|Bouvet along with her semi- sister ships
had low displacement of 12000 tonnes, tall freeboard with extreme tumblehome.
Launched in 1896, she was a frontline unit of the French Navy for many
In World War One she partook in the bombardment of Turkish forts off the Dardanelles in 1915 . On March 18, after sustaining eight hits from Turkish shore based artillery fire she retired, and unwittingly sailed into a previously undetected minefield, and subsequently sank rapidly with the loss of virtually her entire crew.
The YS Masterpieces 1/350 Bouvet kit was announced some
four years ago; however twice relocating workshops and other professional
commitments resulted in a prolonged gestation of this much-awaited French
Pre-dreadnought model kit
|Upon opening the sturdy box there is an unexpected bonus rolled up
within; a fine quality print of the box art suitable for framing .
The hull was carefully packed in bubble-wrap with some of the smaller parts packed in individual foam rubber boxes to protect vulnerable castings. The model is available both as a full-hull and as a waterline casting. The two hulls that I examined have been flawlessly cast, with no signs of shrinkage, warping or bubbles anywhere to be seen. Undercuts are very sharp and overall finish is of high quality. Although these days unusual, this is a handmade master-model. Despite this it appears to be absolutely symmetrical in all respects when viewed from every angle. The tumblehome has been captured very well, with surface detailing being very fine.
|The gun barrels are supplied in 3 different sizes—all made of turned brass, replicating the tapers and stepping very nicely. The turrets look the part according to photos and feature the slits in the spherical sighting hoods neatly rendered.|
|The remaining small gun armament and the 100 cal guns and hollow gun-shields are all cast separately.|
|SUPERSTRUCTURE PARTS AND FUNNELS|
|The superstructure parts match the plans and photos, the bridge level featuring a crisply depicted wooden grating deck. Edges are sharp and the windows are of the correct pattern. The very fine and delicate catwalk is a casting and has a gossamer thin wafer; securely wrapped in a foam rubber sandwich with a hard foam backing to ensure safe arrival with the end user.|
|The fighting tops have been cast on a suspended pedestal
with thin wafer support and should be easy to part cleanly.
|Bouvet, like many pre-dreadnoughts, carried a large array of boats, gigs and launches. Each boat is supplied as a resin casting with Photo-etched floors, seats and oars. The boast are attached to the casting blocks at the outer ends along the keel line only, with a thin connecting wafer of resin, minimizing the amount of cutting pressure required to part the boat from the block. The blocks stand upright on their own which should make painting and detailing easier.|
|The tapered, box section pierced girder davits of various sizes have been neatly cast in resin, and feature nice surface detail which will make the davits stand out when carefully painted. The boat-lowering cradles have a simulated girder section on the surfaces. The pierced girder davit bases feature a fine resin ring and will rotate and operate in a similar fashion to the real thing ! These bases also have fine surface detailing and will help make these black-painted items stand out on a finished model.|
|Anchors, windlasses, searchlights etc. and some small items that have not been photographed are well rendered and should respond well to careful painting to bring out the details.|
|The two odd shaped pieces of resin were a puzzle—until I read the instructions! They are bend-forming jigs; the mushroom shaped one for the funnel grilles and the odd flat cheese shaped item for the forming of the small turret top railing; a nice touch that will save much time and ensure repeatability of shape.|
|Two comprehensive photo etched frets are included and should permit the construction of a very sharp model from the supplied kit parts.|
|The instructions take the form of a A5 spiral bound booklet-
which is a collection of detailed individual subassembly explanations,
as opposed to step-by-step instructions.
kit assumes previous modelbuilding experience and as such does require
some expertise with small photoetched parts.
I was unable to ascertain any shortcomings at this stage. A full build-up of this model will be published here at Modelwarships.com in the near future
The kit currently retails at £ 204.56 (ex 15% VAT) from White Ensign Models or direct from YS Masterpieces via e-mail. The price may appear at first sight to be expensive, however upon reflection it represents a fair price for a premium quality product of a famous ship that is unlikely to be manufactured elsewhere.