by: Darren Baker [ ]
A recent review I wrote covering Hungarian Tank crew figures from MiniArt was noticed by the owner of Black Army Modells. Schuller Balázs noticed my comments on how difficult it was to locate information on Hungarian military uniform and offered to send me a copy of the book I am reviewing here. Hungarian Army Uniforms 1939 – 1945 scratches the surface of history of Hungarian World War Two uniform and is an ideal reference resource for those who want to know enough to get by when representing Hungarian Forces during World War Two.
This book has been written by Dr. Tamás Baczoni and Dr. László Tóth and has been published by Huniform Books, there is a flap on both the front and rear cover of the book with a short introduction on the authors. The cover is a made of a stiff card which is very similar to the covers of Tankograd Publishing books and also shares the duel language aspect with German text on the left and English text on the right hand side of each page. There are 70 pages in the book not counting the covers and with the flaps on the front and back cover making for good book marks.
One observation is that the title I believe in English should be Hungarian Military Uniforms as the book covers all three branches of the Hungarian military Navy, Army, and Air Force, and while most of the detail looks at the army all branches are covered to a level that should meet the needs of most and especially the modeller. The book firstly provides 13 pages of text which provides a grounding in the subject of uniform but also looks at the why’s of Hungary’s drift towards war on the side of the Axis powers and then under direct German control. It is in this area of the book that a lot of the period black and white photographs are presented and may plant some ideas in modeller’s heads.
The rest of the book covers the uniforms using modern photography and period black and white pictures. The uniforms judging from some of the discolouration appear to be period garments but I suspect there could also be some reproduction items in the mix. The most interesting aspect of the uniforms is that most are very similar to either German or Italian uniform but cut from the same cloth and colour as British uniforms, the only part of the uniform that is strikingly different is the cloth hats in some cases. The officer’s uniforms have some unique variations but again in some cases could be easily passed as forces from another country. This aspect is quite useful in that in the case of the Hungarian tank crew figures I reviewed I could use for Italians and by the same score a number of German infantry figures could be passed for Hungarian forces, and that also by and large includes weapons.
There are a few graphics that accompany the pictures which cover rank badges for the most part are clear and easy to understand. The pictures in the book are all of a good to high quality with my only concern being that due to the age of some of the clothing articles the colours could be a misdirection due to fading or bleaching of the cloth colour.
As I have got older and become more interested in accuracy rather than the mass production of models reference material has taken a higher priority for me, books such as this offering from Huniform Books serves that purpose for modellers who are more interested in the detail rather than the background. This book does cover a small amount of the history and this is sufficient to awaken the history interest if it is there in you, it does not however provide enough detail for anyone looking for more than a basic introduction. If you want to detail your figures however this book I believe has everything you need other than it does not show the back detail of the uniform very often.
One thing I should add that I feel will be of interest is that from the time Black Army Modells said they were sending this book and it landing on the doormat was 2 days. 2 days to get from Hungary to the UK is pretty good in my book.