Dragon 1/700
German Destroyer Z-38

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
August 2013
The Z-38 was a 1936A (Mob) type destroyer built in 1940. Completed in 1943, Z38 operated along the Norway coast and sortied with the Scharnhorst for the Battle of the North Cape. Z-38 was ordered along with destroyers Z-29, Z-30, Z-33,  and Z-34 to probe south for the British convoy and thus missed the rest of the battle. After the war the ship was given to Britain as a price of war and operated as the HMS Nonsuch. She was sold for scrapping in 1949.

Dragon has continued their Smart Kit line in 1/700 scale by releasing the Z-38. This kit is based on the same CAD that produced the larger 1/350 kit. This kit is essential identical in content as the Z-39, with the exception of new decals, and instructions. 
Two separate hulls are included in this kit. One full hull and one waterline hull. Both have plenty of detail. Portholes are deeply recessed into the hull with rain gutters commonly called eyebrows molded on. The shape appears to match the drawings of the ship very precisely. Test fitting shows that the fit is very good with the deck and the hull. 
The main deck is included on this sprue. It is one piece with nice surface detailing and recesses for a plug and socket style fitting with the superstructure parts. Slide molding is used to keep the funnels as one piece with plenty of detail on all sides. The same is done to give you a one piece radar screen. The bridge wings and other parts are nicely molded as well. 
The superstructure parts are molded on this sprue and once again slide molding is used to allow for one piece parts with maximum detail and virtually no seams. The mast parts are molded very thin as are the other details. 
The twin and single 5.9" guns are on this sprue. They are also slide molded so that you have a one piece turret with detail on every side and the only seam is on the bottom where it is not visible. The smaller weapons are the best available in 1/700 scale plastic. Ships boats are very nicely done and many of the anti aircraft guns have separate barrel and mounts so the guns can be elevated. The searchlights are very well done and even the square floats are included. There are plenty of extra parts on this sprue for the spare parts box too.
The now standard base for 700 scale kits is included. It includes a flat base and simulated risers to give your full hull kit a more elegant look. 
Fret MA features grills with shutter assemblies for the funnel intakes. These can be opened up or displayed closed. Footrails for the funnel will also help dress up the kit. Radar antenna give you an option in case you don't want to use the plastic ones. 
A single decal sheets is provided with the German and British flags. The latter in case you wish to model this ship in British postwar service as HMS Nonsuch. The German flags must be assembled due to sensitivity issues with the Swastika. 
Instructions are eight pages showing bill of materials, sub-assembly views, and painting guides. These have been expanded by two pages over previous destroyer kits and hopefully will give you a better view of all the parts and their locations. The assembly is also changed a bit to reflect the steps typically followed by modelers. I am glad to see Dragon listening to modelers and putting the extra time and effort into their instructions. Note my name is mentioned on the instructions. The real credit should go to Sean Hert on this kit and the larger 1/350 kit. His research into this ship was invaluable to making this a great kit. 
Yet another German DD in 1/700 scale. Like the other two versions, this one sets new standards for this scale. The level of detail is exceptional and this kit looks great right out of the box. It is available now from Dragon USA for. 24.95. A great price for a ship of this caliber.