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Armor/AFV
For all ground-operating modelling subjects.
KV-1/KV-1S Hybrid
kunjuro
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Philippines
Joined: October 27, 2013
KitMaker: 485 posts
AeroScale: 24 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 07, 2020 - 12:29 PM UTC
Amazing work so far mate. I love how you're really bringing these Trumpeter kits to life with these improvements. I'm mostly an OOB builder, but it's great to see folks point how ways to improve existing kits. I'm planning to build one of the Trumpeter KVs in my stash so I'm really learning a lot through your blog. Keep em coming!
MrNeil
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: November 01, 2005
KitMaker: 245 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, January 07, 2020 - 10:36 AM UTC
Back from Australia, and having mostly stopped drooling on myself from the jetlag, I decided it's time to get back into this build.

Trumpeter's tow shackles are not the best point in their KV kits. At the very least, the bases of the retaining pins are typically out of round and need to be replaced. I've had a set of Aber brass ones (item R18) for a while, and I decided to use them.

Each shackle consists of three brass pieces - shackle, pin and collar - and the set includes a length of very thin copper wire to make the spring clips that retain the pins. The pins are pre-drilled to take the clips, but you have to bend the clips to shape and this requires patience and no small amount of cussing. The finished result is very nice though.

MrNeil
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: November 01, 2005
KitMaker: 245 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 02:37 PM UTC
I'm going to be taking another break from this project for a couple weeks, since I'm flying to Australia tomorrow for Christmas, and being on the other side of the planet from my workbench makes modeling a little difficult

See y'all in the New Year.

Neil
MrNeil
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: November 01, 2005
KitMaker: 245 posts
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Posted: Friday, December 06, 2019 - 01:15 PM UTC
Now we come to the tracks. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, KV-1S vehicles built prior to the end of October 1942 were fitted with 608mm tracks, which looked like the tracks on the Parfino vehicle, shown in the photo below.



Note that the Parfino example has its tracks mounted backwards, relative to period photos of vehicles with this type of track.

Masterclub makes the 608mm tracks in white metal as MTL35030 KV-1s Early. Masterclub are my new favorite for individual link tracks. They are similar in quality to Friuls but have tiny resin pins instead of the wire that Friulmodel uses. In my opinion, this results in a much better appearance when viewed up close.

The photo below shows the model with its running gear test-fitted but not yet glued in place, to judge the correct number of links for the track. The track is also not joined up yet, which is why it's sagging a little beneath the sprocket.



In case you're wondering, I used 90 links for the left-hand track. The sag along the top run is only slight, and deliberately so. The TM for the KV-1S specifies that that sag between the return rollers should be no more than 50mm, which means the bottom of the lowest track link - not the guide tooth - should be a little above the center of the return rollers.
MrNeil
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: November 01, 2005
KitMaker: 245 posts
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Posted: Thursday, December 05, 2019 - 02:08 PM UTC
Next up, I fitted the turret roof, and added the weld bead around the edge in the usual manner.

The cupola lacks the very prominent weld bead around the circumference of its base, which can be seen in the photo below.



I added that weld bead too, followed by the vision devices and the loader's hatch with its torsion bar counterbalance device.

The grab handles on each side of the roof reach too far onto the roof itself compared to photos, so I filled the locating slots and built my own handles from 15-thou phosphor bronze wire.

The photo below shows the completed turret with the gun barrel and mantlet in place. The KV-1S kit provides a metal barrel but I used one from Aber since I had it on hand and it had a rifled muzzle where the Trumpeter barrel didn't.

MrNeil
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: November 01, 2005
KitMaker: 245 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, December 03, 2019 - 03:04 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Now we come to the running gear.



You lost me here Neil. You say Trumpeter's KV-8S has the 33-68 wheel, but you don't mention that in the preceding text. Is that a typo for 33-65 or 33-67?

Also, in your photo of the three wheels, can you please list the part numbers of the wheels from left to right?

Thx,
KL



Well spotted, Kurt. I meant the 33-67 wheel but I fat-fingered it in my post

In the photo of the Parfino vehicle, you're looking at two 33-67 wheels left and center, and an 833-16 wheel on the right.
KurtLaughlin
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: January 18, 2003
KitMaker: 2,319 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, December 03, 2019 - 02:43 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Now we come to the running gear.



You lost me here Neil. You say Trumpeter's KV-8S has the 33-68 wheel, but you don't mention that in the preceding text. Is that a typo for 33-65 or 33-67?

Also, in your photo of the three wheels, can you please list the part numbers of the wheels from left to right?

Thx,
KL
MrNeil
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: November 01, 2005
KitMaker: 245 posts
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Posted: Monday, December 02, 2019 - 01:44 PM UTC
Now it was time to move on to the turret.

Trumpeter provides the KV-1 turret in left and right halves, which leaves a seam in the center of the roof immediately aft of the mantlet, and another seam down the rear of the turret. I filled these with putty and sanded them smooth.

The trunnion 'cheeks' either side of the mantlet do not fit the turret shell well, leaving a distinct step at the upper front corners. I could not find any photos of a turret that looked this way; all my references show a smooth contour between the main turret casting and the cheek castings, like that shown in the photo of the Parfino vehicle below.



I corrected the contours at each upper front corner by sanding and filling until I was satisfied with the result. This messed up the cast texture on the kit parts, but I planned to fix that later.

There were at least two different patterns for the casting seams on KV-1S turret. The Parfino vehicle displays a different pattern to that depicted in the Trumpeter kit. I carved away the casting seams on the turret shell and recreated them using styrene rod, sanded down and textured with liquid cement in a technique similar to that which I used for weld seams.

I carved away the bases for the lifting hooks since these were not fitted to KV-1S turrets until early 1943.

I also filled the holes for the handrails. While the KV-1S prototypes had handrails on the turrets, they were not fitted to production vehicles until December 1942.



I then recreated the cast texture on the turret by stippling Mr Surfacer 500 over the entire surface and lightly sanding it. No need to be too careful here since the castings on the real thing were very rough.

MrNeil
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: November 01, 2005
KitMaker: 245 posts
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Posted: Sunday, December 01, 2019 - 07:52 AM UTC

Quoted Text

This build is a good example of why good references are important for an accurate build. Good work!



Thanks Top! Got a ways to go yet.
Removed by original poster on 12/01/19 - 19:51:45 (GMT).
MrNeil
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: November 01, 2005
KitMaker: 245 posts
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Posted: Sunday, December 01, 2019 - 06:18 AM UTC
Now we come to the running gear. There were a lot of changes with regard to KV road wheels in the fall of 1942. As part of the effort to lighten the vehicle, new cast road wheels with six spokes and ligtening holes, identified by the drawing number 33-65, were introduced and fitted to the initial batch of KV-1S vehicles. They were 35kg lighter than the previous 33-803 wheels, and saved 420kg from the tank's overall weight.

However, the 33-65 wheels were difficult to manufacture and production problems meant that some vehicles in August and September 1942 were fitted with the 33-803 wheels.

A new design with eight spokes and lightening holes, designated 833-16, was introduced in late August. This wheel was even lighter at 125kg, but numerous road wheel failures were reported in September. The 833-16 wheels lasted barely a month before they were replaced by the very similar 33-67 wheel in early November.

The KV-1/KV-1S hybrid vehicles were build in October and would likely have received 833-16 wheels at the factory. The Parfino vehicle has a mix of 833-16 and 33-67 wheels, though the 33-67s were probably fitted as replacements.



As you can see, the difference is very slight. The 33-67 wheels have the small reinforcing ribs set slightly inward from the corners of the triangular lightening holes, whereas the earlier 833-16 wheels have the ribs right on the corners.

As far as I can determine, no manufacturer currently does the 833-16 wheels in styrene or resin, but Trumpeter provides the 33-67 wheels in their KV-8S Welded Turret kit (01568). Once the wheels are covered in dirt and mud, there's very little to tell between the two types, so I decided to use those wheels. There are photos of KV-8S vehicles with 33-65 wheels which are available from Panzer Art, so I wasn't sacrificing a complete kit there.



I used the KV-1S sprockets, idlers and return rollers straight from the kit since they match those seen on the Parfino example.
TopSmith
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Washington, United States
Joined: August 09, 2002
KitMaker: 1,625 posts
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Posted: Sunday, December 01, 2019 - 03:14 AM UTC
This build is a good example of why good references are important for an accurate build. Good work!
MrNeil
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: November 01, 2005
KitMaker: 245 posts
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Posted: Friday, November 29, 2019 - 08:02 AM UTC
Today's eye-crossing episode involved dealing with the horn and headlamp. I used the kit parts on Eduard mounting brackets.

I added power cables from some copper armature wire taken from a very dead electric motor I found abandoned on the roadside a while ago. Always keep your eyes open when walking your dogs



Prior to fixing the headlamp in place, I painted the reflector on the interior, added the clear lens and masked it carefully covering it with white glue.
MrNeil
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: November 01, 2005
KitMaker: 245 posts
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Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2019 - 04:15 AM UTC
Next up, I added the spare tracks to the rear fenders. In the fall of 1942, the KV-1S had a single track link mounted in the center of the rear fender section on each side.

Trumpeter's spare track links depict the 700mm track, whereas the KV-1S initially used a 608mm track with distinctive 'triangular' ends, similar in appearance to Pz.III/IV tracks. These were soon replaced by 650mm track in the late fall of 1942, but the Parfino vehicle has the 608mm tracks and I wanted to show this type on the model.

Masterclub provides the 608mm track in their set MTL35030 KV-1s Early. I took two toothed links from that set and glued them to the fenders.

On the real vehicle, the spare track mounts are U-shaped brackets with the base welded to the fender, and a T-shaped bolt sandwiched between the upright sections, able to pivot freely. The track is placed over the brackets and held in place with a retaining plate and a bolt. I made the brackets from styrene strip with bolts from Grandt Line.

rfbaer
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Texas, United States
Joined: June 12, 2007
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Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - 09:15 AM UTC
Good to see it still working, I was stalled in my quest for scavenged parts, didn't know what to dig out of the spares boxes.
MrNeil
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: November 01, 2005
KitMaker: 245 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - 11:09 AM UTC
Thought you'd gotten rid of me, didn't you? No such luck, gentlemen. I took a break from this project to build AFV Club's Korean War Centurion for a review on another site. Nice kit by the way; you should all buy one...preferably two

Anyways, back to the KV-1/KV-1S hybrid. When I stepped away from the model, the hull was almost complete. The next step was to add the long rectangular toolbox to the left-hand fender. Trumpeter depicts the toolbox as sitting on the fender itself, whereas the box was actually mounted on wooden blocks which raised it so that its top was almost flush with the top edge of the hull side.

I added the mounting blocks from 80-thou styrene cut to shape, and their retaining brackets from thinner styrene with a slot carved in the upper edges for the retaining straps. The loops that hold the inner ends of the straps were bent up from 6-thou brass wire.

The retaining straps themselves are from Tamiya masking tape and the buckles came from a photo-etch set I had in the spares box. The buckles were a little thick so I filed them down slightly.

MrNeil
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: November 01, 2005
KitMaker: 245 posts
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Posted: Saturday, August 10, 2019 - 09:02 AM UTC
Now it was time to move on to the fenders. Both kits provide suitable fenders with four attachment bolts for the brackets. I used the fenders from the KV-1 Model 1942 kit because KV-1Ss from the fall of 1942 typically show just the long narrow stowage box on the left-hand fender and a single track link on each.

The Model 1942 fenders have locating holes for the spare track links and stowage box. I filled these holes since I was going to replace the spare track links in the kit with the correct 608mm ones, and since the stowage box would be mounted on wooden blocks rather than directly on the fender.

Model 1942 hulls assembled in the summer of 1942, along with the earliest KV-1S hulls, typically show a mix of open and solid fender brackets, even on the same vehicle. The Parfino vehicle has had its fenders reconstructed from sheet metal so it’s no help. The photo of ‘Powerful’ doesn’t show the brackets so I used a little artistic license and used solid brackets except for a single open bracket.

MaKrueger
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Colorado, United States
Joined: May 23, 2006
KitMaker: 60 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, August 06, 2019 - 08:41 AM UTC
Nice update! Good sleuthing.
MrNeil
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: November 01, 2005
KitMaker: 245 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, August 06, 2019 - 12:37 AM UTC

Quoted Text

If the hull parts were unwelded attaching the end plate forward a bit would be sensible as that involves the same amount of welding and time as putting it in the normal position, plus you don't need that extra strip.

KL



Kurt, that's my thinking. It's possible that the M.1942 hulls that Factory 200 had in inventory and used for these vehicles were incomplete. That's borne out by the presence of certain KV-1S features like the twin driver's periscopes. It's not a 100% certain thing, but it is plausible.
KurtLaughlin
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: January 18, 2003
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Posted: Monday, August 05, 2019 - 12:42 PM UTC

Quoted Text

The transmission compartment roof plate on the KV-1S hull was somewhat shorter than that on the KV-1 Model 1942 hull. If the factory used a KV-1S roof plate, there would be a gap that would need to be filled, perhaps by modifying the upper rear hull plate and moving it forward. I did a little measuring and test fitting and sure enough, it was plausible – everything would line up with just the right amount of ‘inset’ for the rear plate.



Weird. That would imply that they got the KV-1S deck plates before they started (or got far along) on building the hull. Otherwise, if the shorter deck plates were a late addition or substitution, one would think that they would make up the difference topside with a strip of plate. Certainly easier than cutting out an existing end plate and moving it forward 25mm or 50mm.

If the hull parts were unwelded attaching the end plate forward a bit would be sensible as that involves the same amount of welding and time as putting it in the normal position, plus you don't need that extra strip.

KL
MrNeil
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: November 01, 2005
KitMaker: 245 posts
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Posted: Sunday, August 04, 2019 - 11:51 AM UTC
On the Parfino vehicle, the applique armor on the upper hull sides is the same height as that typically seen on KV-1S hulls to avoid fouling the turret, but is longer, more like that seen on Model 1942 hulls.



I decided to make my own from 30-thou styrene, using photos of the Parfino vehicle as a guide, with the weld beads added from 20-thou rod in the usual way.



You'll notice the white center return roller axle. Somewhere in the handling I managed to break off and lose the original axle, so I drilled out the hub and added a length of 80-thou styrene rod to replace it.

I realized at this point that I’d forgotten to add the weld bead around the base of the antenna guard. I used 10-thou rod for this since photos of the Parfino vehicle show the weld was quite small.



You'll also notice the missing mount for the horn. That was also a handling casualty so I'll need to replace that too.
MrNeil
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: November 01, 2005
KitMaker: 245 posts
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Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 - 09:45 AM UTC
Using the Eduard mesh part for the exhaust air grille led me to reconsider my previous decision to use Trumpeter’s styrene intake screens. I therefore went back and with a little cussing since it’s been a while since I’ve built a set, constructed the screens from the Eduard TP088 set and attached them.

I managed to break the retaining cable on the engine access hatch and send part of it into orbit, so I had to use the one from the KV-1S kit and hollow out the loops at each end.

MrNeil
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: November 01, 2005
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Posted: Friday, August 02, 2019 - 06:18 AM UTC
I bet you’ve been wondering what happened to me It took me a while to figure some things out with this build and when I did, it required some revisions.

The rear end of the hull has been bugging me. Why would a museum rebuild a vehicle in such an incorrect fashion, not to mention using (apparently) armor plate? It just didn’t make any sense – and then I had one of those ‘light globe above the head’ moments.



The transmission compartment roof plate on the KV-1S hull was somewhat shorter than that on the KV-1 Model 1942 hull. If the factory used a KV-1S roof plate, there would be a gap that would need to be filled, perhaps by modifying the upper rear hull plate and moving it forward. I did a little measuring and test fitting and sure enough, it was plausible – everything would line up with just the right amount of ‘inset’ for the rear plate.

I therefore set to work rebuilding the rear end. Thankfully my use of glue on the first try had been sparing enough that the rear deck and overhang came off without messing things up too much. I separated the upper rear plate from part xxx in the Model 1942 kit, added the KV-1S engine deck and transmission compartment roof plate, which required trimming away the locating tabs from the insides of the hull sides to get the right slope. I sanded the upper rear plate to reduce the width and glued it in place, then added the weld beads from 20-thou styrene rod, softened and textured in the usual way.



The styrene exhaust air grille would no longer fit correctly on the smaller aperture, and I decided a brass mesh grille would be easier to modify, so I used the part from Eduard set TP088.

I also realized that the Parfino vehicle does not have a rear exhaust air deflector, nor is there any evidence of one having been there, so I decided to remove the deflector from the model and fill the groove beneath it.



You’ll notice the new tail light guard. After I finished the original guard, I found the 6-thou brass wire I knew I had somewhere, so I went back and rebuilt it with the correct 5 vertical and horizontal bars.
MaKrueger
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Colorado, United States
Joined: May 23, 2006
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Posted: Tuesday, July 09, 2019 - 10:28 AM UTC
What a cool project Neil. I love your attention to detail and thanks for taking the time to explain it all. Looking forward to more progress.

BK
MrNeil
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New Jersey, United States
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KitMaker: 245 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, July 09, 2019 - 06:57 AM UTC
Now it was time to turn my attention to the suspension. Both kits provide the late style suspension swing arms, which I added to the hull sides along with the bump stops, sprocket and idler mounts.

Trumpeter’s instructions are vague about the orientation of the caps on the torsion bar ends of the swing arms. In my previous research, I’d always found them to be oriented as shown in the photo below:





However, the Parfino vehicle has them in all kinds of different orientations, and at least one photo of a fall 1942 production KV-1S shows the same. It’s possible that they were using 3-bolt caps with older 6-bolt fittings underneath, which would explain the greater variation in orientations.



Make sure to use the flat-faced end caps from the KV-1S kit (parts WA16). The Parfino vehicle has this type and it’s plausible that ‘Powerful’ did too.

Take care NOT to add the mud scrapers (parts A5 and A6) to the hull sides since you can’t get the sprockets on with these in place.