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Soviet KV-1S Heavy Tank

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With the number of KV tanks that Trumpeter has in their range I am very disappointed that they didn’t get this one more right. The errors where the parts are in the box can be put down to oversight which are easily overcome by looking at reviews such as this, but in the case of items such as the storage box and the engine hatch where you are reliant on having other Trumpeter KV tank models or scratch building items it is very aggravating.

There are high points to this model such as the terrific casting detail on the turret but that is unfortunately spoilt by the sanding you need to do in a few areas of the turret to get it to either match up or hide joints. The tracks while not strictly accurate I can live with them as 1.6mm is not something most will ever notice unless told and they go together very well and are easy to impart sag to. I have no idea what happened with the rear panel of the upper hull but that is again easily overcome with some minor modelling skills and scrap plastic.

I have always when asked in the forums “what KV tank model to buy” said any Trumpeter kit, but in the case of this one I will have to stop and think carefully. The model is overall accurate dimensionally but the added cost of this model over the older ones makes me question if the added photo etched fret, turned metal barrel, and individual tracks are worth the added expense. The plastic barrels in the earlier kits are acceptable, the link and length tracks takes some work but does provide an acceptable finish, a much greater quantity of photo etched items and a turned barrel can be had from LionRoar for £10.

So that aside what am I actually getting an admittedly better quality moulded kit with some very nice rendered detail on the turret, and with the exceptions of the missing parts a very buildable kit which on the whole goes together well. I would buy this model if I saw it online or in a shop, but then again I have a soft spot for the KV tank because its big, overweight, and ugly...just like me.

Neil Stokes website can be found here:

Our thanks to Stevens International for providing this kit for review purposes.

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About the Author

About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...


Great review, a very tempting kit. Thanks Darren.
AUG 26, 2012 - 10:55 AM
Thanks, great built too
MAY 26, 2013 - 02:17 AM
The lifting rings on a turret are correct, judging from the instruction. But you can also see from the photos that two side ones could be an actual hooks just as the rear one. Otherwise, they only need to be "flatter"/more leveled to the roof. The handle bars on KV-1S (just as on KV-85) could be long and wrapped around in two parts; or it could have a short left side handle; or could be one single wrap-around handle bar on the top of a turret; or it could be no handle bars at all. P.S. On the last photo you can see the lifting hook on the back of a turret as well as no handle bars at all (seems like they were broken off).
MAY 26, 2013 - 12:04 PM
Forgot to add: slogan #4 from decals has an extra "K" after the word "Московский". You may want to cut it off.
MAY 26, 2013 - 12:22 PM