Tuesday, June 5

Build Review:1/35th Scale Hungarian Medium Tank 41.M ‘Turan’ II from Bronco Models

Clayton has the 1/35th Scale Hungarian Medium Tank 41.M ‘Turan’ II  from Bronco Models on his workbench. Before we know it the model is all built up and ready to paint - See how he put the kit together and added all of those interesting mesh screens to the kit in his build guide...

Build Review: Hungarian Medium Tank 41.M ‘Turan’ II
from Bronco Models
1/35th Scale
Item no. #CB35123
photo-etch parts included
two-part individual track links
Decals for five versions available from the box. 

Product Link on the Bronco Website
I have been really intrigued of late by subjects that were used by some of the smaller players during the Second World War like Finland and Hungary. I always loved the look of the Zrinyi and will get that added to the stash when I can, but when I saw that Bronco was releasing the Turan II, I was pretty excited at the prospect of putting this one together. Not only did the tank present something a little different from the norm, but the photoetch armour screens that came in the kit added that extra level of interest, so I quickly threw my hand up to build this little beauty.
This new Hungarian tank from Bronco is a newly tooled kit of the well known Hungarian tank. This model, the 41.M Turan II has some interesting options in the box from Bronco, and we were impressed at the promised level of scale detail and options that the CAD box features list. However, if you don't really know much about this tank - check out some history first...
The 41M Turán II
Before the Second Wolrd War, the Hungarian Army's tank forces consisted of mainly foreign tanks like the little Italian CV-33 tankette. After converting foreign tanks to suit their own needs in 1940 the Hungarians started to develop their own homegrown armoured fighting vehicles. First was the Turán I, built by the Weiss & Cspel Steelworks of Budapest.

It was a medium tank with a five-man crew which was based on the hull of the Czech Skoda design similar to the German Panzer 38(t) and powered by 260hp Hungarian made engine. A refitted turret was able to mount a 40mm gun made by the Skoda works. By 1943 The Turán I was deemed underpowered & under-gunned, so the further development of the type was required.

This new tank was called the Turán II, the designers mounted a new 75 mm (2.95 in) M41 short barreled gun to the tank and to fit it gave the tank an enlarged turret to house the massive breech loading system and a specially armoured recoil piston that was adapted to the gun. The turret interior was still cramped and crowded, but to help this the designers added new vents to extract the large amount of fumes that followed the firing of the gun. The 41M Turán II first appeared in May 1943, and a total of 139 were made by 1944.

The Turán II's combat debut was in April 1944 in Galicia, they were used by the 1st & 2nd Hungarian Armored Divisions as well as the 1st Cavalry Division. First seeing action in 1944, in Galicia, the Turan II was completely outclassed by Russian T-34s and IS-2's they faced.
Unfortunately, many of the division's forces were decimated in their actions defending Budapest and those that were not destroyed or captured were often abandoned on the battlefield.
41M. Turán II (Turán 75 rövid) specifications
Manufacturers: WM, Rába Magyar Waggon- és Gépgyár, Ganz
Crew: 5, Commander, Gunner, Driver, Radioman, Loader
Combat weight: 19,2 t
Combat weight with side-skirts: 19,8 t
Engine: WM V-8H, 8 cylinders, 260 hp at 2200 r/m, 14866 cm3, petrol
Power to weight ratio (with side-skirts): 13,1 hp/t
Max speed forward: 45 km/h
Max speed with side-skirts: 43 km/h
Dimensions in mm:
- Full length: 5530
- Full width: 2440
Armour: riveted, bolted
- front: 50 mm at 72°
- side, rear: 25 mm at 80°
- top, bottom: 13 mm
- side-skirts: 8 mm from 500 mm of the side
Turret: Turán II
- mantlet armour: 50 mm
- turret side, rear: 25 mm
- side-skirts: 8 mm from 250 mm of the turret side
Guns: - 41 M. 75mm L/25 tank gun
muzzle velocity: 450 m/s
muzzle energy: 83,15 mt
range: 6300-8400 m
a theoretic rate of fire: 12 shots/min
The Kit from Bronco
Now, to confess, I have had a bit of a difficult relationship with Bronco, and I have in the past found their kits are either really easy to knock out, or extremely over-engineered and quite painful to build. There is absolutely no question they build up into a beautiful model, it is just a matter of the level of endurance sometimes required to get to the finish line. So, with that in mind, I cautiously opened the box…
just like the real thing, this kit offers thinly spaced armour in the shape of Photo-etched metal to replicate these plates, modellers will love the fact that these can be bent, scratched and omitted to their own modelling tastes. It opens up a lot of uniqueness in one's own build options for this kit
Before a sprue had been clipped, I painted the wheels with the aid of a template to keep the green sections sharp. The green colour was a mix of Vallejo Armour Green and yellow. I wasn’t entirely happy with this colour and would revisit this further into the build. This was good enough for now.
The wheel assemblies are built. The wheel sections are mobile, but the downside of that is they are quite flimsy. They needed to be clicked into place many times during the build. It did, however, give you the option to convincingly pose the tank on uneven ground.
More work in the running gear. There was a lot of time invested in this section of the build, and whilst fragile, the bogie sections were all moveable. You see here why I wanted to paint the wheels prior to the assembly.
The underside of the model. Good detail and fit of the additional parts. The piece was sprayed in the green mix, so it was ready for the wheel sections to be installed.
Excuse the quality of the picture, but here you see the wheel sections of the tank fitting to the hull. No issues to speak of.
The kit comes with workable tracks. I am always sceptical just how ‘workable’ this styrene moulded track is going to be, but these were an absolute pleasure to build and just all clicked into place.
The instructions call out for 101 links per side, but unless I have lost the ability to count, 101 tracks were nowhere near enough…especially if you wanted to present the tracks with any type of sag. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any additional track links, so did the best with what I had.

Most of the top section of the track would soon be obscured by the side rails and armour anyway.
Side ails now attached, and the various tools and lights are now added. You can also catch a glimpse of the basic driver's compartment that I neglected to highlight earlier. Sorry about that.
The top section of the tank now starts to come together. Hatches are poseable, but there is nothing to show if they were open…but at least there is an option to detail the model up if you were that way inclined. The fit was very good.
Additional details are added. Photoetch hinges and brackets start to add a level of sophistication to the model. The etch folded beautifully and was a joy to work with.

Front view of the same piece.

The bulk of the turret assembly was essentially one piece with hatches and sections fitting off to it. Uncomplicated and effective.
The Tank starts to take shape now. The fit was generally good but it did take a little ‘persuasion’ to find its place.
With the turret section assembled, the brackets for the mesh armour are now attached to the structure. Again, the etch was very easy to work with and was very easy to locate on the model.
A test fit for the mesh armour around the turret, and things are starting to get exciting!
The mesh armour now has the collars applied where the brackets will carry them. The whole side section is supplied in one piece. I did consider breaking it up, but the way the collars sat meant I didn’t want to risk them not lining up with the bracket sections. It was all quite fragile, but that is the nature of a build like this.
The armour is now carefully hooked over the brackets and we now get the true indication of where we are headed! I wasn’t too definite with attaching these panels as I would be removing them to paint them.
So, with assembly complete, we are now ready for paint. The model received an undercoat in Ammo One Spot primer, and was ready for the spray booth…
If I had any concerns about how this build was going to go, they were silenced pretty quickly. I probably haven’t given too much away during the build review, but I’d like to make it clear now, this kit is without a doubt the best Bronco kit I have ever built and would be close to one of the most enjoyable models I have ever built. Full Stop. The instructions were clear and the parts all fit well. What more can you ask? There was a really high level of detail without overcomplicating the assemblies. For me, this was the perfect mix of buildability verse detail.

My only complaint would be that I would have liked a few more track links. A couple more of the small track frets would have made all the difference.

That said, Bronco has really produced a top-shelf model here, and I highly recommend it for any armour modeller interested in something a little different. 

The second part of this article where Clayton paints & finishes the kit is at this link

Clayton Ockerby

Thanks to the people at Bronco Models for sending this kit to Clayton to build for us all
See more of Clayton’s work at his website “Workbench Hobbies” or join him on his Facebook page