scale KV-1B Photo Etch Set is available online from Squadron.com
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.)
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
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).
Review Copyright © 2003 by Cookie
Page Created 28 June, 2003
Last updated 24 August, 2003
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