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Csaba Kit

Botond 1/35 Hungarian 39M Csaba Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review January 2008 Manufacturer Botond
Subject Hungarian 39M Csaba Scale 1/35
Kit Number N/A Primary Media Resin, White Metal, PE
Pros Interesting subject Cons Instructions vague at times. No decal provided.
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

Csaba Kit
Csaba Kit
Csaba Kit
Csaba Kit

The 39M Csaba was an armored scout car produced for the Royal Hungarian Army during WWII.

Hungarian ex-patriot Nicholas Straussler designed several armored cars for Britain while living there between the two world wars. Straussler came to an agreement with the Weiss Manfred factory of Csepel, Budapest to produce vehicles from his designs for use in his home country. – the most prominent was the Csaba (named after the son of Atilla the Hun) which was designed based on his experience of the Avis AC2 armored car.

After successful trials in 1939, the Hungarian Army placed an order for 61, and a further order for an additional 40 vehicles was placed in 1940. Of these, twenty were used as actual fighting machines, with the remainder serving as armored command cars and reconnaissance vehicles.

The Csaba had a 20mm cannon and a 8mm machine-gun fixed in a centrally mounted turret, with 9mm armor plating. It also had two driving positions – one at the front as normal, and an additional one at the rear. The Csaba was produced from 1939 to 1944.

Botond is a company based in Budapest, Hungary. They produce a line of resin kits. I traded them some of my company’s after market armor accessories for 3 different ones of their kits years ago. Unfortunately, I never did know what these kits retailed for or where to get them. I think there are 3 or 4 stores in the UK that carry them. I was approached by a fellow at Botond, who wanted some of my accessories and we just did a straight swap.

The kit comes in a plain old brown cardboard box. It has a line drawing of the Csaba, printed on a piece of white paper that then was glued onto the brown box. There are 2 stickers with the logos for Botond and SAS Militaria on this box too. There is a date of 1996 etched into the fret of PE in the kit. This is how old the kit is.

The kit contains a one piece solidly molded body piece of the Csaba and a zip-lock type cello bag that holds all the resin parts, a smaller zip locked cello with white metal parts in it and a fret of brass PE parts. There are no decals in the kit. The instruction sheet completes the contents.

The instructions consist of a single sheet folded over several times to fit the tight fitting box. On one side is 2 exploded drawings for assembling the vehicle and a further drawing giving the measurements to construct the banister type radio aerial from wire provided. These drawings will have to be carefully studied, as it is not all that clear how things go together.

Two color schemes are shown as 4-views. Although license plate numbers and Hungarian national crosses are shown on these, no decal is provided for the crosses, but PE license plates that are double etched with the license numbers on them are provided. Colors are called out in Testor paint numbers. One is shown in a base color of tan with spots that are a mixture of 2 parts dark green to 1 part olive drab. The second one is just overall tan. No units are mentioned.

Resin parts consist of the vehicle’s body, tires, turret (which is hollow molded), axles, tool boxes that mount on the rear fenders, a saw holding panel and an axe  and wrench.

The brass PE fret holds the fenders, license plates and fender supports.

The white metal parts consist of the turret hatch door, jack, pick, 20 mm and 9 mm barrels, suspension parts, antenna posts and tow hooks etc.

There is some flash to be cleaned up on some of these parts with needle files and one of the suspension parts in my kit looks damaged, with a piece missing off it.

This is one neat little armor kit. Recommended to armor modelers familiar with resin kits, that have parts of dissimilar material in them, and have worked with super glue.