I am trying to find a fairly cheap, 1/35 scale tank model that is mostly accurate, out of the box, and includes individual link or link and length tracks. Mostly accurate means I can fix obvious problems with some plastic stock. The model is for painting practice.
Trumpeter offers a series of fairly cheap KV-1 and KV-2 models with link and length tracks. The 4BO Green website offers detailed reviews of all these models. I am having a difficult time understanding some of the problems with the models, especially fender issues.
As an example, Trumpeter kit 367, German Pz.Kpfw. KV-2 754(r) Tank, almost meets my needs, The 4BO Green website includes a fairly short list of corrections for the model. Unfortunately, according to the review on that website, the fenders are too wide.
If you own any of these kits, is there a way to fix the fenders using corrective surgery? Are any of the Trumpeter KV tanks accurate, out of the box.
Thank you. I am struggling with this. Every time I see a model I kinda like at a decent price, it turns out to have some fatal flaw.
You need sprue F1 for correct width (18mm) fenders and braces. It’s available in kits 00358, 00359, 00360, 00366, 01565, 09563, and 09597, and often from the kit breakers on eBay. The Trumpeter KVs are available cheaply, so cheap that you’re often ahead buying a kit for the fenders, wheels, hull, or turret than buying aftermarket replacements. It’s a lot easier dealing with styrene parts than PE, too.
Also, kits 00359 and 00360 can be built as accurate representations with few if any modifications or additional parts.
If you are building this for painting practice, you obviously realize that there’s a risk that you’ll f-up the painting. (That’s why you aren’t choosing a very accurate but expensive kit, right?) In that case, why worry about accuracy issues like the Trumpeter kits’ fender widths that are far from glaring?
Thank you for the advice! I discovered the existence of eBay kit breakers about two months ago but often forget to check there.
I can purchase a Trumpeter KV for about $25 US. It can ride with a paint order for essentially free shipping. The only set of fenders currently on eBay will cost $16.48. That pushes the price to $41.48 US.
Maybe I could scratch build new fenders from sheet plastic. They are just long rectangles, bent down at the ends, with a lip on either side and some simple brackets. On the other hand, if I do that, my hope for a fast, fun build goes out the window yet again.
I completely agree.
I will look those up. Thank you!
That is exactly correct. I am painfully aware my model and painting skills are mediocre and want to improve. My hope is to find cheap, easy, mostly accurate models to practice on. For whatever reason, accuracy issues bother me. I have tried to get past that but it nags me.
If you are planning to display this, then I agree with you completely! But if this is just going to be a test subject/paint mule that nobody will look at, then don’t worry about it. In fact, you can even use it to practice making bent/torn/smashed/missing fenders without worrying about messing up a good set of fenders.
There are people who complain about “rivet counters” pointing out accuracy issues with kits. Why the non-rivet counters complain, I don’t know, but I suspect it has something to do with believing others are judging them negatively. Namely, if everybody knows that X, Y, and Z are wrong with a kit, people will criticize me if I don’t correct those problems.
It might pay to reflect on how closely that scenario may apply to your annoyance about accuracy issues in something whose essential property is that it’s unpainted rather than depicting any particular thing.
HAHA! I regularly post pictures here on Armorama but my actual finished models go into plastic storage containers and then a closet. A few go into display cases seen only by me. Yet, I care. I want to do a good job of it.
A number of things attracted me to the Trumpeter KVs. They are cheap. They have link and length tracks. The 4BO Green provides excellent information for making them more accurate. They are very large canvases. They come in a wide variety of paint schemes and variants. Real KVs suffered a lot of abuse which will be fun to emulate with paint.
So, in a way, I am attracted to these KVs precisely so I can do things like bash up the fenders and go crazy with rust.
Oh no. No, no, no. Please do not put me in that camp. I very much appreciate the efforts of amateur historians to research these vehicles, share their findings, and push the bar of accuracy ever higher. My office closet is full of the most accurate and complicated models I could afford (back in the 2000s). They are awesome. I also enjoy improving models. However, I have a painting problem. If I can improve painting AND produce a cheap but accurate model at the same time, I win on all fronts.
I looked up the two kits from your previous post. Do you think I could swap fenders between kit 359, Russia KV1 (Model 1942) Heavy Cast Turret Tank, and kit 367, German Pz.Kpfw KV-2 754(r) Tank?
That would give me a KV-1 with wide fenders, a KV-2 with narrow fenders, and an opportunity to practice winter camouflage.
The fenders are interchangeable; Trumpeter only made two hull sides and used them all their kits without regard to the fender sprue included.
The thing is, you’ll still have one kit with too wide (~20mm) fenders. If that bugged you before, I suspect it will still bug you. Also, you may have a need for the large fender boxes, and the receiver kit may not have ones that fit or are era-appropriate.
And, you should realize that 00367 won’t get you a KV-2, rather a Pz Kpfw KW-2 754(r), which was a modified KV-2. The Germans cut a new hatch in the turret and the kit includes that.
The 4BO Website seems to have a recipe for what you must do if you want accurate fenders on your early KVs. For whatever it’s worth, I suppose you could saw the fenders included with a kit to be narrower at either side, but that would also include modifying all the fender supports and stowage boxes to fit on those narrower fenders.
I suppose it won’t be any help to try to convince you it’s not that much of a mistake to have fenders that are a mm too wide?
Thank you for posting pictures of your KV projects! They all look great to me. I especially like 702. The winter white camouflages really makes that one stand out. It looks very well done to me. The snow on the tracks is also a nice contrast element.
If I may, did you enjoy building the models? Were they especially easy or difficult? Was one more pleasant or troublesome than the others? Did you run into any specific problems?
Thanks for the compliments. They were / are easy to build, I didn’t have any fit problems. The instructions were clear and logical. “dry fitting” is an easy way to determine how to position parts for assembly. Soviet KV series had a “mud scraper” reaching in between the sprocket halves, to remove mud. Attaching this part was somewhat of a head scratcher, so I left the spot it was to be glued to unpainted, and attached it at the very end, and spot fixed the paint. There were ejector pin marks, but we are all big boys now, and know how to fill them.
I used the link and length tracks, and they fit perfectly.
For “702” I used a product from Hudson and Allen, called snow. It looked just right to me.
Thank you for that additional information. I look forward to building 702 and the captured vehicle with the link and length tracks.
This comment made me laugh. I am currently building an Academy M3 Lee for the Movie Star campaign. It has over 200 ejector pin and sink holes that need filling or sanding out. It proved to be an excellent learning experience in that regard.