This is a 1/72 Toldi IIa
light tank injection molded kit by IBG Models
. IBG Models of Poland has been making models for 25 years and has expanded from 1/72 scale military vehicle, ordnance and armor kits into 1/35, and recently has entered the 1/700 ship market. They focus on overlooked yet significant subjects of the Axis, Allies, and Minor Powers.
Until I read Steve Zaloga's book Tanks of Hitlerís East Allies
I had never heard of the Toldi. My penchant for little known and less-loved subjects endeared it to me and I have wanted a model of it since.
The model is now assembled and you can find its build log by clicking Click here for additional images for this review
, at the end of this review.
Toldi Light Tank
Toldi production maxed out at 202 tanks of all versions. Despite being good looking machines, the first Toldi tanks lacked armor (13mm), firepower (2cm AT rifle), and reliable engines. The tank was too anemic to upgraded with armor so Hungarian technicians upgraded the gun to a licensed version of the 40mm Bofors. That 40mm L/45 gun created the Toldi IIa, which also had an upgraded belt-fed Gebauer 34/40A.M machine-gun. That upgrade was glacial and was not completed until 1944!
Hungary upgraded their armor corps organization after the disaster of Stalingrad and formed two tank divisions which created the 1st Armored Corps. The Toldi upgrades did not create a survivable tank. 1st Division fought near Warsaw. The 2nd Division deployed to East Galicia in April 1944 and was torn apart. By autumn 1944 the survivors went home to Hungary and fought there. Lightly armed thinly armored tanks with weak powerplants did not fare well against the Red Army and few Toldis survived until the end of the war.
In the box
Six gray sprues held in two crinkly plastic bags plus decals and an instruction sheet make this kit. Those sprues are;
G. Glacis, headlamps and brake lamps.
E. 40mm L/45 barrel and plates.
C. Turret and fittings.
B. 2 X running gear and tracks.
A. Hull and equipment.
Molding is first rate with sharp details and crisp, fine small items. The running gear is made up of lengths of track plus individual links to wrap around drive sprockets and idlers. Each sprue B has 16 individual links as well as five longer runs. Individual torsion bars are molded for each two-piece road wheel. The sprockets and idlers are two-piece wheels, while the return rollers are single parts. Idler axles and slack adjusters are separate parts, too.
The hull is a multi-part affair: bottom; sides; glacis; rear plate; one-piece upper hull. Almost two dozen hatches, tools, lights and bins and accessories outfit the hull.
Eleven pieces assemble the turret and gun mantle. The side hatches are molded shut.
The only problem I see is that some of the sprue attachments are very big compared to the part they retain, i.e., the lights and pioneer tools. Also, the pioneer tools are thick for the scale.
Each road wheel and drive sprocket have fine bolt/rivet detail. Hinges on the engine deck are sharp, too. Tires are molded to the rims of the bogies.
Instructions and decals
IBG Models' instructions are clean and clear. They are gray scale images.
Decals are sharply printed by Techmod. They are thin and opaque. Markings are provided for two units. Numbers are included to create custom vehicle numbers.
According to data on the sheet these are the same decals for the Toldi III model.
This little model is impressively detailed. However, for my tastes, it is over-engineered.
The lower hull shell is a 4-piece affair (actually 5 after the lower glacis is added): bottom, sides, rear. The sides fit to the bottom with mere whisker-thin indentions that are almost impossible to seat; I had to use a gooey glue to hold it until I could set it with liquid glue.
The torsion bars are individual parts. The pins that enter the side of the hull are short so there is not a lot of plastic to hold them in their slots. Aligning them took lying the hull and bars on a flat surface and then squaring them with a tool.
The road wheels and sprockets and idlers are two-piece assembles, each. The road wheels show pins and slots for alignment in the instructions but it seems that the slots were not molded. Aligning the front and back wheel halves are by feel.
The eight road wheels are made with 16 halves. As mentioned, one side does not have the slots for the pins that are on the outer halves. Once the glue cured, some of the halves were cattywampus. Fitting the road wheels onto the axles was very tricky because the axles are delicate. The fit is snug, and that bends the torsion bar axles. This is a delicate model.
The return rollers are two-pieces per roller. I attached the inner parts and will put the outer parts on aftre the tracks go on.
The upper glacis fits nicely into the lower hull assembly. Just a drop of Ambroid liquid glue plus capillary action, and the piece is forever set, also reinforcing the sides and bottom.
The upper hull is mainly a one-piece affair. A small engine plate attaches to the inside of the rear, then two round engine vents and the driver's hatch are installed, plus the two stowage bins, headlamps, a raised rail, and the maintenance kit parts completes it.
Toldi's turret is fairly simple. The base and the turret, sans the mantle and stowage bin. The fit of all pieces is great.
One thing I meant to mention. The styrene seems a tad soft.
Also, I think IBG made this model for the dioramaist in mind. The stowage bins can be posed with the lids open, as can the hatches. And those tiny torsion terrors can be positioned for uneven ground, although that will require some manipulating of the track lengths.
Tackling the track is challenging. The individual links make the kit more of a torture device than a model. They are so small and frail that separating the individual links from the sprue is nearly impossible without malforming them, whether with a sprue nipper or a sharp knife.
This is where the ultra (read "too fine") fine alignment nubs inside the sprocket & idler halves bit me. The teeth of the sprocket are ever so slightly unaligned (by a fraction of a millimeter) so the links do not fit on it. I tried one assembly by setting each link on the sprocket individually; I attempted the other side by aligning all eight indie-links, putting a dab of glue on the sprocket, and rolling it over the links. That led to the very fine links immediately softening and sticking to the bench.
I have an idea. With my other Toldi I'll try this: put the links together and use them as an alignment jig for the sprocket.
There are 16 individual links and 5 set lengths of track:
- ground base that runs along the 4 bogies
- connector from ground base to drive sprocket
- connector between ground base and idler
- run from idler to rear return roller
- top length along return rollers to the drive sprocket
I think the key is to mount the bottom length first.
As mentioned, removing the indie (individual) links from the sprue is difficult to do without malforming them. The lengths of track fit together nicely. Mating the indie links can be alright is they are not malformed, but there is not much plastic for glue to adhere to, and that causes them to melt.
I think the tracks are the weak part of this model. While the individual/length track link design makes for a great looking model, it was very difficult for me - even with bright light and magnification - to work with them. Especially since the driver/bogies/idlers were so difficult to square up.
' Toldi is what I had hoped for with the kit. It has quality molding and good detail. Track detail is neither simple rubber bands nor a pile of tiny links, so the detail is enhanced. I am satisfying with the level of detail. I am more than satisfied with the separate torsion axles and idler mounts. The decals are very good, too.
Some of the sprue attachments are very big compared to the part they retain, i.e., the lights and pioneer tools. Also, the pioneer tools are thick for the scale.
This tiny Toldi is a fine addition to "braille scale" and I am very happy it. Soon I expect to sample how well it assembles. I recommend this model to those interested in Hungarian tanks and Eastern Front armor.
Steven J. Zaloga. Tanks of Hitlerís Eastern Allies 1941Ė45 New Vanguard 199
. Osprey Publishing. 2013.
For the Record. Hungarian armor part 4 Ė Toldi II, Toldi IIA, Toldi III
. [Web.] November 16, 2013.