Flyhawk 1/350
Richelieu Super Detail
Yet another review
by Sean Hert

The Richelieu class were the largest battleships ever to be constructed by France. Realizing it would need a new class of ship to counter the growing Italian battleship threat in the Mediterranean, France responded with the Richelieu. Richelieu closely followed the Dunkerque class in design, but with a larger caliber main battery with greater protection and displacement.

Richelieu was in the final stages of completion when Germany invaded. As the front drew closer, Richelieu got closer to operational status, eventually departing France incomplete for Dakar, French West Africa in June of 1940. She was damaged in action against the Royal Navy in the Battle of Dakar. Temporarily repaired after joining the Allies in late 1942, she departed for New York in the United States to make permanent repairs and to be modernized.

Flyhawk's update set for Trumpeter's Richelieu kit 1943/1946 is comprised of 11 fets of brass photoetch, and machined brass barrels for the 380mm (15") main battery and the 152mm (6") secondaries. This set will not only enhance the looks of your French battleship, but will address some of the issues present with the kit as well.


This first fret of photoetch, fret A, as a number of parts for detailing the superstructure of Richelieu; railings, radars and footropes for detailing masts and yards, as well as the bridge and stack area. Small etched plates with the ship's motto are also here.


This fret is etched from thinner brass, and is mostly the extensive wind deflectors for the various bridge levels


Fret C is made from the same brass as A, and has a replacement screen for the large funnel, and additional details for the funnel structure, with some boat cradles filling out this fret.


Various doors, deck hatches, hose reels and the parts to make the main boat crane are on fret D.


This fret has some nice details for the boats. Not only the standard rudder/screw upgrade, but an entire relief-etched replacement for the superstructure of the launches. Additionally, upgrades for other boats and some plain etched replacement main propellors.


A simple fret of watertight doors.


Various ladders.


This fret, fret H, has the various railing types needed for Richelieu, as well as US-style floater net baskets, and both breakwaters, complete with over 70 individual reinforcement ribs.


Fret I is Flyhawk's version of the ubiquitous 20mm Oerlikon pedestal mount, found on almost every Allied ship in World War 2.


This final fret is of the no less famous 40mm Bofors, in a quad mount. Flyhawk's Bofors completely replaces Trumpeter's plastic one with all etched metal parts. The level of detail is impressive, but in 350, etched brass 40mm barrels look dimentionally flat compared to various round options available.


There are 17 machined brass barrels, upgrades for the plastic ones in the kit; 8 for the main battery, and 9 for the three triple 152mm secondary mounts. While the kit offers barrels for the quad main guns both with and without blast blags (bloomers) fitted, Flyhawk has only included shorter barrels suitable for fitting to the plastic blast bags.

380MM for blastbag


Flyhawk has their normal three color, multi-sheet set of instructions, seven pages in this case. Flyhawk relies on little text, using sequential drawings to show how best to use and install this upgrade set, using a combination of replacement of kit parts or a synergy of the both plastic and photoetch.

This set of instructions feels short for such a large ship; it's only 4 pages long. The order also seems odd, with the modeler attaching fittings to the main hull on page 1, and details to the superstructure later. So, these instructions may not be truly sequential, and the modeler using this set will need to plan their attack carefully.


This set is a good step toward addressing some of the kits shortcomings, as well as enhancing the kit's looks. I appreciate Flyhawk including the 20mm and 40mm AA guns in this set, as opposed to requiring the modeler to make an additional purchase.

This is set #FH350019 1/700 HMS Eskimo Destroyer 1941 (For Trumpeter 05757) with a list price of $99.95. Flyhawk products are available from many online and traditional retailers. thanks Flyhawk for providing this review sample.