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Friday, January 9, 2015

Bolt Action - Review: Mad Bob Hungarian Tanks

  Today we're going to have a look at some of the amazing work coming out of the work forges down at Mad Bob Miniatures.  So grab some goulash and settle down as we check out these beautiful models.

  Recently I received my first wave of tanks from Mad Bob's Hungarian Tank Kickstarter.  I opted in for the 4 wave shipping option so I would get my toys as fast as possible.  After walking for 20 minutes in the drizzling Canadian rain to the post office to pick up my parcel, I tore into the box with ravenous glee.  In this shipment I got my platoon of 4 Turan II tanks, 3 Zrinyi II assault guns, a mixture of 6 Toldi light tanks, 2 Nimrod self-propelled AA guns and not to be left out, some ZiS-42m trucks for my Soviets.  My pledge level only gave me the parts to make the exact tanks I ordered, while some other pledge levels give you all the barrels and options for some of the vehicles that can be made into differing variants.  So if your in the later group, expect to see more optional pieces.  If you missed the kickstarter, never fear, Bob plans to have these vehicles available for sale once the kickstarter pledges are fulfilled.

  Let's take a look at the Turan II tanks first.  Great kits, the main tank comes in 4 pieces.  The hull, the turret, a hatch piece and the main gun.  While my tanks were well packaged, I did have 2 Turans with broken coax machine-guns.  Bob has gone for more chunky MMG barrels to help with the playable durability of these models, so for the two of them to have been broken, the postman must have been pretty rough.  Because of the thickness of the MMG barrels though, they were easily fixed with some super glue and it's impossible to tell even with them being unpainted.

The Turan itself is a great model.  While lacking some detail you find on our manufacturers like tools and cables which are easily added afterwards, the actual detail on the tank like the tracks and the rivets are great.  The only possible distraction is the bottom of the hull has a block of resin that extends to the ground.  It's not very noticable unless you get down to ground level and Bob has mentioned that later shipped are an updated design, so hopefully this is dropped for those getting later shipments.  Overall it's a minor thing compared to the detail and quality of the tank.  I can't wait to get my platoon of 4 Turans painted up for Tank Wars.

  Next is the Zrinyi II assault gun.  This Hungarian version of the StuH 42 comes with a single piece hull, a Howitzer barrel and a small sprue with 4 hatches on it.  Straight forward and easy assembly is a recurring theme with Bob's miniatures and the Zrinyi follows suit with more crisp detailing on the multitude of rivets and rear deck details.

  The Zrinyi II, like the Turan also comes with Schurzen.  The Hungarians actually developed mesh panels instead of the solid steel counterparts made by their German allies and the detail on these are amazing.  I've left my Schurzen off until after I paint, but I am definitely keen to add them to my vehicles, despite them not being an actual option in the Hungarian army list.  The Zrinyi II also has the same resin block underneath as the Turan, but again it is not enough to discourage me from the quality of the model.

  Even at my pledge level, the Toldi tank kit gives you the choice to make either a Toldi I or a Toldi II.  Both being armed with an Anti-tank Rifle and coax MMG, the main difference is the Toldi II has more armour.  The Toldi kit has 5 pieces.  The hull, the turret, the Anti-tank Rifle, turret hatch and the storage box.  The storage box is what distinguishes between the Toldi I and the Toldi II.

I assembled my 6 Toldi light tanks as 2 Toldi Is, 3 Toldi IIs and a Medical Toldi I tank (article about this coming soon!)  The level of detail on the Toldi is amazing and the bottom of the hull stands free of the ground.  All 6 of mine had no casting issues at all and all had very little flash.

  Now onto one of the vehicles I am the most exciting to work on.  The Nimrod.  The LRDG boys, spearheaded by Old Man Morin have been gagging to try out the Heavy Autocannon on the table and with 2 Nimrods, I'm now excited by the possibilities as well.  Bob's Nimrod kit comes in 3 pieces.  The hull, the turret and the Autocannon.  The Autocannon slots into the turret means there is virtually no assembly even required for this miniature!

  The first wave (in the 4 wave level) doesn't come with tank crew, which means no Nimrod crew either unfortunately, so they will have to be added in later.  It also doesn't include transfers, but these will be ready for people who get their first shipments later on.  The Nimrod has great detail and also stands free of the ground.  With the Autocannon being held in by pegs, it has free traverse up and down.  It's an amazing kit and I can't wait to pile the crew into the hot tub of death.

  Now my Hungarians need someone to fight and I have a sizable Soviet army.  So to help move them around I also got 2 ZiS-42m half-track trucks.  Another great kit, they come in only 6 pieces as you can see above.  The windows in the cab are thin enough resin that you can easily remove them if you prefer, another great design idea from Bob.  The truck went together quickly and again had minimal excess resin.  The kit is easily made into a normal ZiS truck but removing the tracks for wheels.

  All up I received 17 vehicles in this shipment and because of the ease of assemble and lack of excess resin/flash, I was able to assemble all of them in just over 2 hours!  For those who hate having to deal with patching up miscasts and deformities that plague some resin ranges, I could not more highly recommend Mad Bob Miniatures.  Not a single vehicle had any casting issues.  His craftsmanship is superb and he has managed to help fill numerous niches in the WW2 gaming market.  With some added stowage and some paint, my Magyar steel will ride again.  I'm more then happy I backed his kickstarter and without his hard work, I doubt my Hungarian army would have gotten off the ground.  I can't wait for the second wave, which hopefully will include my 4 Katyushas!

Have you received your Hungarian tanks yet or have ideas what future projects Bob might be interested in?  If so, come discuss it on the forums with us.

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