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Hello, fellow Britmodellers. This is my first committed plunge into the wonderful world of shipmodelling (I usually restrict myself to things with wings), something for which I assign the blame to @Stew Dapple and @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies after seeing their stand and having a chat to Stew at Scale Model World 2018. Although not at all a result of said chat, after my visit to Telford, the modelling mojo fled and has only just returned. I imagine it went somewhere sunny and warm; no idea why it's come back to dank and dark Britain (I speak both meteorologically and metaphorically, of course). I've been mooching about, looking at my half-finished kits and realising that they're all at or very close to some stage that I fear, like painting white intakes on a Phantom. Anyway, yesterday I dropped into a local charity shop with my boss, who loves to pick up utter tat from there. I often find the odd book, or perhaps a game for my son, but yesterday there were two kits sitting on a shelf: Trumpeter's 1/350 Roma and Hobbyboss' 1/350 Dunkerque. Fate? Maybe. They both appeared to be entirely complete; certainly the parts in box were all sealed, so the only real risk was that a bag had gone missing at some point. Last night I checked the Dunkerque box to see if it was complete (it is), and then thought I'd test the fit of the big bits (they fit really very well), and then I started following the instructions. So, looks like I'm committed, and damn the Phantom intakes! However, I really have very little idea of what I'm doing, so please please please let me know what I'm getting wrong! I'm not going outside the box on this one, so it's just the kit plastic and the included etch. Unless I find the guns look awful and plump for the Master Model replacements, I suppose. @Shar2 did a very nice review of the kit here, which includes lots of photos of the parts that are far better than any photos I could take, so rather than posting pictures of the box and plastic, I would ask you to pop over to his review instead. I think my starting point will be to paint the hull and the deck, which I hope to begin this weekend? In the meantime, I shall post this photo of what is, to my eyes, a very lovely battlewagon: To those more knowledgeable than me (that's anyone reading this), I ask: what are the three parallel lines running horizontally above the boot? Are these the strakes to which Shar2 refers in his review? Here's a shot of the lady's backside, with one of my favourite bridges thrown in for good measure: Thanks for looking in!
FN Dunkerque/Strasburg Barrels 1:350 Master Models Master models continue to build up their range of 1:350 scale armament sets, but they are now increasing the items produced to add other accessories. As usual they are well up to the standard we’ve come to expect from Master Models. [350-101] - This set is for the Hobbyboss FN Dunkerque and Strasburg kits it includes both main, (330mm), secondary, (130”). These are all direct replacements for the kit parts, unlike the normal sets in which you just cut off the kit barrels, drill a hole and glue the metal barrels onto the remaining plastic parts, this set also includes resin mounts. You still need to drill out the resin parts to 1.9mm and 0.9mm respectively, and then you just add to the mounts within the turrets using the kit trunnion. [350-102] - This set is for the Hobbyboss FN Dunkerque and Strasburg kits, but can also be used on the Richelieu it includes four French training gun 90mm Model 1935. These are all direct replacements for the kit parts as they include a resin gun mount. You still need to drill out the resin parts to 0.3mm, and then you just add the barrel to the mounts and fit the recuperator to the top of the gun. [350-103] - This set is for the Hobbyboss FN Dunkerque and Strasburg kits, but can also be used on the Richelieu it includes four Twin Mount 37mm/50. Once again these are all direct replacements for the kit parts as they include a resin gun mount and etched details, for the seats and sights. You still need to drill out the resin parts to 0.3mm, and then you add the barrels to the mounts, carefully fold the etched part to shape and glue into place. [350-104] - This set is for the Hobbyboss FN Dunkerque and Strasburg kits, but can also be used on the Richelieu it includes four French Quad Mount Hotchkiss 13,2mm/76. As with the other sets these are all direct replacements for the kit parts as they include a resin gun mount and etched details, for the gun controls, mounting and sights. You still need to drill out the resin parts to 0.3mm, and then you add the barrels to the mounts, carefully fold the etched parts to shape and glue into place. Conclusion This is a nice easy way to give your big French battleships that little bit of finesse that makes a nice model look great. The metal barrels are much more to scale than plastic can ever be moulded and the smaller weaponry will look so much better with the added etched parts.. Review sample courtesy of Piotr at
French Battleship Dunkerque HobbyBoss 1:350 Dunkerque was the lead ship of the Dunkerque class of battleships built for the French Navy in the 1930s. The class also included Strasbourg. The two ships were the first capital ships to be built by the French Navy after World War I; the planned Normandie and Lyon classes had been cancelled at the outbreak of war, and budgetary problems prevented the French from building new battleships in the decade after the war. Dunkerque was laid down in December 1932, was launched October 1935, and was completed in May 1937. She was armed with a main battery of eight 330mm/50 Modèle 1931 guns arranged in two quadruple gun turrets and had a top speed of 29.5 knots (54.6 km/h; 33.9 mph). Dunkerque and Strasbourg formed the French Navy's 1ère Division de Ligne (1st Division of the Line) prior to the Second World War. The two ships searched for German commerce raiders in the early months of the war, and Dunkerque also participated in convoy escort duties. The ship was badly damaged during the British attack at Mers-el-Kébir after the Armistice that ended the first phase of France's participation in World War II, but she was re floated and partially repaired to return to Toulon for comprehensive repairs. Dunkerque was scuttled in November 1942 to prevent her capture by the Germans, and subsequently seized and partially scrapped by the Italians and later the Germans. Her wreck remained in Toulon until she was stricken in 1955, and scrapped three years later. The Model At last we are seeing some of the more interesting and some would say attractive battleships of WWII being released, and a good start to a larger line up of French ships. The kit comes in quite a large, longish box, with an artist’s impression of the ship being attacked at Mers-el-Kébir. Inside there is the single piece hull, which, according to my research and the Seaforth book on French battleships, by John Jordan and Robert Dumas, is actually pretty accurate. Although the two lower strakes down the side of the ship need to be sanded back a bit as they shouldn’t reach the bow. The rest of the parts, five separate pieces, thirteen sprues of grey styrene, and two sprues of clear styrene are all beautifully moulded, with no flash or other imperfections and only few moulding pips. The kit also comes with six sheets of relief etched brass, a length of chain and a small decal sheet. Construction begins with the drilling of several holes in the foredeck and main deck. The three deck sections are then glued to the hull. Unusually there are no bulkhead parts to strengthen the hull, so check first and you may need to add thwart ships beams for added rigidity. With the decks in place the foredeck is fitted out with three capstans, three lengths of chain, suitably painted, and the three, two piece bow anchors. At the stern there is a single capstan, chain and another two piece anchor. Several sub assemblies are the built up, six two piece searchlights, six double Carley float assemblies, four three piece twin 37mm cannon mounts and eleven quad 13.2mm cannon mounts. The hull is turned upside down and fitted with the two bilge keels and four propeller shafts, A frames and propellers, along with the single rudder and two stern mounted boat booms, which should probably be left till nearer the end of the build. The PE and styrene catapult is also assembled at this point and put to one side to dry along with the two quadruple main turrets, each made up from thirteen parts. The twelve ships boats, each with separate decks and PE cradles are also assembled at this point, along with the eleven piece main mast and rear mounted armoured control station. The upper and middle rangefinder turrets are also assembled, from nine and eleven parts respectively. Moving to the foredeck again, the area is fitted out with the various cleats, bollards, deck houses, ventilators, the jackstaff and the large breakwater, along with a couple of paravanes. The main deck is given the same treatment, and also fitted with davits and four of the ships boats. The quarterdeck is also fitted with cleats and bollards. Six more of the ships boats are glued into position, along with the various boat booms, Carley float assemblies, accommodation ladders ensign staff and inclined ladders. The secondary turrets are assembled, the two twin turrets from four parts and the three quadruple turrets from seven parts. The ships cranes are built up from four styrene parts are three etched parts. The assembly of the superstructure begins with the assembly of the ten piece funnel searchlight platform onto which four searchlight assemblies are fitted. The lower bridge is then assembled, and the rest of the ships boats are on fitted onto the boat deck section, along with the two boat cranes and four inclined ladders. The aft superstructure is fitted out with the aft quad 130mm mounting, two paravanes, the hanger door, several vertical ladders and a couple of deckhouses. The searchlight platform assembly is fitted to the fore end of the aft superstructure and the assembly put to one side. The lower bridge deck is built up from three sub-structures, six support beams, and eleven PE supports before being fitted with the lower bridge assembly, a medium rangefinder, two small rangefinders, lower tower block and two quad AA mounts. The next level platform is fitted with four lookout stations and two searchlights. Onto this platform the upper tower block is attached, followed by another platform. The larger of the three rangefinders fitted to the tower is assembled and the two smaller units fitted to each others roof. The topmost rangefinder is fitted with an elaborate PE aerial array. The upper tower is also fitted with three large aerial spreader bars before being attached to the lower tower and the whole assembly being glued to the front of the boat deck, followed by the fifteen part funnel assembly. The completed structure is then glued to the main deck, followed by the aft superstructure, main and secondary turrets, catapult and nine piece aircraft handling crane. The model can be displayed onto the four piece stand included. The kit comes with two of the Loire 130 seaplanes the ship carried, each is produce in clear styrene, which, I must admit I’m not a fan of, but it can help with the clear sections I guess. The fuselage is in two halves, which, once glued together are fitted with the tailplanes and wings, each of which has separate floats. The engine and separate two bladed propeller is the attached to the top of the fuselage. Decals The small decal sheet provides the French national flags in straight and wavy forms; ships name plates, plus the roundels and fin flashes for the aircraft. They are nicely printed with good opacity and in register. The ship is painted in Dark Sea Grey overall, with black boot topping and red anti fouling. Conclusion This is a very welcome release of a very attractive ship. She, and her soon to released sister will make a great accompaniment for anyone’s collection. The model appears to be pretty accurate from the research I’ve done, which is a nice change for a Trumpeter/Hobbyboss kit. The only downside is that whilst the kit provides most of the railings required, the main railings around the fore, main and quarterdecks aren’t provided, so you will need to source these yourself. Review sample courtesy of