Char Léger Renault FT-17

Revue de la Maquette Matchbox au 1/76

Char Léger d’Accompagnement, Renault FT-17, 1/76 Maquette Matchbox 40176

Renault FT-17 was designed as an char d’assaut, et it served in over 3000 engagements between Mai 1918 et the Armistice in Novembre of the same year. The véhicule was bulletproofed avec 22 mm of turret et frontal armour, enabling it to attack enemy machine gun positions avec minimal risk to the crew. One weak point was the drive sprocket, it was made of wood et it could be whittled away by enemy fire. Despite its small size, Renault FT-17 moved at the same slow speed as the much heavier Schneider tank, but 8 km/h was good enough to keep pace avec infanterie avançant à pied.

Renault FT-17 saw much service between the World-Wars, it was engaged in the Rif revolt in Morocco, 1925-1927, et it served avec les forces républicaines pendant la Guerre d’Espagne, 1936-1939. En 1940, many of the now obsolete chars légers FT-17 remained in service, et they accompanied l’infanterie française into battle once again. Following the fall of France, chars légers Renault FT-17 entered service avec la Wehrmacht. The véhicules were fitted avec radios, et they were employed in the internal security role in occupied France et on the Channel Islands.

Move ou Turn

Renault FT-17 et autres chars avec cleattrack steering, ou gear-brake-clutch steering could only move ou turn, but not both at the same time. Accordingly, simulation gamers should penalize the FT-17 in combat, requiring that the véhicule may either move forward, backwards ou turn in place. Pirouette turns, i.e. avec one track turning forward et the other track turning backwards, are not possible avec this type of steering. By comparison, chars modernes are able to turn as they are moving in one ou the other direction. Players quickly appreciate how difficult it is to maneuver a véhicule like the FT-17 across rough terrain, et to reach a certain destination avec accuracy. En 1940, slow-moving chars FT-17 will find it difficult to evade enemy fire if they are spotted in the open.

Technical et Tactical Lineage

The Renault FT series gave rise to two different lines of new véhicules which fought dans la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Technically, the Renault FT is the direct ancestor of the series de chars moyens français, et le char de cavalerie Somua:

Renault D1: 47 mm gun, 30 mm armour, 19 km/h speed
Renault D2: 47 mm gun, 40 mm armour, 23 km/h speed
Somua S-35: 47 mm gun, 25-56 mm armour, 41 km/h speed
Somua S-40: 47 mm gun, 31-56 mm armour, 45 km/h speed

En 1933, the Renault FT’s role as a char d’assaut léger – Char Léger d’Accompagnement - was confirmed as a tactical doctrin, et even the cavalry received a similar véhicule type, developed by Hotchkiss. In addition to its cavalry role, the Hotchkiss series was deployed as a char d’assaut rapide.

Renault R-35: 37 mm gun, 32-45 mm armour, 20 km/h speed
Renault R-40: 37 mm gun, 40-45 mm armour, 22 km/h speed
Hotchkiss H-35: 37 mm gun, 22-45 mm armour, 35 km/h speed
Hotchkiss H-39: 37 mm gun, 22-45 mm armour, 36.5 km/h speed

Apparently, Renault had plans to merge the char d’assaut léger (R-40) et medium cavalry tank (S-40) idea into a new medium tank design, designated Renault DAC-1, but this project had not been completed when France fell en 1940.


Three soldiers et one tank commander
Diorama base
Char Renault B1.bis
Char Léger d’Accompagnement, Renault FT-17

  • Type: Char d’Assaut Léger, 1918–1944
  • Armement: 8 mm Hotchkiss MG
    or 37 mm L.21 SA18 Puteaux
  • Poids: 7 t
  • Vitesse: 8 km/h sur route
  • Équipage: chef de char, conducteur


  • Choix de sujet excellent. Renault FT-17 is a legendary véhicule which served in both World-Wars, et it is immediately recognizable by its unique design. The véhicule was copied by other nations, et a very similar char léger K.C., known as "Ruskij-Reno", saw training et combat duty en l’Armée Soviétique as late as 1941.
  • Scale model avec much raised detail.
  • Two variants, avec 8 mm Hotchkiss MG ou avec the 37 mm L.21 gun.
  • Easy to assemble, only 35 parts. The running gear consists of six parts each, et the rubber tracks fit perfectly.
  • High quality kit. Parts fit very well et there is minimal flash.
  • Compatible avec Airfix, Fujimi, Nitto, et VAC-U-CAST.
  • Le Char B1.bis included in the kit, est un véhicule important de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. The combination of these two chars in one kit is not particularly practical, they did not serve alongside eachother in the same formations. Anyone buying the kit de la version de Grande Guerre du char léger FT-17 will be left avec an unwanted Char B1.bis which saw its first action in the next war.

Emploi Historique

  • Char de l’Armée Française, Mai 1918 - Novembre 1918
  • Char de Combat de l’Armée Italienne, 1918
  • Armée Finlandaise, 1919-1942. Des 34 chars FT-17 serving en Finlande, 15 were armed avec the 37 mm gun, et les autres 19 véhicules carried mitrailleuses. The original mitrailleuses de 8 mm Hotchkiss were replaced par mitrailleuses Maxim en 1937.
  • Armée Roumaine, 1920s-1945.
  • Forces Coloniales Françaises, Révolte du Rif en Maroc, 1925-1927
  • Forces Républicaines, Guerre d’Espagne, 1936-1939
  • Armée Française, 1940
  • Forces d’Occupation Allemandes, France 1941-1944

Possibilités de Conversions

  • Renault FT-17 Commandement, 1940
  • Renault FT-17 Bulldozer, 1940
  • Renault FT-17.bis avec canon de 75 mm L.12, 1920-1940
  • Renault FT-17 avec mitrailleuse Maxim, Finlande 1937-1942

Matchbox deserves praise for offering the legendary char léger FT-17, which served in both World-Wars et in the interim period. This kit is a must-have for simulation gamers, modélistes, et collectionistes interested in modern warfare. The Renault FT-17 is unique in design, it’s easy to identify, et the véhicule looks great in one of the schemas de camouflage multi-colour français. The old Airfix figurines de l’Infanterie Française de la Première Guerre mondiale have just been re-released by HäT Industrie, et they go very well avec the Matchbox model of the Renault FT-17.

Exemplair par Revell

Questions Fréquents

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Figurines de la Première Guerre Mondiale