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17Mar/170

Bolt Action KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank

Third and last part of russian tank week is the KV-1 / KV-2 heavy tank kit by Warlord Games / Italeri.

Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank

The russian heavy tank in 28mm / 1:56 scale is manufactured at Italeri and covers enough pieces to build either the KV-1 heavy tank or the KV-2 heavy assault tank. The KV series was introduced as a heavy tank and was in the early years of the war nearly immun to the Pz III and Pz IV with their early armament. It was never meant to replace the T-34 series, as the medium tank was more flexible, practical and cheaper to produce, so in the end the KV series was used as a development bases for the IS series. The KV was used by the soviet army, along as captured PzKpfw. KV I 753(r) or PzKpfw. KV II 754(r) by the germans or finnish.

Warlord sets the price at 20 GBP / 25 EUR and to add more value to the Italeri variant, it now includes a larger leaflet, that even covers a painting guide and a bit of fluff, along with game cards, decals and three damage markers with flames and smoke. On top of the two sprues covering the KV tank, there are even 8 tank riders (taken from the soviet infantry kit).

Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank

Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank

You get a mixture of Warlord and Italeri plastic sprues. The italeri sprue even includes a tank commander. Casting is solid on both, minor flash and mold lines.

Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank

The assembly begins with the tracks. For a heavy tank you get some stable, broad tracks and those are added to the lower hull.

Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank

Fit is good and the instructions are clear. The hooks are added to the front and back, along with the lead to raise the weight of the tank.

Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank

As the lower hull is prepared, it is time to prepare the remaining hull. This means the upper armour along with some tool boxes, the luke, hull mg and other small parts. The hull of the tank is for all of the KV series the same.

Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank

This kit has enough parts to build a complete variant of each of the turrets. Beginning with the KV-1, the turret covers a moveable 76.2mm L-11 gun and hatches that can be build either closed or opened, to include optional tank commander. The tank commander could even placed in the hatch behind the hull mg.

Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank

For the KV-2 you find the much larger turret of the assault tank, with the 152mm M-10T howitzer, that can be moved as well. On this turret the hatches can be build closed or opened, to optional fit in the tank commander.

Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank

As the turrets are simple mounted by plug and turn, you can field both variants without much of a hassle and switch between the two. You could glue the tank riders on top of the tank, I decided to build a small regular squad from them.

Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank

As this kit is a successor / replacement of the resin kits, here are comparison pictures of the new plastic kit next to the "older" resin variants, beginning with the KV-2.

Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank

And of course the KV-1 as well. In both cases, you see that the resin kits were already quite good detailwise, but the plastic makes it possible to be more detailled and finer, compared to the resin / metal hybrid kits.

Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank

Just for the size comparison, the two self propelled assault guns of the SU-122 and KV-2 next to eachother. The KV-2 is such a heavy beast, that it sometimes even as a wreck was used to block the progress of the opponent.

Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank

And now for a short series around the KV tanks from different angles, in both variants KV-1 (top row) and KV-2 (bottom row).

Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank
Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - KV-1 / KV-2 Heavy Tank

Conclusion
Along with the Churchill this might be one of the best tanks from the Italeri / Warlord cooperation. Finally better and clever usage of same chassis tanks and some options. To top it off, Warlord adds some serious "candy" with the newer kits and even goes the extra mile with the soviet tank and adds tank riders.

Later kits were a bit difficult to argue about the price, but with a more extensive assembly leaflet, now even covering paint jobs and background on the vehicle, stat cards and damage markers, there is a serious shift in price-performance ratio.

This kit has a proper amount of details, a few smaller parts but not to many and is rather easy to build. The casting is proper and there were no issues regarding fit or warpage. At 20 GBP it is a reasonable price for all the content and it was a good decision to include enough parts to build both turrets and not just one or the other. This KV combi kit is a good addition for any russian or finnish army, and if you're into captured vehicle (like me) even for german armies.

Bolt Action is a brand of Warlord Games.

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