Botond 1/35 Hungarian 41M "Turan" Tank

By Ray Mehlberger


There has been little interest in the past concerning Hungarian armor, and this is true of the Turan tank. The Turan served as the main battle tank of the Hungarian armored divisions in the latter part of WWII, and was used in quite large numbers.

The Turan tanks, and their assault howitzer derivatives, the Zrinyi vehicles, bore the brunt of the fighting with Hungarian armored formations in the fatal year of 1944. Hungary, in 1944, looked for a medium tank suitable for licensing. In the Czech Army's 1938 trials, for a medium tank, there were two contenders, the CKD (Praga) V-8-H and the Skoda S-III. Since the V-8-H was selected by the Czech Army, as their ST-39 medium tank, the Skoda designers began work on other construction, the S-IIc, which they developed from their LT-35 light tank (Skoda S-IIa) for export applications.

The S-IIc was offered to Hungary by Skoda, and the V-8-H was offered by CKD. In 1940, the designation S-IIc was changed to Skoda T-21, and an improved and up-armored version, the T-22 was made. The T-22 was shown to a Hungarian commission in Pilsen in May of 1940. It was demonstrated in Hungary during June and July of that year. The V-8-H was evaluated also, but a licensing agreement was signed for the Skoda T-22 medium tank in August.





Before production, the Czech tank was modified on a number of points. A three man turret was substituted for the original two man one, and a 260 HP V-8 engine, designed by the Hungarian company Manfred Weisz, was installed. Armament was of Hungarian design as well. This new tank was dubbed "Turan".

A special tank-mounted version of the standard Hungarian 40mm 40M towed anti-tank gun (derived from the German Rheinmetall-Borsig 3,7cm Pak 35/36) which was used by Hungarian troops as the 37mm 36M anti-tank gun, was developed by MAVAG.

A total of 139 Turan tanks were produced, mainly in 1943 and the beginning of 1944, against a total order for 322, which were originally scheduled to be built by 1945.

What is in the box?:

The kit comes in generic, white box, that is very sturdy. Glued on the lid is a color photo of the kit made up. Smaller color photos adorn the side of the box and show the built up model from other angles.

Inside the box are five cello bags of medium gray colored resin parts. There is one large cello bag and four zip-locked smaller bags. Taped to the lid of the box is a fret of brass PE parts.

The icing on the cake, in this kit, is the set of Friulmodellismo individual metal track links.

There are no decals provided.

The instructions is a single 8 1/2" by 11" sheet, printed on one side. It has five exploded drawings on it showing assembly. This will take some real study.

The resin is on the hard and brittle side...but the molding is top notch in most cases. I did notice that some of the rivet heads had been pulled off parts when they were taken out of the mold...these will have to be replaced. Also, when cleaning the pour points off the road wheels, I found a air bubble inside the area where the pour point joined the road wheel rims. This will take some puttying later too.

The box-art will have to be used for the painting and marking guide. I can see only the Hungarian national marking on the side of the Turan. It consists of a black square with a white cross on it...very much like a German marking. No division mark is visible. With some masking the Hungarian cross will be rather easy to paint on.

As with most resin kits, there is a good deal of cleanup of parts to remove excess resin from the molding process. However, the parts look very crisp and detailed.

An unusual subject and seldom seen (if at all) on modeler's shelves). This kit was traded to me by a shop in Budapest in exchange for some armor accessories by Armor Research Co. which I own.

Highly recommended...but only if you can afford the stiff price. This kit goes for around $65.00.

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