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"Help me understand this IS3 diagram" Topic

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991 hits since 4 Sep 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

4th Cuirassier04 Sep 2017 3:36 p.m. PST

So I'm looking here:


The schematic appears to show the right hand side wheels being slightly in advance of the left hand side. Is that an artist's convention or is that true? I can see how with torsion bar suspension you'd need that but it's not a feature I've previously noted. Was it the same with the earlier vehicles (KV etc) that used the same running gear?

Personal logo DuckanCover Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2017 4:04 p.m. PST

You are correct.

The arrangement is necessary because of the torsion rods used for suspension on those wheels. Those rods run transversely under the floor, and are sandwiched between the outer and inner floor plates.

The KV series used the same arrangement.


LeonAdler Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Sep 2017 11:55 p.m. PST

You learn something new every day. Just checked a S-Model kit Im building and its true indeed.

4th Cuirassier05 Sep 2017 1:10 a.m. PST

@ Duck

Thanks. I was puzzled because some schematics show this, but many do not, and I suspect a lot of kits miss it too. Would the same be true of the Panther? I came across an enigmatic comment a few days ago on a modelling forum to the effect that the Panther's suspension on one side was not a mirror of the other side. I couldn't figure out what that meant, unless it's this.

Personal logo DuckanCover Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2017 3:21 a.m. PST

Yes, the Panther, Tiger I, and Tiger II designs all have the same feature. I couldn't make a list, off the top of my head, but it's not an uncommon type of AFV suspension.


4th Cuirassier05 Sep 2017 5:39 a.m. PST

Thanks again. Possibly a propos and possibly not, I understand that the lower hull sides of the IS3 were not vertical, but in fact sloped inwards slightly, from top to bottom (the upper hull sides clearly slope inwards from bottom to top). A cross section through an IS3 hull would thus show it to be irregularly hexagonal. Were the lower hull sides of the previous IS and KV series the same, or was this inward slope something that appeared only on the IS3?

The reason for all the questions is that I have a couple of Airfix IS3s in the stash, and as they are little use either as accurate models of an IS3 or even as a WW2 choice for a Russian force, I have been pondering whether it's worth converting them into something earlier. The running gear's evidently inaccurate in several ways. One is that one side is incorrectly a mirror image of the other, another is that the road wheels are evenly spaced, and yet another is that the road wheels themselves look to have rims that are too thick. If there's a fourth area of inaccuracy to do with the lower hull, which would be very hard to fix, I might be better off moving them on given that the turret is also wrong.

The last pair of Airfix Stalin tanks I had (37 years ago), I cannibalised to scratchbuild make a T-35. The wheels and tracks were oversized, but the result looked more like a T-35 than Airfix's kit looked like an IS3.

Personal logo DuckanCover Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2017 7:03 p.m. PST

KV and first two IS series (and variants) hull sides were vertical. The IS-3 upper hull was quite sharply angled, but the hull behind the running gear was vertical also.

"…..but the result looked more like a T-35 than Airfix's kit looked like an IS3."

Not much more use for that original Airfix kit that I can think of either. Perhaps the muzzle brake from the main gun would be useful for something else, but that's about it.

A kit that definitely shows it's age.


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