39M Csaba Commander AC
Kit #: 72002 Preview by Doug Chaltry
Hunor has been around for many years, but they went out of production for a short while, until just recently. They are now partnered with Armada and are again producing their previous kits, as well as several new ones. The Csaba armored cars were part of their older lineup, now once again available.

The 20mm cannon-armed reconnaissance car was named the 39M Csaba (after the son of Attila), of which between 12 and 20 were built as the command version (sans cannon), as depicted by the kit being reviewed here. Hunor has labeled this kit as the 39M Csaba Command Car, but I have seen some sources state that the command version of the car was named the 40M. Regardless, this kit provides most of the parts to build either version. The only parts missing from this kit to build the 20mm-armed version is the photo-etched antenna that wraps around most of the hull.

I have in my collection the 39M Armored Car from their previous production several years ago. I have compared that kit with this new release of the Command version, and the castings appear to be identical. The only difference between the old and the new versions are the decals that are now included with all of Hunor's kits. The quality of the master parts is very high, with quite subtle details molded onto the main vehicle parts, such as rivets, visors, hatches, etc. These parts are very reminiscent of the resin parts from the Czech company Extratech, in that the rivets and other details appear to be a little flat, but are most likely closer to being scale accurate than other kits that over-emphasize their rivet detail. Once painted and weathered, I think the kit will look fantastic. My only complaint about the resin parts is that all of the vehicle's hatches are molded closed, contrary to what the box art would have one believe.

There is one very confusing aspect of this kit, that being the wheels. This kit comes with two types of wheels that differ from each other in their overall diameter by almost a millimeter. There are two of each, which would imply that either the front or the rear wheels are a little bit smaller than the other pair, yet, I can find absolutely no corroboration of this in any of the references I've been able to find (listed below). None of the photos I have seen are perfect side views that can allow a comparison. All of the views are from an angle, like you see on the box art, and some of them appear to have larger wheels on the front, others on the back, due to the different perspectives. The drawings I have seen (which all seem to be copies of an original set of drawings from a Russian source) all show equal size wheels.

Further confusing the issue is that the kits don't seem to be consistent with which wheels are included. I have four kits to compare: the two in my possession (this new one, and an older one), plus the two scans of older kits previously submitted to this website, one from Milan Vins, and the other from Gergely Katona. The scan for Gergely's kit (the Command version) shows it to include four of the large diameter wheels, whereas the other three (Milan's and my two samples) have the mixed wheel sizes. If anyone has any explanation for this conundrum, I would like to hear about it.

As mentioned above, resin parts are included for both versions of the Csaba, the difference being the turret and armament parts. But the photo-etched parts are included for only the Command version of the vehicle. Many of the smallest details, such as lift hooks and antenna mounting rails, are left up to the modeler to fabricate. As for scale accuracy, it is not possible to measure all dimensions of the model until it is built, but the length measurement appears to be correct for 1/72nd scale.

The addition of the decals is a major improvement of the kit over their previous offerings, since after-market Hungarian decals are few. The decals are printed in almost perfect register with only a little bit of color bleeding into the carrier film. I am very happy that enough markings are included for more than one vehicle, so that I can use the extras on my old version of this kit as well. Unfortunately, there is no information included about the markings or camouflage scheme, other than what you can see on the box. Instructions are simple, yet adequate to get the job done.

Many thanks to Hunor Product for this review sample.


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Article Last Updated: 29 January 2010