Hungarian Zrinyi II 105mm Assault Howitzer

KIT #72012 Review by Stephen Brezinksi - sbrez1(at)comcast(dot)net
Edited by Rob Haelterman

Vehicle 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.

I have 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.


Examining The Box Art

  • In 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 sight hole.
  • On 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.
  • The 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.
  • On 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.
  • The 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 Parts
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 locations, etc.
  • None of the crew hatches are open. The superstructure is a solid resin casting, not hollow inside.
  • At 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.
  • Below the mantlet are the headlight, spare roadwheel and muffler parts and well rendered handtools.
  • We 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.
  • Based 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.
  • At 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.
  • At 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.
  • At 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.


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Article Last Updated: 27 October 2012