Construction of the T-80 light tank “watching the stars” 1:35

Good evening to everyone here today,

what do we have here today? A fairly simple project, no, this time not with some absurd twist, just a nice cute little t-80 with some standard modification I will tell you about. But even simple projects need materials, so let us begin with that:


T-80 Soviet Light Tank – MiniArt 35117 scalemates

bits and pieces box (including stowage, styrene sheets, wire, tape, left-over PE and a few more)

Pre-build – what are we looking at today

As for many of my models I bought this one from another modeler in used condition. The main arguments here were the cheap price and the amount you get out of the box: Single-piece-tracks and a decent amount of PE and honestly what more can you expect for that. I thought for a short time to get some additional PE for this little fella, but in the end decided it, since the main point behind this project were to try out some new techniques: A new primer, different paint-style and most importantly to get some weathering experience with this combination before beginning the painting of the ISU-122s, and not the actual result itself, as wrong as that might seem at first.

Build – actually very straight forward, for once in a while

But now, onto the actual build of this painting exercise. As I often do I begun with the turret.The first deviation from the out-of-box build was the replacement of all the grab-handles by bend wires of various thicknesses as well as styrene sheet for those where it was required. Additionall was the addition of an antenna made from stretched sprue. This can be done by heating poly-styrene sprue until it melts and the pulling it apart. This is one of the techniques I plan to extend further upon in a detailed article about my work-flow. to add some finesse to the turret I decided to add the missing straps using small strips of tape superglued in place with their respective buckles made from left-over PE parts. The helmet hanging from a small wire to complete the look was also detailed in the same manner.
Now with the turret completed I moved onto the hull. This was completed in the same simple way as the turret. All of the grab-handles were again replaced using the same techniques as on the turret. Since, well, they are the same, so, you should use the same ones to make the model look coherent. To continue this trend I also gave the exhaust it’s heat isolation using again tape and glue giving me a decent enough result. After that wires for the headlight and horn were added with very thin copper wire as I always do. And last but not least to also add some stowage I decided to, once again, use a simple tamiya-jerry can. In this case mounted on a fender using a left-over PE-strap. Once again the friendly reminder to never throw away your left-over PE-parts. Never ever do this, please. Before doing that send them to me or some othere modeler. We will alway find a use for these. The lower hull was afterwards build unchanged from the kit and also the fenders for once remained undamaged. Why that? Simple answer: I was lazy and wanted to get on with the painting. But that is a story for next time.

Now: let the photos out, finally:

Post-build – mission passed! respect +

This little fella did exactly what I wanted him to do: be a short, simple build to get some training again with classic 4Bo green. Well, technically now he is the fitting base for that, but anyways, also that is more than enough, the rest now is completly in my hands. Still I am very much pleased with the simple modifications done to this model. They did not take a lot of time and can even mostly be done by beginners. Some of these details were also done by my girlfriend at the very beginning of her scale-modeling journey. That should speak for itself. Now next I will get on with painting and weathering. I currently plan to get him done relatively soon, since I need a free slot for a new project.

Until we meet again.

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