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Georges Leygues

La Galissonnière Class Light Cruiser
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1:700 Scale
Waterline Resin Model

In Box Review
by
David Angelo

The French Navy's six La Galissonnière class light cruisers were considered excellent ships. They were fast (35 knots at trials), seaworthy and well armed. Protection was improved over that of previous French cruisers, and the spacious quarterdeck allowed for the storage of four aircraft in a below-deck hangar. The 1:700th WSW Georges Leygues kit depicts this La Galissonnière class light cruiser subsequent to her 1943 refit at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Her catapult and mainmast were removed, the French AA guns were replaced by six US pattern quad 40mm mounts, and surface and air warning radar fitted.

Jane’s gives length overall as 580.75 feet by 57.3 feet beam (Editor's note: other references show length oa as 589' and 586'). The kit scales out to 597 feet by 60.5 feet. (10.25" X 1.04"or about .25" difference in length). Also, the only photos in Jane’s are dated 1944, and the kit is for Georges Leygues 1945. The 1944 photos show a lattice topmast to the forward tripod and a different mast arrangement around the after funnel than that supplied. The arrangement of additional AA in the kit matches the 1944 photos.

The hull is cleanly cast in gray resin and symetrical; the bottom is dead flat and there is neither keel nor overpour to remove. The anchors are cast integral with the hull, the two forward anchors are not quite aligned with each other, the port anchor being about 1/16" forward of the starboard one. All the hull portholes are represented by drilled holes. When viewed end-on, a slight misalignment (waviness) is visible.

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Plan Profile View
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Plan View
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Forecastle Profile
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Forecastle Detail
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Fwd Superstructure Detail
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Midship
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Quarterdeck Closeup

Deck detail is excellent. Anchor chains, paravanes, chocks, hatches; main battery barbettes are all well done and have an in-scale appearance. The bulwarks are paper thin, so thin that about half of them were broken off. The Quarterdeck is planked, with the waterway represented.

The two lower levels of the forward superstructure are part of the hull casting, and detailed with cast doors, hatches & ready-use boxes. The main deck houses are also cast in place & similarly detailed. The after superstructure is also detailed with doors and portholes. Its upper deck has paper thin bulwarks (some of which were broken), 40mm tubs (undamaged) and control positions. The 2 ventilators have the only pin holes in the entire hull casting, a very small, easily fixed hole in the top surface. As there are no alignment holes for the weapons or superstructure parts, some care is required in aligning the lower levels of the forward superstructure. Dry fitting the assembly is advisable. The tripod legs will help in getting the upper levels into proper alignment.

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Funnels and midship deck level detail
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Small resin parts cast into thin wafer
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White metal parts

The rest of the kit consists of resin superstructure, funnels & armament, white metal 20mm guns, boats, and other small parts. All are cleanly cast without bubbles or defects. There are no mold lines on the funnels, & the over pour surrounding the other parts is paper thin (.006" mostly) and easily removed. There are five resin deck levels, directors & liferafts. Detailing on these parts is also excellent and includes bridge windows, doors, ladders diamond plating in the gun tubs, etc. The midships deck is a complex casting with myriad details. The funnels caps are open, saving the modeler the trouble of drilling them out. The rest of the funnels are well detailed with steam pipes, vents, etc.

Leygues armament.jpg (23225 bytes)The main battery turrets are resin with the tapered barrels cast in place. The rangefinders are a bit crooked though, both in plan & profile. This will require sawing them off and realigning. The 3.5" guns are also a 1 piece casting, the back of the shield is recessed with the breeches represented. Lots of other detail here too; both the sliding plating over the barrels and the working platform all included in the casting. The 3.5" barrels are oversize both in diameter & length, and lack taper. The 40mm quads are recast Skywave parts, the guns & shields having been assembled and cast together. The casting is well done, the shields near scale in thickness and the cast detail shows clearly. However all the Skywave weapons are oversize, the quad 40’s being about 20% too large. The 20mm guns are also recast Skywave parts, but done in white metal. There are 20 provided, 16 being needed for the model. Other white metal parts are 4 ship’s boats, 2 searchlights, 6 40mm directors, 2 crane masts and booms, and a quadrapod mainmast & topmast. Two lengths of brass rod are also included for the tripod legs & liferaft supports.

Dry-fittings indicates that the model will go together without trouble. Tthe superstructure levels are of the correct thickness so that they match up with the lower superstructure sections cast into the hull. The broken bulwarks are the biggest challenge, preformed replacements made of foil would probably be the best solution. (Editor's Note: some of this breakage is likely attributable to my less than expert packaging technique prior to mailing David the kit. Most of the broken bulwarks were intact on receiving the kit from WSW).

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Parts list
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Exploded view
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Exploded view
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Exploded view and paint guide

The 8.5’ x 11"instructions sheets consist of a parts list identifying all the resin & metal parts, 3 exploded assembly views, and a written guide (in English) for painting the measure 22 camouflage. Overall this is a nice, well-produced kit of an interesting subject. Its only shortcoming is the lack of photo-etched railings and radar. It should prove to be very user friendly when it comes to assembly.

Vital Statistics
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Georges Leygues
Laid down: Sept '33 Completed: Nov '37
Length: 580' 7"oa  548'wl  Beam: 57' 5" Draft: 17' 7"
Displacement: 7,600 tons (normal)  10,850 (deep load)
Armament: nine 6" (3x3), eight 3.5" (4x2)
twenty-four 40mm  (6x4), sixteen 20mm

Torpedo Tubes: four 21.7" in two twin-tube mounts
Performance: 84,000 shp, 31 knots
Range: 7,000nm @ 12 knots
Complement: 674 officers and men
Aircraft: four, one catapult
Other Ships in Class:
La Galissonnière, Jean de Vienne, Marseillaise, Gloire, Montcalm

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