Trumpeter 1/350
1/350 German Zerstörer Z-25 1944

Reviewed by Sean Hert

Z-25 was a German destroyer, or "Zerstörer" of the 1936A type. The third one of this type to be laid down, this class was an attempt to improve the previous 1936 class with an upgrade to a 15cm (5.9") SKC/36 main gun instead of the previous 12.7cm/45 SKC/34. The 1936 type had five single mounts, two fore and three aft; to conserve weight, it was decided install a twin turret instead of two single mounts forward. There were considerable issues in getting the twin mount ready, which led to the members of this class being commissioned with only a single mount was installed instead. Z-25 received her twin turret during the summer of 1942, about a year after she became operational.

The 15cm gun was one of the largest guns ever installed on a destroyer-sized vessel, making these large destroyers almost a light cruiser in weaponry. While these mounts had acceptable elevation theoretically, their actual utility as a AA platform was limited. As a surface mount, they had excellent range and velocity, but the two part ammunition limited rate of fire, and was difficult to load during rough seas- and working the open mounts during North Seas operations were quite limiting.

During her career, Z-25 had many missions as an escort for the Prinz Eugen. From mid-1943 on, her operations were restricted to the Baltic area, where she executed various bombardment and evacuation missions until the end of the war. After nine months under British possession, she was transferred to France in February 1946, where she served as the Hoche 1956 when she was hulked. Decommissioned in 1958, and was scrapped by 1961.

Z-25's Particulars:

  • Length: 127m
  • Beam: 12m
  • Draft: 3.9m
  • Displacement: ~3,600t
  • Laid down: Deschimag Bremen, 15 February 1939
  • Launched: 16 March 1940
  • Commissioned: 30 November 1940
  • Fate: scrapped 1961
  • Armaments:
    • 5 (later 4) 15cm/48 (5.9")
    • various 37mm and 20mm AA
    • 8 53.3cm torpedo tubes, arranged 2x4
    • Up to 60 Mines

This Trumpeter kit of Z-25 models the ship after her partial "Barbara" armament configuration, where the "C" 15cm gunhouse was sent ashore, and the AA fit was greatly increased. This new AA fit included an increase to four 3.7cm/69 M42, eight 3.7cm/83 SKC/30, and 17 2cm light AA in single, twin and quadruple Flak 35 (Vierling) mounts.


Z-25 has a single piece full hull, with a single raised line for the boot topping. The stem has that classic raked clipper shape, and the flare of the focs'le is nicely represented. The spray strakes are also molded and crisp. The hull also has rows of scuttles with eyebrows, a feature Trumpeter has included on their hulls for some time now. The count and spacing on the scuttles may be off- check your references.

The unique, scalloped shape of the stern on German destroyers is looks very nice, and the degaussing cable running the deck edge is well executed.

Under the waterline, however, is where this hull has a few minor problems. The bilge keels appear to be the correct shape, but are long and taper too low, and too far forward. The prop shafts have a symmetrical exit from the hull; these should be staggered. Also, the forefoot of the stem has a slightly bulbous shape, which was a hull modification more common to the 1936A(Mob) batch of destroyers, in an attempt to further increase buoyancy.

The hull measurements in scale are 36.28cm (14.28") x 3.4cm (1.33") x 11.2cm (.44"). The hull measures very close, within my margin of eyeball measuring error for all three dimensions. That is one big destroyer!


Sprue A has the shafts and screws, funnels, some superstructure bulkheads and the ships boats and their handling equipment. The curved breakwater for the deck is also attached to this sprue. The screws are not quite correct for these ships, but molding the complex curvature of the blades is a daunting challenge for all model manufacturers.

These parts are all clean, with no flash. The boats are very similar to the ones we've seen before, and are well executed. The funnels have some crisp steam pipe detail molded to the outside, but the funnel screens are pretty thick. The smaller funnel is not used on this model; one can presume it is intended for a later 1936A (MOB) variant.


Sprue B has the foredeck, a funnel, some of the deckhouse structures, AA platforms and the big twin 15cm (5.9") LC/38. The twin mount as that rakish, angular look that is specific to these late war destroyers. The twin gunhouse is a little short; width and height appear correct. The issues looks to be with the back angle of the turret; it doesn't go back quite far enough, leaving the turret short in length, and slightly too tall in the back.

The twin barrels for this mount have some issues as well; slight flash on the muzzles, and the barrels themselves are missing the correct taper to the outer sleeve.

The deck piece is fairly plain, but so was the prototype. There is a very slight molded on anchor chain that most modelers will want to sand off. The ready ammo lockers for the bow mounted 2cm/65 C/30 are molded in place.

Many of the platforms have "blind" sprues, small stubs of sprue to ensure a thin part fully fills when the styrene is injected into the mold. While these are great ways to insure the thin walls of the splinter shields are fully developed, exercise some caution while removing them- it's pretty east to mar the outer surface of the shields.


Sprue D has the main deck, the signal bridge wings/platform, the wheelhouse bulkheads, aerials and masts. The long deck piece has the mine rails molded on, and running almost the length of the part. There are also some vent and deck pieces for additional deckhouses and superstructures. The bridge platform has the same detailed wooden flooring seen on other Kriegsmarine releases from Trumpeter; a detail that looks great with a wash to bring out the planking detail.


The main attractions on this sprue are the quadruple G7a torpedo launcher and the single 15cm/48 (5.9") SK C/36 gunhouses. The gunhouses on sprue G are the ones with the thicker armor and the raised portion of the roof to allow for the Pittler-Thoma electric-hydraulic training gear.

The tubes are nice and crisp, similar to what has been seen previously with the Prinz Eugen. There are three choices for the control cabin atop the tube assembly; open, with protective weather enclosures and 2 styles of armored dome.

This sprue also features some various details around the ship, and it also has the rudders for Z-25. These rudders are very small and thin, and almost have no airfoil shape- but they do. The anchor is very detailed, but removing the sprues may prove challenging. There are a few ladders which are asking to be replaced with photoetch, and some nice lookout binoculars on a pedestal mount. The prop guards, capstans and some ammo boxes help round out the details here. The prop guards may not be correct; Z-25 had a different style of guard than her sisters in 1941; check your references to see which version was sported in 1944.

Finishing out this sprue are some additional boat derricks, and the lattice supports which are placed under the extremes of each signal bridge wing for support, as well as a place to mount Marx Floats, giving the Narvik class destroyers a unique and distinctive look in the later war years.


Sprue H comprises the other weapons sprue, possessing the other style of single 15cm/48 (5.9") SK C/36 gunhouse, most of the AA variants (2cm, 3.7cm and 40mm), Marx Floats, paravanes and most interestingly; MINES. There are also various cable and hose reels, ammo boxes, and parts to assemble the gun houses.

Trumpeter has included 4 of each of these sprues in this kit, giving the Kriegsmarine modeler plenty of spare parts for future projects. This would give the modeler a total of 8 mines to place on his destroyer-not enough for most display purposes, but enough to get a start. Sadly, these mines are too small- they measure .086" in diameter, or about 30"; the standard wartime Kriegsmarine mine was the EMC, with a diameter of 44"- or about .125" in 1/350.

The Marx floats are also little undersized; they should be 1.75m square, or about .196" in 1/350. These measure .157", which is a noticeable size difference.


Z-25 comes with a nice little fret of photoetched details, but no railings. This fret has replacement/upgrade parts for some hose reels, the splinter shields for some AA mounts, the funnel cap screens, ladders and radars.



Basic flag decals are include, with "build your own" logos in the center.


A 12 page instruction book is included, using Trumpeter's standard construction order and methods.

A full color poster showing the painting steps is included, with Gunze colors referenced. There is much discussion of the appropriate and correct colors for Kriegsmarine vessels, so some research might be in order to confirm your intended colors and scheme.


Trumpeter is first on the market with a Narvik class Zerstörer. This a good model, and would make for a great companion to their earlier model of the Heavy Cruiser Prinz Eugen, as these two ships spent much of their lives steaming together. And while this kit has some minor issues, nothing is a "games stopper", and this should build up into a great model of a German wartime destroyer.

Thanks to Stevens International for the review sample. It is listed as #TSM-5321 1/350 German Zerstörer Z-25 1944 with a retail price of $49.95 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.