Klim Voroshilov (KV) - a modeller's perspective..
In many cases, our motivation to build a vehicle (or variants) is somewhat conditioned by the subject matter, other times the motivational factor is the 'look' of the vehicle. Wandering off into the 'personal' for a paragraph or two, what attracts one to the KV series? I don't first of all, consider myself an 'exclusive' Soviet builder. I am equally happy with an M4, a Panzer 1 or even a Tiger. I have a particular interest in pre or early-war vehicles such as the PzIV, the T26 or even the T35. What then is the motivation for my interest in the KV? Simply put, it looks like a tank should look. It's big, cumbersome and totally lacking in grace or the fine, aesthetic lines of a T34 or Panther. It's mean and it's dirty looking and has none of the 'feral' look of other vehicles. The KV is also fascinating from a historicl perspective. I always tend to view the KV and the T34 as a type of 'turf-fight' at its most extreme. Both vehcles were given the go-ahead on the same day and both vehicles had widely differing histories. The T34 was given a different role to previous Soviet vehicles, the KV continued the pre-war doctrine of large, heavy vehicles which would (in theory) destroy enemy defencs by sheer force. The cudgel vs. the rapier, fast, rapid deployment against lumbering and limited mobility. The KV, is interesting in that it bridges both the'old' doctrine and the new which saw the T34's first real test at Kursk....
Wydawnictwo Militaria's book...
Wydawnictwo Militaria 168 - KV Vol. II: 1941-44
is written by Maksym Kolomyjec
. The book follows the same pattern established by this excellent publishing house with a strong emphasis on visuals. The book is published in A4 format and consists of 80 pages. Their is less emphasis in this volume on the development of the vehicle and the first section is entirely written in Polish - again, a real pity as there are doubtless some very interesting points to be made in the development and operational history... That said, it compensates somewhat by giving all the photos and illustrations bilingual English/Polish captions. Once again it should be seen as primarily a photo-reference with some absolute stunning images. There are of course some 'rareties' - a good example of that are images of the KV-7 assault gun. For many modellers, the most useful part will be the full-color illustrations - no less than 12 pages with three illustrations per page, giving vehicle type and (where known) unit designation. The other vital part of the book are the three pull-out 1/35th scale plans sections. As an added bonus, there are 3 pages of full-color photos of preserved examples. This doesn't work too well as they are inadequate as a true 'walk-round'. Reproduction of the b+w photos, is, in general, very well done. Many of the images have been cleaned-up considerably, giving crisp images which will be very useful.
As can be surmised from the title, the book deals with the later variants of the KV although it should be understood that most of the 'modernisation' becomes more obvious in the later turrets and the running gear. Some of the photos also help to 'lay to rest' the only real contaversy which surrounded Trumpeter's
KV kits - whether or not the fenders were too shallow and whether or not there was an overhang of the tracks.. The vehicles covered go (broadly) fro the KV-1C up to the KV-1s and KV-85.
This inevitably begs the question for the Trumpeter Unconditionals
as to how far they will take their releases - will they include the KV85 ad the -S?
Once again, Wydawnictwo Militaria
has produced an incredibly useful title. Very well produced with asuperb collection of images,the book should inspire modellers to try something a little different with their KVs. Diorama builders will find some very inspiraonal photos in teh pages and super-detailers will find few details lacking. The exception to that are top-deck details of the ARV version.. The Polish text DOES take away slightly from the books becoming a 'total' experience. Great value and a vital source for both detail and markings.
VERY Highly Recommended.
The Wydawnictwo Militaria
series is fairly widely available at specialized military book sellers and modelling retailers. Here are just three sources for these books:
In Canada/North America
In Britain/Europe Military Book Centre
Direct from Poland
: Jadar Models
The previous book's review can be seen: HERE!