At the outset, I would categorize myself as belonging to the 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' category of modeller. There are a (small) number of kits out there, where the addition of upgrade sets is unnecessary and adds little to the donor kit. However in the case of the 1/35th scale Trumpeter
KV series, there are a number of irritating shortcomings which, although a nice model CAN be built from the box, the addition of PE in certain areas comes close to a necessity. In this category one would have to include the rear engine deck grilles, the fender support brackets, the turret hatch and the (distinctive) storage boxes. Fortunately, the basic accuracy of the donot kits is essentially sound and only some PE is the basic improvemenyt required. In this, Eduard
have been producing a number of useful upgrades.
35 888: KV-2 Big Turret
consists of two photo-etch (PE) sheets designed as an upgrade for Trumpeter
model 00311. The upgrade set comes in the usual Eduard
clear plastic envelope packed between two sheets of cardboard. Also included are two A4 sheets of instructions which show clearly what parts are to be replaced with reference numbers for the original kit.
As I mentioned in my introduction, although the Trumpeter
kits are excellent, there are a number of areas which require replacement or enhancement. In this review, i'll take a look at what Eduard
has in the set and evaluate whether it's a valid improvement on the donor kit or not.
1) Lower (rear) Hull
. In the rear exhaust of the original vehicle, there was a curved, mesh grille which was attached by four brackets. This is missing in the original kit and has been simplified with a solid plastic part (lacking the brackets). Eduard
provide a replacement for this part along with the support brackets. - IMPROVEMENT.
2) Rear Engine Deck Grilles
provide a new approach to the replacement grilles with three parts for each. This has the advantage (fiddly though it undoubtedly is) in creating a genuine reproduction of the original structure. Eduard
have also, (correctly) done the 'simplified' grilles which were seen on early KVs. The later models' grilles were tapering and flattened towards the front, the early grilles were a simple curved form. - IMPROVEMENT
3) Fenders (underneath)
. A large, thin strip is provided to fit under the fenders. As this is not visible and of little practical value, - UNNECESSARY
4) Fenders (Support brackets)
. The original kit parts are a trifle thick, whereas, with an ingenious system of bending to double their thickness (but remain 'scale') the PE parts are excellent - IMPROVEMENT
5) Front Glacis
. Only two areas are dealt with here, the front headlight and the klaxon. As these only consist of replacement brackets although enhancing the kit parts, - SLIGHT IMPROVEMENT.
6) Turret Hatch
. The detail on the interior of the original kit part is a bit 'vague' the PE set includes parts to convincingly recreate the locking mechanism. Fiddley, but at the end of the day, - IMPROVEMENT
7) Fender Storage Boxes
. The kit parts aren't bad at all although the detail on them is a touch indistinct. Eduard
offer enhancements in three areas - replacement hinges, replacement handles and the addition of buckles. A reasonably useful upgrade but, - NOT ENTIRELY NECESSARY.
8) Gun Mantlet (Upper Cover)
. The original kit part is a bit on the thick side. A replacement is provided which comes much closer to scale, therefore giving a better appearance, - SLIGHT IMPROVEMENT.
Overall, the improvements are desirable, however, there are a couple of areas which are at best are not really necessary, or, at worst, totally unnecessary. Overwhelmingly though, the site is well-considered with the majority of the areas covered necessary for the improvement of the kit. This is not, in my opinion, a series of kits which DON'T need a bit of assistance. Eduard
have done a considerable number of sets which although useful, are beginning to repeat themselves a little. The price has also to be factored in as well. In my considered opinion, it's far too expensive for what it actually contains. A price of around $15 would be, in my opinion, fair for a set such as this. These comments aside, it IS a well produced set. The instructions are (as usual) clear and easy to follow. Again, if you really are serious about your KVs, you'll give this set some serious consideration.
Firstly, my thanks to EDUARD
for providing the set for review.
Secondly, apart from reference to the donor kit, once again, my principal point of reference was KV-2 Soviet Heavy Breakthough Tank of WWII (Tankograd Publishing) # 2001
, a review of which can be seen HERE!
has published a considerable number of reviews and features on the KV Series, all are listed and linked here: KV RESOURCE FEATURE