Dragon 1/700 German Z-39 Destroyer

KIT #: 7103
PRICE: $30.00 SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Smart Kit


When war broke out in 1939, new destroyer classes were cancelled and 12 additional 1936A vessels were ordered with slight modifications to speed construction and save materials. The 150 mm twin turrets were taken from planned, but never built, "O" class battlecruisers. It is frequently said that these were more like small light cruisers than large destroyers. In war service, the engines were more reliable than in earlier ships but at the end of the war, heavy corrosion was discovered.

Seven of this sub-class were built: one was sunk, another two were severely damaged and not repaired. The remaining four were war booty allocated to the Allies.

The Z39 was laid down: Germaniawerft Kiel, 1940; launched on 5 August 1941, commissioned on 21 August 1953 and survived the war. She was taken by Britain after the war and given to USA. Renamed DD-939 and used for testing. Given to France in 1947 and used as a spare parts supply for other German vessels in service. Scrapped in February 1964.

Since the 1/350 kit was released six months ago, it has been selling very well for Dragon so it is natural that they would release this in 1/700 scale. It is an all new tool kit that is superbly detailed and contains 120 pieces, some of them on the nicely done etched fret. This fret has amongst its parts, bits for the funnels, radar antenna and several ladders. The kit can also be built full hull with a display stand being included. I will let the Dragon PR folks fill you in on all the other details.

- One waterline or one full hull version can be assembled
- Upper hull w/undercut details realistically represented
- Intricate bridge rendered w/authentic details
- Realistic photo-etched funnel cap grills w/finest details
- Photo-etched FuMO 27 radar is accurately presented
- Photo-etched FuMO 63 radar is accurately presented
- Delicate winch and detailed mine rails are accurately replicated
- Sumatra radar faithfully replicated
- Realistic 3m rangefinder produced
- 53.3cm torpedo launcher molded
- Accurate workboat stowage and captain's boat are included
- Square life rafts are realistically produced
- Realistically detailed slide-molded gun barrels w/hollow ends
- Slide-molded 15cm twin turret
- 12.7cm single-gun turret delicately reproduced
- 3-directional slide-molded twin 15cm gun turret
- 3.7cm LM42 intricately reproduced
- Delicate twin FlaK 38 LM43
- 2cm Naval-vierling w/finest details
- 3.7cm twin anti-aircraft gun w/fine details

The kit has two markings options, differing only by the flags that one chooses. One can do the Z-39 as it was in German service or as it was as the DD-939.


As this kit is representative of the last of the 'Narvik' class destroyers, I can easily see how other ships in the class would become subjects of various kits; including the earlier versions - the first that were commissioned in late 1940. It adds to a growing selection of superb 1/700 WWII ship kits for the smaller scale ship fans.



October 2011

Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. You can find yours at your local hobby shop or on-line retailer.

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