Adequate kit that will require some extra elbow grease to turn out decently.
With significant work, turns out a nice looking model.
Excellent cast metal texture on the turret.
Copper wire for tow cables instead of string.
Thin decals that settle nicely on a gloss coat.
Single-piece vinyl or link-and-length tracks with sag built in.
The only 1/35 scale early 1939 KV-2 in the game (that I could find).
Flash and heavy mold parting seams on everything.
Some parts are very small and/or fragile.
Fit problems that require filling and sanding.
Painting directions for only one tank.
Simple kit with no photo etch parts and no interior. This makes for an easy, uncomplicated build for the most part. Some tiny parts (like A28) are difficult to install due to their size.
I omitted the hatch hinge parts (A26), since thereÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢âÂ¢s no interior and no point in posing hatches open.
My port fender (part C1) was warped. Fortunately, bent fenders are not uncommon on tanks.
Fender supports (parts C8 and K16) are very fragile. Be extremely careful before and after installation.
The turret hand holds used to reach the top of the turret (parts K9) are very fragile and difficult to clean up without breaking. I replaced mine with bent piano wire and they look so much better, not to mention being much stronger and not so prone to breakage.
The tow cables took some work. It's difficult to attach plastic end loops (parts H4, H5, H6) to copper wire. I drilled out the ends of the plastic loops a bit so there was something for the copper wire to hang on to, and used CA to make the attachment. It help up fine while bending and fitting the tow cables to the vehicle.
Flash and mold parting seam cleanup took a long time, and I got pretty tired of it. And flash was everywhere - no part was exempt.
I left the wheels and tracks off until the close to the end, but that may not be an easy thing to do if link-and-length tracks are chosen.
Not being a fan of link-and-length tracks, and doubting I could get the proper track sag using the vinyl tracks, I decided to replace the kit tracks with a set of Friulmodel tracks (ATL-10). While they are pricey and time-consuming, they look great and create their own sag. They also give this lightweight model some heft so it doesn't slide across the table in a light breeze.
There were a fair number of joints on the hull and turret that required filling with putty and subsequent sanding. Turned out fine, but I'm not used to having to do this with armor kits. Maybe Tamiya has spoiled me over the years.
Once your paintwork begins, you'll see what a nice, realistic cast metal texture the turret has. Good job on that, Trumpeter.
The decals were nice and thin, and went down very nicely over a gloss coat (be careful with them though; they're a bit fragile). A little Micro Sol in select spots helped them settle over raised surface features. Once painting and weathering were complete, the decals looked just like they were painted on. You get extra decals beyond the four basic ones that the kit specifies, but no instructions on what to do with them. Likely they are for other variants.
As the vehicle takes shape, you realize that, being such a simplistic-looking tanks with plenty of flat, featureless surface area, it needs something to make it look a little less lifeless. I used plenty of painting and weathering techniques to make it more interesting, including pre-shading, two shades of Russian Green (the top, lighter green being intentionally a bit irregular and mottled), oil paint washes, pin washes, dry brushing, paint chipping and rusting, and weathering powders. So plan on most of your build time being in finishing and painting (unless you want factory-fresh). Since KV-2's were very heavy and sank in mud, I imagined that the commander of this tank avoided muddy spots, so I did not mud-up this vehicle. I opted for dirty/dusty and a well-worn weary veteran look instead.
Overall, this kit requires some significant work beyond basic assembly, but turns out a decent and appropriately goofy-looking early KV-2. Recommended if you don't mind the extra effort that other kits don't require.