Gwylan Models 1/700 FREMM Aquitaine French Navy Frigate
Reviewed July 2015
by Ayala Botto
The real ship:

The Aquitaine ASW frigate is the first ship of FREMM (European Multi-Mission Frigate) class operated by the Marine Nationale (French Navy or “La Royale”), which also includes the ER (Extended Range) version.

As for the Italian Navy FREMM, both GP (General Purpose) and ASW (Anti-submarine Warfare) versions of this ship are now in service, but they have different armament and sensors configurations as well as dimensions.

The FREMM Aquitaine has a displacement of 6.000 tons, length of 142m, beam of 20m, maximum speed of 28 knots and range of 6,000 nm with a cruising speed of 15 knots.

Each vessel can accommodate an NH90 ASW helicopter and carries two RHIBs for commando operations located in closed bays in each side of the ship.

The ship has a crew of 108 but can accommodate a maximum of 180.

To date only the ASW version has been exported for the Royal Moroccan Navy which purchased its Mohammed VI FREMM frigate in 2014.

Although similar to the Aquitaine, does not include the VLS for the SCALP Naval cruise missiles as well the jammers and 20 mm guns Nexter Narwhal / Remote Weapon Systems.

The Egyptian navy is also due to receive the FREMM Normandie from the French Navy inventory, although negotiations are still proceeding by now.

More information:

The kit:
The 1/700 French FREEM Aquitaine (ASW) is the third FREMM kit released by Gwylan Models after the Italian FREMM Carlo Bergamini (GP and ASW versions), whose review is also available here.

The kit includes

  • Single piece waterline resin hull;
  • Main sprue with all resin parts;
  • Complete PE set with parts to be applied on the hull;
  • Resin sprue with 2x NH-90 Caïman Helicopters parts;
  • PE Set for 2x NH-90 Caïman Helicopters;
  • Decal sheet for 8 ships of this class;
  • Instruction sheet.
This kit is cast as a single piece waterline resin hull, with excellent molded details including the VLS cells, air vents and life raft canisters, among others.

As happened with previous models the sample I’ve got is almost perfect although the hull requires minor corrections, but nothing serious.

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Resin Parts:
There is a single resin sprue for the remaining parts to be applied on the hull, which include among others:
  • Mast;
  • Thales Herakles 3D multifunction (phased array) radar;
  • OTO Melara 76/62 mm gun;
  • EXOCET MM-40 missile canisters (4x);
  • 20 mm guns Nexter Narwhal / Remote Weapon Systems (2x);
  • Multiple Sensors, radars and SAT Domes;
  • Decoy and jammers systems;
  • Gun Directors;
  • RHIB’s (2x);
  • Etc.
As for the two NH-90 Caïman helicopters the quality is superb and allowing two different configurations to be built (unfolded and folded) with a specific photo etch parts.
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Photo Etch:
The photo etch set is very complete and includes railings, antennas, mast yards, helicopter safety nets, doors for the RHIB bays areas on each side of the model, etc.

An extra photo etch set is provided just for the NH-90 Caïman helicopters and includes the main and tail rotor blades for two helicopters, with two sets for the folded option and one set for the extend version as well as the tail horizontal stabilizers.

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Gwylan Models provides a very compete and sharply rendered decal sheet (hull numbers, helo deck markings as well as the ship nameplates) allowing the modelers to build one of the following ships:
  • D650 Aquitaine
  • D651 Normandie
  • D652 Provence
  • D653 Languedoc
  • D654 Auvergne
  • D655 Alsace
  • D656 Bretagne
  • D657 Lorraine
As always, the instruction sheet included very clear and provides via a systematic methodology a very simple and easy approach to build model.

The location of the decals and PE parts are also very clear, and the only step on this building that requires extra attention is highly detailed mast, which requires 12 PE parts to be fixed.

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Painting Scheme:
Although no specific colors reference is indicated in the instructions sheet, the manufacturer suggest Vallejo Model Color 153 Pale Grey Blue for the hull and other “vertical” surfaces, deck houses, masts, funnel, etc.

As for the decks and other horizontal surfaces (flight deck included) the Vallejo 163 Model Color Dark Sea Green could be a good option.

Yet another fantastic Gwylan Models kit that I’m sure it will please many modelers looking for modern 1/700 scale model warships, in particular for the FREMM fans!

Moreover, for those fans, Gwylan Models will release the 4th version of the FREMM series, and the 2nd version of the French FREMM. In fact the so-called FREMM-ER (Extended Range) will be also available at 1/700 scale at the same time as the ASW version.

So both versions will be available in the next few day.

It seems that we will be able to get the all family, namely:

  • FREMM Carlo Bergamini (GP) - Italian Navy
  • FREMM Carlo Bergamini (ASW) - Italian Navy
  • FREMM Aquitaine (ASW) - French Navy
  • FREMM Aquitaine (ER) - French Navy 
This kit will is now available (together with the FREMM-ER) at Gwylan Model website for £27,50 (about €35,75).

As all other kits of the FREMM series, has an excellent price for such a highly resin kit with complete photo etch parts and decals for all ships of the class.

Congratulations to Gwylan Models for such a great model and keep the good work producing more 1/700 scale model warships!

More of Ayala Botto 's work.
Updated 7/2/2015