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Tamiya KV-2 Gigant Russian Tank

Following the creation of the KV-1 heavy tank, the Soviets produced a variant model armed with a short-barreled 152mm howitzer mounted in an impressively large turret. The so-called KV-2 heavy assault tank was developed as a more heavily armed tank, intended to target bunkers and other enemy strong points. The tank carried 36 High Explosive rounds for its main gun, and featured a machine gun for secondary armament.

Like the KV-1, the KV-2 featured thick armor that rendered it immune to everything but artillery and aircraft fire, and was capable of posing a formidable threat to the invading Germans. However, it was also handicapped because of its heavy weight, which reduced speed and maneuverability and contributed to a higher number of breakdowns than the KV-1. 334 KV-2 units were built between November 1940 and November 1942, before production factories were captured or forced to relocate due to the German advance.



Tamiya 1/48 KV-2 Gigant Russian Tank

Kit Highlights
  • Detailed 1/48 assembly model kit of the Russian KV-2 Heavy Tank.
  • Includes diecast chassis for added weight and realism.
  • Model accurately replicates 152mm howitzer and large size turret.
  • Gun and turret can move, and hatches on top and rear of turret may be opened or closed.
  • Assembly type tracks come with straight parts made of single pieces.
  • Includes 3 types of turret slogan decals.
  • Scale: 1/48
  • Tamiya Kit # 32538

Here is another subject on our featured 1/48 scale armor series from Tamiya models. The 1/48 KV-2 Gigant Russian Heavy Tank.  Armor builders tend to favor the more popular 1/35 scale.  But for us 1/48 aircraft builders, the quarter scale palm-sized armor are fun subjects to build and display along our aircraft models from the era.

Kits on the 1/48 scale from Tamiya come for the most part with 3 to 4 sprues, nicely detailed and a die-cast pre primed chassis which also add some mass and enhance realism on the finished model.

Assembly on the KV-2 Gigant Heavy Tank is very straight forward. The tracks are not single links but rather small 1, 3, 4 and strips of around 15+ link strips for the top and bottom sections. Make sure you carefully follow the assembly by the parts numbers.

The KV-2 doesn’t have the running wheels in the same place on both sides. As a result, the molded on ”sag” will not match the top running wheels on the left side but rather on the right and viceversa. My cement of choice has been always Tamiya Ultra Thin, but the tracks seems to work better with Ambroid Plastic Welder and or Tenax cement.

I am very pleased with the 1/48 series. The box art is amazing and breaks the mold (no pun intended) from the familiar 1/35 subject on white background art. The art is on a glossy colorful finish that screams for a photo frame in my humble opinion and taste. If you appreciate the box art on model kits, you’ll love the art on the 1/48 Matilda Mk.III / IV.

Painting and weathering the KV-2 Gigant Tank:

The base color used was Tamiya Olive Green XF-58.  A light post shading was done with 5 drops of  XF-58  to 2 drops of  XF-1 Flat Black.  The tracks are painted with Tamiya German Gray XF-63 as a base color. Decals are the usual inconsistent quality. One side went on without a hitch and the other one got some silvering which was reduced by airbrushing some base color carefully.

Hard to see but present is a heavy wash with MIG Productions Dark Wash behind the running wheels and idlers. I like the model clean as it is, but that pending wash with MIG Dark Wash is the prelude to a very possible winter wash so stick around ;o)


As I mentioned earlier, although armor builders may favor their subjects in 1/35 scale (which is understandable), these model kits are a nice relieve builds with their low (yet nicely detailed) parts count. Nice display subjects with aircraft of the same scale. Oh OK, I already said that. At least for *me*, I’m not looking forward to super detailing these.

For the price on most subjects from this series, Tamiya can throw a humble fret of photo etch details without having to sacrifice production costs. For example, the 1/48 Jagdtiger would have benefited greatly from a small photo etch set for the engine grills.
Bottom line, I highly recommend this kit.

Painted with an AZTEK A470 Airbrush.  The bottom row of pictures are featuring close ups of some missing parts during the studio pictures session. You can see the towing cables on shackles. These are not glued pending the upcoming winter wash. Also, there are 3 types of slogan decals with the model. However, during my research I couldn’t find a single KV-2 with Russian slogans. If you happen to have reference pictures of KV-2 tanks with slogans, please do share it with our readers.

George Collazo
George Collazo

George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.