Russian Tank KV-1 Type C
- Matt Bittner

Catalogue No. 8037
Scale: 1/72
Media: Plastic (104 styrene, 2 lengths of vinyl track)
Review Type: Construction
Rating: xxxx

KV-1 Forward


The ESCI KV-1 - although an older mold - is perhaps one of ESCI’s best. Unfortunately, all of the ESCI 1/72nd armor models have been out of production for awhile, with no hope of re-release in sight. Barring that, the KV-1 is a small scale armor model worth tracking down. The only “bad” thing about this kit are the vinyl tracks. Care must be taken when working with them.

Using the correct designation, as originally brought about by Steve Zaloga, the ESCI kit builds up into the KV-1 Model 1941, with cast turret.

Very few parts need replacing. There are parts, though, that would help from a “scale down”: in other words, some parts are too thick for the scale. Items brought “into scale” include the fenders (which require a lot of sanding down), the periscope openings, and the top of the turret.

KV-1 Right

Construction starts in the usual fashion. The lower hull sides are attached to the lower hull, and the resulting joints cleaned up. It was here that the majority of the putty work was needed. There was a small gap all around these two joints which required careful filling and sanding. Once both ends were glued onto this assembly, the lower hull was set aside for later painting.

At this point all wheels were glued together and set aside as well for later painting. I decided to paint these separate from the lower hull to ensure a good coverage of paint.

KV-1 Right

I then started construction on the turret. There was plenty of work put into this to bring it up to today’s standards. The main turret is supplied by ESCI as three pieces: two sides and one top. The top is a bit too thick for the scale, so before it was attached to the sides, it was sanded down. I didn’t like the gap that was showing up under the mantlet where the two turret sides joined. I ended up cutting the whole area under the mantlet out and replacing it with a single piece of sheet plastic. (In retrospect, this was not needed because once the mantlet is on, this area is really not noticeable.)

The commander’s hatch opening needed work because ESCI had one end flat to make the hatch moveable. I filled in the flat area, “rounding it out”, and sanded until the joint was not noticeable. The area of the upper part of the turret that sits on the mantlet was thinned down to bring it more into scale.

KV-1 Right

Work then progressed onto the upper hull. I decided to leave off the two stowage boxes (parts 57C and 58D) filling in the holes appropriately. The exhausts were drilled and hollowed out; HO-gauge model railroad photoetch screen was used for the intake grills - after sanding down the inside of these areas to make it as thin as possible. Once the photoetch screen was in, small pieces of sheet lead (as found on the better quality champagne bottles) were used to make the mounting brackets found over these grills. N-gauge model railroad diesel “eye-hooks” were added on the engine cover.

The brackets on the lower hull - where the tow hawsers fit for the towing cables - were thinned down and drilled out. The actual tow hawsers were made moveable by drilling a hole all the way through both “arms” of the hawser, and using an HO-gauge model railroad brass “bolt” for the pin.

KV-1 Right

Forward hull lens and rearward tail light are MV Products lenses. Gun on the rear of the turret was replaced with a needle. The extra gas tanks on the top of the fenders had their straps replaced with sheet lead.

The model was painted with Polly Scale colors - Soviet Khaki and British Dark Green - washed with a black and burnt umber oil mixture, then drybrushed with a lightened shade of Soviet Khaki. Tracks were painted with Testors Model Master Rust enamel. The whole tank was then brushed with artists chalk pastels.


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