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KV-1 Model 1941

Eastern Express


S u m m a r y

Stock Number and Description Eastern Express 1/35 Scale Kit No. 35119; KV-1 Model 1941 Late Version
Media and Contents: 262 parts (258 in grey styrene, 4 sections of black vinyl track)
Price: MSRP USD$26.00 - $33.00
Scale: 1/35
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Clean, new kit of the early Soviet heavy tank; builds into the most famous of all of the Soviet KV-1s, "Besposhchadniy"; nicely done kit
Disadvantages: Eastern European "flat" kit design causes more cleanup problems than many modelers want; some clunky details; tracks will fit but require patience and common sense to install
Recommendation: Highly Recommended for all heavy tank and Soviet armor fans


Reviewed by Cookie Sewell

Eastern Expresses family of KV tanks is available online from Squadron.com


F i r s t L o o k


Eastern Express has been running two good lines of kits for some time: one is a series of releases of the KV series tanks, and the other is based on the BT series. While both are very accurate and build into good representations of their prototypes, the KV series is easier to build and provides fewer problems for the modeler.

They now have released a series of KV-1s based tanks (KV-1s, KV-8s, KV-14/SU-152, and KV-85) and now are turning to the earlier versions of the tank with the high rear hull (KV-1, KV-2, KV-8 and KV-9). The differences are mostly in the turrets, guns and rear engine deck, so anyone who has built one of the series understands their strengths and weaknesses.

The kit comes with the two separate wheel sets for either the early KV tanks or the later KV-1s series; I almost wish they would release a third set with the early and very clunky internally buffered wheels used on the KV and KV-2.

For those not aware of KV genealogy, here is a quick overview:

  • KV original tank in 1939; came with basic hull with rounded top stern plate, internally buffered wheels, rolled armor turret, and short L-11 76mm gun.

  • KV (Big Turret) 1939 prototype of what became the KV-2; KV hull with big, boxy turret with massive mantelet reinforcement on its angled glacis.

  • KV-1 Model 1940 KV hull with new rolled steel turret and armed with L-11 gun in new turret.

  • KV-1 Model 1941 (Early) KV hull with applique armor panels, welded rectangular armor turret, bufferless wheels, and armed with F-32 gun.

  • KV-1 Model 1941 (s Ekranimi) KV-1 Model 1941 with added applique armor panels to the hull and turret; F-32 gun.

  • KV-1 Model 1941 (Mid-Production) either cast or welded turret on early Model 1941 style hull with bufferless wheels, now with long ZIS-5 gun.

  • KV-1 Model 1941 (late) either cast or welded turret on late Model 1941 hull with squared off angled upper rear plate; armed with ZIS-5 gun.

  • KV-1 Model 1942 heavy cast turret (differentiated by ring around rear machine gun mount) on either early or late Model 1941 hull.

  • KV-2 (production) ponderous rectangular turret on KV Model 1940 hull.

"Besposhchadniy" (Fearless) was a late production Model 1941 tank with the rectangular turret, and this is the version modeled here by Eastern Express. It matches up well with the photos and the decals cover the markings and the poem very nicely. The poem doesn't translate well into English, but it goes something like this:

Through a hail of fire rolls
Our heavy tank
To run into the enemy
And smash him in the flank

Your fearless crew
Will not let their eyes grow dim
As they carry out in combat
The orders of Stalin

The kit is a pretty easy build, with the only major problems being the idler mounts being somewhat fragile and requiring care if the kit tracks are used. Also the turret uses a reverse installation from what most of us are used to, and the "teeth" on the top of the hull turret ring need to be thinned from the bottom side in order to get the turret to fit.

It can sure use a bit of etched brass, and a set of Fruili or Model Kasten tracks would do much for the driveline.

Overall, however, it is a good model, better in most respects that the 30 year old Tamiya one, and worth a look.

Cookie Sewell

Review Copyright 2003 by Cookie Sewell
Page Created 13 May, 2003
Last updated 24 August, 2003

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