All right, now it’s time for some Russian tanks! As I noticed those styles have less details, they look more “clean”, but nonetheless they were worth looking into.
Sidenote: most of those styles include a KPV or KPVT heavy machine gun. KPVT was basically slightly improved KPV, modified for use in armoured vehicles (T stands for tank variant), but it was used in various mounts, not only on tanks. Both KPV and KPVT look very similar, some styles don’t look as good as they should and noticing those tiny differences between them is sometimes really hard or even impossible. Of course there is also a possibility, that WG used one basic model for both of them, no matter which version they wanted to include (just like they did with MG 42 and MG 3). In those posts I’ll just use the name of the basic variant (KPV) for both of them.
Gyurza – T-100 LT
This little box sitting on the barrel is something, that gave Soviets an advantage in the 70s – a laser rangefinder, possibly the first one of them, the KDT-1. Looks pretty similar to the real one here (but the boxes could be slightly different irl):
Some tanks have machine guns to protect themselves from the infantry. This one has something better – the AGS-17, an automatic 30 mm grenade launcher. It was actually used on some vehicles, for example this BTR-D:
Sekhmet – Object 140
Sekhmet is an Egyptian warrior goddess, that protected the pharaohs and helped them during the wars. Egyptian forces used Soviet tanks (in facts tanks like T-80, T-64 and even modified T-55, named Ramses II, are still in service), so they would probably use the Object 140 if the project went further in the USSR.
It’s sooo cool to see other alphabets being used! This right here is just a tank number – 1349.
That’s an AKS, basically an AK with a folding metal stock, better suited for use in combat vehicles or by paratroopers. The muzzle is not slanted, so it looks like an original AKS, not the later AKMS.
Last time we had fun finding out what the German rocket launcher similar to the RPG was, now we have the original – the RPG-7, together with one of many designs for the backpack used to carry the rockets.
As I said, we will see many KPV machine guns here, this is the first one of them. This thing is easy to recognize, I mean… It’s huge. This is not your regular 12,7 mm (.50) HMG, this monster uses 14,5 mm cartridges with muzzle energy almost twice as high as the Browning M2’s, higher that the Soviet 20 mm ShVAK cannon.
Kelevra – Object 430U
This time we have a Soviet tank in Israeli service. It may seem strange, as Israel used mainly western tanks like Shermans, Centurions and Pattons, but the description of this style lets us know, that it was actually captured from the Egyptians. The situation is similar to the Object 140 – Egyptians would probably used the Object 430U in the alternative timeline where the Red Army used it instead of T-64. Israeli forces captured many Egyptian tanks, so the story looks good.
Kelevra is a Hebrew name, meaning “bad dog” (kelev – dog, ra – bad).
Another tank, another alphabet, great! This time it’s a tactical marking too, a letter alef, followed by a number 2. This way of marking IDF’s vehicles (a letter and a number) is accurate, as can be seen below.
As with the other styles with enough details I tried to find the exact same crate as this one and well… I love how someone at WG has to spend some time looking for pictures of different crates just to make those styles a little bit more realistic.
As I said earlier, Israel mostly used western equipment, so they had many American machine guns and it is plausible that they would put those M1919s and the M2 on the captured Egyptian tank.
OK HEAR ME OUT: I’ve been looking for photos of similar modifications of captured Egyptian tanks and I found something VERY INTERESTING that probably explains where this style comes from.
So: Israel captured several T-54, T-55 and T-62 tanks, in fact there were so many of them, that they got their own names (Tiran 4 – T-54A, Tiran 5 – T-55, Tiran 6 – T-62) and were incorporated into the IDF, some of them armed with the British L7 105 mm gun. That’s where the fun begins – I found one photo of a particular Tiran 4 tank:
Number 2 (albeit without the letter), that sign on the right side (present on the in-game Kelevra style) and a Browning, even that long number is similar (130153- צ )? There has to be more to that… I looked into it more and I found two things: a drawing of this particular tank and a model by MiniArt, with some rather interesting decals included:
And then I found IT: the completed model, made by Vladimir Soldatsky, who combined those decals with his own creativity and created this masterpiece (full gallery, go give him some love, he deserved it and did a great job):
And that’s it, we found the Kelevra. The photos of the model were uploaded in February 2019, the style was revealed in November 2019, so it may be just taken from that model and modified to include some details from the real life Tiran number “2-” and to fit the Object 430U. I have to say – while the style looks good, I really prefer this model.
I wasn’t expecting too much from those Russian styles, as they look more like regular tanks, not something that was desperately pushed into combat with everything they could get to help (like the German ones). Still that last discovery made it worth it. We’ll see what will we find next!