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Hungarian 38.M Toldi I tank

HobbyBoss, 1/35 scale

by Steve Zaloga


I was quite surprised to discover that Hobby Boss planned to release a kit of this attractive little Hungarian tank, and so I immediately ordered one when it became available. The kit is molded in a mustard color plastic reminiscent of Tamiya plastic, with the individual track links in a brown color like Model Kasten. There is also a small fret of photoetch. I had a Balaton Modell Toldi I in the stash and rather than throw it away, I decided to use the interior bits and to open up the Hobby Boss kit. The HB Toldi comes with a separate commander’s hatch and driver’s hatch, but the interior of the commander’s hatch is not accurate, and no effort has been made in the kit to depict the cupola interior or the interior of the driver’s hatch. So all this had to be added. The kit comes with the side turret doors molded shut, so I had to open these up as well.



The kit goes together well for the most part. The attachment of the torsion bar rocker arms to the hull is very mushy, so I had to mount the hull on a simple jig to ensure that the suspension was level. The main problem with the kit is the tracks. These are a major nuisance to clean up, since they are very small, very delicate, and there are four sprue attachment points. Aside from being tedious, the real problem is that the links are much too tight and simply do not fit together. I had to use a small dental burr and clean off each link at four points to make it possible to glue these together. I certainly wish that manufacturers would use link and length tracks (like Tamiya 1/48 kits) when doing these small tracks. There is an old set of Model Kasten track for the Toldi but it is no longer in production; Fruil is apparently planning a set as well. This is good, because otherwise I think that most modelers will find the kit unbuildable due to the track problems. This is a real shame as the kit is otherwise very nice.



The kit lacks the usual tools and I supplied these from various Dragon kits. Photo-etch is provided for the fender reinforcements, but I replaced these with plastic as the rivet detail is not especially pronounced and the metal is hard to bend accurately. The kit comes with a very delicate grill over the center front headlight; unfortunately this is a “venetian blind” arrangement on the real tank, and I replaced this as well. The kit decal selection is adequate but not great. Fortunately, Bison had a Hungarian set in their decal range which I used; apparently it will be re-issued soon.



I used the Bodi Hungarian tank officer figure on my vignette with a Hornet head from their Italian tanker set. The sunflowers behind the tank are a mixture of the Diopark plastic sunflowers and the Voyager photo-etch small sunflowers.



Overall, this is a nice little kit, though spoiled by the terrible track fit.

Model, Images and Text by Steven J. Zaloga
Page Created 12 August, 2012
Page Last Updated 12 August, 2012