This is a 1/72 Toldi III
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 Hitler’s 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.
38M/43M 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 add significantly heavier armor to so Hungarian technicians upgraded the gun with 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 slothful and was not completed until 1944!
The Toldi III did receive a thicker skin with 40mm on the front. It was also outfitted with spaced armor, a'la German Schürzen
. But only 12 were delivered.
Hungary upgraded their armor corps organization after the Stalingrad disaster and formed two tank divisions, creating 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. Weakly armed thinly armored tanks with poor powerplants did not fare well against the Red Army and few Toldis survived until the end of the war.
IBG's Toldi III
Five 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.
F. Turret, 40mm L/45 barrel and mantel.
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. Perhaps over-engineered yet it should make up a good model.
Six 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, paint and decals
IBG Models makes excellent instruction, clean and clear. They are gray scale (CAD?) images.
Decals are sharply printed by Techmod. They are thin and opaque. Markings are provided for two unidentified units. Numbers are included to create custom vehicle numbers.
According to data on the sheet these are the same decals for the Toldi IIa model.
This Toldi III has an agreeable camouflage pattern of olive, grey-brown, and "panzer yellow". Only five colors are referenced although IBG Models keys them to four paint brands: Vallejo; AK Interactive; Pactra; HATAKA.
Like my previous review, IBG Models
' Toldi III 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 Hitler’s Eastern Allies 1941–45 New Vanguard 199
. Osprey Publishing. 2013.
For the Record. Hungarian armor part 4 – Toldi II, Toldi IIA, Toldi III
. [Web.] November 16, 2013.