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DML 1/350 German Z-38 Destroyer Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2012 Manufacturer DML
Subject German Z-38 Destroyer Scale 1/350
Kit Number 1049 Primary Media Styrene/Photo-Etch
Pros Easy Build Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $62.99

First Look


The Z-38 destroyer was one of the enhanced 1936A designs (Narvik class) first laid down in early 1940 and commissioned near the end of March 1943. Among the improvements of the 1936A over the 1936 series was the replacement of the 127mm main guns with the new 150mm guns. These guns were intended to be mounted in pairs in the turrets but the twin turrets were not ready for the 150mm guns so the 1936A series was commissioned with single gun turrets. Z-38 would survive her wartime service and was commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Nonsuch as a test ship before being scrapped by 1950.

DMLhas released the Z-38 destroyer in 1/350 scale. This release is quite impressive out of the box. Molded in light gray styrene, the kit is presented on 18 parts trees plus three frets of photo-etched parts. This kit is certainly very detailed though you'll have some left-over parts that are not used in this version as much of this tooling is common to other 1936A versions also on the release list. Let's take a look:

  • Detailed 15cm main gun mounts
  • Detailed 37mm gun turrets
  • Detailed 20mm gun mounts
  • Detailed torpedo launcher
  • Photo-etched radar antennas
  • Photo-etched railings
  • Photo-etched ladders
  • Detailed deck ammunition racks
  • Detailed deck machinery
  • Detailed stern mine racks
  • Mine storage racks
  • Optional crew figures included
  • Choice of waterline or full-hull
  • Display stand for full-hull version

The kit provides markings for the following three time periods:

  • Z-38, 1944
  • HMS Nonsuch, R40, 1946
  • HMS Nonsuch, 1017, 1948

The only problem in this kit is with the painting instructions. While exterior colors are clearly marked, the instructions don't identify the interior colors used in the aircraft or their hobby equivalents.

DML is best known for their detailed armor kits and clearly they've brought that know-how and approach to this growing line of impressive naval subjects.

My sincere thanks to DML For this review sample!