Kagero sent their newest release unannounced to me so I was happily surprised to find the 3D Battleship Richelieu in my mailbox. Latest in a long line of 3D reference books aimed at ship modellers the book is in the familiar style, containing a brief history of the ship, technical data, page after page of magnificent drawings and last but certainly not least a large 1/400 scale set of black and white line drawings of the Richelieu. The book contains 77 pages, is available under ISBN: 978-83-62878-42-0.
The drawings were made by Andrzey Sobucki and the text was written by Miroslaw Skwiot.
The French battleship Richelieu was a scaled up version of the Dunkerque class, ordered in 1935 and launched in 1939. The main armament consisted of 8 38 cm guns in two quad turrets fitted in front of the superstructure. For the time the superstructure had a very modern look to it, the complexity of which can be appreciated in the drawings in Kageroís book. The Richelieu left Brest in June 1940 to avoid capture by the invading German forces and sailed to Dakar. The British offered to screen the Richelieuís redeployment to Freetown but France refused the offer. After the French capitulation and the Franco-German armistice the British attacked the Richelieu twice, first with torpedo aircraft from the Hermes and later with the battleships Barham and Resolution. In both attacks the Richelieu sustained damage but was not put out of action.
In November of 1942 the French forces in Africa joined the Allied forces and in January 1943 the Richelieu sailed to New York for repairs and modernization, including the replacement of the AA batteries.
The Richelieu served with some distinction with the Home fleet and British Far East fleet until hostilities ended.
The Richelieu served as Flagship with the French navy until 1950 and was scrapped in Genoa in 1968. One of her 38 cm guns can still be seen in Brest.
An unusual subject but for anyone building Trumpeterís 1/350 Richelieu a welcome addition to the Kagero line. The drawings show the Richelieu after her refit in New York and the ship really bristles with AAA. The drawings are up to the usual Kagero standards and I enjoyed taking a virtual tour over the decks of a French battleship while enjoying a good glass of Pinot Noir.
Very much a niche market addition to the Kagero line. Not all modellers will be thrilled by French ship design but if nautical Francophile design does happen to be your modelling Mecca you canít go far wrong here. The book itself is the usual well thought-out and beautifully produced Kagero offering worth every last Zloty or Euro.
Highs: Top quality and very informative book.Lows: Niche market. Verdict: Another winner by Kagero