Russian Heavy Tank KV-85
Bronco, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Luke Pitt
|Stock Number and Description||Bronco Kit No. CB35110 - Russian Heavy Tank KV-85|
|Media and Contents:||318 green plastic parts; 682 brown plastic parts; six parts in clear; photo-etched fret; markings for four vehicles|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||High level of detail; excellent mouldings; individual link tracks.|
The KV series of tanks when introduced was arguably the finest examples of heavy tank design produced at the time. Thick armour, a good gun and a reasonable turn of speed resulted in a tank that was both feared and respected by the invading German forces at the outbreak of World War II. In fact, those of you that have seen the film “Fury” might be interested to know that the last (oft criticised) final scene was based in part on an incident in Russia where, a single KV Tank, together with infantry, held up the German advance by two days, so ineffective were mainstream German anti-tank weapons against its thick armour.
The KV-85 was the pinnacle of the series combining the 85mm D-5T gun on a modified KV-1C (lightened) hull. Depending on what source you gather your information from, over 190 were manufactured. The vehicle was effective but the defence Commissioner Kliment Voroshilov (from where the KV designation had arisen) had fallen from favour and the newer “IS” series, basically a warmed over version of the KV models, replaced it.
The kit is presented in the now familiar Bronco box with a crisp illustration adorning the lid.
When opening the box, one is confronted with 1000 parts over 36 sprues. Bronco has used many parts from their SU-152 kit (CB35113). When disregarding the parts not needed, the massive parts count is reduced to and more manageable 318 for the tank itself and 682 for the individual tracks – and admittedly most of these are for the connection pins).
Those of you familiar with “Modelkasten” tracks will no doubt at home here as they go together very much the same way. Their will however, be howls of protest in some quarters in regard to the number of parts for the tracks themselves but in reality this type of track is the best compromise to produce the notable “track sag” evident on this type.
The moulding of all the parts is to a very high standard with no flash present on any of the sprues. The all important turret shape is handled very well and scales out to the scale drawings I had on hand. A partial turret interior is included. The lower hull is made up of a large plastic tub into which the vehicles torsion bars are inserted. The road wheels are beautifully detailed with detail on the inner and outer surfaces, and are of correct diameter.
The upper and lower hull fit is superb resulting in a perfectly square assembly without the need for any trimming. An engine bay is included and while basic by Bronco standards, it includes everything that could be seen (bar the engine wires) if choose to leave the engine bay hatch open.
The drive sprockets are in two halves and have the correct rib contours on their inside surfaces. The tracks included are both appropriate for this vehicle and very well done. A small photo-etched fret is included that addresses the rear engine grill outlets and rear breather vents. Four marking choices are included with three in Russian OBD Green and one in German service wearing whitewash camouflage.
A large 20-page instruction booklet is included with 27 construction steps. The instructions are well laid out and easy to follow. In fact, I see an improvement in clarity with these instructions.
This new kit from Bronco has been a long time coming, having been announced well over a year ago. Has it been worth the wait? The answer is and unquestionable yes. I doubt if this KV-85 will be bettered anytime soon.