Botond 1/35 Hungarian Zrinyi II Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||December 2007||Manufacturer||Botond|
|Subject||Hungarian Zrinyi II||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||N/A||Primary Media||Resin, White Metal, PE|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
Following the success of assault guns on the WWII Eastern Front, the Hungarians developed their own model, based on the chassis of the Turan tank (Botond’s kit of this reviewed elsewhere here). The initial design, the Zrinyi I, incorporated a long 75mm gun, but it did not pass the prototype stage. The Zrinyi II had a 105mm heavier armament, and a total of 60 units were produced between August 1943 and July 1944.
The vehicle was named for the Zrinyis, a noble Hungarian family of Croatian origin. A pre-dreadnaught battleship of the Austro-Hungarian Navy was also named SMS Zrinyi.
Botond was a resin model kit company based in Budapest, Hungary. I have been told by their UK importer that they have ceased operation and gone out of the model business. I got my kit in trade with a fellow in Hungary, in exchange for some of my company’s armor accessories years ago.
The kit comes in a generic white box. The box is a tray with a hinged lid that has tabs that lock it into the bottom tray when closed. The box art consists of a color photo of the model made up. This photo is then glued to the lid. There is a square white sticker with Botond’s logo on it and a rectangular sticker that mentions that the kit contains Fuilmodellismo white metal individual track links from that Italian after-market company.
Scotch-taped to the inside of the lid of the box is a fret of brass PE. The resin top and bottom of the chassis are loose. There are 3 zip-locked cello bags full of the smaller resin parts and another zip-locked cello holding the Fuilmodellismo white metal track links and drive sprockets. The Zrinyi was unusual in having drive sprockets front and rear, rather than a set of idler wheels, that we normally see in one of those two positions. At least, if one is idler wheels – they are gear toothed.
The small parts are identical to what is in the Botond kit of the Turan. The white metal parts and the PE fret are also common to both kits. This is to be expected, as the Zrinyi was built on the Turan chassis. Only the hull tub and the vehicles roof are different, and of course the main gun.
No decal is provided, but Mike Grant was kind enough to custom make me some Hungarian crosses to decorate this kit and 2 other Botond Hungarian AFV models I have, that also are missing decals. Thanks again Mike.
All parts in the kit are packed in a bed of styrene peanuts.
The instructions completes the kit’s contents. It consists of a single 8 ½” x 11” sheet printed on one side. It has 4 exploded drawings to used for assembly of the kit. There is a 4-view line drawing showing the vehicle with the Hungarian crosses on it (which I mentioned are not in the kit) and no color info is given. You have to study the box art photo for help with that. The box art photo also appears to have a division sign on the left front fender. Under a magnifying glass, it came to be a white skull and cross-bones over a white heart with the number 3 on the heart. Donno where the guy that did the box art model came up with that mark…or did he hand paint it??
This is a great looking vehicle. Much like a German Stug or the Italian Samovente in it’s looks, and a nice companion to Botond’s Csaba and Turan kits.
I recommend it to those modelers experienced in building resin kits with white-metal and PE parts. Experience using super glues is also advised.
Nice to have some AFV’s of lesser known vehicles that fought in WWII.