On a hot and humid August night in a bustling Times Square, a clandestine meeting was about to take place. The Man About Town (aka The Enforcer) scans the crowds for the head of the French Modelers’
Resistance. Did he make is safely to the Big Apple?
Oui, there he is! The Enforcer approaches him carefully making sure neither one was being tailed by the Dragon Gang. The code words were exchanged –
Did you bring the baguette” The Enforcer asked? “Non” replied the Frenchman, “But I brought the Stoddert”. Identities confirmed, the two men shook hands and proceeded to a local bar to complete the
exchange over a glass of good Bordeaux red.  “
I have to go now as I must leave for Orlando to complete the mission” said the Frenchman. “Au revoir mon ami, till we meet again” replied The Enforcer. With
that the two men left the bar in separate directions each with the next task at hand. The Enforcer must unveil to the modeling world the latest objet d’art from the Normandy region.  So here it is for all to see!
The 1/350 scale Benjamin Stoddert is the most ambitious venture from L’Arsenal since the 1/400 scale aircraft carrier Bearn kit. The master was done using CAD drawings and rapid-prototyping
technology. The model is done in resin with very detailed castings. Some of the parts need some cleanup to remove casting wafers and some over pour which is not uncommon for resin kits. The main
parts contain locater pegs along the bottom to match up with the locater holes in the decks for correct placement. A rough dry fit shows that the openings need to be drilled a little wider to accommodate
the pegs as they are a tight fit.
The photo-etch brass parts are very well done in relief-etching. There is a mix of pre-measured and more general railings along with ladders, radars and many other detail parts. Not included with my
sample are the photo-etch funnel vent grids which were omitted accidentally.

There are a few of firsts for
L’Arsenal with this kit. The hull is spilt at the waterline giving the modeler the opportunity to build full-hull or in a seascape. Until now L’Arsenal kits have been full-hull.  
My sample did not contain the hull bottom hence there are no photos of this part.  
The next interesting addition is a bag of turned brass parts from Master Models.  Inside this bag are the barrels for the 5" 54 caliber guns, the parts for the tripod and smaller masts, yardarms
and antennas. Those familiar with the quality of Master Models products will be happy to see these parts included with the kit.
Last but not least is an all-inclusive Adams Class decal sheet from Hawk Graphics. This set is sold separately by Hawk Graphics so it is a real bonus to have it provided with the kit.
Markings are provided for ships of this class that served in the United States Navy as well as the Royal Australian, Federal German and Hellenic (Greek) navies. A separate reference
sheet comes with the decals.
Overall this is an exciting new kit from L’Arsenal which should please modern ship modelers very much with the quality we have come to expect from them. I wonder what else is on
the horizon from French Modelers’ Resistance. The next clandestine meeting may have to take place on a quite side street of Caen.