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HobbyBoss 1/35 scale Hungarian 38M Toldi I

Kit:82477 // Scale:1/35 // Price:$47.99
HobbyBoss, from Squadron Products, 877-414-0434
Suspension can be articulated to display it on uneven groundwork
Lacks detail in certain areas; tracks difficult to assemble
Injection-molded, 452 parts (20 photoetched metal), decals

The competition between model companies to find the next hot kit has brought us to the tanks of Germany’s allies. Hungary produced a licensed copy of the Swedish Landsverk L-60 light tank called the T38M Toldi (named after the 14th-century Hungarian knight Miklós Toldi), which was armed with a 20mm gun.

HobbyBoss has produced the first plastic version of this tank in 1/35 scale. It is molded in light yellow styrene with the individual track links provided in light brown styrene. A sheet of photoetched metal is also included. The overall detail is good, but I had to deepen shallow panel lines so they’d show through a coat of paint. Hatches that are separate are not meant to be left open; there is no interior detail. 

The directions show adding the suspension to the lower hull tub in Step 2, but I glued the major hull components first. Before gluing the upper hull to the lower hull, make sure the louvers in the glacis and the side vents are in.

There was a gap around the front louvers that needed filler. I filed the bottom of the side vents (parts A30 and A31) level with the upper hull so the fenders sat flush. The interior should also be painted black to prevent a view of the empty hull.

Most of the photoetched metal is for the fender supports. There are marks on the fenders showing where the supports go, but I filed them off so the brackets fit better. The rivet detail on the fender supports seems light but could be fixed with punched styrene. It would have been nice to have tools for stowage.

The headlights and spotlight are molded solid; clear lenses would be better. Photoetched-metal covers for the fender lights are bent over a form (C14). There is a pair of photoetched-metal brush guards for the headlights, but they’re not mentioned in the directions. Most combat photos of the Toldi show the brush guards being used, not the covers.

The driver’s hatch did not want to fit; I removed its inner lip to seat it. 

Next, the suspension: I glued the suspension arms (parts B12) before gluing suspension parts B2 and B3 to ensure they lined up. Also, glue parts B23 to parts A34 and A35 before gluing them to the hull; if you glue these parts to the hull first, they will split if they are not aligned properly.

The individual track links break easily; beware of damaging the parts during removal and cleanup. They are meant to snap together, but they fit poorly and required glue. Although the instructions call for 125 links per side, the picture shows only 107. I waited to mount the tracks until after I’d finished painting.

The turret has three major components; a little filler was needed where the upper and lower halves meet in the back. I curved the antenna wire by rolling it with a dowel before gluing it to the turret; no form is included for this bend. Aftermarket barrels would improve the kit parts. The turret fits tightly, so file its locating tabs. I didn’t and damaged the paint.

The kit’s color sheet shows a soft-edge, three-color camouflage similar to German tanks. I primed with Vallejo German green brown, then painted the upper hull with Model Air camouflage dark green with freehand stripes of Model Air tank brown and Model Air dark yellow. I used AK Interactive’s German yellow modulation set on the lower hull.

The decals are brittle and will break apart if handled too much. I needed Solvaset to get them to lay down over turret detail. There is an extra set of markings on the decal sheet not shown in the directions.

I used Humbrol and Vallejo colors for all the detail painting, finishing the tracks with Tamiya NATO black and AK Interactive’s track wash and metal pigment. I weathered with Mig filters for tricolor camouflage and dark yellow and Mig’s dark brown wash for weathering.

The book Magyar Steel (Mushroom, ISBN 978-83-89450-29-6) has everything you need on Hungarian tanks, and the kit matches its scale drawings.


When I started this model, I thought it would be a good weekend build. But it took 29 hours, more than half for cleaning and assembling the track. Still, adding tools and upgrading other details can make this a striking vehicle different from others on your shelf.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the January 2013 FineScale Modeler.


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