French Infantry, 1915–1918

Revell 1:72 Scale Figure Review

French Infantry of World War One, 1915–1918, 1:72 Miniatures Revell 02505

Multi-purpose infantry: The miniatures shown here have been painted in 1940 French uniforms. Not entirely accurate, but the figures do mix very well with ESCI's World War II French infantry. In fact, the Revell figures used as WWII French are historically more accurate than the ESCI figures, the latter carry equipment and some weapons which did not become available until later in the war.

Le Bleu Horizon

The Revell figures are sculpted in the horizon blue uniform which was introduced in 1915 and replaced the colourful early war uniforms. Considering the tremendous firepower and accuracy of modern rifles and machineguns, the popular red trouser were not very practical anymore. The French supplied similar uniforms, steel helmets and equipment to the Belgian army as well as to Czech units serving in the French Foreign Legion and four black American regiments serving with the French army at Verdun, although the latter had khaki uniforms.

Contents

  • 6 Pieces + 44 Figures with 11 Poses
  • 22 mm equal 5'-2" Height
  • 3 Officers with pistol
  • 2 Trumpeters
  • 5 Grenadiers
  • 4 Hotchkiss MG Crew
  • 2 Hotchkiss MG, sandbagged position
  • 4 Gunners firing Chauchat light MG
  • 10 Riflemen firing, prone & standing
  • 10 Riflemen attacking
  • 6 Riflemen advancing

Evaluation

Nicely detailed figures, with folds in the uniforms, collars, belts, haversacks, puttees, pouches and weapons that are easy to paint.

Useful historic poses. The officers, trumpeters and machinegunners are very well done. The standing riflemen are ideally suited for trench warfare and the remaining figures are shown attacking with the bayonet. Very nice wargaming figures, but there may not be enough poses to satisfy diorama builders.

Historically accurate equipment and a nice figure mix make this a very attractive box of wargaming soldiers. The French light machinegun is included as well as the heavy machinegun in a sandbagged emplacement.

Good casting quality, but noticeable flash which needs to be removed prior to painting.

The figures appear a little stunted, with short necks and wide hips. Revell's French Old Guard Grenadiers look much better proportioned in their greatcoats.

The French steel helmet would lend itself for many conversion projects in the period between 1915 and 1945. Unfortunately, the figures have such short necks that it is virtually impossible to separate the heads and mount them on other figures. Only the officer and LMG gunner are suitable helmet donors.

Historical Employment

  • Horizon Blue Uniform
    • French Infantry, 1915-1918
    • French Foreign Legion, 1915
  • Khaki Uniform
    • Zouaves and Turcos (Tirailleurs Algèriens), 1915-1918
    • Tirailleurs Sénégalais, 1915-1918
    • French Foreign Legion, August 1915-1918
    • Czech Volunteers of the French Foreign Legion, 1915-1918
    • 369th - 372nd US Infantry ("Black Watch"), Verdun 1918
    • French Infantry, 1940 (Vichy French and North African units until 1942)
    • Belgian Infantry, 1940

Possible Conversions

  • Polish volunteers in French service, 1915-1918. French horizon blue uniform with a distinctive Polish cap made from horizon blue cloth.
  • Fusiliers Marin, 1914. Naval beret instead of the steel helmet. Berets may be scrounged from ESCI French infantry of World War Two.
  • Tirailleurs Sénégalais with Fez, 1915-1918.
  • Belgian Infantry, 1915-1918. Khaki uniforms of British cut, but with stand-up collars. French Adrian helmets.
  • French infantry and colonial troops, Tunisia and Italy 1943. British uniforms, and French Adrian helmets.
  • French soldiers of #10 (Inter Allied) Commando, 1940-1945. British uniforms, French insignia and some Adrian helmets.
  • French firefighters continued to wear a chromed version of the steel helmet after the war.

Revell's French infantry of 1915 is a solid wargaming force which may be used to represent French and Belgian soldiers of both World Wars. Conversions are nearly impossible because of the long overcoats and the blanket rolls worn over the shoulder, but a simple change of uniform colour is enough to portray the minimal changes in French uniform style.

Bibliography

Frequently Asked Questions

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World War One Miniatures