 August, 2003

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