Hungarian Light Tank 38M Toldi I(A20)
The Toldi was a light tank manufactured for the Hungarian army and was based on the Swedish Landsverk L-60B tank. It was named after the 14th century Hungarian knight Miklós Toldi.
The 38M Toldi was produced and developed under license from Swedish company AB Landsverk between 1939 and 1942. Only 202 were produced. There were four variants:
- Toldi I – armed with a 20mm main gun, 80 manufactured
- Toldi II –with thicker front armor, 110 made.
- Toldi IIa – modification developed in 1942, armed with 40mm gun – 80 tanks of earlier variants were rearmed this way
- Toldi III – improved variant, only 12 made.
Toldi tanks entered Hungarian service in 1940, first seeing combat against Yugoslavia in 1941. These tanks were later used against the Russians between 1941-1944. Because of their thin armor, light armament, and good communications equipment, they were mostly used for reconnaissance duties. The Toldi was no match against the Soviet T-34 medium tanks encountered during the early stages of the war on the Eastern front.
The two known surviving 38M Toldi tanks are on display at the Kubinka Tank Museum.
Four sprues of a light tan plastic include the tanks parts, along with the hull top and tub, plus the turret. A small fret of PE is included, along with a small decal sheet for the colorful Hungarian national markings. The only parts shown as not being used in the build are four PE parts.
The instruction booklet consists of 12 pages, with the 13 construction steps shown from pages 3 through 11. Each step includes exploded views of the various parts and mounting locations.
The mounting of the four road wheel swing arms is rather delicate, and once fitted in place should be set aside over night for the joins to cure fully for strength. Before setting this sub-assembly (hull bottom) aside to cure, make certain the swing arms are all properly aligned to avoid difficulties in the future.
In the center portion of Step 3, parts A34, the rear idler mounts, did not fit into their respective mounting holes is the hull. Careful trimming was required before they went into place. Once fitted, and before the solvent cures, make certain that both parts are properly aligned.
Step 5 addresses the assembly of the individual link tracks. An exploded profile is shown detailing the completed track configuration around the drive sprocket and rear idler. There are eleven track sprues molded in a coffee- and-cream-colored plastic, with 26 links per sprue, and therefore there should be a surplus of links to address any issue the modeler may have. There are 125 individual links per side. Each link has four sprue attachment points that must be carefully cut to remove the link from the sprue. Once removed from the sprue, the delicate links will require some additional cleanup to allow the links to fit together properly. This assembly step will take some time, patience, and skill. It took me about 6 to 7 hours to assemble the tracks.
The oval antenna is represented in PE, but I was unable to roll the thin metal strip into a smooth curve and therefore used a strip of styrene. This resulted in a delicate installation, but was satisfactory to me.
Painting and Decals
I first applied a base coat of Tamiya XF-68 NATO Brown, thinned with their lacquer thinner. The camouflage colors were from the Tamiya acrylic line. Two applications of Future were used, then allowed to harden for 24 hours before the decals were applied. The decals reacted well to Micro Sol where they were located over raised details (sides of turret). Everything was sealed with a flat clear coat.
This was my first Hobby Boss armor kit. The subject Hungarian Light tank is a unique offering and will result in a quite nice model of something out of the ordinary. The molding and details are quite similar to a Tamiya product. Although the track assembly is the most challenging part of the constructions, this model is recommended for those builders with at least intermediate skills. It went together quite nicely with a minimum of fit challenges. The few tiny parts can be installed with a minimal amount of difficulty, and just a touch of filler may be required at the rear vertical joints. This is a neat kit. I enjoyed the build.
I with to thank Squadron and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this product.