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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2017 4:17 p.m. PST

Crusader Miniatures offers new sets of French Dragon Portes











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Mark 112 Jul 2017 6:51 p.m. PST

Well they look pretty nice, but …

I can not even guess what rifle they are supposed to be carrying.

The pics pretty clearly show a short rifle with a magazine projecting below the receiver.

The rifles in French service at this time, as far as I understand, were three:

1) Lebel
These were quite long rifles -- from a time when militaries considered longer to be better. And the Lebel had a tubular magazine under the barrel (in the stock), so no projection under the receiver. The original model dated back to 1886, and even the update was a WW1 era development. By WW2 they would not be likely in the hands of first tier continental forces.

2) Berthier
The preferred rifle of the French army in WW1. Also a very long gun. It had a magazine beneath the receiver, but it was inside the stock and did not project beneath. It did have a reasonably distinctive rounded bulge in the stock beneath the receiver. If you look at the first soldier figure in the second row, you'll clearly see that there is a box mazazine, with a distinctive slant (as if holding rimmed cartridges) projecting out of the stock. And, the rifles in question look short, not long. At least to my eye. But I'm not entirely sure if that is an optical illusion given the very stout barrels.

3) MAS36
As I understand it this was the most likely rifle for a Dragon Portee. It was a short, somewhat stout rifle, notably shorter than the other two. It had a box magazine, but the magazine was a fixed internal magazine and did not protrude beneath the receiver. However there was an access plate for the magazine on the bottom of the stock beneath the receiver. But given that the new 7.5mm cartridge this gun used was rimless, there was not sharp angled slope like the models show. Also these pics give a pretty strong impression that the models have a bolt which projects straight out to the side. This was a characteristic of the Lebel and Berthier rifles, but the MAS had a very distinct bolt handle which projected forward and down from the back of the bolt. It may be that I'm not seeing the bolt well enough in the pics to really judge the shape of the handle, but that's how it looks to me. And the front sight of the MAS was at the end of the forestock, not at the end of the barrel. These pics look like there is a sight at the muzzle, although it is possible that what I'm seeing is merely a casting flaw (repeated on several of the models in the pics).

So I'm baffled. None of the three candidate rifles seems like a reasonable interpretation from the pics of the figures.

So what rifle are they carrying? Was there a fourth that I do not know?

(aka: Mk 1)


Ah, I found the gun! It looks to be a Berthier M1916 carbine. Short rifle, box magazine extending out of the stock beneath the receiver, with substantial angled slope due to the rimmed 8mm cartridge, small front sight (with no barrel band) above the muzzle, and bolt handle turned down but not forward (like the MAS). I don't know that it is the right rifle for the Dragon Portees, but it seems a reasonable likelyhood.

OK. Satisfied with that. Like the figures a lot better when I can understand what they are armed with ….

Carry on.


Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2017 7:53 p.m. PST

A beautiful motorcycle but how about somebody to ride it. I like these figures and will have to get a company or two. Could I use them for the 10 had Chinese warlord figures?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Jul 2017 10:30 a.m. PST

Interesting data my friend… thanks!. (smile)


andysyk26 Jul 2017 3:04 p.m. PST

Nice but the VB launchers should be Lebel Rifles the Berthier wasn't strong enough. Still very tempting and good on Crusader for doing something a little different.

donlowry26 Jul 2017 5:06 p.m. PST

I don't suppose they're in 20mm scale.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2017 10:55 a.m. PST

10 had = tin hat

Sometimes I miss those Siri typos :-)

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