RFM T-80U, Cyprus Army

Thanks so much Matthew - I’m not far off now, its tantalising. As I mentioned upthread next up for me on the bench is the massive Trumpeter Faun SLT-56 tank transporter with a Leopard 2 on the back.

Fingers crossed for a good build. Meanwhile thanks for your reassuring comments, I do really appreciate it.

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I did the same cringe but actually they are deceptive - much easier than, for example the RFM Leopard or Abrams tracks where you are sandwiching outer track pad and inner track guidehorn parts between the bar connectors and gluing them in place.

The T-80 tracks are totally glue-free - the pads click together onto the guidehorn to form a loose train which you connect on the outside with the little rubber connectors. They are much sturdier than the aforementioned tracks and go together super quickly. Probably half the time the Leo 2 tracks took me, for example.

I enjoyed this build a lot and would definitely do another one as there are loads of parts I didn’t get to do because they aren’t fitted to the Cypriot wagons.

Ive got both their T-55 releases in the stash as well and this makes me excited to build them as well. If RFM did another T-80 I’d be all over it, put that way.

Glad you enjoyed the model!

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Thanks Simon.

The turret basket is rather beyond my skills to replicate I’m afraid. I’m simply not that good, sorry.

As for the ERA - I was looking at these pics and T-80U, Cyprus National Guard | Defence Forum & Military Photos - DefenceTalk

it seemed to my amateur eyes that there were no ERA blocks fitted. They must be there I guess, but I believed them to have been removed. Again, sorry.

I’ll go dig the parts out of the spares bin and add them. Thanks for the heads up.

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Thanks Richard, I really appreciate the kind comments.

Re the black panel liner it is a little stark in places I wont make that mistake again. I do kind of like the really crisp, stark effect it gives on such a light green. Likely it is made to look worse than it is because of how light my highlight layers were.

Ive got a NATO three tone monster build coming up and I am in two minds as to whether to use this really dark black Tamiya liner again, but just not leave it on so long, or go back to the MiG wash which I find a little… anaemic? I wish there was something in between! I could make a wash with oil paints I guess? Control the strength of it, yeah maybe thats the way to go.

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Nice job

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Very nice T80U!

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I’m a big fan of contrast on models , that’s just my style. Especially when it brings out the details. I still use MiG dark brown enamel washes for my models and occasionally I use my set of Abteilung oils. Even on desert vehicles I’ll use it but I just blend it out more to soften the look.

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I tend to agree mate - I love making the details pop with post-shading and washes etc.

I think learning how and when to rein that in when it is required is a next step on my journey. The thing that the really good models have when you see them at shows is a balance which I am still struggling to “get” but I’ll get there.

Its funny, I boxed up ten of my oldest builds to send to a mate of mine whose son is nine and really into tanks. Looking at them one by one made me really realise how far I’ve come in 3.5 years. It also makes me excited to think of where i’ll be in another 3.5 years, if I somehow manage to stay alive that long hahaha

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Dunkelgelb???

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But what if you do it three or four times?
Ken

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delete that “maybe”
Washes are easy to make, just dilute the h-ck out of any colour/paint.
The “liner” is simply a wash.

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Terminally stupid …

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I only know because the Cypriot national guard was going to be a pet project of mine, various vehicles, my T 80 turned green for the same stowage basket problem, until i figure out how to do it, so far I have only 1 BMP 3 done, but collected as many photos as I could find.

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A good rule of thumb is that when you think it just needs one more coat, STOP.

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Good looking T-80U. Did you use the Star Decals AMX-30 sheet, which includes markings for a Cypriot tank?

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Thanks James, no I mail ordered some off Evilbay from a Greek seller. The decals were on one small carrier film sheet so needed to be cut close to the edges and had a funny texture. Sort of crispy, frangible, fragile in the extreme.

I tried to use some Micro-Set on them and they disintegrated into several pieces immediately. You can see it on the front number plate for example: there are four different pieces of decal making that up. They proved extremely difficult to make them look good without Micro-Set/Sol and in some cases are still riding up around the edges as I didn’t dare go after them with more setting solution.

Weirdly, as I was telling Wade the other day, I figured a clear coat over the top would solve a lot of issues and I did two, plus the flat coat at the end and it didn’t help in the slightest which I cannot get my head around as it normally does help a lot with other decals.

I did consider pulling the Cypriot flag decals off and painting them by hand but decided better of it in the end.

Research online to understand better what went wrong has suggested to me that I left them soaking in the water too long (a few minutes?) and I’d have had a much better result by wetting them and then pulling them out of the water and setting them on the bench. You live and learn. What with that and the panel liner issues it wasn’t a relaxing build but I think I got a decent result out of it in the end.

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I take it they were from LM decals?, I got him to reduce them to 1/72 scale by special request. he does have a website

He specialises mainly in Greek markings but has 1/35 Cypriot and others both for aircraft and vehicles

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Not sure, might have been. The sheet was only about two by one inches.

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They come under the X series, markings for a T 80U and T 80UK, interestingly the markings are optimised for the Modelcollect (long since OOP) 1/72 kits but they will print in any scale. If not from them, it is more than likely where they originated.

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I wonder if you might want to try spraying the decals with decal film before cutting them from the sheet? Might hold them together better next time out.

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