Tamiya’s 1/35 scale KV-I kit
originally dates from 1972. It was originally released as a
motorized tank. This release, what Tamiya calls a KV-IB, is
actually designated KV-IE. It is a KV-1 model 1940, which was
fitted with 35mm appliqué armor plates on the turret and parts
of the hull. The kit contains 136 injected molded dark green
parts, and 2 vinyl tracks, along with a sprue of vinyl “keepers”
for the road wheels.
Since just about every other tank
model I have built I start with the hull, I decided to break
tradition and start with the turret on this one. The turret in
this kit is a newer molding that the hull, dating from around
1980-something. It is possible to leave off the added armor
plates, and with just a little modification to the turret rear
plate make a standard model 1940 turret with the F32 76mm gun.
I started on the turret by
drilling / cutting out the vision slits on the turret sides. The
only things that I added to the turret were strips of plastic
glued to represent the periscope glass, some black painted
plastic under the ventilator to prevent seeing in to the turret,
and drilling out the end of the machine gun barrel. The assembly
of the turret parts presented no problems.
On the hull the first thing I did
was sand the Tamiya logo off the bottom, and cover over the
motor holes with a sheet of .020 plastic. On the hull top, the
engine grills were cut away, and these were replaced with cut
pieces of nylon mesh. The molded engine cover lock and fender
braces were removed. All of the holes in the fenders were
filled, and the fenders themselves were sanded to about half of
their original thickness. Before joining the hull halves and
rear plate I glued some plastic into the drivers periscope.
Several pieces were used for this – one piece to bring the
front armor to the correct thickness, another to represent the
glass, and a third to make the correct shape to the periscope
cover. The shape should be the same as the ones on the turret
Starting at the front of the
hull, I detailed the hull parts. The front armor plates, towing
shackles, machine gun mount, headlight (after I drilled out the
front of it), and speaker were glued in place. The molded on
electrical lead for the light and speaker were removed and
replaced with wire. The driver’s hatch and hull side armor
plates were attached also.
New fender braces were cut from
.010 sheets plastic. There were 2 pieces each – a bottom strip
and then the brace itself. They are basically a triangle with
the center cut out. The rivet heads on the braces were added
from drops of white glue.
The ends of the exhausts were
opened using a panel scriber. The fender stowage boxes had new
handles made from bent pieces of wire, and the engine deck
latches were removed and replaced.
The road wheels and tracks are
the least detailed parts of this kit. The outer road wheels are
ok, but the inner ones lack any detail. I drilled the holes in
the inner road wheels by using a jig I made from the outer
wheels. 144 holes later, I was finished! The kit tracks have
decent detail on the outside, but are smooth on the inside. I
replaced them with injected molded single link tracks from
Military Wheels. These were tedious to clean up, but fit well
and looked good when done (also the price was great at only $9).
I painted the tank overall Model Master Russian Armor Green.
While I liked the color of this paint, it is annoyingly a
semi-gloss. When dry, a coat of Glosscoat was sprayed on. Next I
applying a wash made from Pro-Modeler acrylic gloss black,
thinned with window cleaner. Dry brushing with the original
green, followed by to lighter dry brushings with lighter green
shades, followed this.
None of the KV-IE tanks I have
pictures of (42 pictures) show any marking on these tanks, so
none were applied. Dullcoat was sprayed on when all was dry.
The edges of the wheels were dry
brushed with steel, and then they were attached to the tank. The
tracks were painted black, then dry brushed with dark brown,
followed by steel, and these were glued in place (they had
already been fitted and assembled into 4 pieces for each side of
the tank). As a final touch I added a headlight lens that was
cut, shaped, and polished from a piece of clear sprue.
Overall this turned into a
good-looking model (in my opinion at least) with a little work
and the added tracks.