Zvezda KV-1 Platoon (MechaNovember ’18)

Zvezda Soviet KV-1 Tanks 1/100

A quick one today. I’m still trying to do some painting some nights at home, but work is now in insano-mode – so most nights I have no energy to paint, let alone blog, let alone read blogs or go through comments – so that stuff is super-scattered at the moment. I’ll catch up when I can, but it’ll be a few weeks before work eases off, and no break until we finish on the 21st of December. At which point all that Christmas junk takes over, so no normalcy until perhaps a week after that when I can go to sleep for a week or so and not have to deal with people…

The models are from Zvezda, which is (appropriately) a Russian company. I got five of them – probably in a set of five. I know tank platoon sizes varied by nation, time and even size of tanks during the war, so I’ve just painted the five of these as a set, with consecutive numbers. Speaking of markings, I have managed to learn a little about Soviet tank markings, so I’m quite aware that these wold not be accurate. (Often Soviet armour had no markings, the red hull star was not especially common, I’ve got guards icons on one side, etc) – but like my T-34/85 platoon, I’m okay with going with “easily recognisable as Russian tanks by my non-modeller or treadhead wife & friends even if there are also American/British/German tanks all over the table.” Which we can call “Hollywood WWII”, if you like.

Zvezda Soviet KV-1 Tanks 1/100

The thing is that I find armour markings are a horrible minefield, even if you’re trying to get everything right. Soviets seeming like one of the easier ones to get right. I’ve got British tanks here where trying to work out the “correct” markings have cockblocked me for more than a year. There are people out there who definitely know their shit, but even with a guy online willing to answer questions, knowing exactly what to put onto (and not put onto) a tank so that it’s accurate is a bloody nightmare, especially when there are ones that you’d like to get right to a specific kind of vehicle in a specific unit in a specific theatre. “Hollywood WWII” is much easier…

Zvezda Soviet KV-1 Tanks 1/100

The painting on these was pretty straightforward. I assembled them months ago, and even sprayed them months ago, firstly with a custom spray can matched to an image of the “bottle green” type of Soviet Armour colour, then zenithally sprayed with a lighter shade of same. They then sat unloved for several months until 2 weekends ago, when I did everything else over the Sunday.

A couple of layers of drybrushing Reaper’s HD29812 Meadow Green over the entire things, then Vallejo Coloured Primer Dark Panzer Grey on the road wheels and tracks (the worst, most tedious part of painting any tank, IMO). Then added the decals (Zvezda tanks don’t come with any decals, so I picked up some from Battlefront, which were hard to find in stock). For their choice and placement, I pretty much followed the lead of the aforementioned T-34/85s. The main difference was that given these tanks are 1/100 rather than 1/56, I used decals for the crew’s graffiti and turret numbers.

Next up were two layers of sponge weathering across the hulls and turrets to represent paint chipping and general wear on the surface of the green paint. The first in Vallejo Model Colour 70.994 Dark Grey followed by Vallejo Game Colour 72.045 Charred Brown. I painted the stowage in Vallejo Model Air 71.017 Russian Green, gave the tracks a light drybrush with Model Air 71.072 Gun, then hit the whole lot with Vallejo Model Wash 76.514 Dark Brown, thinned down with “Dr Faust’s Magic Wash Base” – which you make yourself out of 1 part Pledge with Future Shine and 4 parts Distilled Water. (Keep it in a large dropper bottle).

Eventually, I’ll get to play with them. Need to get more armour in this scale done, first – but rulesets I own and would like to use with them include Flames of War, Bolt Action’s Tank War (shrunk down to 1″=1cm), TANKS!, and probably What a Tanker! in the future – as I continue to follow Mark Morin’s adventures with the game.

Done!

30 thoughts on “Zvezda KV-1 Platoon (MechaNovember ’18)

  1. Wow, great minds think alike! At least with regards to KV-1’s. Nice to see we both did 5! I get the difficulty of armor identification on the battlefield. I do like yours a lot, and the models you have are much better than mine, which is why I added a lot of mud and dust. I will have to keep the sponge weathering tip in my thoughts for future tanks. The consecutive markings you did will help the non-treadhead play without offending normal enthusiasts. (the abnormal enthusiast is probably my age and will need reading glasses to see the details anyways!). And I am normal (I think). At the museum this weekend I saw some Soviet stuff marked, others unmarked, so you can do what you want and not lose. These would work great for WaT. The KV-1 is slow, but has nice armor. I hope your schedule gets less hectic, and much thanks for the shout out Azazel! Clearly, you need a break!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yep! I did 5 because that’s what was in the set I got, not because of any particular knowledge or anything though. 🙂
      I’ll just stay off TMP with them and I should be okay, I think – but yeah, Soviet stuff is relatively easy to get right, as long as you don’t do what I did. 😉
      How many tanks per side do you usually use for WaT? Using say 2 or 4 players? I’m going to see if I can get Marouda to help me move some junk so I can find some more small-scale tanks this evening…
      I know I have a ton of Shermans of different kinds, so maybe the Fireflies for some UK armour and then whatever I can easily get to alongside for Germans. I can’t remember if they’re PzIII, PzIV or Panthers (or StuG IIIGs) that I had sort-of-out…

      Liked by 1 person

      • The first game I’d do one tank per player, and use the points scheme in the book. I can’t say enough about the magnetic dashboard I use that I got from the guy who ran my WAT game at BARRAGE. Very helpful, and with the command dice represented it makes the game fly. I also use the quick reference sheet. Second game a couple tanks per player is ok, or have reinforcements for the unlucky. If you look at my posts you can see the dashboard and how it helps.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Really you have enough now for a game, though not a historical one, but who cares? Your friends and family won’t know the difference. My first trial game I ran I just used different values on the dashboards. That set me up well for the last one I posted about. I’m happy to share my dashboard with you if you want it. It’s a PowerPoint and editable, and even has the KV-1a’s done.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. The comments about the markings are a significant part of why I don’t do historicals. Regardless of (in)accuracy, they look good as things in and of themselves!

    Liked by 2 people

      • There are other reasons, too, but yeah, when I do get into historical stuff, it’s much more often something like Saga, where insignia is kind of a non-issue.

        And yeah, seasonal work crunches get rough. Best of luck getting through this one smoothly.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Yeap. Kind of surprising that it seems like no-one has taken a whole lot of WWII vehicle marking information and published a book for wargamers about them. Even split into different nations, an easy-to-use guide (or series of them) would surely end up doing well for people who would just like to set up their toy tanks reasonably accurately but don’t want to do enough research to become academics on the subject.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Not too many, but I did a bunch of Shermans in the same small scale a few months ago (15 of them, from memory) and the three T-34/85s linked above. They’re not my forte, that’s for sure, but I want to see if I can get some more armour done (finally) this month…

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Sounds like work is in overload at the moment, hope you find time for yourself through this busy time.
    The tanks look great, and the idea of them being Hollywood tanks is awesome. One of the many reasons I try to avoid historical

    Liked by 3 people

    • It’s basically the busiest time of year. As long as I do a substantial amount over both days this weekend, everything is on track to be fine in 2 weeks, when my section will downshift a little – and then the IT stuff that’s been getting neglected the last couple of weeks can get back to the fore.
      The main problem with “Hollywood” tanks is people picking on them, I guess – which really shouldn’t be a problem. I know if they’re good enough for me, none of my friends are going to be able to pick out any inaccuracies, nor would they be dicks – and any commentators on the blog would just need to be polite in correction or advice as non-polite corrections would probably have a way of not getting published or an appropriately worded reply..

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Looking good mate. I’ve never had to try and get rank markings right but I’m just pleased you used the term cockblock in reference to it bahahaha. You’ll get through the busy period mate and then it’s time to be merry and eat too much and not give a shit! Yayyyy

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, the first time I ever heard that term was actually in reference to guilds competing for high level raid mobs and spawns in EverQuest. Wasn’t until I looked it up sometime later when I found it’s “original” meaning, but I oddly still think of it as a term without any sexual connotations.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Very nice! You and Mark have really been treating us with tanks in the last few days. Sounds like a sensible approach to markings and they do add to their appearance nicely (my own Russian tanks carry very few). From what I’ve read up on (and I have some 1940 British tanks) British tank markings are complicated, but there is method behind the madness! And early WW2 French tanks are a nightmare! Even when you know what markings should look like, you can’t always get decals/transfers.
    Hope you get the chance to chill out whenever you can! In fact, chill for a minute with Marouda and Leonard and don’t even think about replying to this comment! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, I think the British tanks may unfortunately be regaled to the “Hollywood WWII” section before to much longer. I’ve just ordered a Char B1 Bis from Warlord as part of their “Wheels of Steel” sale, though I suspect that when (if) it ever gets built and painted it may well end up in captured German service. Because let’s face it – I’m never going to get around to building a French FoW force.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m one of the tank idiots, but find the background pretty interesting. I also appreciate the red star, so I know which one to shoot at, haha!

    Nice looking models and paints. Hope work eases off on ya. Sounds like it’s been grueling. Hang in there mate, and we’ll catch ya on the flip side!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Nice work there Azazel, historical “nerds” is one of the reasons I was “turned off” of historical gaming myself, never done Soviets but I can remember having a similar dilemma over British and German forces in both European and North African WW2 conflicts!

    Fantasy/Sci/fi is so much more chilled!

    I think work is getting more stressful all over, I cant wait to get out of my place at Christmas!!!

    Cheers Roger.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Yeah, as plenty of others have said, people with an obsession with doing things the “right way” have always put me off real world military stuff (amongst other factors). Indeed, all things considered, I’m not that into model tanks at all, but even to my jaundiced eye you’ve done a fine job with these. Anyway, take it easy and hopefully you’ll get some time to catch your breath after Christmas is over.

    Liked by 1 person

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