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2 KV’s, 46 years between.

1973. 18 year old Bill finally gets his driver license. You know, I don’t even remember how I acquired model kits prior to this. When we lived in Queens (New Yawk) there was a local hardware store (Vics) that had kits. The one I think about was a Tamiya type 99 “Val” that was priced way out of my range. Mostly I existed on 1/72 Airfix and Revell during this era. Then the fambly was moved to suburbia in late ’71. Memory is vague here but I believe there was a hole in my modeling until we discovered in magazine ads, the “Squadron Shop”. Back then this was an actual brick and mortar store located in Syosset, about 1 hour from our new digs. IF one knew how to navigate, that is. Long story short my Brother and me drove, with my new license and Mother’s 1964 Oldsmobile, a very long, traffic light ridden route and took about two hours to get there. Worth it! I will never forget the glass shelves chock full of plastic goodies, including never before seen masterworks from Tamiya. The Gentleman manning the store was very pleasant and helpful, as he is to this day. He opened his own hobby shop when Squadron went mail-order, Men-At-Arms Hobbies. James Katona is a good friend of mine, and I’m still buying Tamiya kits from Him! I He says he is finally thinking of retiring. Say it aint so Jimbo.

ANYWAYS that first day I bought a Tamiya Matilda AND a KV-1c, brand new releases at the time.

I built the KV pretty quick, but I was learning techniques from the magazines. The rubber tracks, I sagged with wires running thru the hull, pushing them down in the right places. Rust, dust and anti tank round gouges went on. It was heavily drybrushed and the tracks rub-n-buffed. The big slogan decals were laid down with my first bottle of Solvaset. I was thrilled with it, thought it was the Cat’s A*s!

So that is why it survived. Many others joined it on the shelf, they came and went. My Dad gave some to the Grandkid to play with, some tried to fly (fail) and when I cleaned out my Mom’s basement when my Sister took her South, only the KV remained. And here it is with me, a relic of the 70’s and “The Squadron Shop”.

When the new Tamiya KV-1a was announced I had to have it. I t is the best looking version, and my old friend needed a brother. It went together as easy as a Tamiya should, and once again time to try new techniques. I bought a cheap set of oil paints, and some odorless turps, and tried to do a “dot filter” and some streaking, but after tons of fiddling, it’s all barely noticeable. So I fell back on my old mud treatment. I know, everybody puts the “For the Homeland” slogans on, but I had to to match my old friend. So here is the latest round of blurry badly lit pics, I promise these are the last, I’m going to get some fotograffy lessons. Promise.

9 additional images. Click to enlarge.


11 responses to 2 KV’s, 46 years between.

  1. Nice work! Over the years I have developed a love for the ‘brute force’ and crude look of WW2 Soviet armour, particularly KVs, T-34s and the JS-2. This is a kit I know I will someday purchase. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I love the article and model, it was a good read.

  3. Nice tanks and article! Bill, I got my first kits in a hobby shop,and the Woolworth’s in College Point ,Queens NY. I also made it out to the Squadron shop in Syosset, I think it was on Rt 25. Jim from Men at Arms has helped me find older kits, he acquired some of Dave’s of Freeport, old stock. @billkoppos.

  4. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    A beautiful and good-hearted story Bill .
    I too am from New York, just reading the article makes one reminiscence those times.
    My first models were brought at Alexander’s but also there was this other Dept. store
    named Hearn’s.
    To tell you the truth about these models of yours, they both look great. The years past have not make a negative show on the first one.
    This post is a very good proof of my mind set when a modeler ask me if he or she should re do or repaint their model. My answer is always a big NO. one should always save the past, doing a new one … will make the modeler see their improvement over the years.
    But of course, that is just me, I respect if they see things differently.
    Nice work on those models … now put them on a diorama !

  5. This is ab emotionally moving post, Bill.
    It was so nice reading your memories, our ones turning on automatically.
    Thanks for this!
    Both Sherman’s are excellent, each one carrying its own excellency.

  6. Which one is which? They both look equally good.

  7. Very moving story, Bill, I really enjoyed it.

  8. Nice work, Bill. I like Russian armor.

  9. Appreciate the comments guys. I love this Hobby.

  10. Nice builds. Love the KV-1, I too bought the original Tamiya kit when it was new.

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