by: Alex Gerdow [ ]
Information on the Kv-5 is very limited as it only existed on the paper battlefield. The development of the tank was started at the Kirov Plant in June 1941 as Object 225 but due to Operation Barbarossa the tank did not progress beyond the prototype development stage. The tank was to be armed with a 107mm ZiS-6 gun in the large turret and a small turret on top with a machine gun and an additional machine gun turret at hull front right. The armor was tough at 150-180mm thickness and the weight was intended to be at 100 tonís. The tank was to be propelled with a new 1,200 horsepower diesel engine but since there was a war on that was changed to two V-2K at 550 horsepower engines, same as in the Kv-1 and -2 tanks. The design had a few components in common with the Kv-1 tanks like the torsion bar suspension and as mentioned the power plant. If production would have started it probably would have shared a few more components as following the normal Soviet tank doctrine. The way I was introduced to the tank was through the World Of Tanks computer game. The tank in the game is a fierce opponent with thick armor and a good gun with great penetration and reload speed, the only drawback of the tank is the small machine gun turret at the hull right front which is affectionately known as the R2-D2, and to the bane of the radio operator inside is always shot at resulting in the loss of the operator inside which is the fast track to the destruction of your tank.
According to what I have heard about Takom it has a well-deserved reputation. I have not had a Takom kit in my possession and I welcome this kit to my collection as it is very cleanly molded and has a lot of very nice features. The box is of a sturdy construction with a unique painting of the tank from the front and instead if the common horizontal layout it is vertical and very nice so I will display it in my model room when I am finished. Also there are two color representations of the tank, one from the Soviet 2nd Tank Army at Kursk 1942 in Soviet green and the other is quite nice, from the Finnish Army at Enso in 1944 with a three color scheme. The instructions are very unique very well printed and easy to follow but they are in a booklet form and the front and back are a rough paper and make it seem like an official file of the tank rather than an instruction booklet. Also included is an addendum to the instruction that correct three mistakes there. The decals give you two Finnish symbols and two of three Soviet marking options with a Slogan in Russian for the side of the turret. The decals look fine and I will see how good they are when I apply them to my model.
We shall start from the bottom up with the tracks being first. The tracks are individual type on three part trees and there are no injector markings or flash. They look to be accurate and have a particular Russian beefy look to them. The suspension is of the torsion bar type and looks like to me to be the same as on the Kv-1 and -2. They are divided into three parts with a front plate and two wheels that make up sixteen road wheels. Injector pins are present but do not detract for the wheels as they are covered by the plate that you install on the front of the set. The suspension arms are good with nice bolt detail on them with a little bit of flash on them but it is isolated to the stub you install in the hull. Next up are the track tensioners they are two pieces with three more to make up the suspension and the tension mechanism. The wheels themselves are an intricate mold with many inside curves and fillets. The suspension and tension mechanism is pretty good with all the appropriate detail the only thing I would like is some threading on the bolt to adjust the height of the wheel but it is going to be covered by the tracks and be very hard to see in the end, I guess I have been spoiled by recent kits. The drive sprockets come in two pieces with an additional two pieces making up the face of the sprocket. There is some nice bolt detail on both halves of each sprocket as well as on the front face piece that you install on the sprockets. Now to the idlers, these have a mount with two wheels and thatís the whole assembly. The face has nice detail and there are no injector marks or flash on either wheel or the mount. The mount has very nice bolt detail and a tiny bit of flash but that should be easy enough to clean up with a couple passes with sand paper.
The hull is divided to a bottom plate, lower glacis, rear hull and the top of the hull is one piece. There is no detail on the bottom plate at all but this to be expected since there are no references to the bottom of the hull from the drawings that I have seen. The top of the hull is a different story with detail all over. The sides of the hull have great detail where the suspension arms go into the hull and there are weld lines where the rear panel attaches to the hull sides and they look just great, the suspension arm travel stops are two piece with the hull mount and the stop itself. The front glacis plate has an area for the heavy strip of steel that joins the front and lower glacis together with heavy bolts and there is also a radio antenna pot. The hull top has a ton of detail from the weld lines that join the front glacis and the hull sides. At the hull front there is a light with a clear lens and what I think is a horn. There are the mounts for the driverís copula and the radio operatorís machine gun turret. The driverís copula has open view ports and a hatch with interior detail but it does lack cast marks that I would think would be on the surface. The radio operatorís turret is a two piece affair with good detail on the turret with vision ports and covers for them, it also seems to me there is some cast marks and lastly the gun itself looks fine and has the appropriate detail, all I would do is drill out the barrel. Both the gun ant the turret itself are poseable. The engine deck has louvers for cooling and air intake but they are molded solid however, on another hand there are armored covers for the louvers with nice photo etched screens on them. The exhaust pipes are partially hollow but are on the thick side, but it is fine for a person like me. The running boards look fine and appear to me to be of scale thickness with the ends tapered to make the illusion complete. The track guards have good bolt detail with the strips the bolts are on are fine as well. There are the proper supports that you need to apply separately and are thin and look the appropriate shape. In addition there are four stowage bins to add on the track guards.
The main gun and turret is one of the largest I have seen on a Soviet tank. The 107mm gun is made out of turned metal and looks great with good milling. The mantlet assembly is a ten piece affair and is pretty straightforward and you can use poly caps to elevate the gun, although I think the mantlet lacks cast detail but that can be added by someone who can use liquid to add the stippling effect. There are bolts on the parts tree that you have to shave off to add them to the sides of the mantlet. The front face of the turret is rather monolithic with little holes (?) that look ok for the scale. The bulk of the turret has hand holds up to the roof, the rungs themselves are to scale and are thin enough. On the roof there are nice vision block covers and there is a gumdrop sight on the roof as well. The commanderís hatch has direct vision ports and a hatch but the vision blocks are solid and the hatch lacks any interior detail, also there is a tall sight for the commander. The small machine gun turret on the roof is the same design and construction as the one for the radio operator at front of the hull on the right. The lifting hooks on the four corners of the turret look fine and the mounting plates have bolt detail.
Last but not least is the figure covered in full rain smock and gas mask wielding a flame thrower. I personally like the detail on the figure with all the folds the suit has molded into it and the gas mask looks good and menacing. The flame thrower gun and tanks are very nice with nice valve detail, the hoses for the mask and the flame thrower limit you on posing options but look great.
Well I think the kit is great it has only a few drawbacks that can be easily corrected. I especially like the inclusion of the turned metal barrel and the fact you can pose both machine gun turrets. As far as accuracy is concerned well it only existed on paper and you canít really gripe about it since details would have probably differed on the prototype. The markings and paint schemes are fine, I especially like the Finnish markings and I would love to have them to adorn my model if my airbrush skills were up to par. I also like the figure that is included as kind of a bonus as I like the look and the pose he is in. Overall I would recommend this kit to all Soviet tank and/or super tank fans and anyone who has an interest in modeling prototype tanks.