1/76 Fujimi KV-2 late model
Completed model :
152mm gun heavies: the early war KV-2 and its late war successor the much lower and heavily armored ISU-152.
Model build article:
The Soviet KV and IS heavy tank series shared the same tracks and since I have 4 spare IS-2 kits bought at a store liquidation for 5USD a piece, I thought mating the IS-2 link and length tracks with the Fujimi KV chassis would greatly improve the model, the original soft track bands being very simplified.
The running gear is stock with two modifications, one due to the new tracks, the other one not. The sprocket wheels need to have the distance between the tow halves reduced to match the spacing between the grooves in the track links. This is done by cutting the hub form the outer sprocket down to where the axle nub disappears and is flush with the wheel. The thickness of the teeth needs to be considerably reduced by sanding so that they actually fit the holes in the tracks. Patient sanding and trial and error will do it.
The other issue, which I discovered after having glued them in place, is that the return rollers extend too far out from the chassis. They stick out more than a mm from the roadwheels. I cut the axle nubs off to be flush with the inside of the roadwheels. I mated the wheels halves together, glued the axle stubs and cut them flush with the wheel and proceeded to drill small holes in all wheels and chassis axle stubs. Small segments of 15 thou steel wire are coated with CA glue and inserted into the axle stubs. The roadwheels are then CAed to the protruding steel wires and adjusted for alignment before the CA sets.
This is a standard technique for repairing broken guns or axles. Without the reinforcing steel, the join will never hold.
The thick fender reinforcements have been removed and replaced by ones made from thin strips. This is very tedious and unenjoyable process as the little strips jump all over the place and never land on the proper side. Each reinforcement is made from three strips cut to size using a template. The right triangle has a short side of 3mm and a long side of 9mm. The original reinforcement supports were removed as it was too difficult to cut around them without removing the rivet detail. They also had some errors so I have no regrets. New ones made from strip were cemented along with vertical supports, which were missing onthe kit. Another correction comes from the fact that out of 5 reinforcements on each side, the second and fourth ones have double width supports. Rivet decals will be added where needed (4 horizontal and 2 vertical for each support).
Updated on August 17 and 26, 2011
This project is quickly descending into Advanced Modeling Syndrome hell. As it progresses and I look up information on the subject online, more and more flaws and missing details become apparent. So the to do list gets longer even as the kit progresses. The turret is almost done. I added 6 large handles plus a smaller one for the back door from 8 thou brass and carved out the solid air intakes. The rear MG will be scratch built from two pieces of rod. The broom handle provided by Fujimi was promptly cut off. The side vision slits were opened up carefully with a hobby knife. The right pistol port needs to be moved to under the upper grab-handle. They are not symmetrical.
The hull needs a lot of work. The hull MG shield was sourced from an IS-2 kit (the spare that donated the tracks). The huge horn provided by Fujimi does not seem to have any basis in reality so had to come off after I put it on. Pictures show mostly some sort of complex combination of a small light turned downward over a roundish triangular shaped horn. There is a cable running from the top of the hull to this combination. Quite a few photos also show this combo missing, with just an empty support. The cylindrical radio antenna support is missing. It is supposed to be just ahead of the front MG near the side.
60 rivets were added to the fender reinforcement supports. It took 45 minutes sowas not tedious as it initially appeared. The fenders need yet more work as they have a vertical outside lip that needs to be added from strip. The stowage boxes, that were widened for a tighter fit between the supports need handles (3 per box) and their sides built up.
The exhausts were reshaped to have a smaller opening. The engine grilles were devoid of any details but had the proper shape. I tried a new technique, which actually worked. A piece of old curtain (the white thin inner type) was glued on using liquid CA with the square mesh diagonal to the part. The frame was added using strips of masking tape and sealed with more liquid CA glue. I actually noticed the next day that I had gotten the number of frames wrong (three instead of four) so the CA debonder came out and the inner strips were removed and replaced.
Stowage box handles have been added from 6 and 8 thou brass wire. I skipped the ones on the side as I did not leave room for them, the boxes touching the triasngular supports. The sides were extended to simulate the covers. The side cable holders are from the IS-2 kit.
We're almost there. Cables are from an EurekaXXL set for the KV-1 and 2. They are out of production, which is a shame.
September 18, 2011
The open pistol port was blocked off with CA glue, sanded smooth and redone with a smaller diameter.
Model brush painted with Humbrol 117, coated with Future and washed with thinned black enamel. In hindsight airbrushing would have saved time as the paint has very little covering power, requiring many coats, and takes a long time to dry.
September 20, 2011.
Dry brush of 117 and "For the Motherland" kit decals applied. I cut them to have them on one row instead of two. No real reason other than a quick check on the web showed them all on a single row.
I painted the parts with meteal to metal contact (track teeth, track insides and wheel sides in Testors steel. It's an arduous task and came out too bright. I ended washing most of it off with thinner and used a soft lead pencil to go over the same areas. Next is a dry brush of lighter green on the edges, a final coat of future and dirt/dust washes with Mig pigments.
Updated on October 3rd, 2011