Russian Heavy Tank KV-2

1:48 Scale - Kit No.32538
Review by Terry Ashley

Logically just as Trumpeter followed their KV-1 kits with the big KV-2, Tamiya have done the same with this new kit of the Russian KV-2 which represents the Model 1940 KV-2.

The kit is basically the equivalent of the 1:35 Trumpeter KV-2 Tank (kit #00312) and as you would expect much of the kit is the same as with the Tamiya KV-1 (kit #32535) with all the hull and track parts being the same with just a new sprue for the big KV-2 turret parts and of course a new decal sheet.

The kit has 194 parts in the usual olive drab plastic plus the large cast metal lower hull tub, the decal sheet, a few poly caps, a length of twine for the tow cables and the screws to hold the hull sections together.

Standard of moulding is again very good overall with nice detail in some areas while others are quite sterile with a distinct lack of details such as the drive sprockets, hull weld seams (not there) and numerous bolt heads and rivets that could quite easily have been included in this scale although the new turret has the weld seams and well defined large bolts on the mantlet.

Dimensionally the new turret measures out well when scaling down the 1:35 plans in the Tankograd KV-2 book with the barrel length, turret height, width and length all being well within acceptable tolerances but the main hull width is still about 1mm too narrow while the length measures out okay as does the fender widths.

The wheels, drive sprockets and idler wheels match the plan dimensions well as does the track width so all the above discrepancies are probably not a big deal and doesn’t distract from the overall appearance of the kit.

Lower Hull:
The metal hull tub like previous kits is devoid of underside details but does have more detail on the suspension components with bolts heads around the main axle mountings and bump stop mountings but strangely none on the return roller or final drive mountings. The idler tensioning arm in included as is a separate mud scrapper for the rear drive sprockets with the front and rear curved hull panels being separate plastic parts that fit well to the hull.


The drive sprockets have the correct number of bolt heads for this version but these are only on the outside sprocket face with no detail at all on the reverse side or on the inner sprocket which makes for a very plain looking assembly. The sprockets halves trap poly caps between them for easy fitting to the final drive axles which as mentioned are also devoid of any detail but this isn’t that easy to see on the final kit anyway.

The detail on the resilient road wheels is quite well done and again has the correct number of small holes and bolts for this version and the large idler wheels also have nice details included on both the outer and inner wheel unlike the drive sprockets. Both the road wheels and idlers are designed to be glued in place on their respective axles.

The two part return rollers also have nice hub details but are a little on the shallow side if you wanted to real picky.

Assembly of the suspension is very straightforward but you have to fit the drive sprockets in place before fitting the mud scrappers as the sprockets won’t fit afterwards but other than that there were no problems here.

These are in link and length with the top run having track sag included between the return rollers which makes lining up the tracks very easy. The shorter lengths of track are fitted around the idlers and drive sprockets with the sections fitting snugly together which again helps in fitting.

The tracks themselves have good cast details included but there are some small pin marks on the inside of the links but these are mostly hidden by the road wheels and sprockets and are not that noticeable on the assembled tracks.

Assembly was quite straightforward with the sections around the idler and drive sprockets added and allowed to dry completely before adding the shorter joining sections and long top and bottom runs.


Upper Hull:
The upper hull is in one large part that includes the fenders but has the full engine deck as a separate part to allow the details here to be done very well with nice bolt head details and separate rear hatches but the two side intake mesh panels are moulded solid but will no doubt be included in the inevitable etched details set to come. The two small exhaust pipes are also separate parts with the fit of the engine deck to the hull quite good but there was a little movement so be sure it is located evenly as you glue in place, but off course you have to the screw the upper and lower hulls together before hand as the screw hole is under the engine decking.

The hull as mentioned is quite sterile with no weld seams or surface texturing and if you take the time to add the weld seams it will improve the overall appearance on the large hull.

There are a few locating holes that need to be opened up from the inside further indicating other versions will follow and the fender supports are all separate parts as is the hull nose cap which neatly covers the lower/upper hull join line but obviously you have the screw the two together before fitting this.

At the front is a separate driver’s visor, a two part head light with solid plastic lens, a small siren for which you may want to add the wiring and a three part machine gun and mounting plus the upper periscope cover at the front of the hull. The rim to the driver’s hatch is a separate part and the hatch has inside latch detail if you wish to show this open.

Added to the fenders are the three large storage boxes moulded in one piece plus other small fittings and the tow cables form the twine provided.

The turret has individual panels for the lower ring, front panel, two sides, top and real panel which means there are plenty of join seams but thanks to the excellent fit of all panels there was no trimming or filling needed. There is no cast texture but this is not that evident in any case and less so in this smaller scale but you might want to beef up the weld seams a little.

The gun mounting is in three parts held together with two poly caps and fitted into the bulges on the front panel allowing gun elevation with a six piece mantlet which includes nice weld seams and well defined large bolts on the front.
Due to the curve of the front of the mantlet including the three/four large bolts would have meant the lower ones would have been distorted and to avoid this Tamiya give you the lower two bolts as a separate insert which works well.

The fit of the mantlet parts is also very good with just a single join seam on the bottom to worry about and the two piece barrel has a very small join seam to be sanded smooth.

The top panel has the main hatch as a separate part with internal detail and small hinge if you want to show this open and the three periscope covers and the two dome sights plus the six large side and top grab handles are also separate parts with the top ventilator included with the roof moulding as is the gun mounting cover. The periscope covers don’t have any rivet detail but photos in the Tankograd book show this is correct for some KV-2s and the fit of the roof to the turret is as mentioned exceptionally good without the need for any trimming or filler.

The decal sheet is again typical Tamiya with nicely printed markings but with thickish carrier film with three unidentified vehicle markings for the standard overall Russian green paint finish.

Decal sheet
Image enhanced to show marking
The Sprues
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As with the KV-1 this is another sound kit from Tamiya with the main features of the model 1940 KV-2 captured well and the fit of parts exceptionally good but there are some areas that could do with extra detailed as with any kit but will build into a very nice KV-2.

Highly recommended

KV-2 Soviet Heavy Breakthrough Tank of WWII
Tankograd Soviet Special
No. 2001
KV-1 & 2 Heavy Tanks

Osprey New Vanguard 17
ISBN 1-85532-496-2
Ground Power Magazine
#75 - 8/2000
Published by GALILEO
Publishing Co.,Ltd.
Russian Tanks and Armored Vehicles 1917-1945
Schiffer Publishing
ISBN: 0-7643-0913-7
Stalin's Heavy Tanks

Concord Armor at War
Series #7012
Stalin's Giants KV-1 & KV-II
Schiffer Publishing
ISBN: 0-8874-0404-9
Wydawnictwo Militaria #34
KW Vol.I
Wydawnictwo Militaria #163
Wydawnictwo Militaria #168

Kit courtesy of my Credit Card and the excellent service from Hobby Easy

Page created September 11, 2006

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