The T-80 tank in the unprovoked 2022 invasion of Ukraine was not as common as the T-72 based tanks, but I understand was favored by units that had served in
Russia's northern latitudes due the T-80 gas-turbine engine's good performance in cold climates. The 4th Guards Tank Division is one such T-80 unit.
The T-80BV model is one of the common T-80 variants where the "B" indicates model the 2nd major model built, and V for explosive reactive armor (ERA).
The T-80BV can be modeled as a Russian or as a Ukrainian tank. Below we will look first at the box art to check what should be in the box and the
characteristics of a T-80BV. Also be aware that I have noted many minor variations in features of tanks identified as a "T-80BV". I tend to build display
models, as historically accurate as I can reasonably make them, and that is the approach of this review.
The Soviet/Russian T-64, T-72, T-80 and the T-90 tanks share a similarity in appearance. Identifying features of a T-80 tank visible here are: the three periscopes
for the driver, the AA machine gun facing forward, the wider gunner's rooftop sight, and wide, large fording tube mounted on the turret rear, and large unspoked
rubber-tired road wheels.
The brick-shaped ERA blocks all over the glacis and turret are a type known as Relikt-1, an early style of Soviet ERA. In this artwork the ERA bricks are angled
thinner toward the rear, I believe to help with forward visibility for the driver and cupola. The ERA blocks in the kit do not thin like this. In real life the
ERA blocks sit up off the tank surface but the bricks in the kit sit flat on the surface unless we glue a strip underneath to raise them higher.
The wire brush guards around the glacis headlights are not included within the kit but can be made with thin copper wire or found is an etched brass set for this kit.
Three small IR and white spotlights are visible atop the turret but are not present in the kit parts.
The long ribs atop the length of the 125-mm gun barrel indicate the barrel has a thermal sleeve.
Smoke discharges are visible, four on each side of the turret. We'll need to scratchbuild the radio antenna/aerial.
Revell's T-80BV kit 3106 is based on Revell's older T-80B kit with some of its deficiencies like lack of coaxial machine gun next to the main gun, but includes
parts absent from the initial T-80B release such as the stowage rack and bins (parts 45, 46 and 47) and smoke dischargers.
Revell's T-80BV kit consists of injection molded styrene plastic parts, no etched brass nor resin parts. Molding quality is good but the Revell T-80 kit lacked
some important parts and has some poorly designed parts and some which were fortunately corrected in later release of this model and this T-80BV kit. In T-80B kit
photo below note the inaccurately rendered exhaust on the stern, improved in the T-80BV release.
On Revell's initial, old T-80B release (above) we see the lack of smoke dischargers, no storage cage/rack (part 47) on the turret's port side, and too-high, bulbous
cupola hatch that's lacking hinge detail. I have researched the real T-80 cupola and noted several variations, like with the hinge, but have found no real copulas that
look similar to Revell's rendition. What is with that deep groove on the cupola hatch (part 9) and no hinge detail for example? Also note the poorly portrayed
exhaust port on the stern between the fuel drums, a feature corrected in later T-80B and T-80BV releases by Revell.
The un-ditching log and two towing hooks at the stern are not included within the kit.
The kit's link & length plastic track are good but the OKB resin after market track (set 72134) is much better and easier to work with. Since the side skirt hides the
top run of track, I substituted white metal track to save on the nice OKB track. Doing it this way, one set of after market resin track can do two tank models.
The light gray OKB track can be carefully bent and super-glued around the sprocket and idler wheels; I have found the OKB resin track does not become
significantly more flexible in hot water and warming the track is not required to flex it around wheels.
I recommend carefully lining up all the mounted road wheels with a straight edge. Leave the sprocket and idler wheels loose, unglued, so they can be moved
and adjusted when installing the track; and do this before attaching the upper hull.
Applying the ERA blocks to the turret could be clearer so study reference photos well. ERA, parts 67 & 68, needed a scratchbuilt support frame similar to kit part-66.
White parts are scratchbuilt parts from styrene sheet and rods (photo below). The gunsight molded onto the turret's port side front quarter especially needs to be rebuilt.
(Photo above) A comparison of the Revell T-80BV (far right, dark green) with several T-72 models: Modelkrak PT-91 Twardy in amber resin (center), and the
ACE T-72M1 in white plastic (far left).
All three of these tanks served in Russian invasion of Ukraine. The T-80BV served in both the Ukraine and Russian armies. The PT-91 and the T-72M1 were supplied to
Ukraine in 2022 by various former Warsaw Pact nations.
The end of the gun barrel, the muzzle, can be drilled out though I chose to cut the end off and replace it with aluminum tube on all three models.
Fine mesh was cut to fit and glued into the engine vents of the Revell T-80BV and the ACE T-72M1 kits; the Modelkrak T-72 and PT-91 kits have satisfactory screen
replicated on their engine vents.
The groove through the T-80's cupola hatch has been filled in and the profile of the domed cupola filed and sanded lower, and hinge detail added: better but not
The fuel drums and brackets are left off as is common in combat photos in Ukraine.
The thick rubber side-skirts and flaps on the bow were thinned with files and flexed to give a better impression of flexible rubber skirts. Loops to assist in
climbing up on the vehicle were made from thread covered in white (Elmer's) glue.
I wish I had painted the wheels, track and hull sides before assembling them all together; oops.
The completed model (below), painted in Russian Green depicts a T-80BV of perhaps the Russian 4th Guards Tank Division in the Sumy-Kharkiv axis, abandoned and captured after
it ran out of fuel, as represented by the open gas caps and fuel jerrycan on the fender. Ukrainian colors have been hastily painted on the gun barrel to curb friendly fire.
The "Z in a box" marking I understand is not common for this Division and this may represent a T-80BV in support of the 200th Motor Rifle Brigade. I believe that the
crudely painted circle and 4T markings are railroad shipping markings. A Milan ATGM has been set up to protect their prize and a towing cable made ready
(Anyone know of a John Deere tractor in 1/72-scale?).
No tow cable nor ends were supplied in the Revell kit so I stole the cable ends from an ACE T-72 kit, and the cable is replicated with thick string coated in white glue.
After painting, the periscopes lenses were simulated with pieces of exposed camera film (this is that transparent plastic that old people used to take photographs and
glued in with Kristal Klear or white glue.
The model does not represent one particular T-80BV since it is rare that we have all five views to replicate one vehicle accurately, but is a compilation of features
and markings seen in many photos I have studied so as to tell a story. Figures will be added once my next Track & Troops order arrives.
The 1/72-scale Milan ATGM on the base is a resin model from ADV Mini, set 72013. The missile launcher has been detailed a little and the tripod scratchbuilt since
mine was missing
from the kit. The French Milan ATGM was present in Ukraine in smaller numbers than Stugna, Javelin, and NLAW ATGMs, and has not received the same media attention.
Below is the instruction sheet for ADV Mini's 1/72-scale Milan ATGM launcher with some of my notations on detailing, which includes several extra rockets
in their carrying tubes and some ammunition boxes.
 T-80 STANDARD TANK, The Soviet Army's Last Armored Champion: New Vanguard 142, Steven Zaloga, Osprey Publishing (2009) ISBN: 9781846032448
 Attack On Europe: Documenting Russian Equipment Losses During The 2022 Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (www.oryxspioenkop.com/2022/02/attack-on-europe-documenting-equipment.html)
 Attack On Europe: Documenting Ukrainian Equipment Losses During The 2022 Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (www.oryxspioenkop.com/2022/02/attack-on-europe-documenting-ukrainian.html)
 Red Effect website: Ukrainian Conflict - Tank Recognition (www.youtube.com/watch?v=2doYYblaLFU)
 Analyzing Russian Tanks in Ukraine: T-80 "Flying" Tank (www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VJNcE6hQu4)
Review sample purchased by the author.
Revell A.G. products are available at