by: Roman [ ]
Some years ago Hungarian WW2 subjects were not covered by plastic manufacturers and we could only hope for an up-to-date kit. However, after a surprise release from Bronco (Zrinyi SPG) some of the vehicles started to appear including Toldi light tank from Hobbyboss. The company announced all 3 variants and the expectations were high, however, when the kit hit the shelves of hobby shops and landed at our benches it was discovered that it has simplified detail here and there, the barrels are poor and side hatches are molded shut on the turret. Some might have seen a great build from Steven Zaloga where he combined Hobby Boss kit with some turret interior details from the Balaton Modell resin kit of Toldi, but this is a rare item. So when SBS Models announced a series of Toldi tank upgrades I knew that if I am going to build that tank I have to get them.
Set 35019 has a complete turret with a turned metal barrel for Toldi II, the company also sells the metal barrel separately and has a set for the turret of Toldi I tank as well (with 20mm gun). Packed in a cardboard box with an image of completed turret on the front, inside you will find the resin parts, a photo-etch fret, black and white instructions and metal barrel. The turret has upper part and separate turret ring, gun mantlet, rear stowage box with PE parts that allow the modeller to display it open. The commanders hatch is detailed with photoetch parts and also has visor blocks in resin (these are absent in Hobbyboss kit). The side hatches have excellent detail on both sides and these can be positioned open as there is plenty of detail on the inner side this includes resin and PE parts. There are a number of other PE parts that make lifting hooks and the antenna base. The quality of resin is excellent and it is a rather soft resin (unlike Verlinden, Legend Productions or CMK). Smaller parts can be cut from the blocks using a sharp hobby knife while casting block on the rear of the turret require sawing.
When it comes to comparison to original turret from Hobbyboss kit the differences are: added weld seams, improved bolt detail, corrected mantlet shape, added commanders cupola visors, added detail to commanders hatch, side hatches with details on the inner surface and of course the metal barrel. I have included with the review comparison photographs with the Hobbyboss original plastic (but please be aware that I used Toldi III turret that has a different shape, although surface detail quality is the same). The improvements are obvious.
I found a minor issue when comparing the turret with the surviving Toldi II tank in Kubinka museum (Russia), the round bolts on the lower part of the turret should have slot screw drives, while they are made just round in the reviewed turret (judging by images from SBS webpage this is the same in all their sets). These can be easily corrected by making the slots with a knife.
Overall, this is a very good set of resin turret for Toldi II tank and I can highly recommend it for those interested in building this vehicle. Keep an eye on this company as they promised more updates for Toldi tanks during a conversation at the Moson model show.