Forum > Interwar

The French Army in the early 20th century - wargaming resources

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former user:
This thread is devoted to the Military of the French Third Republic during the Inter-War Years (and to a point drifting into WWII up to 1942). The aim is to collect information on forces and units, as well as links to figure and vehicle ranges that contain useful items for this period.

Since we will be dealing with the products of sculptors, designers and trade companies, I would like to ask contributors to refrain from negatively evaluating the hard work of others and to use 'constructive criticism' instead. It is fine to point out a range which is significantly smaller than another of the same 'size' for example, but your opinion that 'Sculptor A' is better than 'Sculptor B' is best kept to yourself.

Please by all means feel free to contribute links and photos, especially comparisons if you have them. This thread is intended to be a useful resource for all things 'French', colonial or metropolitan, which would otherwise be scattered across several boards here.

This post will be used to create an edited list of the figure lines which appear in subsequent posts, as a 'one stop shop'.

Artizan Designs  (sculpted by Mike Owen)
March or Die Link Just about squeezing into the period are these classic "Beau Geste" style figures. There are also some 'Armee d'Afrique' troops too.
Pulp Range Link As the title says. Only 6 very characterful...characters, which actually do look the part for our period.
WW2 Link The standard 20 infantry set, complete with post 1925 LMG. Useful for WW2 with Vichy troops. Bonus 5 figures in shorts, just as known from the Bir Hakeim newsreels.

Askari Miniatures    
Link - A fair range of items covering the Armée d'Afrique both before and after the Great War. Also has artillery and even a mountain gun mule team.

Battle Honours
Great War Range Link - Early War style figures including infantry, artillery, cavalry, and even zouaves and zouave Mg team (with pics).
WWII Range Link - Infantry, Mechanized infantry, Alpine infantry, Groups Francs (no pics).

As 25mm figures, some people feel they are undersized in comparison with some other ranges. Mr Allen Curtis posted this picture of alternate Battle Honours and Bolt Action figures, so you can judge for yourselves.

Brigade Games
Great War French Link

Crusader Miniatures
WW2 French Infantry Link.

Ebor Miniatures
Great War (1914) French Link.

Gorgon Studios
Link Small range of French Foreign Legion for the Narvik Expedition 1940.

Great War Miniatures
Great War French (1914) Link. Also has a M1897 Field Gun (Link)

Old Glory
'Sons of the Desert' Link - Classic 'Beau Geste' era.
French Sailors and Marines Link - Boxer Rebellion but should pass for 1920s.
Great War French Link
Old Glory figures are advertised as 25mm and with no photos on the site, how they might compare with others is impossible to gauge.  

Perry Miniatures
Free French Foreign Legion for 1940-42 Link

Renegade Miniatures
Great War French (1914) Link.

Scarab Miniatures
Great War (Early & Late) Link.    

Warlord Games
WWII French Link - Probably the most comprehensive range of WWII French ranges around. As yet no motorised infantry, but Tirailleurs Sénégalais are there to march alongside the Poilus. Growing vehicle range with the acquisition of part of the Force of Arms vehicle range.  

Woodbine Design
Great War French Link - Designed for the Dardanelles Campaign, these figures feature a selection of head types allowing different unit types to be created.


Links to Sites Dealing With Organisation & Equipment

Armée de Terre Française 1940 - (French) Site devoted to the French Army of 1940.
French Armed Forces - Leo Niehorster's orbats.
France 1940 - Dual language site devoted to the French armed forces of 1940. Detailed unit break downs, including vehicle and gun types used in various units. Includes details on Syrian and African units too.

Various Reference Material

French Ministry of Defence - (French) French MoD's Historical Section site. Vast photo source, so you really can just look at the pictures!
Chars Française - Nice site devoted to French armoured vehicles. As Etranger says, no excuse not to get the colour schemes right now!
French Saddlery & Horse Drawn Vehicles - (French) WWI Era reference source.
Histoire Technique de l'Artillerie Française - (French) Useful site devoted to French Artillery.


Mon Légionnaire - Blog devoted to all things relating to wargaming the 'classic era' Foreign Legion; fact, fiction, literature and film.
CollMili95 - Blog containing a number of colour plates relating to the French Army of 1935. Much more stuff buried on this guy's blog, so well worth a look.

Other Links
Passion for Cannon - Listing of surviving Great War Era French artillery pieces and their locations around the World.

lou passejaire:
Recommended books :

Le soldat français 1940 - Tome 1  Olivier Bellec ( Uniforms )
Le soldat français 1940 - Tome 2 Olivier Bellec ( equipement, weapons, organization, ... )

On motorized French Army :
long out of print "l'automobile sous l'uniforme" from François Vauvilliers ( if you can find one second hand buy it )
"THE ENCYCLODEPIA OF FRENCH TANKS and Armoured Vehicles 1914-1940" from François Vauvillier avaible from Amazon and others
La collection Vauvillier Tous les Renault militaires 1914-1940

and more to come :

on camo : "Peinture de guerre Un siècle de camouflages de l'armée Française" from Pascal DANJOU - Thomas SEIGNON ( half text in english  ;) , avaible here

Vehicles avaibility ( for the cars and trucks, only those used in significant number are listed )

as question about the avaibility of spare Machine guns is common :

Hotchkiss Mle 1914 : Askari Miniatures ( best model avaible , IMO )

MAC 31 Reibel : avaible from Shapeways : with spare magazines .

French Cars
a lot used,
Simca 5 ( fiat topolino ) :
Peugeot 202 :
Renault Primaquatre, Celtaquatre, Novaquatre :
Peugeot 402 :
Citroen Traction : Siku diecast model 1/55 seem's quite correct, you can find it for less than 5€ . Rubicon Models
Simca 8 :

French "Camionette ( 1,5 tons trucks )
a lot used,
BERLIET VSA : Warlord games  WARNING THIS MODEL IS 1/72 ( no more avaible , thanks WG )

french Trucks :

2 tons :
Matford V8-81 : a diecast ford truck existed in the Corgi range

3,5 tons :
Citroen type 45 3,5 tons : Warlord games ( and not 4,5 tons as said by warlord )

4,5 tons :

French Coach
Renault TN4, TN6 :
Isobloc :
Citroen type 45 Coach : Warlord Games

Foreign vehicles : ( around 1100 for the italian ones, and 7000 for the US ones were issued to french army before June 1940. US 2,5 tons trucks were mainly supplied to motorized infantry regiments )

Fiat Spa38 :
Fiat 626N :

Chevrolet TA 1,5 tons : Minairons Miniatures
GMC ACK 353 2,5 tons :
Studebaker K25 :
White 504S :
Dodge VH48 : may be some day from Perry miniatures ( if Michael found the master John Hart sent him a long time ago  lol )

Artillery tractors :

Heavy artillery tractor:
Somua MCG : Mad Bob Miniatures
Somua MCG 4-11 : Mad Bob Miniatures ( it's the extra heavy artillery tractor )
Laffly S35T : Mad Bob Miniatures

for 75mm & 105mm :
Unic P107 : Mad Bob Miniatures
Citroen Kegresse P17 :
Laffly S15T

for 47mm AC & 25mm AA
Laffly/Hotchkiss W15T : Mad Bob Miniatures

for 25mm AC
Laffly/Licorne V15T
Latil M7T1
Unic TU1
Renault UE : Mad Bob Miniatures . Warlord Games

and don't forget the horses  ;)

Armored Supply Carriers

Renault UE :Mad Bob Miniatures, Warlord Games
Lorraine TRC 37L : Mad Bob Miniatures ( but if you want a trailer , you have to build one using the lorraine 38L trailer ) Neucraft Models OOP ...

armoured transport :

Berlier VUDB  (in morocco ) : Mad Bob Miniatures
Citroen-Kegresse P104        : Mad Bob Miniatures
Lorraine 38L with trailer      : Mad Bob Miniatures Warlord Games
Panhard 179                         : Mad Bob Miniatures

Unarmoured Transport :

Command and discovery vehicles ( VLTT )
Citroen Kegresse P19B : Mad Bob Miniatures
Lorraine 72
Laffly/Licorne V15R
Laffly S15R

"véhicules de dragons portés"

Citroen Kegresse C4 P10 :
Citroen Kegresse P19 : Mad Bob Miniatures
Laffly S20TL :  Mad Bob Miniatures, Warlord Games
Lorraine 28 :

Self propeled gun:

Laffly W15 TCC                   : Mad Bob Miniatures
Lorraine 37L tank hunter    : neucraft models OOP
Citroen Kegresse P19 25mm : Mad Bob Miniatures

French Armoured cars :

Chevrolet M37 Armoured car : Empress Miniatures
AMC P 16 M 29                : Warlord games, Company B
LAFFLY 50 AM                      : 1st corps ( WW1 model, for WW2 change wheels, weapons and headlights ), Mad Bob Miniatures
RENAULT AMR 33               :
RENAULT AMR 35               : Army Group North,
PANHARD 165-175             : Mad Bob Miniatures
LAFFLY 80 AM                      : Mad Bob Miniatures
LAFFLY S 15 TOE              :
PANHARD 178                      : Army Group North, Warlord games,
RENAULT ACG 1  AMC 35    : Mad Bob Miniatures
DODGE TANAKE                  : Perry Miniatures

Motorbikes :

Gnome & Rhone Dragons Portés : Crusader Miniatures

French Tanks :

Renault FT            : Brigade games, 1st corps, empress miniatures, Trenchworx  , Mad Bob Miniatures Warlord Games
FCM 2C                 : Warlord games, ( même si seuls 6 exemplaires étaient en service )
Renault D1            : Warlord games,
Renault D2    :
Char B1         :
Renault R35/R39   : Army Group North, Warlord games, Rubicon Models, Blitzkrieg Miniatures, JTFM-die Waffenkammer
Hotchkiss H35    : Army Group North
Somua S35            : Army Group North, Blitzkrieg Miniatures, Warlord games,
FCM 36              : Mad Bob Miniatures
Char B1 bis       : Army Group North, Warlord games,
Hotchkiss H39    : Army Group North , Mad Bob Miniatures, Rubicon Models
Renault R40           : Warlord games,

Guns avaibility

Anti-tank guns :

25mm SA34 : Crusader Miniatures, Neucraft Models OOP, Warlord Games
47mm SA37 : Mad Bob Miniatures , neucraft models OOP, Warlord Games
75mm Mle1897/33 :
75mm L/53 TAZ Mle1939

37mm Mle1916 : Scarab Miniature, Old Glory, ( but you have to change the crew , this gun was still in use in 1940 ), Pulp Figures have one on naval mount too

Anti Aircraft guns :

20mm Mle1939 Oerlikon
25mm Mle1938 Hotchkiss :
40mm Bofors Mle1938/1939 : Warlord Games
Autocanon de 75mm Mle1913/34
75mm CA of various types

Mountain artillery :

65mm Mle 1906 : Brigade games 
75mm Mle 1928 : Perry minis with a senegalese crew .
105mm Mle 1928

field artillery :

75mm Mle1897 : Brigade games, Scarab Miniatures, Old Glory, Empress miniatures . You will have to exchange the crew .
75mm Mle1897 mod 1938 1940 : Warlord Games, Battle Honours, Perry Miniatures ( it's the gun with tyres )
105mm C :
105mm L :Mad Bob Miniatures, Warlord Games
155mm C :Mad Bob Miniatures

feel free to complete  :D

- Meharistes ( camel mounted native infantry ) are no more avaible from Unfeasibly Miniatures
They have released 2 foot packs and a command pack .

missing :
- some french interwar civilian 1/56 cars to use as staff cars, or scout vehicles

such as this Peugeot 202 with a FM 24/29 on AA mount

- some french interwar civilian 1/56 camionnettes ( vans ) and small trucks ( 1,5tons to 2,5 tons ones ).
this kind of "camionette" :

and small truck :

A couple of online resources

French MOD Historical Section A lot of photo references, even if you don't speak French.
French tanks, right from the early years. No excuse for not getting the paint schemes right!

Some nice colour plates here:

Plates in the blog are from Bucquoy's "Les Uniformes de l'Armee Francaise, Ter Merre Air" a masterful work on the French military
uniforms and a must have for French enthusiasts.

For French vehicles the best work is Francois Vauvillier's, "L'Automobile Sous L'Uniforme 1939-1940".  Tough to find as it has been
OP for quite some time.



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