Potential Hull Upgrades: Soviet Heavy Tanks

Having already explored medium and light tank options, heavy tanks are the next logical choice. You should already be familiar with how this works, so let’s get to it.

The first Soviet heavy tank is the KV-1, at tier 5. Its hull options were exhaustively explored in a previous article. I was going to suggest that the KV-1S hull be available as an upgrade to make the tank go a little faster than its current sluggish pace, but alas, the KV-1S (KV-85) was revealed to be a future tier 5 heavy tank literally today, making a lightened hull option very unlikely. The only remaining option is the KV-6 (KV-1 with 90 mm of hull armour) and KV-1 with additional armour screens (100 mm of hull armour). Both changes are rather predictable, a more armoured, slower tank.

Going up a tier, we are faced with a whopping three heavy tanks. The first of the bunch is the KV-2. The KV-2 did not serve anywhere as long as the KV-1 did. It was too late for the war it was built for, and was not very useful in the opening stages of the next one. Its heavy gun and turret cut into the already slim weight resource of the KV, leading to a lack of additional armouring projects. The only extra hull that could be available for it is the model 1940 hull, which is different from the current one in minor visual details.

KV-2 model 1940.

KV-2 model 1940. 

The T-150 is up next. Only one tank was produced. As far as I am aware, no additional hulls were planned.

Finally, we have the KV-1S. The only possible upgrade is slightly more side armour from using KV-1 hulls or a KV-85 hull with a slightly wider turret platform. Yawn. Turns out that tier 6, despite having the most heavy tanks, is the least interesting. Moving on.

Tier 7 cuts back down to two heavies. The KV-3 was never built, so it’s very unlikely that it will get a second hull, but the IS is quite interesting! The “step” front armour the tank currently has is representative of the 1943 model. The later one had a better armour layout.

IS-2 front armour design. The dotted lines represent the model 1943, solid lines the model 1944.

IS-2 front armour design. The dashed lines represent the model 1943, solid lines the model 1944.


IS-2 side armour. Dashed lines represent the model 1943, solid lines the model 1944.

Yes, the side armour actually gets thinner, but is positioned at a greater angle. The metal also changes from cast to rolled steel, but that isn’t reflected in the game.

Up to tier 8. Here we have the IS-3, whose hull did perfectly fine in initial trials, and thus did not undergo any changes, and the KV-4, which is, well…complicated. You see, the KV-4 project had about 20 competing designs, but none were chosen, since when the war started, it turned out that the mythical German tanks it was supposed to defeat didn’t exist, rendering many projects completely pointless, including this tank and all of its guns. Out of all the projects with available blueprints, Wargaming chose Duhov’s tank, and Strukov’s turret as an upgrade. An upgrade to Strukov’s hull will increase the front armour from a formidable 180 mm to a slightly more formidable 183 mm. Not much of a difference. If WG decides to have some fun with it, there are certainly a lot of options available: the KV-4 has hulls with 125-190 mm of front armour and up to 55 kph projected top speed. My personal favourite would probably have to be the Mihailov version, as his tank weighed 86 tons and was projected to move at 50 kph. That, plus a super-heavy spall liner, plus Controlled Impact, is a recipe for serious fun.

KV-4, Strukov's design.

KV-4, Strukov’s design.

At tier 9, we have the IS-8. The tank served for 40 years, and was modernized a number of times, but the changes to the hull were negligible.

T-10/T-10A hull top, T-10M hull bottom.

T-10/T-10A hull top, T-10M hull bottom.

The ST-I is less interesting, as it was never built, or even considered particularly valuable of a design.

Since tier 10s have no researchable suspensions, the IS-4 and IS-7 are very unlikely to have additional hulls. That’s a shame, since they actually do have some. The IS-4 (or, rather, Object 701) hull is even already modelled. Those of you that have played before 0.7.3 might remember it as the tier 9 IS-4.

Remember how taking an HE shell to the UFP would deal full damage, kill your driver, and break your ammo rack? Good times.

Remember how taking an HE shell to the UFP would deal full damage, kill your driver, and break your ammo rack? Good times.

The in-game IS-7 represents the 1948 model. There were a number of prototype models, and the 1946 one looks pretty different.

IS-7 mod. 1946

IS-7 mod. 1946

The real difference in in the turret (check out that sweet rear MG in all of its remote-controlled glory), but the hull also changed.

That’s it for Soviet heavy tanks. Join me next time as I take a look at tank destroyers and SPGs.

53 thoughts on “Potential Hull Upgrades: Soviet Heavy Tanks

  1. —Remember how taking an HE shell to the UFP would deal full damage, kill your driver, and break your ammo rack? Good times.

    Good times Indeed

      • 0.6.6 here… and yeah, nothing like seeing the old KV for the first time in your shitty tier 3 german light… Never been more under awe of any tank in this game since!!!

        Also, the November 2011 Type 59 infestation where we have to go against it in our Tier 5s (with type being the only tier 8s in game, and no premium ammo for creds) was so much fun…. bounce or run (till it catches you and kill you) were the only options…

        Actually once killed a E100 with my Tier 6 KV3… using HE.. lol… and many Tier 9s with my old KV(152)… so much fun…

        • yeah i remember that feeling trying to dmg that tank in pz38 :) its strange those T5 tanks looked so big back then :)

    • Back in my day, there were only 2 tech trees, only one tier 10 per tree, Hummel was top German arty and T-34-85 had D-10. Ahhh, I miss you 4.5.1.

  2. Didn’t IS-2 mod.1944 had several different hulls made from different factories? You might wanna write a short article on that.

    Oh and note that welded glacis version is already in game in Chinese tree.

    • Neubaufahrzeug, Durchbruchswagen, that sort of thing IIRC.
      Slight overestimation of the menace cannot be entirely ruled out… :P

          • Another show of Hitler’s maniacal stupidity was that they KNEW that such vehicles were massive overkill, and yet still proceeded with their construction.

            • To be fair, it didn’t take all that long before he was talked into summarily axing those white elephants. That the construction was started in the first place does not speak very highly of the Nazi adminstration in general and Der Führer in particular though.

            • The Nazi administration was not the all-efficient machine some seem to think, not even close.
              The party structure (and the state structure too when the party metastasized into every pore) was basically that of kindergarten, with every official from the very bottom to the top tiers trying to do the most extreme thing imaginable that they could glean from cryptic comments their beloved Fuhrer gave, never in writing of course. This was done to gain more power and resources, as Hitler was the central and only real source of power.
              This would lead to some lower gauleiter or his teen daughter sending a letter with dreamed up ideas to Fuhrer, him somehow reading it, commenting on the great zeal and excellent idea, Bohrmann marking that as the Voice of the Fuhrer, after interpreting it in his own way of course, passing it on to others for possible realization, and then those others trying to create something that was never even considered.

              That kind of cancerous administrative practice is closer to gerbils on meth than an efficient war machine. They will get things done really fast, only you have no idea WHAT it is they will achieve.

            • It was quite possible to do even worse than that though. Just ask the Japanese who didn’t even have a single Strong Leader type to maintain some semblance of coordination and focus, and instead some two-three power groups pursued all but separate wars of their own…
              I understand the wartime PMs had some acerbic words to say about that afterwards. Especially the guy whom the Navy didn’t bother to inform of the Coral Sea curbstomp it had just received until several weeks after the event.

            • Respectfully though by the time the end of the war was in sight a few smart people in the Nazi Government got their heads out of their ass and got some somewhat efficient production going. But untrained and under-trained people operating advanced aircraft, tanks and submarines is just asking for trouble. And were not even going to talk about ammunition and fuel.
              On the plus and bright side of things the Germans had Hitler so the war was thankfully shorter then it could have been. On the negative side they had Hitler and there was a war in the first place… Such is WW2. Sigh.

          • Yeaaaaahno. The T-35 was designed as an assault vehicle for wading into defensive positions, this being the basic idea behind all the turrets.
            Total number produced: 61. Over five years.
            The T-100 and SMK were basically replacements for the clunker, and didn’t get past few prototypes owing to general lack of conviction and the SMK’s single-turret sibling going by the name of KV looking rather a lot more promising.

            • One each of the T-100 and SMK. The KV was meant to be a budget variant of the SMK, but then the army sent them into combat, and figured out that multiple turrets in the late 1930s was a dumb idea.

      • +VK65.01

        And since Germany captured quite a few of the french superheavies, and proudly displayed them, this might have contributed to the thought that they were gonna continue developing “land-leviathans”.

        • The French actually blew up most of the 2Cs rather than let them fall into German hands as a sort of final propaganda fuck-you, but the latter were nevertheless able to capture one intact. Kinda doubtful if those museum pieces much influenced anyone’s design concepts…

          ‘Sides, the Germans had jumped onto the silly-wagon a fair bit earlier already with the Neubaufarhzeugs, little as now came out of those.

  3. IS with 120mm sloped at 60 degrees. That is like 240 mm of effective armor? And no silly pike nose busines that makes you not able to angle?

    Yes please! GIMME THAT. I’ll bounce all the shots. The RAAAAGEEEE of the other players will be legendary.

    On the other hand, IS’s tier mate is Tiger P with 200 mm of armor . . .

  4. Dear community! What would you say for a researchable hull for the Jagdpanzer E100, with frontal gun layout, similar to jagdpanther? I guess, hell yeah!

  5. Somebody has forgotten the KV-4 had 55kph in early tests and was nerfed because, well, it was a 100 tonne battering ram. I don’t see that coming back.

  6. I have one little dream – more than two hulls and turrets for KV-4. It would be pretty nice to have few possibilities of customization a tank.
    Since I saw KV-4 for the first time I have an obession…

  7. why would anyone using the old is4 armor model over the new t10 one? (it had more armor but less slope and a weakspot on the front)

    • Because people are bad at math ? Or don’t understand armour layout ?

      Also, they don’t have to choose if you make it the stock one.

  8. it would be great when there wouldn’t be “the best” hull, but every hull type would have it’s cons and pros so you could choose one you like more and use it for playing role you like more (more armor-more sluggish tank or less armor-faster tank etc.)

    • You’re right. It would be even better in my opinion if there were more than just two hulls.

  9. kv1 with 100mm angles trollish armor! Now please tell me how tiger with short 88 would be OP at tier 5, im begging you!