Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New from Cal-Tek: French Infantryman May 1940

CalTek has collaborated with Soldier Story on quite a number of military figures in the past and now it seems that they have gained enough experience to go it alone. Cal-Tek will be releasing a 1/6 scale French Infantryman 12-inch military figure from the French campaign of the Second World War during May - June 1940.

This figure seems to be inspired by Kirk Douglas in "Paths of Glory", even though the film took place in WWI. That is because the French didn't really change the look of their military since 1918. When the French army was mobilised in September 1939, the men of the infantry looked like they had just walked out of a 1918 photograph, the only difference being khaki instead of horizon blue but in black and white pictures, they would probably look the same.

The Cal-Tek World War II French Infantryman (May 1940) wears the M1935 khaki shirt and tie with M1938 trousers, the so-called 'pantalon golf'. They were fashionable at the time but not practical in the field and tore easily. Puttees and hobnailed M1917 ankle boots were also worn.

Greatcoat M1920/35, double-breasted, with two rows of six khaki-painted buttons. The collar patches bear the regimental cipher (trust the French to have a "69" on their coat collar) of the 69th Fortress Infantry Regiment. Two M1935/37 cartridge pouches were worn at the front on the belt, carrying a total of 90 rounds.

M1935 haversack, normally containing mess tins and mug, eating utensils, daily rations and spare ammunition for the section machine gun.

The manganese-steel M1926 helmet followed the form of the 1915 Adrian helmet. On the front is the applied insignia - flaming grenade for infantry.

On his back is the upper knapsack M1935 which would have contained reserve rations, washing and mending kit, pullover, blanket, field cap etc. the side pockets carried light machine gun magazines.

On the right-hand side the 1940 French Infantryman would be carrying the ANP31 gasmask in its carrying satchel. Similar to the British model, the filter remained in the satchel when the mask was put on. Not clear if this 1/6 scale Cal-Tek French figure includes the gas mask. He also has the M1935 water bottle which held 3.5 pints.

The rifle is the French MAS Model 1936 Rifle, Cal. 7.5mm - Standard French WWII Service Rifle! Features recessed peep sight, and 5 rd. Mauser type magazine with quick-detachable floorplate. The bolt locks into the rear of the receiver rather than the breech, making for a shorter bolt stroke. Spike bayonet fits socket in the rifle’s upper forend.


Anonymous said...

Head sculpt looks like Jake Gyllenhaal.

alex teo said...

From Super-Duper ToyBox (accidentally deleted the comment): "Now that is something- looks right out of a museum! ...oh yeah, it's IS from a museum- YOUR museum! Magnificent history piece, there!"