Combrig 1/350
Le Terrible (Late War Fit) French Destroyer

Reviewed by Sean Hert
April 2013

The French Navy, like the other major navies of the world, constructed large "super destroyers" in the interim years between World Wars One and Two. Individually, these destroyers reflected the differing requirements of each nation, and while varying in detail they tended to have some similar attributes: they were all large, fast, heavily armed and expensive. The Fantasque class of six contre-torpilleurs reflected an evolution in design from the proceeding classes (a design which culminated in the follow-on Mogador class), with a continuous rise in size, displacement, armament and speed. These large, fast destroyers were light cruisers by any other navy's standards, and in fact were considered such after the refits in US naval yards.

Le Terrible was launched in late 1933, and was eventually commissioned in 1935, achieving a record setting speed of 45 knots during acceptance trials. She was involved in skirmishes with Royal Navy prior to the fall of the Vichy government, and after the Operation Torch landings, Le Terrible joined the Allies as part of the Free French Naval Forces, where she and her sister La Fantasque sailed to Boston in the United States for refit, arriving in early 1943. These ships emerged from refit with US Navy radars mounted on new, lattice-style masts and 20mm Oerlikons and 40mm Bofors replacing the original anti-aircraft weapons.

Le Terrible was assigned to the Mediterranean theatre of operations, a saw action there for the rest of 1943 and 1944. She was damaged in a collision in December of 1944, and sat out the rest of the war undergoing repairs. Se was placed into reserve after the war, but brought out a refitted as a escort 1952, and later as a training vessel in 1956. Le Terrible was eventually scrapped in 1962.

This kit, another offering issued forth from the Combrig/Box 261 alliance is of the Le Terrible after her refit in US yards, full-hull. Boxed in the normal Combrig fashion, the upper hull was protected by a wrap of thin foam, the resin parts in bags.


Combrig offers this kit in both waterline and full hull; this kit is the two part full hull, upper and lower. They halves are numbered, appear to be correctly scaled, and line up well. Some work removing resin overpour and tweaking the halves will be necessary to guarantee a flawless alignment along the waterline. The upper hull is crisply cast, with few casting defects to be seen.

The lower hull has the offset prop shafts and fine bilge keels of the class well represented.


This first bag of parts contains the various superstructure deckhouses, platforms, funnels and splinter shields.

The wafers all exhibit various degrees of warpage, and may require some heat (hot water bath maybe) to get them to lay flat again.

These parts are well detailed, with fine details like watertight doors on the superstructure. Some of the splinter shields are a bit think, but should still look great. Combrig has also selected to mold in resin the curved ready ammo chutes which encircle each gun.


Parts bag B contains an assortment of parts on multiple sprues; all the remaining parts, in fact. There are some great details, often neglected, on this sprues; binnacles, directors, pedestals- all great details.

The two triple torpedo tube banks are also well formed, with good detail; the addition of the photoetch to these will really cause them to stand out.

The guns are all cast each as a single assembly with barrel. The main 138mm guns and open gunshields are fragile and require care in preparation, as well as the external steam pipes and the run along the funnels. However, these fine parts, once care is exhibited, will greatly enhance the appearance of Le Terrible.

These parts also include some sprues with some well-executed gravity davits for the ship's boats and ten pedestal mounted 20mm Oerlikons.


There is a large fret of photoetched details included with this kit, etched on a thick sheet of red brass. This fret has all the normal photoetched items expected; railings, ladders, lattice supports, as well as 20mm and 40mm gun shields and an anchor chain assembly for the fo'c'sle.


There are no decals included in this kit.


There are eight single-sided pages of instructions, starting with a profile and plan view with history and specifications, two-page bill of materials with part numbers, and thirteen pages of assembly. These graphic assembly steps are pretty easy to follow- however, the few textual references are in Russian. Both the resin and photoetched parts are sequentially numbered, greatly helping the assembly order.

There are no painting instructions or recommendations included in this kit.


This large destroyer is a fantastic, welcome addition to the available kits on the market. The Fantasque's were beautiful ships, and this kit does great justice to them. The only real issue is the cost; the full hull kit is nearly $200.00. Highly recommended!

This kit is available for $200. Check the Combrig site for details on where to get yours and for other Combrig kits.

Thanks to Combrig for providing this review sample.