Trumpeter 1/350
HMS Eskimo 1941

Reviewed by Sean Hert
April 2013

The Royal Navy's Tribal class destroyers was the RN's entry into the "super destroyer" race of the 1930's. With a heavy gun armament, these fast ships were intended to confront other destroyers of the day, particularly the contemporary Italian, German and Imperial Japanese designs. Tribal class destroyers were built in two Programmes, seven from the 1935, 9 in the 1936. They also served in both the Commonwealth navies; the three Australian Tribals were built in Australia, while the eight Canadian ones were split evenly, with four being built at Vickers-Armstrong, Newcastle, and four at the Halifax Shipyard, Canada. (The four Canadian built Tribals were completed post-war)


Eskimo is a single piece full hull, with a raised fo'c'sle. The hull as anchor bolsters port and starboard, portholes and bilge keels molded in. Trumpeter has not included any interior or exterior lines denoting the waterline, so converting this kit to waterline will take some work.

The fo'c'sle does have a slight sheer, but it is not as pronounced as it should be, nor does the curve of the bow rake quite as sharply as it should. The lower half of the hull has a few molding marks, and is missing the opening for the retractable ASDIC dome in the forward section of the hull.

An overlay of Tribal plans and an image of the hull shows the differences between the kit and reality.


There are two of sprue B in this kit- there is no sprue A in this kit- and there is a large number of small parts on it. Some of these parts are not used on Eskimo, and clearly demonstrate Trumpeter's future release of other Tribal class destroyers; for instance, the Mk V powered twin 20mm oerlikon. However, the most of these parts are used on this version of Eskimo, from the depth charge throwers, life rafts to the most important, the twin 4.7" QF mounts.

The shields for the 4.7" mounts aren't bad, but breech/barrel assemblies leave a lot to be desired. The quad Vickers .5" Mk III mounts are a good starting point, but could use some magazines. There are a number of various ammo and storage lockers on this sprue.

The rest of the sprue has details like searchlights, the four-bladed propellers, anchors and capstans, life rafts and boat davits. The boat on this sprue, however, appears to be based on the motor boats included in the Trumpeter Hipper Class ships, and not on the appropriate RN designs.


This sprue has the two deckhouses that make up the primary superstructures of Eskimo, as well as the platform for the quad .50 caliber machine guns mounted between the funnels. Additionally, two more ship's boats, funnel caps, along with the breakwater and bridge searchlight wings are on sprue C.

The breakwater and AA platform both have plastic tabs that will require trimming and sanding, and the platform surface is marred by some knockout pins. The superstructure parts all feature portholes with "eyebrow" gutters and watertight doors. However, neither the WT door details nor these boats seem correct for the Royal Navy.


Sprue D has the main deck, the two funnels, shaft and shaft bearings, rudder, the additional fittings and the remaining weapons.

The quadruple torpedo tubes look good, and have been modeled with torpedos loaded. The 8-barreled Pom-Pom is sadly incorrect for a Tribal Class destroyer; this class of destroyer was equipped with a quadruple.


This sprue has four pieces; the bridge, the foredeck, the nameplate and 2 decks for the after deckhouse. Only one of these decks is used for this kit of Eskimo; another indicator of future Tribal class kits.


Sprue F has the tripod fore and main masts for Eskimo, and the Director Control Tower (DCT) for the main battery of 4.7" guns, and 12 ft rangefinder as well.


This set includes a small fret of photoetch. This fret includes some railings for the superstructure levels, as well as the following:

  • Wind screen and flooring for the open bridge
  • Gun shields
  • HF/DF antenna
  • Screen for the funnel caps
  • Ladders
  • Anchor chain

Trumpeter's normal display stand is included. Unfortunately, Eskimo doesn't fit very well.


A small decal sheet with Eskimo's pennant number and two versions of the White Ensign.


A 12 page instruction book is included, mostly using Trumpeter's standard construction order and methods. There are a few odd choices in the order of assembly; for instance, Trumpeter would have the modeller install lockers around the perimeter of the deckhouses before installing the deckhouses.

A full color poster showing the painting steps is included, with Gunze colors referenced. The scheme appears to be a Peter Scott Western Approaches scheme, but the colors do not appear correct, nor does this scheme match Eskimo's fit prior to the wartime modifications.


Trumpeter's Eskimo is a kit that's not sure what it wants to be. A 1941/1942 HMS Eskimo in Western Approaches camouflage, would need some additional parts to reflect the wartime modifications, most importantly a twin 4"/50 QF HA MK XIX to replace the 4.7" mount in the "X" position. This kit is more suitable for an "as launched" 1938-1939 fit. It is clear many of these sprues will be used for the announced HMS Zulu 1941 (#5332) and the HMCS Huron 1944 (#5333), but it is unlikely Trumpeter will correct the deficiencies in the hull, Pom-Pom's or ships boats before their release. (In fact, Trumpeter may intend to mimic the earlier 1/700 Tribal releases, which saw no change from ship to ship)

Thanks to Stevens International for the review sample. It is listed as #TSM-5331 1/350 HMS Eskimo 1941 with a retail price of $45.95 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.