The distinctive Richelieu class battleships cannot be mistaken for anything else. The stunning long forecastle and forward-mounted 15" main armament are a site to behold. The Richelieu and her sister ship Jean Bart, 794' in length and displacing 46,000 tons, were incomplete when France surrendered in 1940. The 95 per cent complete Richelieu was ordered to Dakar where she repelled British and Free French attacks in 1940. After joining the Allies in 1942 Richelieu went to the US for a major refit.
The Hi-Mold kit depicts Richelieu subsequent to the US refit completed in October 1943. Radar was fitted, her aircraft and catapults were removed, and 14 quad 40mm mounts replaced her 37mm AA armament. She served the remainder of the war with the British Eastern Fleet. Her post-war appearance differed little from her wartime fit (some 20mm guns removed), so the kit can be used to depict her from 1943 until her 1956 placement in reserve.
It is difficult to speak in anything but superlatives in describing a Hi-Mold kit. The quality of the resin casting and white metal on the Richelieu is awesome. The hull is is laden with detail, and more importantly captures the ship's graceful lines. It deserves to be contemplated and savoured like a fine wine. The same can be said for all the resin castings. In fact don't build this kit. Just take it out and fondle it while you watch Victory at Sea. Actually constructing this beauty will only diminish its appeal.
The kit includes no etched brass and the exploded view instructions are in Japanese, but since you likely won't build it anyway, so what? For those of you who actually build kits, the appropriate Toms or GMM etched brass railing will put this beauty over the top. There is really not much more I can say. Take a look at the photos and if you have been waiting for a 1/700th Richelieu, your wait is over. $149 from Pacific Front.
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