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French Infantry Set

Tamiya 1/35 French Infantry Set Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review February 2008 Manufacturer Tamiya
Subject French Infantry Set Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35288 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Great set of French figures to go with Tamiya’s Char B1 bis or Renault UE armored carrier Cons  
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $17.00

First Look

French Infantry Set
French Infantry Set

This new kit by Tamiya (Japan) contains 6 figures depicting WWII French infantry on the counterattack against the German invasion. The soldiers in the set are in various poses, such as the commanding squad leader, advancing and kneeling riflemen and a prone machine-gunner.

Figures come in field uniform, overcoat and distinctive Kepi (cap) as an option to the steel helmet. In addition to these figures, the set includes MAS M1936 rifles, Mle 1924/29 machine guns and pistol holster. The set is perfect for displaying with separately available kits of either the French Char B1 bis tank (reviewed elsewhere here) or the French Renault UE armored carrier (also reviewed elsewhere here), both by Tamiya.

The field uniform M1920/35 was provided from 1935 and used with gaiters. In addition to the uniform, many French soldiers wore an M1938 overcoat, while non-commissioned officers wore a M1932 overcoat and leather leggings.

Outside of combat zones, the cylindrical Kepi (cap) was extensively worn. (included in the kit).

The kit comes in an end-opening type box. The box art shows the 6 figures in the set in a tight group against a white background. This is rather a jumbled illustration and does not show these figures pose very well. It is too compacted.

The back of the box serves as the painting and assembly instructions. Each of the figures is shown as a photo of each of the kit figures made up individually. Labels on them tell what parts to use and what colors to paint them. Colors are called out in Tamiya brand (naturally).

A side panel of the box shows illustrations of the Kepi, steel helmet, ammo pouch, binocular case, map case, pistol holster, canteen and gas mask case. (all included in the kit). Another side panel shows illustrations of collar insignia for French privates and sergeants, a MAS M1936 rifle and the Chatellerault Mle 1924/29 machine-gun.

The first of the figures is advancing with a rifle and slightly bent forward at the waist. He is wearing an overcoat.

The second figure is obviously a non-commissioned officer (Tamiya indicates a sergeant). He is wearing an overcoat too. He has his right arm extended straight out to the side and his hand positioned like he is telling soldiers behind him to halt. His right hand holds a pistol.

The third figure is holding a rifle and looking to his right. He is not wearing an overcoat.

The fourth figure is advancing and crouched more forward at the waist than the first figure was. He too is not wearing an overcoat.

The fifth figure is kneeling on his right knee and aiming his rifle. He does not wear an overcoat either.

The sixth, and last figure in the box is prone and manning the Chatellerault Mle 1924/29 Machine-gun on it’s ground bipod. All these figures are shown wearing steel helmets. However, as mentioned above, there are two alternate Kepi (caps) in the kit.

There is a seventh illustration that shows a French soldier, from the front and back, wearing an overcoat and resting the butt of his rifle on the ground. He is in a more or less parade ground standing pose. None of the figures in the kit is molded like this. The illustration is just to show the overcoat better from both sides.

Inside the box is one large medium gray tree of parts in a stapled cello bag with a sheet that is printed with IMPORTANT INFORATION CONCERNING THIS KIT, in 14 languages including English.

There are two other small medium gray trees in another stapled cello.

The large, letter Z, tree holds the parts for the 6 figures. Three of the figures are divided into lower body halves, from the waist down with both legs and separate upper torsos. Two figures are molded with their body as one piece from the kneck down. One of these is the prone man and the other is the 3rd figure, who is looking to his right. These all have separate arms and heads. The last figure has a separate upper torso and separate legs, head and arms. There are 3 oval base plates on this tree to mount three of the standing figures to, if you don’t choose to put them on a diorama base and want to stand them alone. (32 parts)

There are two identical, letter Y, smaller trees. Each of these holds: 3 x canteens, a kepi, a pistol holster, 3 x gasmask cases, 4 ammo cases, 2 x MAS Ml936 rifles, a Chatellerault Mle 1924/29 machine gun, a folded and an unfolded bipod for the machine-gun, a map case, a binocular case and 3 x steel helmets. (22 parts per tree).

This is a very welcome new kit by Tamiya. I know of no other sets of French soldiers on the market, other than the 4 figures included in Tamiya’s Renault UE armored carrier kit. Highly recommended.