I sincerely apologize for the long absence. Its been so long and I would like to thank Josh, my awesome wingman (Happy Belated Birthday Bro!), for taking the burden of doing a lot of the previous awesome articles.
As of now, I shall return with more Military Models. Since my Birthday is coming soon, I thought I would feature my first Airbrushed Model, The T-80B which is also Birthday present from my Little Sister, I decided to build it up and try my hand on airbrushing. Much to my amazement, I really enjoyed the experience, and with some fine tuning, highlights and drybrushing, this would be my best clean slate painted tank model ever. (Obviously, I am still learning, and there will be more to paint.)
T-80B on a rocky road
The T-80 entered service in 1976. While it is sometimes confused with the T-72, the T-80 is actually a design that is the improvement of the T-64 design. It also incorporated the T-72 in its built but do note that T-72 was just a complementary design and that the T-80 is mechanically different from it.
On the topic of assembling this T-80B, everything was simple and easy to do.
Airbrushing this kit was awesomely fun and it didn't take much to dry brush to give it great definition. Furthermore, this model kit was done using mostly airbrushing which am proud of.
The only issue I have is perfecting the assembly of tracks. Since making my last 1/72 Tank which was the Leopard 2A4, track assembly has been a real pain in the arse. However, I guess everything is a learning experience and through this assembling of the T-80, I have discovered a few ways to tackle the problem.
T-80B on Alert.
Two great methods of assembling the many pieces of tracks in the 1/72 Revell Model kit is using a Scotch tape for each side and lining the pieces up on the sticky side of the scotch tape and strapping it on top the sprocket wheel and track wheels before gluing them altogether.
Another method would be to glue the small track pieces on the sprocket wheel and glue that entire section with the large line pieces of tracks with it later. However, it is still harder than saying it. The alignment of the wheels must be well placed. If you want to know a more accurate picture of the assembly of this tank, the video below will be of great help as to what I am talking about in terms of assembling the tracks.
Courtesy of BasicModelling, a youtube channel that provides great Basic Model painting an Assembly.
The T-80B is armed with a 125mm Smoothbore 2A46-2 gun capable of firing AFPSDS and HEAT rounds. On top of that, one is iconic about the T-80 like most of the current Russian tanks is their ability to fire ATGMs from their gun. In this case, the T-80B fires 9M112 Kobra ATGM.
With a crew of 3 and an autoloader, the T-80 can travel 70km/h on road and 48km/h cross country. The range of the tank with external tanks is 440km.
However, much to my disappointment, the T-80B is past its prime by a long mile and there are several flaws that makes it not a very formidable weapon in a modern warfare scenario today.
Firstly, While it is an amazing work of Soviet War Machinery, it lacks the Reactive Armour that has become standard in all Modern Battle Tanks. In spite rectifying this with the Modified T-80U, the autoloader was also an issue which gave cause to the vehicles exploding upon hits from RPGs.
Secondly, the T-80Bs suffered from poor performance during the First Chechen war. 10.23% of the committed T-80Bs were damaged or destroyed. Furthermore, T-80Bs were not suited for urban warfare which limited its role to support for infantry during such urban scenarios.
Usually, I would end off with how this war machine is formidable and should not be messed with when faced with one. While I do like the look of the T-80B tank and the overall "Russian" feel to Armour, I find it hard for the T-80B to match up with any other current MBT that isn't from Russia.
So that is my question to put out to you all, Aside from T-80B serving its purpose as a powerful tank that prove to be a threat during the Cold War days, how is it relevant now besides being part of an undeveloped country's inventory?
Till next week, Cheerios!