Hungarian Light Tank 38.M Toldi I

Cromwell 1:76 Scale Vehicle Review

Hungarian Light Tank 38.M Toldi I, 1:76 Model Kit Cromwell HU1

The Swedish Landsverk L-60.B light tank, a licensed copy of the Skoda LT vz. 38, produced under license in Hungary, and designated 38.M Toldi light tank in Hungarian service.

Of the axis forces fighting alongside the Wehrmacht on the Easter Front, Hungary deployed the largest armoured contingent. Hungarian armoured vehicles were no match for Soviet tanks encountered during the campaign, and they sustained heavy losses during the assault on the Donets River line. Toldi light tanks remained in service until 1944, when they were gradually replaced by the new Turan tanks.

The model has been painted to represent a vehicle of the Hungarian 11th Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion, Donets Front, summer 1941. The author added two scratchbuilt parts to the vehicle, a mounting bracket for the turret flak machine gun, and the handrail on the hull front. Visible on the turret side, and on the hull front is the early style Hungarian national cross, not unlike the Wehrmacht Balkenkreuz, it was later replaced by a white cross on black square.

Contents

  • 38.M Toldi I
  • Type: Light Tank
  • Armament: 37 mm L.37 Bofors
    8 mm Danuvia (Brno) MG
  • Crew: 3

Evaluation

Easy to assemble, only 8 parts.

Nicely detailed, good casting quality.

Good choice of subject. The Toldi saw long service on the Eastern Front, 1941-44.

Some resin parts may be slightly warped. The problem can be corrected by placing the parts in hot water, and straightening them carefully. Cold water will set the parts again, maintaining the new alignment.

Tiny air holes need to be filled with putty or with an extra coat of paint.

Assembly, and painting instruction are not included. Modellers will have to refer to other literature to get information on camouflage schemes and vehicle markings. Without reference to a photo of the vehicle, it may be impossible to determine if the co-axial machine gun should be mounted to the left or to the right of the main armament. Some small parts may be difficult to identify, and it may not be apparent how they should be attached.

Decals are not included. Most military vehicles carry national, tactical, even personal markings, and these should be included in a model kit. Decals are particularly important when the vehicle markings are too elaborate to be painted by hand. Decals are not difficult to produce. Clear decal sheet is readily available on the market, and manufacturers have access to computers, scanners, and colour printers, enabling them to perfectly reproduce markings in the required scale. Without proper markings and painting instructions, resin kits cannot possibly attract a large modelling audience.

Crew figures are not included. Open hatches and exposed vehicle crew add significant value to a model kit, at very little additional investment. This is particularly the case with armoured vehicle crew figures, which only need to be modelled from the chest up.

Historical Employment

  • Invasion of Yugoslavia, Spring 1941
  • Invasion of the Soviet Union, Summer 1941
    • 9th Armd Recon Battalion, 1st Motorized Brigade (20 Toldi tanks)
    • 11th Armd Recon Battalion, 2nd Motorized Brigade (20 Toldi tanks)
    • 3rd Armd Recon Battalion, 2nd Cavalry Brigade (20 Toldi tanks)

Possible Conversions

  • Toldi II
  • Toldi IIa
  • Toldi III
  • Swedish Landswerk L-60.D Stridsvagn m/39

Hungarian camouflage patterns are very similar in appearance to those used by the French army in 1940, with patches of dark olive green, light ochre, and red brown paint. Up to 1942, the patterns were applied by brush, with resulting hard edges, but spray equipment was used thereafter. Between the years 1941 and 1943 the national insignia was a green Balkenkreuz with white border, on a red octagon. In 1944 this was replaced by a white cross on a black square, similar to the Hungarian air force insignia.

Patrick Storto

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