by: Darren Baker [ ]
Originally published on:
There is not a lot of information about this vehicle available in English but here is what I have been able to find. The Hungarian 40/43M Zrinyi II 105mm assault gun was produced between 1943 and 1944 with a total build of 40 to 66, the exact number is not known as all of the records were lost or destroyed. The 40/43M Zrinyi II 105mm assault gun was heavily influenced by the German Stug III, with the only known surviving Hungarian 40/43M Zrinyi II 105mm assault gun is at the Kubinka tank museum near Moscow.
Contained in the Bronco slip-top box are:
• 11 tan sprues
• 1 light grey sprue
• 18 tan sprues of track links
• 1 clear plastic sprue
• Upper hull
• lower hull
• 4 photo etched frets
• Length of string
• Decal sheet
• Glossy colour instruction booklet
• A print of the box artwork
Starting with the packaging of the product; most of the sprues are individually packed in polythene bags, and the example sent to me arrived in perfect condition with no parts bent in the case of the photo etched parts and no plastic parts broken. The instruction booklet uses the line drawing format to guide you through construction and has a short introduction to the model on the front cover, construction is covered in 33 steps which are not overly busy which should help during the construction of the model. Included on the first interior page is the parts guide. At the back of the booklet are painting instructions for three units; 2 in all olive drab and 1 in the familiar 3 colour camouflage.
First impressions are good as opening the box reminds me of opening a DML kit from the heady days when it contained everything including the kitchen sink. The moulding, from a quick overview at least, all look to be clean and without any obvious issues that can make construction a pain rather than a joy.
Stages 1 through 6 concentrates on the main gun and includes a lot of detail that cannot be easily seen unless the hatches are left open, that does create some issues as the interior is empty apart from the driver’s position and the back end of the main gun. What this kit does provide are some interesting opportunities for the after-market providers to make a full interior and engine available for this vehicle. The muzzle of the weapon has been provided with a bore down to a reasonable depth using slide mould technology and the small holes around the muzzle are also in place, but some of them will need a little attention from a drill bit.
Stages 7 through 8 concentrates on the drivers position and again provides a reasonable level of detail for those with a casual interest in some interior detail or if wanting to add one or more of the many Hungarian tank crew figures that have hit the market of late.
Stages 9 through 14 tackles the suspension units and wheels for the vehicle and these stages are broken down even further into a number of sub sections, these stages will certainly test your ability when it comes to small parts and careful application of glue. With that said once complete it is an area of the model that is moveable making display on uneven surfaces within dioramas easy and at the same time eye catching due to the level of detail.
Stage 15 takes you through construction of the individual track links which are workable as they require no glue during construction. Each track run consists of 101 links to construct, however careful removal of each link from its sprue connection points will make clean up minimal.
Stage 16 covers the addition of the mudguards for the vehicle, there is not a lot I can add here except for the moulding being some of the thinnest in profile I have seen.
Stage 17 through 22 concentrates on getting the upper hull sorted with all the parts that can be added before mating the upper hull to the lower hull. Detail is as you would expect, good and clearly defined. There are a couple of areas where you need to add bolt detail which is supplied in the kit but creates work I at least could well do without, this means adding 14 bolts around the louver on the engine deck and 6 bolts to each of the two small flanges just behind the rear of the vehicle (what a pain but the detail has been included in the kit rather than just omitted).
All of the doors at the rear of the vehicle can be displayed open so once the after-market boys catch up with this one as I said earlier it really will offer up a number of possibilities. Some other good news with this is that Bronco has included detail on the interior face of all the hatches and avoided the problem of any deformations on the interior as well. The tools for the vehicle do have the latches moulded on them which I know will please some and incense others. To finish this area Bronco has included 2 jacks which was a surprise to me.
Stage 23 covers the installation of the previously assembled main gun, which looks a straight forward task.
Stage 24 through 27 starts with you finally joining the upper and lower hull and then for the most part adding boxes and spares to the vehicle. Bronco suggests adding the aerials to the vehicle made from heat stretched sprue which is easy enough to do however there are also other options available to you, one thing I would have liked to see here would be information on aerial length as while some will know the length required I suspect most will not.
Stage 28 through 31 covers the application of the additional side armour which does look complicated to me, but you are offered the choice of not using the perforated side armour if you wish. It is worth noting that the 4 panels which make up the armour panels on each side are supplied as a single piece and can be removed for painting and such when the construction is finished, but each panel’s border is clearly defined should you wish to remove some of this added armour. It is also worth mentioning that Bronco has included a photo etched mask for adding markings of one of the build options which is a nice touch. It is also during the last stage of these sections that covers using the included string to represent the tow ropes, as many of you know I am not a fan of using string to represent these metal tow ropes but with this model it does make sense as the connection method used to create the loops at each end (photo etched clamps) makes string the obvious choice. The model is finished at this point but there are 2 other stages.
Stage 32 covers construction of an MG 34 with the option of an open or closed support stand, an open or closed breach, and the option of 3 drum magazines or a belt of ammunition which would be about 4ft long in a 1 to 1 scale. The barrel on the MG 34 is also recessed which, while still needing to be drilled further, does give you a target for your drill bit.
Stage 33 covers another extra in this kit which consists of 2 x 200ltr fuel drums and 8 x 20ltr jerry cans as used by Hungarian forces. The fuel drums are made up from separate halves with a top and bottom plus 4 ribs, text is included on the tops and bottoms of the fuel drums but it is very light and may be obscured easily during painting. The jerry cans consist of separate halves with a photo etched seam to go between the halves and is finished with a separate handle and filler cap, the handle is made up of 3 bars and so should look the part.
As far as accuracy goes I cannot really comment as I found locating details on this vehicle difficult to find on an English speaking website, all I was able to do was look at a few pictures I managed to locate and from those it did look good but it is no way possible for me to guarantee accuracy of the model.
As far as looks go this should be an impressive addition to anyone’s shelf and an especially nice addition to those that have an interest in the Stug line of vehicles as it will fit in perfectly, but is different enough to draw the eye to it. The inclusion of the fuel drums and jerry cans along with the MG34 are nice extras to have included with the kit.