I have a real fondness for WWII Soviet tanks designs, especially the heavies and assault tanks. When the Trumpeter KV-7 first came out, I wasn't too interested in the kit but I grew to like it and picked one up at the hobby shop when they had a sale.
The KV-7 was a prototype design that never made it into production. It was an early attempt to increase firepower against light defensive positions. The first iteration was a triplex design with a single 76mm gun flanked by two 45mm guns. This approach performed poorly in trails and it was decided to evaluate twin 76mm guns and drop the 45mm entirely. Trials didn't go to well for the twin mount either and the project was eventually cancelled. The effort wasn't a total loss, the concept eventually evolved into the SU-152.
A full development history can be found here - Tank Archives
Trumpeter's kit adds a couple of new sprues to its basic KV-1 kit. The new parts aren't particularly impressive and the old parts are starting to show tool wear with some pitting and excess flash and still those damn ejector pin marks in the tracks. The base kit assembled quickly but it was only after I posted images online that I became aware of the myriad of accuracy issues with the kit. Trumpeter really dropped the ball on this one. I think they must have used World Of Tanks as their technical guide.
The kit has the following errors:
Incorrect roof layout
Incorrect acorn periscopes
Gun mantle is the wrong shape
Gun shield is too thin and missing many details
Casemate is placed in the wrong location - too far back
Hull top armor plates are wrong size and location
Nose edge armor plate is missing weld details
Uses incorrect armored periscope guards
Wrong transmission deck
Incorrect road wheels
Incorrect return rollers
Missing gunner's sight armored cover
Incorrect shape on appliqué armor plate
Incorrect fender configuration
Incorrect gun barrel shape
After I found this out, I set the kit aside for a while. Over the following months, I would work on it for a little while and then box it up again. I wanted to smash it with a hammer many times. Eventually I dragged it out and finally made a go at it. I reworked and scribed the roof plate and added missing bolt details. I realized there was far too much work to be done on the model to make it accurate, so I decided to add my own errors to the kit. I added a spare armored MG turret from the KV-220 model and the missing periscope guards were donated from a Bronco SU-152. The moment I glued these on, the bothered me. Here was a 1941/42 design effort with 1943 features but they were all I had.
I used and Eduard PE set to add the intake and exhaust screens which are necessary to replace the sold kit ones no matter how bad the kit is. I replaced the kit tracks with spares from the KV-220 which were a newer molding and do not have the ejector pin marks on the inside face like supplied kit tracks. The metal ones seen in the photos were used on the KV U-19. Aside from the PE, I didn't want to spend another nickel on this damn kit.
My first attempt at painting was a disaster. I attempted the hairspray technique but my paint layer was too thick and the HS would not cooperate. I soaked the whole thing in Windex, cleaned it off and set it aside. The Windex stripped the paint back to bare plastic so I had to clean up imperfections again. It was at this point the SU-152 periscopes became too much of a distraction, so I modeled up new ones and had them 3D printed by Shapeways. Seems kind of pointless with a kit with so many issues but I was a learning experience using Shapeways.
For the second round of painting, I avoided HS and went for a basic color modulation.
I applied brown camo bands using Blue Tack as a mask.
Next were applications of filters, washes, and oil paint highlights. Markings are airbrushed thru Montex masks.