Well, having built an extra tank for my WW1 French army, it seemed to make sense to do some more crew figures to go with it. In many cases, French crews abandoning knocked out vehicles took the tank’s machine guns with them and continued to provide support for their accompanying infantry.
Some time ago I painted a couple of the IT Miniatures French tank crew to go with my FT-17s. This time round I painted the remaining IT Miniatures figure along with two Early War Miniatures crewmen. One of the latter wears a face mask (he comes with the EWM Renault TSF command tank) and looks quite sinister, while the other is, strictly speaking, a 1940-period officer but he looks the part! I’ve never been too sure about how to represent French Horizon Blue, but Vallejo Pastel Blue seems to capture the feel of it! The two older IT Miniatures figures are in a lighter, greyer, tone that I mixed and which is more closely matched by Vallejo Intermediate Grey.
Tanks shown here are scratchbuilt St Chamonds, made entirely from card before the EWM model became available. I opted to build the early vehicles with flat roofs because they’re less complicated than the later versions. They were actually built over a week during one Christmas holiday (I know where my priorities lie)! At the time the only info on camouflage schemes I had was for Renault FT-17s, so I painted the St Chamonds in the same manner. More recent sources show that these schemes are probably incorrect, but I’m just going to leave them as they are (and they match my French FT-17s).
I made the gun mounts as separate assemblies with magnetic rubber back plates. The hull front was covered in steel paper, so the guns can just be dropped in place. This lets me leave the guns off to represent the supply version, which had the gun aperture plated over, and I made some roof stowage items that sit in place around the exhaust silencer. The St Chamonds, along with Schneiders and FT-17s, gives me a bigger tank force for my WW1 French than some of my WW2 armies! But everyone knows . . . you can never have too many tanks! I’ve probably said that in another blog post as well! It’s an age thing!