Following on from my recent T34-76 Diorama, I decided to work on another Soviet Tank to keep for my own collection.

This time it will be a KV-1 Heavy Tank, set in a pre-battle scene before the Battle of Kursk. I decided to go with Kursk for a number of reasons. Firstly my last Diorama was great fun to make but only a generic scene, I wanted this one to have a solid historical setting to a specific engagement so I could really go into some depth and research the battle, terrain, and armour alot more.

Kursk also gives me a chance to try something different and model a summer setting, which brought a whole new load of options for terrain and environment.

The setting of Kursk was also the last time that massed numbers of KV-1's were used in the War, marking the swansong of the Tank. After this date KV-1's were used much less and in much smaller quantities as production by that time had already ended in favour of massed numbers of T34's, Kursk saw the destruction of a large number of the Red Armies KV-1 stock.

I also decided on a pre-battle scene on the front lines, as it gave some interesting modelling options, allowing me to show the Officers and troopers preparing and briefing for the battle ahead. A calm before the storm, and a chance to show a wide range of figures that you usually wouldn't get in a action battle scene (like my last diorama).

Here are the two main books that I'm using for my research and reference material:

I'm also using a large number of modeling magazines and internet material.

I spent alot of time thinking about how to paint and model the KV-1. I really wanted to model a specific tank this time based on reference material from Kursk, so that it would be historically acurate. I found a great example of a tank called the I.D Papanin, that fought in Kursk as well as numerous other engagements all throughout the War. Sadly it was a different model KV-1 to the example I had with the Tamiya kit. The Tamiya kit being a KV-1 1941 model and the I.D Papanin was a KV-1 S model that had a much different turret and chasis design, in the end I decided that the conversion work required to turn my KV-1 in a KV-1 S would have been to vast. I had already bought alot of photo-etch components that were KV-1 specific and those would have been lost if I had scratch built the turrent and remodelled the upper hull.

Perhaps I'll do this for my next project though as its a really interesting tank with some great history.

After a lot of research I decided on this example from Osprey's Kursk - The tide turns in the East. It's KV-1 1941 model with the Turret slogan "25th October" a reference to the revolution.

Here are the kits that I'll be using for this project:

The Tamiya 1:48 KV-1 and the Tamiya GAZ67-B Jeep with the fantastic figures from ICM models Ukraine.

I'll also be using alot of Photo etch, much more than my last project. Since there is no complete internal detail set for the KV-1 in 1:48 scale I decided to seal the tank and super detail the exterior.

All these Photo etch parts are from Czech manufacturer Hauler, and include a Resin Engine, as well as new fenders, storage cases, grilles, and various other turret and hull details.