Thank you Francis, great story, reminds me when our family travelled to France from Australia. I managed to pack a few Heller kits in my suitcase for the trip back home.
You don't have to imagine, I went out (too France, as well) and bought most of them. The French Navy kits got better and better, especially the DDG Suffren and the ASM Duguay-Trouin. The Avisos weren't too bad, good enough to buy 6 of them, the Escorteurs-50/52 likewise, so I built up a couple or so from each class.
In respect of the RN ships, I got the Hood, KGV and Illustrious and the CVL that became the Arromanches. At that time I was expecting the RN kits to follow the same path as the DKM and the FN, with cruisers and destroyers to follow. Shame it never happened.
The worst thing, as I may have said elsewhere, was the need to travel to France to bring the kits back. One occasion travelling back from Lyons on the Train-Bleu then across Paris in a taxi to catch a Channel bound train. SNCF in their wisdom used two trains for this service - get to the UK, well, one train and a journey in a coach vestibule with an armful and a half of kits.
The kits are now retired, hopefully, somebody may be interested enough to acquire them for aftermarket improvements. Who knows, but 4 of the Avisos - Victor Schoelcher class - have winged their way to the Iberian Peninsular.
Heller was probably the most prolific ship kits producer in the 70-80's. Just imagine that most of the French Navy ships in service at the moment were available on the catalog ( aircraft carriers Clemenceau and Foch), Jeanne d'Arc helicopter carrier, Duquesne and Suffren missile cruisers, all the escorteurs d'escadre family of destroyers, escorteurs rapides, avisos escorteurs, submarines, patrol boats, etc...
For foreign navies, all the Kriegsmarine major ships were available, pocket battleships, Bismarck and Tirpitz, large cruisers, destroyers, torpedo boats, minesweepers, S-boats, U-boats.
Same for Royal Navy, Illustrious, Colossus, Hood, King George V were on the list, and I probably forget a lot more.
Unfortunately the company was sold several times to owners with a passing interest in kits, and Heller is now almost a thing of the past. Too bad...