As the 19th century came to a close, the primary competition of the Royal Navy was still the centuries old rival France, although Imperial Russia was coming up fast.
For two decades the French navy had been dominated by the
Jeune Ecole who disdained battleships. This clique believed that masses of small, cheap torpedo boats
could overwhelm the British Fleet for a mere fraction of the costs of battleships. Also part of their theory was that fast armored cruisers could attack the Achilles Heel
of Great Britain, her merchant fleet. If there had to be battleship construction, they should be small coast defense battleships. Battleship construction in the 1870s to
1890 was characterized by small coast defense types. To further muddle strategic continuity, naval administrations had the life span of a gnat. There were 31 different
administrations in a 33 year time span. By 1890 it was decided to bring the French battleships back from the coast defense precipice. Even when a larger ship was
authorized the procedure for ordering new ships was so Byzantine that French ships took far longer to complete then almost all other powers. The
Magenta was
ordered in 1880 but not completed until 1893. The Plan of 1890 contemplated building ten blue water, not coast defense
battleships.                                                         

Over the next decade the French Navy completed these ships, which can be grouped in two separate types based upon their characteristics. The French battle line was
known as a collection of samples in that French building practices tended to build one-off designs. This was primarily caused by lack of funds so multi-ship orders were
not placed. With each new design the French would again rearrange all of the pieces. The only exception was the 1894
St. Louis class in which three battleships were
built to the same design. This process resulted in little commonality from class to class or from ship to ship. French design emphasized rate of fire and seaworthiness
and were less interested in speed and armor. Single mount turrets were favored in a lozenge pattern with for and aft turrets and a wing turret on each side amidship. In
appearance they had heavy military masts and an extreme tumblehome. The genesis for the 1890 plan was a war scare and tariff war with Italy in 1889 and fleet
maneuvers in which the faster “Italian Fleet” could avoid contact with the “French Fleet” and ravish the French Mediterranean coastline. Also the British had announced
a big battleship program that year. In response initial plans called for 14,000-ton battleships with four 12.-inch guns and a 17-knot maximum speed. However, the young
turks of the
Jeune Ecole and penny-pinching politicians protested this “Gigantism” and estimates were cut down to a maximum displacement of 12,000-tons,
handcuffing designers.

The first five ships in the 1890 program were each given to a different designer, except
Charles Martel and Bouvet had the same designer but even then the ships were
not to the same design.
Charles Martel, Carnot and Jaureguiberry were ordered  April 14, 1891 and Massena and Bouvet were ordered May 18, 1892. With long
building times, although built faster than ships of the previous decade, the first three were completed in 1897 and the last two in 1898. No two ships had the same length
or displacement running from 367-ft (oa) for
Jaureguiberry to 402-ft (oa) for Bouvet. The largest and slowest was Bouvet with a top speed of 17-knots but the other
four were at or close to 18-knots. They all had a common major armament of fore an aft single 12-inch gun turrets with single 10.8-inch wing turrets. The 12-inch main
guns were 45 caliber except
Massena with 40 caliber while for the 10.8-inch guns three of the four had 45 caliber and Charles Martel and Bouvet had 40 caliber. The
first three had eight 5.5-inch/45 secondaries and four 47mm QF. The last two reduced the secondary gun size in order to increase the QF guns. These two had eight 3.9-
inch secondaries with twelve 47mm QF guns. With a limit of 12,000-tons something had to go in order to permit more QF guns, exhibiting the folly of a hard
displacement limit.
It wasn’t until 1893 that the French discovered the economy of ordering multiple ships of a common design. On September 30, 1893 three ships were ordered from
the same design and became the
St Louis class. There was a significant time gap between the order of this class and the orders for the ninth and tenth ships of the
1890 program.
Jena wasn’t ordered until 1897 and Suffren in 1900. All five of these ships did away with the wing 10.8-inch guns and carried standard twin 12-inch
gun turrets fore and aft.
Suffren was significantly larger with a length of 422-ft (oa) and displacement of 12,527-tons, breaking the 12,000-ton limit and a 1,000 tons
heavier than the
St Louis class. All five had four 12-inch/40 twin turrets but secondary gun caliber started climbing. The St Louis class went back to ten 5.5-inch/45
but also packed eight 3.9-inch guns and twenty 47mm QF guns.
Jena went to eight 6.4-inch, and Suffren to ten 6.4-inch/45. Each had the same eight 3.9-inch
tertiary guns and
Jena twenty 47mm QF and Suffren twenty-two 47mm. All five ships hit 18-knots. Charlemagne and Gaulois completed in 1899, St Louis in 1900,
Jena in 1902 and Suffren in 1904.


The single ship ordering approach changed with the advent of the 20th century. The designs of the 20th century were built with multiple ships in the class and each
succeeding class improved upon the previous design. One of the factors that bedeviled French battleship designers was the restrictively low maximum displacement.
Enacted by penny-pinching politicians, this resulted in ships in which too much was attempted on too small of a design. Designers had to make severe compromises
that grouped guns together to provide common armor protection or carried them too low for stability purposes. The limited displacement of the designs caused these
“work-arounds”, which in turn created grave operational flaws in the ships and ham strung their combat effectiveness. The last of the 1890 program,
Suffren was of
the limited design but exceeded it and showed what could be accomplished with the 527-tons that she ran past the politically imposed 12,000 limit. The
Suffren did
reintroduce the practice on mounting secondary guns in turrets instead of casemates as still found in the designs of the Royal Navy. Turret placement proved to be far
better than casemate placement for the secondaries and it was here that French designers were significantly ahead of their British contemporaries. It was with the next
design that the limited displacement shackles were removed from the designers. With the
Republique design the designers could provide a good, effective armor
scheme with a belt running almost the entire length of the battleship. Displacement rose by 2,000 tons, allowing the designers to create a balanced, well armed, well
armored design. The
Republique design of 1901 had only two ships in the class, Republique and Patrie, but the four sisters of the follow-up design could be
considered half sisters of the
Republique class. In fact Eric Gille in his volume on French battleships, Cent Ans de Cuirasses Francais, list all six ships as the
battleships of 15,000 tons of the
Republique Type, which he calls the ultimate French pre-dreadnoughts.
However, most authorities separate the two ships of the Republique class from the four ships of the Liberte class. Some authors list the Liberte class as the Verite
class because the lead ship
Liberte was not in service too long before blowing up in harbor. The names chosen for the ships hearken back to the 1st Republic of
the 1790s with
Verite (truth), Justice, Liberte and Democratie. You might think of them as Gaulic superman ships with the motto, Truth, Justice and the Parisian
Way . The
Republique class was of 14,870 tons and armed with four 12-inch/45 (305mm) main guns, sixteen 6.5-inch (164.7mm) secondary guns with twelve in
six twin turrets and the other four in casemate positions, thirteen 65mm QF, ten 47mm QF and two underwater 18-inch 450mm beam torpedo tubes. The armor
was reasonable with a 11 to 7inch belt, 12 ½ inches on main turrets and 13-inches on the conning tower. The vertical triple expansion engines developed 17,500ihp
and drove three shafts for a maximum speed of 18 knots. The ships had three stacks with two grouped right behind the forward superstructure and the third
separated far aft in front of the aft superstructure. Although still possessing a goodly tumblehome, the design did not have the excessive tumblehome of earlier
designs.
Republique was laid down in December 1901, followed by Patrie in December 1902.

Designers were thinking of ways to improve the class right from the initial design. The
Liberte was ordered only seven months after the Patrie. The new design
was hardly new at all in that it had the same appearance, same armor, same machinery for the first two (the second two increased power to 18,000ihp with two
fewer boilers but from a different manufacturer), same dimensions and same armament, except for an increase to 12-inch/50 for the main guns, a large increase in
size of secondary armament and a slight increase in torpedo size to 460mm. In keeping with the trends in other navies, the size of the secondary guns was
increased, although the number of guns was reduced. Displacement rose slightly to 14,900 tons. The secondary armament for the
Liberte design was ten
7.6-inch/45 (194mm) guns with six in single gun turrets and four in casemates. The ships were handsome, as they were less piled up than earlier designs and
continued to exhibit distinctly French characteristics. With their tumblehome, top hat stack caps, fierce-face appearance and small sized turrets, there was no
mistaking their French design.
A continuing problem with French construction was the slow building time. The yards were inefficient and a British yard could pump out two battleships in the
time it took a French yard to produce one. The
Liberte class ships were no exceptions from this malady. Liberte was launched April 19, 1905 and finished in
December 1907 but took a long time from the laying of the keel and launch.
Justice was laid down in May 1902, launched on September 27, 1904 but not
completed until July 1907.
Verite took almost five years to build as well. She was laid down in May 1903, launched four years later in May 1907 and completed in
May 1908.
Democratie was the quickest build only taking four years. Laid down in May 1903, she was launched in April 1904 and completed in July 1907.
Although contracted in 1902, the ships were not in commission until the end of 1907 and into 1908. By this time
HMS Dreadnought had already been in service
for some time and therefore the design was obsolescent, if not obsolete, from the start of their service. With the
entente cordial the French navy no longer had to
concern itself with the channel or Atlantic squadrons, as the Royal Navy could station its vast battle fleet against the emerging German High Seas Fleet. Instead, the
French focused their gaze upon the Mediterranean where Italy was seen as the most likely enemy.

The last of the French predreadnought battleship designs will always be somewhat of a mystery because they were actually a postdreadnought design.
HMS
Dreadnought
was launched February 10, 1906 and completed years before the last mixed gun French design was ordered. The French had gone from one extreme
to another. From ordering one ship designs, the
Danton class consisted of six ships of a common design. Unfortunately the design chosen was already obsolete.
The
Danton class battleships were big ships and were actually heavier than the Dreadnought at 18,400-tons normal compared to the 17,900-tons normal for
Dreadnought. Why then did France build the mixed gun Danton class when they could have ordered ships with all big guns? In Cent Ans de Cuirasses Francais
Eric Gille points out that not everyone was in favor of the
Dreadnought design. Even in Great Britain there were critics of the design who believed the all big gun
battleships would be too big and reduce the quantity of battleships that could be ordered. Others pointed out that the Japanese fleet had smothered the Russian fleet
at the Battle of Tsushima with secondary hits that could not be achieved with the puny QF secondary guns of
Dreadnought. These critics either overlooked or
were unaware that it was the big caliber hits that sealed the Russian’s fate, not the medium caliber shells, which caused crew casualties but not fatal damage to the
Russian ships. You could probably call this group the “
All Your Eggs in One Basket” group as they were afraid the loss of one or two all big gun battleships
would take out too much of the fleet’s strength. They preferred to spread the risk in having a larger quantity of less capable ships. The distinguished French
designer Emile Bertin basically held this same view and was dubious of the
Dreadnought design.
The creation of Les Cuirasses de 18,000 tonnes type Danton, actually originated as the Dreadnought was under construction. Since the 12,000-ton shackles have
been removed after the
Suffren, each new design had jumped in size. However, for the Danton class it was a huge jump from 15,000-tons to 18,000-tons. In
August 1905 the Minister of Marine sketched out preliminaries for the ships of the 1906 program. His idea was for three battleships with a displacement of
18,000-tons, 18-knot top speed, four 12-inch (305mm) main guns and twelve 9.4-inch (240mm) secondary guns in six twin turrets. Other proposals quickly
followed and finally the basic characteristics were boiled down to three choices. One was the design as seen by the minister, a second was for a French version of
Dreadnought with ten 12-inch guns (305mm) and a third was a compromise between the two with six 12-inch (305mm) and twelve 7.6-inch (194mm). Then
another group came out in favor of all big guns but using the 10.8-inch (274mm) gun. They pointed out that the Germans were using their own eleven inch
(280mm) guns and they thought the 10.8-inch gun was the equivalent.

After doing some calculations it was determined that it would take 20,000-tons displacement for a ship mounting ten 12-inch (305mm) guns and since the ministry
was looking at a 18,000-ton battleship, the all big gun option was removed from the options. The coincided with the conclusion that the greater rate of fire of the
9.4-in gun (3 rounds/min) over the 12-in (2 rounds/min) more than compensated for the lighter projectiles. Other options were 17,200-tons for four 12-in and ten
9.4-in. 18,000-tons for four 12-in and twelve 9.4-in and 17,400-ton for four 12-in and sixteen 7.6-in. The design with four 12-in and twelve 9.4-in guns was
chosen and the French passed on the opportunity to build their own dreadnought design. This proved to be a grievous error, as their subsequent dreadnought
program was always a day late and a franc short.         
On May 8, 1906 orders for two of the three ships were placed with Danton to be built at Brest and Mirabeau at Lorient . However, the machinery for the
design was still undecided. As with every other navy, French battleships had used triple expansion reciprocating engines. The French were very interested in
turbine machinery installed in
Dreadnought and waited to find out how the turbines performed on Dreadnought’s trials. Dreadnought was completed in
October 1906 and her turbine power plant proved to be an outstanding success, as important or more so than the all big gun layout. On December 29, 1906 the
ministry ordered that turbines would be used in the
Danton class. With the decision to go with turbines made, it was decided to expand the class from three to
six and at the end of December
Voltaire, Vergniaud, Diderot and Condorcet were ordered. It still took some time to order turbines as French at that time had
no turbine manufacturer. Four Parsons turbines were used in each ship with 26 Belleville boilers to provide the steam. Since the Royal Navy was also equipping
their battleships and battle cruisers with Parson turbines, the French order was at the tail end of the queue. Finally on January 10, 1908
Danton was laid down,
almost two years after the order was placed and on July 4, 1909 she was launched. Although it took a year and a half to reach the launch date, the class
completed very quickly given the history of slow construction for French yards.
Danton, Diderot and Condorcet completed in April 1911. The other three took
another year with
Voltaire completing in May 1912, Mirabeau in July and Vergniaud in November. The turbines proved to be a success in the French design
just as they were with
Dreadnought with Danton and Voltaire exceeding 20-knots and the other four achieving speeds slightly below 20-knots.

The
Voltaire was the second ship in the class. She was laid down on July 20, 1907 at F C de la Mediterranee La Seyne. She was launched on January 16, 1909
and completed August 1, 1911. In 1914 the
Voltaire was the flagship of the 2nd Division of the 1st Squadron, 1st Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea. She retained
this position until 1916 when
Voltaire was assigned to the 2nd Squadron in which she served for the balance of World War One. During World War One twelve
additional 75mm guns were added with two on the crowns of each secondary gun turret. In December 1916
Voltaire, with Condorcet, Mirabeau, and
Vergniaud were off Athens, Greece to coerce the Greek government into following Allied proposals. Voltaire received torpedo bulges in 1917. Originally based
at Corfu by 1918
Voltaire, Diderot, Mirabeau and Vergniaud, along with the Verite Class French battleships, formed the French contribution to the Allied
Aegean Squadron based at Mudros (Lemnos). In 1918 the range of the main guns was increased from 13,700m to 18,000m and received a fire control system
similar to that of
HMS Dreadnought. Also the main mast of Voltaire, along with those of Condorcet and Vergniaud, were shortened to accommodate towing
kite balloons. On October 10, 1918 the
UB 48 hit Voltaire with two torpedoes but there was no serious damage, perhaps because of the torpedo bulges received
in 1917.  
Voltaire, Condorcet and Diderot were modernized between 1922 and 1925 and given improved under-water protection. Starting in January 1927 they
served as training ships.
Voltaire had the longest life of any of the class and was the last to go. She was condemned in 1937 and broken up in 1939.
The HobbyBoss Voltaire - This portion will be identical to the same review of parts found in the review of the Danton. However, there are some minor
differences between the two models, which will be covered at the start. The differences between the HobbyBoss
Voltaire and the  HobbyBoss Danton are the name
plates on k sprue, of course;
Danton sprue H vs Voltaire sprue F - different cranes; brass photo-etch set A different block and tackle part (#35); and brass photo-
etch fret B
Danton has double doors and Volttaire has single doors and there is a  different mix of railing and ladders, although I could not find any differences in
the instructions. I wish that HobbyBoss had selected the
Vergniaud instead of Voltaire, as Vergniaud had the greatest physical differences among the sisters of the
class with single caps on the five funnels rather than the double caps on the other five in the class.

Who would have thought that the predreadnought battleship
Danton or Voltaire would be massed produced in styrene plastic. Mikasa I can understand, as it was
Admiral Togo’s flagship at the Battle of Tsushima. The modeling world has indeed changed. Hobby Boss appears to be a division of Trumpeter and is well know
for its wide range of aircraft and armor kits. I don’t know if its true or not but Hobby Boss appears to produce kits that are a cut above the Trumpeter line. I do
have quite a number of their armor kits and most come with brass photo-etch and hundreds of parts per kit with very high quality. They have had a few ship kits
but mostly submarines. To see Hobby Boss jump into the 1:350 scale market with a French pre-dreadnought is truly exciting. Their 1:350
Voltaire has what I have
come to expect in their armor kits, hundreds of parts, three brass photo-etch frets and even metal anchor chain. The low price makes a true bargain. Another thing
that jumps out is the open hull casemates and open windows on the superstructure, which lets the modeler glaze the windows with Krystal Klear. The production of
the
Voltaire, coming months after their Danton, exhibits another trend from HobbyBoss. HobbyBoss does produce variants of their aircraft and armor kits and now
have brought the trend to the world of the ship modeler. As an example, HobbyBoss has three models of the P-61 in 1:48 scale, the P-61A, P-61B and P-61C, not to
mention their huge 1:32 scale P-61. As a Black Widow fan, I have them all and like the ability to model the variations.
The hull has the traditional tumblehome but not to the extent of earlier French pre-dreadnoughts. The hull is full hull so you will have to cut off the lower hull to
waterline it. There are two hull halves joined along the center line. There are no indents inside the hull parts to simplify cutting off the lower hull probably because
there are two transverse supports inside the hull. The six casemate positions on each side are open and parts are provided for the gun room behind each position. If
you wish you can add figures around the guns inside the hull, although I don’t know how much you would see of the figures. At the top of the hull halves are
excellent open chocks that slightly overhang the hull sides. The portholes are deep but are not drilled all the way through the hull. They do not have rigolles
(eyebrows). The anchor wells, two on starboard and one on port side, are crisp and uniquely French. Battleships of the Marine Nationale featured recessed anchor
wells starting with the
Charlemagne Class of 1893 and continuing through their dreadnoughts ordered before World War One. Another characteristic of French
designs are doors on the hull sides. Some are large entry doors, which are outlines for the separate photo-etch hull doors) and some are small doors surrounding a
port hole. They could be opened for extra ventilation. The kit has all of the doors closed. There is a triangular sponson that is part of the base for the amidship 9.4-
inch gun turret.

The
Danton Class had metal decks instead of wooden deck planking. The HobbyBoss kit has two large decks. One is for the main deck, which runs 80% the length
of the ship and there is a short quarterdeck, which starts at the deck break, which is almost at the stern. These decks show plates, which was the decking for the
class rather than wooden planking. However, the seams are raised instead of recessed. Deck photographs of other French predreadnoughts seem to show dark
panels separated by light raised seams. The panels may be deck linoleum attached to each other by brass strips in a manner similar to linoleum strips used by
Japanese warships. The color plate shows the deck panels to be dark brown in keeping with a linoleum, rather than a steel surface. I was especially impressed with
the coal scuttle detail. Instead of plain circular plates, HobbyBoss has included significant plate/scuttle detail. You may think that lack of wooden planking would
detract from deck detail but you would be wrong with
Voltaire.
There is a huge amount of fine deck detail beyond the steel or linoleum plate detail. Starting at the forecastle the deck anchor hawse are unique in design and are
open so that the provided anchor chain will disappear into the hawse fittings. Deck edge bollard fittings have the base plate as part of the deck with separate
bollard posts. There also appears to be a very large single bollard fitting near the bow but this could be some type of machinery. The anchor windlasses are
separate parts that go into locator holes. The deck entrances to the chain locker are deep so that there is more than enough depth for the anchor chain to fit.
Additional detail are recesses for additional inboard open chocks, ventilation fitting with top louvers and host of small fittings whose purpose I don’t know. The
actual deck plates start with the forward main gun turret. The plate and coal scuttle detail comprise the bulk of the amidship deck detail but there are some square
openings on each side of the first three funnels. Between the three forward and two aft funnels is boat storage. Boat chocks are molded to the deck and are too
thick but they largely be hidden once the boats are attached. Seven pyramid ventilators and locater outlines for various tower ventilators make this area very busy.
Five more pyramid ventilation fittings are on the aft end of this major deck, although some may actually be deck access fittings. At the aft end are a lot of locater
holes for the posts for the separate aft platform.

Sprue B has only two parts. One is the forward superstructure with the open windows and the other is the 01 deck that is the base for the forward three funnels.
In addition to the square windows, the superstructure part has porthole, forward ventilator fitting and cable with bracket detail. The 01 deck has deck access
openings, boat chocks, coal scuttles, and pyramid ventilator fitting. Sprue C concentrates on parts for the five stacks of the ship. There are three different patterns
of stacks and each stack has two halves, base apron and top hat cap. The gun room parts for the casemate 75mm guns add another six parts to this sprue. Seven
tower ventilators with nice louvre detail are present. The sprue is rounded out with three deckhouses and the navigation platform. Two of the deckhouses have
open windows. Sprue D is a mix of the hull’s underwater parts and parts for the masts. The bilge keels are separate parts, which allows for finer keels. The four
propeller shafts with support struts are on this sprue. For mast parts there are the thick tubular foremast, the much thinner mainmast, yards and tops. The sprue
rounds out with parts for jack staff, flag staff, winches, aft deckhouse with door detail, small quarterdeck ventilator tower, small platform and base.
There are four identical E Sprues. The 9.4-inch secondary gun turrets dominate the sprue with turret, turret base, barbette, sighting hoods and gun barrels. The
main gun barrels are also present. Each sprue has three secondary gun barrels and one main gun barrel. The secondary gun barrels have a counterweight at the
muzzle and the main gun barrels lacks this counterweight. The barrels have open muzzles. The 75mm casemate tertiary guns are also on these sprues. Other parts
are anchors, searchlights, ships’ boats, gun directors, bollard fittings, open chocks, aft bridge pillars, binnacles, steam launch funnels and deckhouses with side
and top door detail. There are two G Sprues. The main gun turrets are found here, along with their bases, and sighting hoods. Other parts include more ships’
boats bollard fittings, propellers, windlasses and their tops, boat booms, gun directors and navigation bridge equipment. The steam launch hulls have propeller and
rudder detail. There are two small F Sprues that have the plastic parts for the two cranes. Although there are brass photo-etch details for the cranes, the crane post
and arm are plastic. Unfortunately, the numerous weight saving oval voids are not open. HobbyBoss should have included the posts and arms as part of the photo-
etch instead of solid plastic. The K Sprue has the short quarterdeck, navigation bridges, platform, rudder and two transverse hull interior supports. The quarter
deck detail has pyramid skylights/ventilators, bollard plates, deck coamings, barbette mushroom ventilators and stern anchor equipment. The last plastic part is a
stand for the completed model.         

HobbyBoss provides three photo-etch brass frets on their
Voltaire. The A Fret is large with two identical and smaller B Frets. All deck railing is included. The
railings have a bottom runner, which eases their attachment to the hull and serves as deck edge scuppers. At certain locations every fourth stanchion extends
upwards. My best guess is that the longer stanchions were used to support deck awnings. The multi-piece stack clinker detail takes up quite a bit of space,
considering there are five stacks. Brass vertical ladder in most manufacturer’s kits is a ladder that you attach to the plastic or resin part. Hobby Boss marches to
the beat of a different drummer. The vertical ladder has attachment posts so that the ladder stands-off a short distance from the stack or bulkhead. The inclined
ladders are also excellent with handrails, trainable treads, voids on the bottom rail and perforated platforms. Crane detail is present with amazing boat and tackle
relief-etched parts. There are numerous triangular supports, a couple of flying boat platforms, conning tower band, and ventilator tower platform. The two smaller
B Frets concentrate on the shutters for the 75mm tertiary gun positions on the hull. However, there are more inclined ladders, railing and vertical ladder. The
vertical ladder on these frets do not have the standoff posts found on the large A Fret. The fret is rounded-out with boat tackle and davits. Metal anchor chain is
included in the kit. A decal sheet provides for yellow gold stern nameplates, funnel bands, straight flags and waving flags.                

An attractive color plate is included. Of special not is the color of the deck aft of the steel gray forecastle. The plate shows a brown color, which would be found
with a linoleum deck. A twenty page instruction booklet provides for comprehensive assembly. The first three pages are the general instructions and parts laydown.
Page four has basic hull assembly and page five has addition of 75mm hull gun positions. Page six has main deck attachment followed by underwater gear
attachment on page seven. Page eight gets into the nitty-gritty with plastic and brass parts for deck equipment and hull gun doors attachment, which is further
expanded on page nine. Page ten is the forward superstructure assembly. Page eleven is superstructure assembly and attachment. Page twelve has assembly of
turrets, large deck tower and mast assembly. Page thirteen has masts, deckhouse and ventilator tower attachment. The funnel and crane assembly occupies page
fourteen. Page fifteen is the attachment of the stacks, cranes and some inclined ladders. Page sixteen and seventeen are for amidship assembly with platforms,
ladders and ships’ boats. Page eighteen is for deck railing and page nineteen for turret placement. The last page has attachment of outboard fittings such as
accommodation ladders and ships’ boat swung out from the hull. To me the instructions are clear and very easy to follow, I didn’t notice any pitfalls.
Is the HobbyBoss Voltaire in 1:350 scale right for you? There are minor differences between the Danton and Voltaire kits from HobbyBoss but basically it is the
same kit. This plastic kit has the same quality parts with three brass photo-etch frets and metal anchor chain.
Steve Backer
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