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Reviewed by Vladimir Yakubov
Photos by Timothy Dike
Throughout the review the plans from the French archives for the Battleship Liberte downloaded from the internet are used to check the accuracy of the ship.
 
 
HULL
The hull is nicely cast in the waterline style but the nice parts end there.  There are two major and not really curable problems with the hull.  First problem is that the hull is undersized - the length of the hull is 184mm, while the waterline length of the ship was 131m, which scales out to 187mm and the width of the hull is 33mm while the ship was 24.25m wide which scales out to 35mm.  So the hull while well proportioned is not 1/700 scale, but rather 1/720 scale.  If the scale difference is not that important to you the scaling the plans down to the 720th scale the proportions of the ship seem to be correct.  
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However, while the difference in scale is not really apparent to the naked eye, the second problem is much more serious the hull of the ship has a wooden deck, while the real ship had linoleum decks here is the photo of the deck of Justice in 1909  clearly showing that the deck is not covered in wood.  This problem is much harder to cure, as it would require that all of the surface details removed from the deck and it is sanded to fill up the groves simulating the wood.  So while pretty well cast, the hull has a nearly incurable problem which should have been avoided with a little research.
SUPERSTRUCTURE
Once again the superstructure is well cast; in fact it has some of the better casting that Ive seen on the resin models, with parts looking almost like the injection model with sprues instead of the pour plugs, which would make the removal of the parts a breeze.  Unfortunately there are problems here as well.  The forward bridge is undersized even allowing for plans that are scaled down to 1/720th scale.  The other bridges are spot on compared to the 1/720th plans.  
The smoke stacks are also fine in profile, but are round looking at them from the top while they should be oval.  In addition, the funnel caps are molded on, which makes them look chunky.  On the other hand the ventilator heads are very well cast with the small fins on them cast finely.  The various superstructure parts come with the locator pins so the assembly would be easier than the average resin kit.
SMALL RESIN PARTS
The gun turrets, of which the ship had eight two twin 12 and six single 194mm, are all nicely molded.  The single turrets come with the prominent counter weight plates well visible and with handed sighting hoods (that are also of the correct shape).  The main turrets also have the protruding front plates like on the real ship.  The gun barrels are also well cast with little flash.  Smaller guns are also well done.
The kit comes with 15 boats of various sizes.  The ships plans show an enormous amount of boats that the ship was supposed to carry (30+), but the contemporary photographs dont show nearly as many carried at any single time, so 15 seems to be enough to provision the ship.  The casting on the boats is on par with the other details.

Other small parts are well done.  For the masts the kit contains several pieces of brass rod from which the modeler can make their own masts.  All of the necessary mast platforms are included.
 

INSTRUCTIONS
The kit contains some of the better instructions that Ive ever seen in a resin kit.  Because of the fact that the parts are on the sprue they are actually numbered and hence it is easy to see what goes where.  There are the instructions on how to cut the pieces of the rod to make the masts of the correct length.  It also shows where the small guns on the side of the hull need to be placed.  The front of the sheet has the simple line drawing of the ship in 1/700 scale and the drawing of the sprues with the numbers of the parts.
Conclusions:

Im conflicted on this kit.  On one hand the casting and the quality is very good, on the other the accuracy is screwed up.  So the conclusion is it is up to you.  You need to decide for yourself what is more important to you accuracy or buildability.  If you just want to have the ship on your shelf no one but you (and those who read this review J ) will most likely know that there are inaccuracies in the model, you should definitely buy it.  If you are concerned with accuracy, then be prepared to do major scratchbuilding, since without it you will not be able to build an accurate ship. 

You can purchase this kit from Pacific Front Hobbies, and White Ensign Models or direct from FleetNet. The kit has a retail price of $95.00 US.



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