The Battleship Richelieu
Super Drawings in 3D
By Andrzej Sobucki
This magazine style book is available from Casemate Publishing. Click here and tell them you saw it on Mataka.ORG.
As the title states, this publication is a look at the French Battleship Richelieu. This publication is a soft cover A4 style high quality book/magazine that uses a glossy paper from cover to cover. By using this quality of paper, they have assured that the drawings are crisp and clear.
The book begins by presenting the reader a short political background of the French Battleship Richelieu. We learn that the French construction was made possible by the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922. We see that while the initial design was sound, it was changed when the French learned that Germany was beginning to build the Deutschland class of Battle Cruisers. From here we are taken through some of the design specifications and how they were influenced.
The next section of this magazine/book is devoted to the Technical Specifications of the Richelieu. Here a discussion of the ships Power Plant and different generators are discussed. Also, the armor protection that is in different areas of the ship is covered as well as some of the armament. We learn about the ships modifications by the United States after 1943 which strengthened the ships anti-aircraft capabilities.
The final area is an overview if the ships Operational History. Here we follow the history of the ship from June 18 1940, when the ship left the Port of Brest 95% complete until the ship was towed to the scrap yard on August 25, 1968. We read about the ships colorful history and some of the battles where the Richelieu saw action.
While the written areas of this book are only 8 pages in length, they provide the reader with an excellent primer to this famous ship. The main interest of this publication are the pages and pages of 3D drawings that show very detailed views of the ship. This section begins on page 9 and ends on page 77. A majority of these pages have multiple 3D drawings on them to show different views of the Richelieu. Almost every page has a short description on the page so the reader understands which area of the ship they are being shown. While I have included a few of the drawings in this review, they don’t really do justice to the artwork throughout this publication.
The final item I want to mention that is included with this book is a set of detailed 1:400 scale plans. These plans are an insert paper into the book and are printed double sided. On one side you have front and rear line drawings of the Richelieu while on the other side you are given the top down and side line drawings. No matter what scale you are interested in, these line drawings also provide very useful information.
While the written information in The Battleship Richelieu is sufficient, it is not meant to be a detailed study. As the title states, this is a 3D look at this ship and in that matter, the book exceeds expectations. The 69 pages of 3d drawings examine the ship from every possible angle. The ship historian will enjoy this book because of all the 3D views that it affords the reader. The modeler can research a model from the following manufacturers to see which one is suitable for their build. The model scales and manufacturers are:
- 1/700 scale Trumpeter
- 1/350 scale Trumpeter
- 1/400 scale Heller
As the book is referenced during the build, modelers may want to add additional detail to their model with “ad-on” kits. These additional details are available from a number of manufacturers some of which are:
- 1/700 scale Photoetch from Flyhawk
- 1/350 scale Photoetch from Flyhawk
- 1/350 scale resin from Master Model
- 1/700 scale resin from Master Model
- 1/350 scale wood deck from Artwox
- 1/350 scale gun barrels from Aber
Also, the modeler who is scratch building a scale model of this famous battleship would find this book an invaluable reference tool. For other modelers who are building one of the commercially available models mentioned above, this book is an equally valuable resource especially if they want to add after -market “add-ons”. Finally, for modelers who have an interest in building a model of the Richelieu sometime in the future, this book can serve as a guide, taking the modeler through the ships details in an extremely enjoyable reading manner.