by: Adie Roberts [ ]
The French Republican Guard of Paris, includes an infantry regiment and a regiment of cavalry. It received its insignia on July 14th, 1880. It took part in the First World War and saw its flag and banner decorated with the Knight's Cross of the Legion of Honour. During the Second World War, it reported to the police headquarters and took the name of Guard of Paris. These ceremonial functions are performed mainly by the first infantry regiment, the cavalry regiment and occasionally by the second infantry regiment.
Detachments from the cavalry regiment reinforce the two infantry regiments in carrying out ceremonial and security duties in and around state buildings. These include the lining of both sides of the entry stairs of the Elysée and Matignon Palaces (and other buildings) by dismounted cavalry on special occasions. These Republican Guards belong to the Cavalry Regiment and not to the infantry units whose mission is to ensure the security of these places and of senior government figures. Certain ceremonial duties in the form of honour guards are performed when state visits are made to the Paris museums or the Opera, as well as other ceremonies.
1 large light grey sprue containing the figure itself
1 medium black sprue which has the bottom of the base and the different tops for the stand
1 small black sprue with the base
1 small grey sprue with the sword and sheath
The box is of their incredibly sturdy whole cardboard box with thin top to go over with some very nice looking artwork that really sells the kit.
First impressions when opening the box was one of wonder if the plastic would look as good as the artwork on the box? First look leaves me thinking that it just may well be. So starting with the main sprue that contains the figure, the first look left me thinking that the moulding is very crisp. Starting with the hat of the guard you have to be impressed by the amount of detail in the moulding. The badge itself is very well done and is a fantastic replica of the real badge, the hat itself is so detailed I am surprised, to be honest, at the amount of detail. The hackle for the hat is again well replicated and on a dry fit stands very proud on top of the hat.
The head is in three parts from the ear back to the middle of the back of the head, the level of detail is good with the chinstrap for the hat coming down either side of the face just in front of the ears. The ears themselves are some of the best, detailed wise I have seen on figures for some time with clear definition the face is detailed with well-established features, in particular, the brow, mouth and nose, the expression is how you would expect to see on a guard with a level of concentration reflected in his stare.
The main body is hollow and has a very high level of detail from the lanyard to the individual uniform buttons. Starting with the collar, the collar badges have some scribing in the middle with a Loral leaf coming off them, I did try to see what the detail was that are on them, but even with a magnifying glass it is near impossible to see.
The buttons on the jacket are all uniform and stand out well from the jacket. The lanyard is very well detailed with each individual crossover shown, the belt has again a good level of detail with the republican guard insignia engraved on both buckles. The arms surprised me being solid but with the same level of detail. The main body is very good and will build into a very nice figure.
The legs are surprisingly solid as well, the trousers fit with creases where you would expect to find them. A very well defined stripe runs the length of the trouser on the outside of each leg and has a very fine recessed line either side of it allowing you to get a great finish. I really liked the boots the way they were defined and stood out well from the soles.
ICM have given you a base on which to mount the figure, with this, you also have the choice of four different tops representing cobblestones, old brick, stone and tarmac. Not only is this a great idea allowing you to choose between them but the detail again is very good with apart from the tarmac version all having recessed lines between the stone and brick.
The last sprue contains the sword the hand guard and sheath, the sword is moulded particularly well with a pronounced leading edge and tapered blade. The sword is very fine and will require a sharp blade in which to cut from the sprue without damaging it. The hand guard has some inscription with laurel leaf edging. The sheath is how you would expect it to be and quite well done.
I have over the years bought and made several ICM model kits with varying degree of moulding, however, they have grown considerably as a company and really upped their game with some stunning new moulds and ideas. Ordinarily, I would not be looking to purchase one of these figures, but with the level of detail the fact that they give you a base in which to mount your figure and the subjects available I do personally believe I will be going to my local stockist and seeing what the other figures are like.