The Soviet draisine "Krasnaja Zvezda" ("Red Star") was designed in December 1941. It used a turret from the KV-1 tank a pair of V-2K diesel engines. The first copy
of the new draisine was finished in February 1942. (paraphrased from the side of the kit box).
Kit contains four sprues: Sprue A - 13 pieces, Sprue B - 10 pieces & 2 x Sprue C - 27 pieces each, plus separate parts for the one piece slide molded body, and
an additional end cap for the railroad bed, to make a total of 166 parts, all molded in a nice medium hard, tan coloured, injected plastic. There is a 8 page
instruction guide covering 6 construction steps. Step 6 is actually kind of funny as all it does is show the completed model on the tracks. Rounding out the contents
is a small decal sheet with marking options for one vehicle. These are very thin transfers and are in register and appear to have nice dense inks.
This is an an excellent looking kit of the "Krasnaya Zvezda" WW2 Soviet Draisine. The molding looks nice and crisp and detail is reasonable. Flash is non-existent and seams are rare. All the ejector pin marks I could find were located in spots that won't show on the
completed kit. I especially like the couplers, the already hollowed out end of the barrel and the single piece body.
Unfortunately all the grab handles and foot rungs are molded onto the body and replacing all 35 (don't think I missed any during the count) of them
will be a chore and not for the faint of heart. Looks like my wire bending skills will get exercised well with this kit!
The KV-1 turret looks great but I'm no expert on Soviet tanks by any means. Some research will be required to see how well it stacks up to the real thing.
The railroad track is the standard Hobby Boss fair found with their rail subjects, with a mediocre bed and ballast, and excellent rails
The running gear is the only real disappointment with this kit. Hobby Boss have overly simplified it taking the easy way out. The bogie
units are missing the prominent toothed drive sprockets and chain found on the real machine (see reference pictures below).
The wheels have been cast with solid backs which don't look too bad as is, but the nitpicker would want to hollow them out.
To make the drive train more accurate will require some extensive scratch building or by purchasing replacements from third party manufacturers,
when and if they become available.
This is a nice kit and should build up quickly straight out of the box if you're willing to overlook the poor
drive train. For those that want to go that extra mile and replace the handles with some wire versions
and fix the drive train a lot more work will be involved. I haven't decided yet on how I'll build this one, though I must admit that the out-of-the-box build
does look attractive just to avoid the extra detailing work required for an accurate model.
(15/Mar/2019) Comments on the markings via Timothy Lau
The decal placement as per the instuctions is incorrect. The "КРАСНАЯ ЅВЕЗДА" markings should be
located, not near the entry doors as shown in the instructions, but further forward. A bigger problem, however, is that the decal sheet only has 2 of
the "КЗ-1", while the original vehicle had four (2 on each end and 2 on each side). Those with lots of money can buy 2 kits to make one model.
Those who have excellent hand painting skills can paint the numbers. Most, I suspect, will simply leave the ends of the locomotive blank.
| Tank Master Magazine, Moscow - date and issue unknown.
| 5 Star Hobby 1/35 scale kit.
Preview sample purchased by the author.