History for the Modeler
The idea for the Zrinyi stemmed from the successful German StuG III
assault gun and StuH III assault howitzer. The Zrinyi was based on
the Hungarian Turan medium tank chassis and could be mounted with
a 75-mm high velocity gun, or as with this model an L/20.5 105-mm
howitzer. Several references refer to this 105-mm howitzer armed version
as the Zrinyi II. Seventy-two of these assault howitzers were produced
for the Hungarian army in 1943 and 1944. Later versions were fitted
with side skirts (schurzen) similar to the German StuG.
seen a 1/76-scale gaming model of this vehicle in resin but this is
the only version I know of in 1/72-scale. This kit is all cast resin
and I know of none in injected molded plastic.
The Box Art
the above box art we see what is supposed to be in the box. What
we see is a low, wide armored vehicle, of riveted construction.
The main weapon is mounted in what looks to be a ball-mount from
the front plate with limited traverse and elevation, i.e. no turret.
The howitzer barrel has a pepperpot-type muzzle brake. To the left
(our right) of the howitzer barrel is what appears to be the gunner’s
the roof we see a number of periscopes but no all-round vision cupola.
Like the German StuG and Soviet SU and ISU vehicles there is no
coaxial machine gun or MG mount in the front plate.
suspension is based on that of the Czech designed PzKfw35(t) tank
and has nine paired roadwheels with five return rollers, a sprocket
wheel in the front and a large idler wheel in the rear.
the side we see hand tools mounted. There are headlights on each
mudguard. Details in the painting on the boxtop will be important
for assembly for a reason I will discuss below.
Zrinyi is painted in a monotone olive green color. There is a skull
& crossbones emblem on the portside mudguard above a number
2. On the superstructure side under some handtools is a Hungarian
national marking of a white cross within a black square. (No markings
are included within the kit.)
The kit consists of 51 light-gray cast resin parts and a small fret
of etched metal parts.
Quality of the resin casting and the detail is very good. No vehicle
markings are included which is common of resin model kits.
This scan shows the lower hull at far left. The forward (upper)
part of the piece is detailed; the rear ¾ of the part will
be covered by the upper hull (superstructure) located in the center
of the scan. The superstructure part is a good example of the detail
with the many rivets, large hinges for the hatches, and periscope
of the crew hatches are open. The superstructure is a solid resin
casting, not hollow inside.
upper right is the gun mount with internal mantlet and the 105-mm
howitzer barrel. To me the barrel appears too narrow for 105-mm.
the mantlet are the headlight, spare roadwheel and muffler parts
and well rendered handtools.
will need a saw, files and sanding sticks to remove the resin pour
plugs and for clean-up. Wash all the parts in warm soapy water to
remove molding lubricant, filings and fingerprints. Assemble with
cyanoacrylate (super) glue or 5-minute epoxy.
on hull length and width I measured this kit as about 1/72-scale.
This scan shows suspension parts. The cast resin band tracks
are a novel way to do them, casting them as one continuous band
pre-shaped to fit the suspension can save much work. Detail and
accuracy of the track appears very good including the guide teeth.
The track may need straightening in hot water.
lower right are two of the four bogie assemblies included within
the kit, each bogie holding four paired roadwheels. The bogies are
well done and this method of casting them assembled greatly simplifies
building the model.
left are the sprocket wheels and below them the return rollers.
Something struck me wrong immediately when I looked at these
Zrinyi assembly instructions. They are instructions for the Turan
tank kit, not for the Zrinyi kit! While the lower suspension
and hull are the same for the Turan tank and the Zrinyi assault
gun, the superstructure and armament are quite different. With good
references we can complete most of the model accurately. Soon after
I received the kit I contacted my European retailer I got the kit
from who said they would contact the manufacturer about getting
the correct instructions but eight months later I heard nothing
more. Finally I heard that there are no assembly instructions
for this model and the instructions mentioned above are the
best we have at the moment.
lower right is a nice etched-metal fret. I recognize some fender
parts but without assembly instructions a lot of parts are unidentified.
For example, the two large frames I know not what they could be.
The above scan is of an earlier Hunor Zrinyi kit I found on the web
and unfortunately I do not know from whereit is, but I believe it
is an older Hunor kit #7201 which appears to have been replaced by
this kit #72012. The box art looks the same as for kit 72012 above
but this painting shows a crew figure. The kit is simpler with fewer
parts but still nice detail. It is interesting that this other Hunor
Zrinyi kit includes two Hungarian crew figures for two open hatches,
and includes a choice of the 75-mm high velocity gun of the Zrinyi
I (which was never produced) or the 105-mm howitzer of the Zrinyi
II. I wish I had one of these older kits too!
a) My assessment is that this kit is suitable for both a wargaming
piece and for a fine display model. Small parts may be too delicate
for gaming but I defer to the wargaming community for that conclusion.
b) Quality of the casting and detail appears very good and accurate.
I am perplexed that someone would produce such a great model kit and
then skimp on the assembly instructions? If I had known the instructions
were lacking, I would have possibly not bought this model because
of that. With super glue it is hard to correct an assembly mistake!
When I build this model I will try and make up a sheet of instructions
to share (assuming I get it right).
c) My references state that this AFV can be finished in a monotone
dark olive color or a sprayed on soft-edge, three-color camouflage
pattern. Hungarian markings in small scale can be acquired from Attack,
Aleran and I think others. (Ed. Note: e.g. Bison.)
d) This is a fascinating and unique AFV and I am so pleased that Hunor
Product released this and their other WW2 period Hungarian armor models.
It is so refreshing for me to find great small scale kits that are
not German, Soviet or American for a change.