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LE35060, KV-II. 1/35th-scale photo-etched brass detail set for Trumpeter kit. Price: $16.95 USD.
Trumpeterís recent and still expanding series of Soviet KV heavy tanks have been widely hailed as excellent kits with fine details; certainly they are superior to anything that has come before. But, like any injection-molded styrene kit, they can always stand some improvement.
This set contains four etched brass frets, styrene and brass rod, a turned-aluminum gun tube and an easily-followed, double-sided instruction sheet.
Most of what is given is exactly what is also provided in Lion Roarís set for Trumpeterís KV-I (see review here on ToT), with one major and one minor exception: the sheet metal weather guard seen over the main gunís mantlet and a fine turned-aluminum 152mm gun tube. In addition, brass rod and a paper template is provided to replicate the prominent grab handles seen on the turretís side walls.
Items that are the same for both sets include: fender-mounted lockers in two styles (three of the large types with curved edges and two of the smaller rectangular types); these can be made to operate through the use of the supplied hinges and bras rod. Two styles of fender braces are given along with their riveted backing strips, as are small tool, horn, light and spare track brackets. Various latch mechanisms for the different hatch lids are given as well as engine deck grill screens and frames; the screen and framework below the superstructure rear overhang is also given.
This set is relatively easy-to-use, especially if the modeler does not opt to have the hinges on the stowage boxes operate. Therefore, most modeling skill-levels should have very little trouble using this set; in fact it could also be good as an introduction to the medium for someone who has never used etched brass parts before. In addition, the inclusion of the turned-aluminum gun tube in a set of this price, certainly provides excellent value for money.
Frank V. De Sisto
Reviewerís note: Since May of 2005, I have been working on books for Concord Publications, a sister company to DML and DragonUSA. The reader may wish to take this into consideration. For my part, I will attempt to maintain an objective viewpoint when writing these reviews.
Lion Roar products are available from retail and mail order shops. In North America, they can also be purchased from Dragon USA at: www.dragonusaonline.com.