Trumpeter 1/35 Russian KV-1 Model 1942

By Kent Kirkpatrick

KV-1 Model 1942

This series of tank was tested in actual combat in the Russo-Finnish War. The KV-1 went on to further developement that allowed this powerful and successful tank design to survive WWII. It was fitted with the same diesel engine and many detail components as the T-34. It had an all-welded hull and turret with the exception of the casted mantlet. Some KV-1 tanks were armed with the shorter L/30 76mm main gun while others had the longer L/40 76mm main gun. Secondary armaments included 3 76.2mm machine guns. It had a crew of 5 which could reach a top speed of 22 mph from the 550hp diesel engine. Further development produced other variants of this tank design.

The Kit

The colorful box art gives you an idea of how to paint and decal your KV-1. Inside the corrugated box you will see the kit is well-packaged with a separate compartment containing the upper turret and lower hull pieces. Multiple sealed bags containing eight part sprues molded in a soft light gray styrene. Visual inspection shows that there are no sink marks or flash. The ejector pin marks are on the inside surface of major parts otherwise they are found on the sprue racks. Part detail is very crisp and to scale. Another small sealed bag contains the decals, polycapsand copper wire for tow cables. The 10-page instruction booklet (Chinese/English) is very well illustrated. To assist in assembly there is a symbol legend for gluing, painting, drilling, etc. Included is a numbered parts location diagram.

Trumpeter is really turning up the heat on other manufacturers based on price and quality. This KV-1 kit is no exception. One thing that stands out is the builder has the option of using one-piece vinyl tracks or length-link tracks. Both options are very well detailed except for one innovative difference. Trumpeter has molded the sag over the idlers in the length-link tracks . . . nice touch. These should be easy to attach. The turret is nicely molded but doesn't have the 'raw' look of cold-rolled steel but can be remedied with a Dremel tool and bit. You have the option of a long and short gun barrel. Also, 'casted' parts are missing that texture as well. Enclosed is the kit is a section of copper braided wire to connect to the tow lugs. All hatches and engine deck access doors are open. Perfect for any after-market engine and interior accessories. The fenders are separately molded from the lower hull. Suspension arms are separate which will allow the builder to articulate them for realism. Overall, this is an exceptionally molded KV-1 model kit.

The 16-step assembly begins with pre-drilling holes in the turret and upper hull. Step 1 assembles the 18-piece lower hull. I suggest substituting part S1 with a red MV lense for the brake light. The rest of the lower and upper hull detailing is completed in steps 2 through 4. The boring task of road wheel and drive sprocket assembly is in step 5. Step 6 is where you choose between the one-piece vinyl or length-link tracks. Don't forget to dry-brush those tracks to pop out the nice detail on them. Road wheel and some upper hull detailing is done in steps 7 and 8 with tracks and fender installations in steps 9 and 10. Replace part S2 with an MV lense for the headlight for added realism. Turret assembly and detailing is performed in steps 11 with the option of using the long or short main gun barrel. Steps 12 through 14 complete the turret/hull mating as well as tow cable attachment.

Step 16 is interesting in that is offers you optional parts for further detailing the upper hull.

At this point you should be ready for paint, apply decals and weather. The multicolored decals are thin and well-printed. Markings represent one KV-1 but there is no unit description. The painting and marking color plate guide helps with paint reference for Gunze Sangyo. My guess is the primary color to be a standard Russian green.


The overall quality of this kit is typical for Trumpeter and is highly recommended. From a visual inspection, I give this kit two thumbs up especially for the track options namely the molded track sag. There are other KV kits out there but this is a must for any Russian WWII armor builder. I am planning to do a build-review of this kit in the near future so stay tuned. I would like to thank Stevens International for the review kit.

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