The KV-8s Tank was a KV-1s fitted with the ATO-42 flamethrower in the turret. In order to accommodate the new flamethrower weapon, the 76.2mm cannon was replaced with a smaller 45 mm M1932 gun, though it was disguised to look like the standard 76.2 mm cannon, the 45 mm gun was placed inside 76mm tube. Production of KV-8 began in 1942. The main advantage of the KV-8 over the OT-34 (T-34 flame-thrower) was almost 5 times higher capacity tanks with Molotov cocktails. KV-8 and OT-34 were allocated to individual battalion flamethrower tanks (chemical tank battalions), they weighed 43 tons, and had a crew of 5 people.
This kit is another one of Trumpeter
ís KV series but it uses new spruces not leftover ones from their previous kits. It comes in a standard corrugated cardboard tray and lid type box that has an artistic rendition of the KV-8s in battle with a flame shooting out of the flamethrower in the turret. There are 268 pieces including the PE plus 192 track links for a total parts count of 460 pieces. Upon opening the box there are several plastic bags containing all the sprues that are molded in light gray plastic, brown plastic for the 12 sprues of track links and a sectioned off portion of the box that contains the tanks hull, turret PE, clear sprue and the decal sheet.
- Sprue WA these held fuel tanks, control arms, and return rollers
- Spruce WB, contained the 2 side of the outer hull
- Sprue WC contains the rear and parts of the upper section of the hull. Sprue WF contains the plastic parts of the turret machine gun. What I found interesting is that this is the same sprue that comes with Trumpeter Rf8 Aerosan but both are marked KV-8 on the rear
- Sprue WG is the top of the hull and fenders
- There is 3 spruce WJ which is the road wheel halves
- Sprue WK is the turret pieces
- Sprue WR is the barrel and mantel, the barrel is nicely done making it look like the 45 mm gun is inside the 76mm cannon tube
- Sprue S is clear plastic and has the headlight and taillight
- 12 sprue WT each one contains 8 track pieces with the guide horns and 8 without
- Sprue WV contains the side armor
- 2 frets of PE
- 150mm piece of brass wire to make the tow cables
- The decal sheet provides markings for only one vehicle
The panting and marking guide is a glossy color sheet that gives 5 views of the tank but limited paint references. There is only 1 paint scheme suggested that uses only 2 paint colors and offers three brands of paint numbers Mr. Hobby, Vallejo and Model Master.
The instructions come as an 8 page booklet that is broken down into 10 steps and has graphics that are for the most part clear, concise and easy to follow.
The Build Review
The parts had good crisp detail that fit together very well. There is no flash that needed to be removed, minimal pin marks that were quickly dealt with by file and a few minor seam lines on the road wheels. Iím not the type to jump all around the instructions and this build was going to be strictly OOB, so I started with Step 1
construction of the hull. The sides of the hull were glued and then clamped. Then it was on to the sub-assembly of the rear hull PE pieces. The instructions say to bend PE-A1, but this part should be curved, so I use a small X-Acto knife handle to form the shape. With part PE-A3 this was the only confusions in the instructions, here I actually had to find a walk-around KV to see how this screen part was supposed to be placed.
The rest of hull and suspension went together cleanly and easily with the continuation of step 2
. This step also included the engine vents on the top of the hull. I would have like to see some PE engine vent instead of the solid plastic ones provided. The hull on the KV has 3 hatches and the inside hatch covers had some nice detail on them along with some deep pin marks that needed filling if the hatches were going to be left open. The kit provides hinges for the hatches but the instruction do not show an option to leave the hatches open, this can easily be accomplished if one choses to do this. Additionally the instructions do not tell you to use a hinge part WC4 on the front hatch.
Step 3 and 4
was the construction and installation of the sprocket and road wheel. I then skipped step 5
which is the tracks assembly. Here the instruction show the same illustration for the link and length track of the earlier kits except it states to use 88 track links for each side. I saved this step until the end and wound up using 89 links on 1 side. I probably gave the tracks too much sag to that side of the tracks.
Step 6 and 7
was the construction and installation of the fenders and some grab handles. The grab handles are quite thin so care must be used here, removing them from sprues and cleaning them up.
is the turret assembly and is broken down into 8 sub steps. Here we find that on the top of the turret the vision port covers mounting points and the pre made hole in the top of the turret were of a different shape and size. This required some putty to fill the openings.
Step 9 and 10
are on the last page of the booklet. Step 9 is the assembly of the external fuel tanks and more grab handles. The kit comes with 3 additional fuel tanks so if the builder wanted to add others he could but the instructions donít point that out. Step 10 is the tow cables.
This kit is a real pleasure to build; the instructions were clear and concise with little confusion. The kit has nice detail and builds up into a really fine version of a rather rare variant of the KV family. For the most part the fit was good and little clean-up was required. Inclusion of some rubber band tracks would have made this kit ideal for the beginner but the individual link track make it more for an experienced builder.