T-80B and T-80BV


The T-80B was one of Revell's earliest 1/72nd scale AFV models, first released by Matchbox, and then later Monogram, and finally Revell AG. The Matchbox and Monogram T-80B kits are identical, except for the decals. The Revell T-80B is the same as the earlier two kits, but with an additional sprue of detail parts. Most of the details on the turret (as depicted in the Matchbox boxart) such as the stowage boxes, smoke grenade launchers, etc. are missing from the Matchbox and Monogram kits. They are included with both the Revell T-80B and T-80BV kits (thanks to Ian Vevers for this info). The Revell T-80BV is the same basic kit as the type B, but with reactive armor included.

The model is actually very well molded with abundant detail, and no flash or sinkmarks. However, I have heard numerous remarks about the poor accuracy of the details. I have not done much research into this vehicle myself, so I cannot confirm or deny these remarks. What I know is that there are several versions of the T-80, with many different details and changes in the engine deck, and turret accoutrements. Apparently this kit is a mix of several of those details, which is not accurate for any particular version. Also, the -B and -BV designations are not correct. When I decide to build this kit, I will look deeper into the references to determine what needs to be changed. Regardless of the inaccuracies, I have seen many people build this model (kitbashed with etched brass and parts from other T-80 kits) into beautiful replicas.

One inaccuracy of which I am aware, is the incorrectly-shaped turret. The rear of the kit turret slopes inward toward the hull, with a pronounced overhang, when in fact, the turret rear should be almost vertical. Note that all the hatches are open on this kit, which is a very nice touch.

Here's a closeup of the reverse side of the chassis. Not a whole lot of extra detail here, but it wouldn't be visible anyway with the wheels and side skirts attached. Note the detail on the inside of the commander's hatch. There are several smoke grenade launchers on this sprue. These details are only included in the Revell T-80BV kit, and not the T-80B varieties.

Although the tracks are link-and-length, and are easy to install, the tread pattern on them is not correct. There are individual track guide teeth on the reverse side of the tracks. The tracks look very nice and are well-made, but they're just wrong.

Here is the unique sprue for the Revell T-80BV kit. It contains new side skirts, all of the missing turret details, and the reactive armor blocks of the BV version.

Markings are included for two tanks. The decals on the left are from the Matchbox kit; those on the right are from the Revell T-80BV kit. As is typical for Revell, the decals are very thin, matte, and sharply-printed.

Both Eduard and Extratech have issued etched brass detail sets for this kit. The Eduard set came out before the Revell kit, so that it includes all of the missing details from the early T-80 releases. The Extratech set is much smaller, but still with numerous useful parts. Both of these brass sets are highly recommended to improve this model.

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