French cardmodels from old days and present

Here is a small collection of french models (known or build by myself for oldies). Now in France, card models are not largely distributed and it is really difficult to find a card model in french bookshops!


Gallimard Jeunesse
Imagerie d'Épinal
Le Modèle Exact
Le Pélican Blanc
Marcus - TEM
Olivier Liégent


AJP Maquette
Baobab Design
Jean-Louis Piroux
L'Autre chemin
L'Instant Durable


Amis du Musée de la Marine

French association "Marine museum friends" (AAMM) has distributed some simple models of significant and famous french ships. One sheet (24x30cm) printed in onecolour sepia. A collector has preserved four models dated 1956 :

  1. Thonier de Concarneau 1/250ème - ref 3CP9
  2. Chébec de 24 canons 1/300ème - ref 13MG12
  3. La Toulonnaise, goëlette à hunier de 8 caronades 1/250ème - ref 21MG12
  4. L'Étoile, goëlette à hunier - ref ref 35MG12


Models printed around 1950 : full colors, tab and slot construction, fairly simple. Many models of road vehicles, trains and aircrafts.

These railway models was well known in France. Scale 1/100 : one sheet (32x48 cm folded in 2) per subject:

  1. Passenger train : 1 steam loco 231 with tender, 2 voitures, 1 fourgon
  2. Express I, II, III° class : 1 steam loco 241P with tender, 2 voitures, 1 fourgon
  3. Freight train - A : 1 steam locomotive 140C with tender, 5 cars
  4. Freight train - B : 1 steam locomotive 140C with tender, 5 cars
  5. Electric with Pullman : 1 loco 2D2 5500, 2 passenger cars and 1 fourgon
  6. Passenger diesel units : 1 Bugatti, 1 Micheline and 1 ABJ Renault



Models named "Constructions de précision", printed from 1930 to 1970 and published by "Le Pélican Blanc" : not very precise printing but good looking. Each big model is presented in a 30x40cm booklet .

The french railway weekly magazine "La Vie du Rail" published in 1970-1980 some cardmodels in the same fashion.
A french association "Patria Familia", founded in 1985, sales reprints (?). Citropolis sales
2CV model reprint (1954?)


Le Modèle Exact

Named "The precise model" aircraft or vehicle models printed between 1930 and 1960: very good printing with instructions on backside. Cardstock generaly too hard to make round surfaces! But complex buiding and good looking.


Collection "Bolides d'autrefois" SHELL-BERRE

Die-cut models designed by Publicis and free distributed in gas-stations SHELL in 1959-60. More than 30 oldtimer cars models in collection. Not very accurate but funny simple models. Scale approximatly 1:32. A serie of aircrafts of the beginning was launched after under the name "Ailes d'Autrefois" but I have got only the #1 model.


Advertising and promotional models

In 1950-55 many card models were distributed free by "Tour de France" commercial caravan... like Lesieur 2cv reprinted by Citropolis.
During the 1985 Paris-Dakar rallye, Peugeot has published
a 405GT model.

Editions SERTII

Architectural models published in 1980 (?). Book 25x33 cm. Printed in two colors.

  1. Place de la Concorde 14 sheets, scale 1/200
  2. Cour carrée du Louvre 18 sheets, scale 1/400
  3. Tour Eiffel
  4. Paquebot Normandie


Olivier Liégent (Créations Azimut)

Architectural models published in 1982-83. Printed in two colors in large format 60x40cm

  1. Notre-Dame de Paris
  2. Le Sacré-Coeur
  3. Cathédrale de Chartres
  4. Cathédrale de Reims


Maquettes Larousse

Booklet monthly published by Larousse from April 1983 with the title "200 years in aviation and space technology". Each booklet (format 24x30cm) presents an historical notice and a cardmodel. Number #1 is the famous SPAD VII with a 1/30 scale model. Number #2 and #3 were Messerschmitt BF-109 and Spirit of St Louis. Good printing but design is questionable! I'd never found other issue.


Le Pélican Blanc

Collection of cardmodels for childrens (1950-1955?). Vivid colors and simple drawings. Aircrafts and ships. Publisher of Ingenia models.


Marcus - TEM

Collection of cardmodels for childrens (1936-1950). Assembly without glue. Planes, ships at 1:700 scale, buildings.



Large collection of cardmodels for childrens (1950-1955?). Assembly with tabs without glue: so cutting was sometimes wriggled. Vivid colors and simple drawings. I remember only architectural models: farms, churches and traditionnal french houses.



Historical architecture theme : die-cut two-sided printed models with movable parts to view inside building. Scale 1/100 or 1/200. Booklet 22x31 cm. Full assembly instructions are included in french, german, dutch and english. Published in 1985-89. Very fine print and good looking models.

This collection was distributed in 1989 till 1992 by Gallimard Jeunesse under the same name "L'histoire en mains" and now some are distributed by the japanese company Shubunsha. (roman church)


Éditions Milan

Reprinted "Toys Models" from Ravensburger publisher translated in french and distributed in 1989-90. Simple models with moving parts: site's crane and firebrigade truck.



Collection "Pierres de papier" : more than 20 architectural models published since 1985. The publisher has now (january 2002) stopped any activity! Some models are in PMI, Marcle Models and S&S catalogues. What a pity! Models were fine printed and very good looking.


Carto-Kit (JP. Barré)

Cars and trucks big models with functionnals wheels and steering.
Military serie with Dodge WC 62-63 models at scale 1:18: 8 sheets A4 with a large sheet with instructions.
Citroën serie with 2CV Berline and 2CV Van at scale 1:12: 8 sheets A4 with a large sheet with instructions.
The author has now stopped this activity (January 2004).

Ronde du Tournesol

With this editor's name, I found two architectural models published in 1994: Notre-Dame de Paris and the Roman Coliseum. Each model is printed in a booklet with 23x30cm size. The scale is not specified but seems to be the 1:100. These models are in fact a french edition of a spanish original edition named: Susaeta Editiones SA.Madrid.



L'Autre Chemin

New activity by old Instant Durable collaborators (Web site): books and models.


L'Instant Durable

Editions "L'Instant Durable": the last and well known french card model publisher largely distributed during 1990-2000. Now closed.



Collection des Cartes Maquettes

Web site

Distributed like postcards, schematic simple die-cut models. More than 50 models in the collection. Construction with tab and slot. Many different scales, toy or diorama looking. Printed in Greece.



Thematic books with historic details (in french) published from 1994 to 1997. Book: 30x25 cm. Simple to build but good looking.


Jean-Louis Piroux Design

This designer from Toulouse has created several architectural models at different scales. Distributed locally in Toulouse, several are in the S&S catalog. In november 1999, I got a list from Jean-Louis with 16 models.
Now (december 2000) he has
a web site.

Several famous buildings from Toulouse :



Promotional and advertising card models

Surprisingly, card models are today considered like a new way to promote company, association or products:

Citropolis magazine

Each issue of this magazine dedicated to Citroën car's fans propose a simple cardmodel.

Michel Aroutcheff Design

Published in September 2000 by a designer known for his comics trips models, this car of Gaston Lagaffe is famous. Booklet of size 30x35cm with 6 color sheets, 1 heavy cardstock sheet for the wheels and a windshield in rhodoïd: 50 parts for this model at scale 1:18 and length 23cm.
See the site


Cahiers Maquettes (Baobab Design)

Three cardmodel's series are published. With each model is a booklet with documentation and assembly instructions in french and english.

The graphic quality of printed leaflet and models is very high.

AJP Maquettes

Since many years AJP is a designer of hictorical planes models in resin. In 2001 he presents a first cardmodel: the Antoinette at scale 1:48.


Vol à Voile magazine

To celebrate his #100 issue, a model of ASK-13 sailplane was proposed at scale 1:72.


Time to time cardmodels are inserted in this railway modelism magazine (water tanks in #). A special booklet (Tendance CLAP by Jacques Le Plas) published in April 2004 issue explains use of cardmodels to complete the layout decoration. In July and August 2004 issues several color sheets are proposed to assemble a modular PLM station (paper to glue on hard cardstock). Since 2005,this magazine publish regularly cardmodels of railway buildings.

Région Centre and SNCF

To celebrate the beginning of operation of new railcars X73500 and X74500, Center of France Regional Council printed and distributed two cardmodels for children at the autumn 2004.

Airbus Industries

For the first flight of the A380 Airbus in June 2005, Airbus industry published two very simplistic cardmodels.


To promote the new Translohr tram in Clermont-Ferrand, the SMTC company published in 2006 a small model of the tram.

Renault Trucks

To celebrate Paris-Dakar 2007 rallye, Renault-Trucks published a truck cardmodel.


© 1999-2020 - P.Gauriat - First edition June 1999 - Updated April, 2020 -