Here are photos of the 1/400 scale L'Arsenal kit of their Aviso-escorteur, also known as Commandant Rivière class frigate, and here is a quick review: Years ago Heller had VICTOR SCHOELCHER and COMMANDANT RIVIÈRE on their list, but they are out of production since long and very hard to find. Now L'Arsenal has issued a 1/400 scale resin kit of this specific French type of colonial and ASW ships in their early fit. It comes as no surprise that it bears pretty much resemblance to the old Heller kits. But it is not but a copy. There is a lot of fine additional detailing, in particular on the sides of the superstructure decks, and the molded-on tiled fabrice of the Heller kits was omitted. Even more details are provided by plenty of photo-etch  parts, which brings the kit up to nowadays standard. The most delicate feature are the 40mm single Bofors guns, made of resin with photo-etch shields.

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Decals are provided for VICTOR SCHOELCHER - F 725, COMMANDANT RIVIÈRE - F 733, and PROTET - F 748. But additional digits allow for the pennant numbers of the rest of the class (except for COMMANDANT BOURDAIS - F 740), and there are name plates for the complete class. 1/400 scale has become rather odd outside France. But, despite being about 4 cm short compared to the more common 1/350 scale, this kit is worth having a fling with it.

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The photos show:
01 The content of the kit
02 The one-piece hull and superstructure
03 Same from above
04 Rudder, screws, and shafts
05 Parts for the 40mm single Bofors
06 100mm Guns, ASW torpedo tubes, and ASW mortar
07 The director and different small parts
08 Motor launches, life rafts, and rescue capsules
09 Davits and cranes
10 The PE fret
10a PE fret detail
10b PE fret detail
11 The decal sheet
12-19 The building instructions

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Falk Pletscher

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