Soviet T-80B MBT in 1/72...
...building the Trumpeter kit
Another Trumpeter kit in 1/72, the early T-80B. Hard to imagine now that this one entered service as far back as 1976. The design had some elements of the earlier T-64, though going back to the larger roadwheels and torsion bar suspension more akin to the T-72, of which it also shares a few characteristics. The big change was that this was the first production tank with a gas turbine engine, though later export variants switched to diesel. The one problem with the gas turbine was that it was very 'thirsty' leading to a shorter range of action. The crew was just 3, a driver, gunner and commander. The 125mm gun used an auto-loader and could fire both conventional ammunition and the 9k112 Kobra anti-tank missile (NATO name AT-8 Songster). This is the same gun as fitted to the T-72. The gas turbine engine, fitted in a tank weighing in at only 42.6 tons it has a high power to weight ration that made it both fast and highly manoeuvrable. While it wasn't used during the Russian involvement in Afghanistan it was used in Chechnya and other internal problems.
The kit is nicely done and like other recent 1/72 kits from Trumpeter, relatively simple to assemble. Well moulded parts, neatly detailed and track units with only the outer roadwheels to add. If anything, the turret has most of the work in it, and straightforward to build. If anything, the small individual smoke dischargers are a bit fiddly but that is a very minor point. A selection of transfers. For colours, a plain dark green or you can add disruptive camouflage if you prefer. I have mine built and given an overall coat of dark green so far, while I think about adding a disruptive pattern.
I bought mine via Tiger Hobbies here in the UK.