Hobby Boss has kept the 1/48 armor modeling world hopping with its releases of the Russian KV-I, KV-II, and T-34 series tanks, plus a selection of US Shermans. Easy to build, with great detail and nice extras like photo-etched metal parts, these are great little kits! Here HLJ’s Brian Keaney assembles the “Russian KV-I Model 1942 Simplified Turret’ Tank” kit (HLJ item number HOB24812). Be sure to check out all the pix below!
Like most Hobby Boss kits, the 205 parts are sharply molded in light gray styrene, with very little flash to clean up. The fret of photo-etched metal parts is a bit on the thick side, but that actually makes the fender supports closer to scale! Also included is a length of very malleable braided metal wire for the tow cables, which really holds its shape well and looks very realistic, as shown in the photos. Decals are included for three versions, and although I did not use them in this build, they seem to be quite thin and are nicely printed. The instructions in Chinese and English are clearly illustrated and very easy to follow.
Construction is fairly straightforward, with the only “advanced” modeling needed to be done being the PE parts and the link-and-length injection molded tracks, both of which were very easy to work with and fit just fine. To create the proper radius around the idlers and drive sprockets with the indy track links, Hobby Boss provides handy jigs (parts B4 and B5), which worked like a charm. The upper and lower track runs are molded in single lengths (the upper runs featuring realistic track sag over the return rollers), and the track assemblies fit just fine on the completed suspension assemblies.
The suspension itself goes together without a hitch, and features some very nice detail. No problems assembling the hull either, although care must be taken when adding part L3 to the hull front, as the edges of the rather large locator holes in the hull tend to remain visible up top after the part is attached.
The turret also features fine fit and easy assembly, but be sure to open the holes in the turret sides if you want to use the optional turret side strengtheners (parts H3 and H4). The main gun barrel features an open muzzle, thanks to slide mold technology. The tow cable end loops also are open, ready to receive the metal tow cable.
All in all, this is a very detailed kit (really nice weld beads, too!), featuring great fit and ease of assembly. The only complaint I have is that Hobby Boss did not include an interior, as they have with their 1/48 T-34 kits! This kit and other 1/48 Hobby Boss kits can be seen here.
Click on photos to enlarge