Friday, 7 August 2015

Great big whacking tanks

Hi folks, as promised, the KV-1 is finished and is a whacking great slab of green!

Yep, this is the same KV-1 (KV stands for Kliment Voroshilov, the defence commissar at the time of its commissioning) that was the focus of a workbench article about brass etch back in... wow... March. The KV series was designed to be a siege tank and it's armour and gun did indeed come as something of a nasty surprise to the Germans who found that it was just plain immune to anything but their biggest weapons. The problem came when these slow lumbering tanks were compared to the T-34 - so far beyond its time that it ought to have come with a TARDIS - and found somewhat wanting. The up-gunned variants of the T-34 (the T-34-85 - hah, just used shortcut keys to do that, ctrl+K and then ctrl+V, KV, gave me a chuckle) could hit as hard, move faster, presented less of a silhouette and be made quicker and cheaper. Soviet tactical doctrine was never going to ignore the value of having two of something in favour of one survivable something and so the poor KV-1's days were shorter than would have been in other armies.

I've already waxed so lyrical about this kit in the build log that you could make a singing candle but if you will indulge me just once more: Wow, seriously, if you have any interest in WW2 gaming do yourself a favour and join Maisey, Emma and I in choosing 1:48 as your vehicle scale of choice. The scale "feel" is better with the chunky 28mm lads and oh god. The kits. There is no contest between a 1:48 multimedia plastic kit designed for armour modellers - and in the case of HobbyBoss often a reduced version of their hyper detailed 1:35 kits - and the 1:56 resin and "wargamer grade" plastic kits you can get. No contest. I will say that if you are the sort to see your models as nothing but wound counters then stick with the 1:56's they'll go together fast and get you on the table. But if like me you love a bit of armour modelling... no contest, and the range grows all the time.

There's a real problem - well two, but I'll get to that - with WW2 painting, especially Soviet, and blogging: There are only so many ways you can say "Well, I painted the whole thing green. Yup, that's about it". So I shall mostly let the pictures do the talking and assume if you are curious about painting methodology you'll check out the T-34-85 and T-70 articles. Literally nothing is different here save less scratches and dings and subtler dust. The KV-1 simply doesn't go fast enough to cover itself too badly in filth. What's that? The second problem? Oh, painting WW2 troops with any fidelity leaves them rather drab in photos. Sure you can push the contrasts and get a better photo but then you end up with cartoons. There's a reason that high contrast is "studio style" and fetishised by some online, it makes for better photographs. However, painting for realism is my great enjoyment so sometimes I just have to eat the fact that the photos won't be great.

Just to show how big the KV-1 is I've assembled a little motor pool of my Sov armour along with happy Ivan the flag waving goon. The KV-1 makes even the T-34-85 look a bit compact and bijou, the T-70 looks like a toy! For those who are curious, these latest additions have swelled my Soviet ranks rather nicely and are now clocking in at well over a thousand points. While I won't be able to shake the Sov habit any time soon I think I need to start thinking about the next project. My problem is that I want to do too many, which to choose? Heer pioneers? Oh, but those Panzergrenadiers are really shiny... Commando raiders? But then there's the Sikh's in Burma who are an unusual project... or 8th army/Afrika Korps in the desert... you've always been fascinated by the Paras and Market Garden... but heck, there's Band of Brothers yanks too, if only they'd make plastics for either of those...

[indecision fades gently to black...]



  1. Replies
    1. He is lovely isn't he? I broke my usual rule on army list building (if I'm choosing vehicles I usually pick the ones that were the most common to avoid that "all the tigers II in the world are in this army" syndrome) for this one because I just adore the shape, the construction, everything. :) Happy treadhead