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Battlefront's Remastered KV-1

KV-1 Heavy Tank
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Revision Log
25 May 2001page first published

8,250 hits since 25 May 2001
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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It was last Christmas when we reported on the surprising case of a miniatures company issuing a recall. They'd discovered that seven models in their extensive product line weren't correctly scaled - in fact, they were 18% too small - and so Battlefront re-issued those models and offered replacements to owners of the defective items.

the box

The company was kind enough to also send us a sample of the remastered KV-1 Heavy Tank for review. The model comes in Battlefront's unique "shadow box" packaging: the vehicle body and turret are visible in the "window," while the miscellaneous parts are in a ziploc bag in an invisible subcompartment.

the parts

The two main pieces are cast in a taffy-colored resin: hull and turret. Metal pieces are the right and left track pieces, gun barrel, hatch, and (optional) crew figure. The resin pieces are attached to each other (and the box) with a rubbery adhesive that eventually lets go.

Construction is self-evident: The turret fits snugly into the hull, with enough grip that you could leave it unglued and "free to pivot" without it being likely to fall out.

The track pieces are etched on the insides to indicate which side they go on and which end is the front. (The only mystery is how the tracks line up with the hull, but it's not much of a mystery - slide the tracks back until they catch against the rear fender, and you've got them in the right place.)

The gun barrel may need slight straightening. Though the fit in the mantlet is as good as one might expect, there is always wiggle room and you'll need to pay attention while attaching it to make sure it is aligned properly.

The hatch can be posed shut (it fits within the ring on top of the turret) or open. But which direction does the hatch open? My references show the hatch opening to the front, to the rear, and to the back - depending on the specific variant of the KV-1. Unfortunately, none of my references show an open hatch for the variant this product is based on. Battlefront's photos of the assembled kit show the hatch opening to the rear.

crew figure

The crew figure is from the waist up (the bottom piece of metal clips off), and is wearing the Soviet tanker uniform (including the padded headgear).

front view

Holes in the hull and turret indicate where the machineguns would be positioned. Wire for the gun barrels is not supplied.

Resin parts are prone to minor glitches, but our sample was amazingly flawless. There's even a fine raised line above the headlight on the glacis that I thought was a molding flaw, but turned out upon research to be part of the tank! Purists may want to file away a few odd bits here and there, but it's not necessary.

side view

Which KV-1 variant does this model depict? The gun's position, high in the gun mantlet, identifies this as a KV-1 Model 1940. The turret splash strips (extra armor welded near the turret race), added to the KV-1 to protect against turret jamming while under fire, make this a vehicle from late 1941.

The manufacturer identifies the gun as being 76.2mm, but is it the F-32 or the ZIS-5? Length of the gun barrel identifies it as the later ZIS-5, which also dates this tank to after the German invasion.

But you ask, if it was built in 1941, shouldn't it be a KV-1 Model 1941? Strictly speaking, the Model 1941 has a different turret shape and spoked roadwheels. In the confusion of late 1941, however, KV-1's were built that had Model 1940 turrets with Model 1941 hulls and vice versa, so it's hard to say what a "typical" Model 1941 looked like.

Battlefront's photo of the assembled kit, showing hatch open and crewman

Compared with the reference drawing in Osprey's KV-1 & 2 volume, the model appears accurate. Possible quibbles are whether the rear deck is correctly sloped at the rear, if the mantlet extends far enough down, and if the third idler wheel is a bit too forward, but these are very minor issues (and not too much should be concluded from comparison to a single reference drawing).

The hull length is 64mm. The manufacturer equates 15mm scale with 1:100 scale, so 64mm represents 6.4 meters (21 feet). Total length (from front to rear of tracks) is 68mm (6.8 meters). Our printed references don't list the hull length for the Model 1940, but give 22 feet 2 inches as the length for the Model 1941. Various websites give the length (total length?) as 6.68m, 6.68m, 6.7mm, 6.8m, 6.9m, and even 7.1m, but no specific length is given by any website we could find for this particular variant.

So is the tank accurate? Well, the model's length is 64 or 68mm depending on how you measure, and the sources say it should be somewhere from 67 to 71mm - so it's in the right range.