By Augusto Versiani.
When I first heard about the PST kits, I had mixed feelings. First I was very exited to have injected plastic kits of so long wanted subjects like JS and KV variants. But I was very concerned about the quality of a kit made by an unknown Belarussian firm. When I opened the box, all my fears vanished before so nice of a kit. So I started building the KV-85, a stop-gap variation between the old KV series and the new IS series.
The kit is well done with crisp details and a lot of nice small parts like hooks, eye rings for the tow cables, fuel canisters and stowage bins.
The first thing to know about this kit is that the plastic is very soft. I learnt it the hard way as I marred some wheels when I took them off of the sprues. So take care and cut the pieces in points far from the joining with the sprues and sand them to shape.
The overall fit was O.K., except for the cupola doors on the turret. The joint between the upper and lower hull was so good that I finished the two parts separate, which made it easier to work with the tracks, and only do the final assembly when all others jobs were done.
I really like the tracks; the details are a little flat, but the final appearance is good. When working with injected tracks it is usual for me to cut the sprocket teeth where it meets the tracks to improve the general fit. But this time I tried another approach. I slightly enlarged the track link holes and mounted them on the sprockets. To my surprise they are the right size to do a perfect contour of the sprocket. But to do this you need to glue the two halves of the sprocket taking care to maintain a perfect alignment of the teeth. The best way is to do this is to cut the alignment pin and do the job by yourself.]
The kit was made almost straight from the box; the only corrections that I made were:
This is a rare variant, only about 130 were made, so it was difficult to find any reliable source of inspiration. I made an option for a white-washed winter finish that led me to a strange discovery. First I tried to do the paint as the real thing, using first the green and then the white. But it simply doesnt work. So after 3 tries I used the reverse process. First paint the kit overall white, and then added several washes of green until I achieved the desired effect . I did not make tracks very rusty. Working for more than 20 years with tracked vehicles, I never saw a rusted track on a running condition vehicle. But I must admit that the tracks are much too bright, and the lights for the photos enhanced this effect. Looking at photos in my references I saw that there are many tanks with little or no sag in the tracks so I used none. The decals came from the spares box. I really have no reference to corroborate a black patriotic slogan, but as I had no red or yellow ones I took the risk.
I really like this kit, easy assembly, nice details and a very impressive kit in this scale.
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