French Renault R35

The Renault R35, an abbreviation of Char léger Modèle 1935 R or R 35, was a French light infantry tank of the Second World War. Designed from 1933 and produced from 1936, the type was intended as a light infantry support tank, equipping autonomous tank battalions, that would be allocated to individual infantry divisions to assist them in executing offensive operations. To this end it was relatively well-armoured but slow and lacking a good antitank-capacity, fitted with a short 37 mm gun. At the outbreak of the war, the antitank-rôle was more emphasized leading to the development and eventual production from April 1940 of a subtype with a more powerful longer gun, the Renault R40. It was planned to shift new production capacity to the manufacture of other, faster, types, but due to the defeat of France the R35/40 remained the most numerous French tank of the war, about 1685 vehicles having been produced in June 1940.

Like some of my other models I am unsure of the manufacturer of this one. After a bit of internet research I believe it is an old SDD miniature. Not convinced totally, but other miniatures in the box it was in carry SDD codes.

I am going to use this one as the test vehicle for my Flames of War French tanks to try out different paint schemes. Tempted though to paint as a captured German version.

I gave the model a white undercoat.

Undercoating the Flames of War French Char B1 bis

The Char B1 was a French heavy tank manufactured before the Second World War. It was a specialised heavy break-through vehicle, originally conceived as a self-propelled gun with a 75 mm howitzer in the hull; later a 47 mm gun in a turret was added, to allow it to function also as a Char de Bataille, a “battle tank” fighting enemy armour, equipping the armoured divisions of the Infantry Arm.

Having constructed the three Char B1 tanks the next stage was to give them a white undercoat.

This is one of them on their own.

The next stage will be painting a basecoat of Tan Yellow (912) which I had to buy separately as it wasn’t available in the French Paint Set.

See the full workbench feature on my Char B1 bis platoon. I have also managed to get a fourth one to make as a command version.

Constructing the Flames of War French Char B1 bis

The Char B1 was a French heavy tank manufactured before the Second World War. It was a specialised heavy break-through vehicle, originally conceived as a self-propelled gun with a 75 mm howitzer in the hull; later a 47 mm gun in a turret was added, to allow it to function also as a Char de Bataille, a “battle tank” fighting enemy armour, equipping the armoured divisions of the Infantry Arm.

Within the blister you get the resin hull and turret whilst the rest of the model is whitemetal.

Flames of War French Char B1 bis

Here are the three resin hulls lined up.

Flames of War French Char B1 bis

They are smaller than I expected.

Flames of War French Char B1 bis

For some reason I had this impression that the Char B1 was a really large tank. Well compared to other Early War tanks it is, however compared to Late War tanks it’s quite small. Continue reading “Constructing the Flames of War French Char B1 bis”

Forged in Battle 15mm French

I was recommended these Forged in Battle miniatures at a gaming shop in Birmingham. They look well casted and a similar size to Flames of War infantry.

I bought the mortar team and the rifle platoon.

Will be getting some Flames of War plastic bases for them too.

Flames of War French Reinforcements

On the 23rd July, my French Blitzkreig forces will be able to get some reinforcements with some new releases for them for Flames of War.

The FRX05 All-Terrain Towed 105mm Artillery Battery.

The FRX06 Self-propelled 75mm Anti-aircraft Platoon look like relics from World War One. Old lorries with 75mm AA guns on board, just the thing to attempt to shoot down the odd stuka or three.

The final release for the French is the FR201 Lorraine 38L Armoured Carrier.


Used as a supply carrier, many were later used by the Germans and converted in self propelled artillery.

Flames of War General de Gaulle

General de Gaulle

A veteran of World War I, in the 1920s and 1930s de Gaulle came to the fore as a proponent of mobile armoured divisions, which he considered would become central in modern warfare. During World War II, he reached the temporary rank of Brigadier General, leading one of the few successful armoured counter-attacks during the 1940 Fall of France, and then briefly served in the French government as France was falling.

Flames of War General de Gaulle

Charles de Gaulle is available for Flames of War and comes with a Somau S35 objective. The blister contains the metal parts and resin objective.

Flames of War General de Gaulle

Flames of War French Char B1 bis

The Char B1 was a French heavy tank manufactured before the Second World War. It was a specialised heavy break-through vehicle, originally conceived as a self-propelled gun with a 75 mm howitzer in the hull; later a 47 mm gun in a turret was added, to allow it to function also as a Char de Bataille, a “battle tank” fighting enemy armour, equipping the armoured divisions of the Infantry Arm.

Flames of War French Char B1 bis

Among the most powerfully armed and armoured tanks of its day, the type was very effective in direct confrontations with German armour in 1940 during the Battle of France, but a slow speed and high fuel consumption made it ill-adapted to the war of movement then fought. After the defeat of France captured Char B1 (bis) would be used by Germany, some rebuilt as flamethrowers or mechanised artillery.

It’s as the German flamethrower variant that is sold for Flames of War that I purchased. At the time of writing battlefront have repackaged the blister as early war French version. I got two blisters of the Char B1.

Flames of War French Char B1 bis

Though having looked at the army lists in the Blitzkrieg book it looks like I should really have three, however there were only two in the shop when I bought them. So I ordered a third when I made a recent order for Flames of War.

Within the blister you get the resin hull and turret whilst the rest of the model is whitemetal.

Flames of War French Char B1 bis

See the full workbench feature on my Char B1 bis platoon.

I have also managed to get a fourth one to make as a command version.

Flames of War Renault FT-17

I have always had a fondness for this little tank, probably as a result of making that Matchbox plastickit of the Renault and the Char B1 when I was young. So I am very pleased to see that it is going to be available for Flames of War.

Flames of War Renault FT-17

France still had several thousand First World War Renault FT tanks in 1940. Over 500 of them were still in service in independent bataillons de chars de combat (BCC) tank battalions in the front lines. Although adequate for infantry support, they were totally outclassed by German tanks in a mobile battle.

As I am creating an Early War French army I going to have to just get some of these little tanks for Flames of War. The tanks were small in real life and were quite small in the 1:76th scale kit, so I am expecting quite a small tank for 15mm. Actually I was surprised by how small the Char B1 is compared to Late War tanks, I don’t know for some reason I thought the Char B1 was a “big” tank, well it might be “big” for Early War, but otherwise it is quite a thin small tank compared to the Cromwells and Panthers you find in 1944. It’s quite incredible the pace of technological change in tank design during the war in just a few years.

Actually talking about “big” tanks, I do hope that Battlefront will take the plunge and make some Early War Monsters, I would love to see a Flames of War Char 2C French tank, something that the FT-17s could run around…

Char 2C French tank