Trumpeter 1/700
HMS Queen Elizabeth 1918

Reviewed by Sean Hert

The five ships of the Queen Elizabeth class of capitol ships were the first battleships to be armed with 15" guns, and are considered to be the first "fast" battleships, in part due to being the first Royal Navy battleships to have oil-fired boilers instead of coal. These ships were commissioned over the course of 1915-16, and all saw action during World War One, with all but Queen Elizabeth fighting at the Battle of Jutland. These five ships all survived World War One, experienced extensive refits during the inter-war years, and differed greatly in appearance by the start of World War Two.

This kit of HMS Queen Elizabeth is based on her appearance in 1918; stern casemate guns and foredeck guns have been removed, as well as the sternwalk. The two foredeck guns have been replaced with 3" anti-aircraft guns, but no aircraft flying-off platforms have been fitted yet.


Molded in Trumpeter's standard grey upper and red lower hull, this kit has the red plastic waterline plate which fits into the upper hull. The lower hull does not fit well, neither in length nor in width, and even the waterline plate has some give. With that in mind, the upper hull has some great detail, particularly in the bow area, while the lower hull has Trumpeter's usual problems with mold lines, needing cleanup.

Measured at the waterline, the hull appears approximately .080" too short.

The deck comes in two pieces, a main deck and a smaller rear deck part. Each deck has regular planking detail, molded on chocks and bitts, and other details like molded-on anchor chains. The decks fit well into the upper hull, and should not require much-if any- filler.


Trumpeter has placed most of the minimal superstructure parts for Queen Elizabeth on this first sprue, with a few smaller details and the display nameplate. These parts show fairly typical detail for a Trumpeter 1/700 kit, with a few parts seeming plain at first glance. These are the structures which will be improved with the addition of some photoetch plates with portholes.


Sprue B has the remaining superstructure parts, plus the masts and starfish. The masts are missing some yard appropriate for Queen Elizabeth.

The one piece slide-molded funnels are a nice and unexpected detail, but these parts still have some large sprue attachement points. The contact area of these leave the detail open to be easily marred.


Sprue C has the ship's boats and launches, anchors, searchlights, vents and more. The boats and launch have some good detail, as do the 3" guns and stowed paravanes.

The casemate guns barrels are also here, each one on a ring-type mount.


This sprue has the main turrets and barrels, rudder, props and prop shafts. The turret shapes look ok, but Queen Elizabeth's turrets did not have bolt heads as molded on these turrets- these should be easy to remove for most modelers.

The guns barrels are a disappointment, with an exaggerated muzzle ring and incorrect barrel tubes and taper. There are both barrels with blast bags (singles) and without (twinned). The kit's instructions call for the twinned barrels, but the box art shows barrels with the bags in place.

There appear to be some unused parts on this sprue- Trumpeter obviously plans on using these for more than one release.


A small photoetch fret of funnel screens, water deflectors, ladders and some bulkhead details. These few parts are only offered in PE, as is becoming more common with some Trumpeter kits.


The standard 1/700 Trumpeter display stand is included.


Decals are simple RN white ensigns.


A 8 page instruction book is included, with typical Trumpeter-style construction steps.

A basic color handout is included to aid in painting and rigging.


With all the different scales, versions and variants of Queen Elizabeth class battleships being released, it is nice to actually have a World War One version available. Some sources indicate the "B" and "Y: turrets should have turret bearing markings, and the masts range clocks, for a 1918 appearance; these details are missing from this kit.

Queen Elizabeth is the first kit Trumpeter has released in a Great War fit, and let us hope this is not that last. As this ship predates heavy anti-aircraft armaments and radar, this battleship offers clean lines and little deck clutter. She should prove to be a relatively quick and easy build, and a good addition to anyone's 1/700 armada.

Thanks to Stevens International for the review sample. It is listed as #TSM-5797 1/700 HMS Queen Elizabeth 1918 with a retail price of $39.95 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.