French Infantryman, 115th Inf, Regt., Chemin des Dames, 1917
- Scale / Maßstab: 54mm
- Material: Resin, Model Plaster / Modell-Gips (synethetische, kunststoffveredelte Gießmasse)
- Parts / Teile: 12
- Infosheet / Infoblatt: English
- Code: 17FI
Contents / Inhalt:
- Figure (2 Parts) / Figur (2 Teile)
- Alternative Head / Alternativ-Kopf
- 3 x Ammunition Pouches M1916 / 3 Stck. Patronentaschen M1916
- Gas Mask M2 / Gasmaske M2
- Haversack M1892 / Brotbeutel M1892
- Canteen M1877 and Cup / Feldflasche M1877 und Tasse
- Lebel Rifle M1886/93 (Fusil d’ Infantrie, modele 1886 tranforme 1893) / Lebel Gewehr M1886/93
- Figure Base / Figur-Sockel
Extracts from the Infosheet with this figure:
Greatcoat M1915: The figure wears the M1915 horizon blue greatcoat, which apart from a few changes, took on the appearance of the original M1877 coat in style. It had a turned down collar with grey-blue painted metal buttons at the front and smaller ones on the cuffs and pockets. The figure wears only one of the detachable shoulder straps, rolled up at the end in the French style to avoid the rifle sling from slipping off when on the march. On each side of the greatcoat were 2 large reinforced (from the inside) pockets for the carrying of extra ammunition. These had pocket flaps held down with 2 buttons. The distinctive turned up coat flaps were buttoned back at each side – here the material was reinforced at the corners. On his upper left arm are the 4 dark-blue chevron stripes indicating the time served at the front – the first stripe for 1 year, with every successive stripe for ½ year service. Lower down on the same arm is a red stripe indicating a 1st class private. These red stripes (often issued in blue-grey, or grey cloth) were a legacy of the old dark-blue M1877 greatcoat, which sported large red chevrons for junior NCOs (gold for senior NCOs and officers) on both lower arms and still worn in 1914. The colour of these greatcoats varied considerably and depended on the dye used, origin, wear and tear and age of the garment.
Note: with a bit of care and a thin, sharp blade it is possible to hollow out the gap between the body and the left arm on this figure. Here the resin has been cast extra thin. Also, underneath the collar is a resin rib to ensure a problem free casting of this part. This can also be cut away.
The dark-blue 115 sewn-on regimental patches on the collar have been modelled slightly raised to enable an easier paint finish.
On the greatcoat itself, the structure and fold of the creases follows the standard form copied from various photos of French troops in the field. It is always better when gathering reference material to use original photos of troops who have been actually wearing their uniforms over long periods of time, as most garments (as indeed all types of clothing, depending on the material used) will crease and fold in roughly the same way. Some reference books, especially for collectors of uniforms are helpful for colour-reference and information etc., but will not always portray an accurate picture of how the uniforms appeared after many days of being worn.
Adrian Helmet M1915: The Adrian helmet, similar to the fireman, or dragoon helmet of the period, first appeared in sufficient numbers for the Champagne offensive in September 1915. By December 1915 a total of 3 million had been produced. Weighing only 765 gram and formed from relatively mild steel it did not give as much protection as it’s German and British counterparts. On the front is the grenade of the infantry (this would differ according to the arm of the service). Colour: the first helmets to be introduced had a shiny blue-grey finish, which by December 1915 were being covered with a khaki cloth cover. From the summer 1916 the helmets were issued in a blue-grey matt colour and being worn without the cloth covers again (to avoid the cloth, which was never clean being dragged into the head wounds). The chinstrap was brown leather, with a steel buckle on the left side.
Medal: Croix de Guere. The soldier has been awarded the Croix de Guere, or War Cross. This was first introduced in April 1915 and was comparable to the British mentioned in despatches. From 1916 onwards it was possible for whole units to be awarded this medal on a collective basis for recognition in battle. In some instances it was possible for other Allied soldiers serving under French command to receive the cross. The bronze star on the ribbon means that this particular soldier has been awarded this medal twice. Colour: a yellow-green ribbon with 7 red vertical stripes (1 stripe on each side and 5 in the middle with equal spacing). Star and cross – bronze.
Lebel Rifle M1886/93: Fusil d’ Infantrie, modele 1886 tranforme 1893. This was the standard rifle of the French Army in 1914. The Lebel held 8 x 8mm rounds in a tubular magazine under the barrel and first entered service in 1886. The old Kropatschek system, individual loading of each round and the fact that after every shot fired the centre of gravity would change meant that this rifle was outdated within a few years. Some of the design failings were put right in the 1893 modification (mainly changes to the sights, furniture and added strength to different parts of the receiver). Although accurate at long ranges, the length of the Lebel, especially when fixed with the 55cm cruciform ‘needle’ bayonet was far too long in the confined spaces of the trenches. A further disadvantage was that the bolt handle stuck out at a 90°angles to the rifle, coursing it to sometimes snag on uniform and equipment. The rifle was used up until 1940, some examples being taken on by the Wehrmacht and designated as Gew. 301(f). On the right hand side, at the end of the stock, are the 2 metal locking splints used to dissemble the rifle. Colour: furniture (wood) – brown. Metal – dark metal.
Gas Mask M2: The M2 gas mask was stowed in a metal tin, which in accordance to French Army regulation was attached to the left ammunition pouch by means of a string cord. This mask entered service in April 1916 and consisted of a multi-layered cloth bag with eye-pieces. Colour: the tins varied in colour from grey-blue to khaki. Often the edges were chipped and worn from constant use so that the bare metal could be seen.
The Base: The base supplied with the figure depicts a piece of ground on one of the slopes leading up to the Chemin des Dames. The torn trunks are all that is left from the shattered young trees. The severed branches, bracken and brambles have all long disappeared through the constant shelling; leaving exposed the subsoil and tree roots. The colour of the soil in this area is light brown/ beige with small stones. The trees were of a mixed variety.