Char Mitrailleur FT31

Kit #: 72202 Review by Rob Haelterman

Picture above from Henk of Holland, used with permission.

The FT17 doesn't really need an introduction, but the FT31 might. (Actually it ought to be called "FT modifié 31", as FT31 was not an official name.) It was an upgraded version with a 7.5 mm Reibel machine gun. This modification started in 1931 on the 1580 chars mitrailleurs still in French stocks; all the metropolitan guntanks were (at least officially) scrapped to build utility vehicles on their chassis and the guns used to equip the R 35. This version was sometimes referred to as the "FT31", though this was not the official name. (From Wikipedia.)

The boxtop might give the impression that the kit is a Beutepanzer boxing, while three of the four marking options are actually for French tanks.

The parts quality is limited-run-ish, with detail that is not too bad, but requiring a certain amount of patience to clean up. The individual wheels, 60 in total, will need a delicate hand as the sprues are rather thick in their vicinity.

As the sprues seem common with other FT17 releases you will be left with a certain amount of spare parts, like hull sides, turrets, weapons, etc.

RPM lets you choose between different sprockets and idlers, without telling which one goes with which painting option. (The painting guide is only of limited assistance here.)

You also get two petrol barrels. Apparently RPM got some place left on the sprue and decided to use it to our advantage.

Note that on the sprues above two gates have already been cut (those at two of the hull parts).


The tracks are vinyl, and a real disappointment, given the length RPM went to give us individual wheels.

The decals are printed on a very glossy continuous film, which looks rather thick. Worse, the French cocarde is badly out of register.

The instructions are in Polish only, but clear nevertheless. I always find it annoying when manufacturers don't put parts numbers on the sprues, but instead ask us to check the parts diagram every time.

Pictures above from Henk of Holland, used with permission.

Note that the captured vehicle on the boxtop doesn't correspond to the fourth marking option.

A color guide is given on the back of the box, but sadly not for the first (an in my opinion most interesting) option, the one of a French tank in Syria in 1940. Colors numbers refer to Humbrol.


It's only a short preview, as I am somewhat apprehensive of actually building the kit. The wheels will ask a tremendous amount of work, and given their small size, a tremendous amount of swearing. The rubber bands are... well, rubber bands. As things stand, I believe the kit will end up representing a dug-in makeshift bunker.


Review sample purchased by author's with consent of his wife.

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Article Last Updated: 07 April 2014

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