Trumpeter 1/700
German Heavy Cruiser Admiral Hipper 1941

Reviewed by Sean Hert

Laid down in 1935, Admiral Hipper was the lead ship of a class pf heavy cruisers that totalled 5 ships; however only 3 reached operational status. Hipper saw numerous refits throughout her service life. Hipper saw action in many engagements early in the war including the Invasion of Norway and the famous encounter with HMS Glowworm. After having successes against multiple convoys, a poor showing against the escorts of convoy JW-51B in December of 1942 led to Hitler's famous order to scrap all the capitol ships. Decommissioned in 1943, Hipper saw limited use in 1944 before being scuttled at dockside in 1945. She was later raised and moved; partial scrapping took place at Deutche Werke in Kiel, but she later sank under tow to her final scrapping.

The Hipper class of cruisers was Germany's "Treaty Cruiser", built with 203mm (8") guns. The 203mm SK C/34 battery was placed in four twin turrets, two forward and two aft. The Hippers were also armed with 4 x 3 533mm torpedo tubes (12 total), 12 105mm SK C/33 AA guns, up to 3 aircraft, and a host of medium and light AA weapons, increased through the life of these ships. This 1941 version of Hipper demonstrates the beginnings of the extensive AA fits seen later in the war. It is obvious the Kriegsmarine was starting to understand the complexities of the new threats to ships that aircraft had created. To counter this, the AA fit of Hipper was increased during her most recent availability. This is evidenced by the increased numbers of 20mm and 37mm on board, notably the placement of the 37mm guns atop the "Anton" and "Caesar" turrets.

Admiral Hipper's Dimensions:

  1. Length: ~206m
  2. Beam: ~21.3m
  3. Draft: ~7m
  4. Displacement: ~18,000t

Hipper's hull is molded in Trumpeter's standard 2-piece hull; grey upper hull, red plastic lower, with an red hull plate for the waterline option.

The upper hull has few mold lines, flash or other defects. Other fine details are the scuttles with brow, armor belt and degaussing coil. The lower hull exhibits Trumpeters usual heavy mold marks, but is otherwise free from flash and looks to have the appropriate shape.

The hull pieces don't fit quite as well as other recent 1/700 offerings; the lower hull is a bit too long.


The deck comes in one piece, the length of the hull. It has good detail like staggered wood planking on the main decks, but some of the other fittings are soft, notably the anchor capstans. This deck fits pretty well length and beam-wise into the upper hull.


Sprue A has many of the superstructure decks and the well-detailed funnel. The decks include the aircraft hanger doors, which are only offered in a closed position. Each of the levels have good detail, like wood planked decks or the waffle-like pattern of wooden anti-slip. The bridge wings are delicately molded on to the bridge level piece. The 3 piece funnel is heavily detailed, and the funnel cap has a molded on screen.


Sprue B has the superstructure bulkheads and walls for various levels above the main deck. These walls are well detailed with recessed windows and watertight doors, as well as air gratings and vents, among others.


This sprue has various parts, from the propellers, rudder and shafts to the aircraft catapult and ships boats. The gun directors and masts are also on this sprue, and the expected nameplate is also attached to this sprue. This sprue also features the components to build the conning tower with its platforms.


Sprue D has the main battery of 203mm (8") guns and their turrets, along with the 105mm, 37mm and 20mm anti-aircraft guns. The main turrets have lots of detail, with raised rivets and vision ports molded on. The AA guns are a bit cludgy, but that goes with the scale. The triple torpedo launchers are here, some more of the ship's boats and the cranes. Additionally, the searchlights with molded louvers and the distinctive "golf ball" AA directors of the Kriegsmarine are on these sprues.

The 203mm turrets have some unfortunate seams not present on the earlier Eugen kits. The torpedo launchers are showing some flash around the edges; perhaps these molds are starting to show some wear.


Ar-196A, standard wartime floatplane of the Kriegsmarine, in clear plastic. There are 2 aircraft on the sprue.

A display base is included.

The included decal sheet includes deck and flag decals for Hipper, as well as fuselage decals for a floatplane. In keeping with modern sensitivities, there are no intact swastikas on this sheet.


A 12 page instruction book is included, using Trumpeter's standard construction order and methods. There are some options the builder will need to decided upon, so close reading of the instructions is recommended before construction.

A full color poster showing the painting steps for Hipper and the floatplane are included. Mr. Hobby, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya and Humbrol colors are shown on a paint reference chart. There is no one manufacturer with every color referenced available, so some mixing may be required.

The scheme depicted is from March 1941 forward. The pattern shown differs slightly from the box art, and most depictions I've seen. It can be difficult to confirm most Kriegsmarine patterns on any given date, so research and plan accordingly.


Trumpeter continues to release 1/700 scale versions of earlier 1/350 releases with this 1941 Hipper. This kit should satisfy fans looking to build the more successful, but less famous, sister of Eugen. With some work, Hipper could also be converted into a Blücher. I like this model of Hipper; I appreciate the lines of these cruisers in their early-war configurations, before the additional AA blurred the lines. I also like the camouflage scheme, but check your references!

Thanks to Stevens International for the review sample. It is listed as #TSM-5776 1/700 German Heavy Cruiser Admiral Hipper 1941 with a retail price of $39.95 US. Stevens is the exclusive importer for Trumpeter kits in the US. If your hobby shop does not carry Trumpeter kits have them contact Stevens International or try their Hobby Shop Locator to find one that does.