UM 1/72 T-80 Light Tank




$8.98 ($7.97 at Squadron)


one option


Scott Van Aken




 The T-80 was developed in mid 1943 as a replacement for the T-70 then in service. Combat had shown a number of problems with the T-70 and the new T-80 was designed to solve those. For one, the turret was made taller and a bit more roomy for the three man crew. The gun was given a greater elevation upper limit of 65 degrees, allowing it to fire into the upper stories of buildings and even at aircraft. Using the ubiquitous 45mm cannon, it had twin 7.62mm machine guns as auxiliary armament for use against troops. Powered by twin 85 hp engines, this 11 ton tank was capable of speeds up to 45 kph. After a short run of these vehicles were made, it was realized that there was no real future for light tanks and though they stayed in combat until the end, most units equipped with light tanks were re-equipped with medium tanks or SP guns. Despite being a bit of a dead end, the T-80 was considered by many to be the best light tank of WWII.


UM is a new name to me, but it does have a goodly number of kits in its inventory. I suspect that some of these may have come from other sources as the plastic kit arena in Ukraine is rather fluid with manufacturers appearing and disappearing with great regularity! Regardless, this is a really nice kit. The parts are flash free, there are no unwanted ejector pin marks and I could find no sink areas, so someone is doing things right. The tracks are multi-piece but done in segments so that long runs are together and the only areas for single tracks are around the sprocket and aft road wheel. It is obvious that some of these bits are used in other kits as the parts layout shows bits not used.

The kit looks to be relatively well detailed and not overly complex, as often happens with some of these small scale armor kits. Included is an etched fret, of which very little is actually used!

Instructions are superb and  provide all the information needed in terms of excellent construction drawings. Paint information is provided by Humbrol paint numbers and generic names. I also think there is some sort of error with the overall color information as the instructions would have you paint the kit overall white. However, the color guide on the back of the box, shows Humbrol 86, a light olive color. The decal sheet is small and has markings for one tank of an unknown unit, time or place. This vehicle is shown on the box art.



I've always liked small scale armor kits and this one is a real beauty. A bit unusual as well, which adds to its desirability. If you are also into 1/72 armor and tired of Shermans and Panzers, then you should seriously consider this one.

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