Ground Power Special
French Military Vehicles of WWII
Published by GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd.
2-2-13 Misaki-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Ground Power Website
Following on from the recent H39 kits from Bronco Models and Trumpeter and
the pending release of the Char B1 bis from Tamiya we will have a look here
at a Ground Power Special on French Military
Vehicles of WWII.
The book is large format soft cover 210mm (8 1/4in) x 300mm (11 3/4in) with
144 pages entirely in black and white with many wartime photos and 1:35 plans
and illustrations of selected vehicles.
The text is entirely in Japanese except for the chapter vehicle names but
apart from a few opening pages is mainly for the photo captions but as they
say the pictures speak mostly for themselves. Many of the photos are semi-close
up allowing the vehicle details to be seen as well as the camouflage schemes
and storage to provide many useful details for the modeller as well as many
Each vehicle is covered separately with the photos, text and the plans if
included with a section at the end featuring many of the French vehicles pressed
into German service after the fall of France again with B&W photos and
Japanese text captions.
The vehicles featured are:
- Renault FT Light Tank (pages 2-9)
Wartime photos with two sets of four view 1:35 plans for the FT17 with 37mm
and the FT17 with 8mm machine gun turret.
- Renault AMR 33/35 (pages 10-17)
Wartime photos and four view 1:35 plans of the AMR 33
- Renault AMC 34/35 (pages 18-21)
Wartime photos showing some nice details
- Hotchkiss H35/38/39 Light Tank (pages 22-35)
Many photos of the three types during training and early wartime with again
nice semi-close up shots show good details plus four view 1:35 plans for
the H35 and H39
- Renault R35 Light Tank (pages 36-47)
Many wartime semi-close up photos with four view 1:35 plans of the R35 and
a side 1:35 view of the 3.7cm SA38.
- Renault R35 Light Tank (pages 48-51)
Pre-war and early war photos of this lesser know type included one of the
- FCM36 Light Tank (pages 52-55)
Early period parade and training pics.
- Somua S35 Medium Tank (pages 56-67)
Again many semi-close up wartime photos showing some excellent details as
well as a few shots of a museum S35 for a few extra details. Four view
1:35 plans of the S35 are included as well as scrap view drawings of the
hull parts and the suspension without the side covers.
- Char D1/D2 Medium Tank (pages 68-75)
Wartime photos of the 37mm and 47mm armed tanks with side and front view
- Char B1/B1bis Heavy Tank (pages 76-89)
Many wartime photos including some on the production line as well as numerous
destroyed vehicles which offer some interesting views including an overturned
vehicle showing the underside panel details as well as other details not
normally seen. A cut-away drawing showing the internal layout and ammo storage
is supplemented with four view 1:35 pans of the B1bis.
There are many excellent diorama possibilities in the photos featured.
- Char 2C Heavy Tank (pages 90-93)
A few early war photos with four view 1:35 plans included.
- St. Chamond Automoteur DE 194mm GPF (pages 94-97)
Some interesting shots of the large SP gun.
- AMC Schneider P16 (M29) (pages 98-101)
In service shots of the interesting half-track vehicle.
- AMD Panhard 178 (AMD35) (pages 102-107)
Wartime photos including a couple of shots through the open side door with
four view 1:35 plans.
- Laffly 50AM, Laffly 80AM, Laffly AW55 TCC, Laffly
S15 TOE and Somua AMR 39 (pages 108-111)
Assorted photos of these lesser know armoured car types.
- Renault UE Tractor (pages 112-117)
Wartime photos of this small vehicle including four view 1:35 plans of the
vehicle and tracked trailer.
- Lorraine 37L Tractor (pages 118-119)
A couple of wartime photos of the vehicle.
- Captured vehicles in German Service (pages 120-142)
A selection of French vehicles in German markings with shots of the FT, AMR
35, H35/38/39 including some of the 7.5cm PaK and 10.5cm howitzer armed types.
The R35, FCM36, S35 7.5cm and 10.5cm, Char B1bis, UE tractor with one armed
with the 3.7cm PaK and the Lorraine with 7.5cm and 10.5cm guns for an interesting
overall collection but no real detail shots or specific details shown.
This is a very useful collection of photos supplemented by the 1:35 plans and
if you only have one book on early war French vehicles this could be it.
The sections on the S35 and Char B1bis are the most extensive and just the
thing for the forthcoming Tamiya Char B1bis kit.
Thanks to Dmitriy from Model
Point US for the review book, the full range of Ground
and specials are available from Model
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