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How horrific is the 113 grind? I would start at the IS2.
The top gun on the 110 is like 60k xp ffs, that is like a tier 9 top gun price.
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The 110 is fine for grinding with the stock gun as long as you don't mind using a bit of heat (or a lot). However, make sure you have 90k free exp banked for the 111-14. That way, you can put on the suspension equipment and then free exp the turret and top gun, which makes the tank very playable. Playing the tank with the 100mm is a bad, bad, BAD idea (coming from someone who did that for ~30 games). The top engine only gives 20 more HP, so I didn't see a problem with grinding that out with the middle engine.
but to answer your question, it's a very pleasant grind if you don't have to experience too much of the stock tanks. The IS-2 is playable, the 110 is enjoyable (if inferior to the IS-3), and the 111-14 is a fucking great tank despite how much the gun will troll you.