Eastern Expresses family of KV tanks is
available online from Squadron.com
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.
Review Copyright © 2003 by Cookie
Page Created 13 May, 2003
Last updated 24 August, 2003
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