Flyhawk 1/700 Torpedoboot G-39

The G-39 was part of the V25 class of torpedo boats. The V25 class (also known as the Type 1913) was a class of torpedo boat built for the Imperial German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine). It was numerically the largest class ever built for the High Seas Fleet, consisting of 71 ships. Of the class, 32 were sunk during World War I, several to mines in the North Sea and Baltic Sea. Of those that survived the war 29 were scuttled with the German fleet at Scapa Flow, one was destroyed by a mine on the way there, four were given to Britain and were not scuttled while one was given to Italy and France.

The boats of the V25 class varied in dimensions, and they gradually increased in size as more vessels were built. The boats were 77.80 to 82.50 meters (255 ft 3 in to 270 ft 8 in) long at the waterline and 78.50 to 83.10 m (257 ft 7 in to 272 ft 8 in) long overall. They had a beam of 8.32 to 8.36 m (27 ft 4 in to 27 ft 5 in) and a draft of 2.80 to 3.90 m (9 ft 2 in to 12 ft 10 in). Displacement ranged from 812 to 960 metric tons (799 to 945 long tons) as designed and from 971 to 1,188 t (956 to 1,169 long tons) at full load.[3] They had a crew of three officers and eighty enlisted, though some of the boats had an additional two to four sailors. When serving as half-flotilla flagships, the boats would have a flotilla leader’s staff of three officers and thirteen to fifteen enlisted men in addition to the standard crew.

Each boat initially carried three 8.8 cm (3.5 in) SK L/45 guns in single mounts, one forward and two aft, all on the centerline. Each gun was supplied with 100 rounds of ammunition. Most of the boats later had these guns replaced with three much more powerful 10.5 cm (4.1 in) SK L/45 guns, with 70 shells per gun. All of the boats carried six 50 cm (20 in) torpedo tubes with eight torpedoes as their primary offensive armament. They were also equipped to lay naval mines, and each carried twenty-four mines.

The V25-class boats were propelled by a pair of steam turbines manufactured by the shipyard that built each boat. Steam was provided by three oil-fired water-tube boilers. The boats’ engines were rated at 33.5 to 34.5 knots from 24,000 shaft horsepower, though most of the ships significantly exceeded these figures, in some cases by almost three knots.

The ships were numbered according to the yard which built them. There were minor differences between each yard series, so some references list each such series as a separate type. Strictly speaking, the 1913 series consisted only of V25 to V30 and S31 to S36 ships, but the later ones listed here were quite similar, though increasing in displacement. The German practice in peacetime was to build one flotilla of similar ships per fiscal year, hence the name 1913 series. Later ships belonged to 1914 series and so on. During the war, the armament of most of these ships was upgraded, with 8.8 cm guns replaced with 10.5 cm guns.

  • V25 to V30, V43 to V48, V67 to V84, built by Vulkan Stettin
  • G37 to G42, G85 to G95, built by Germaniawerft Kiel
  • S31 to S36, S49 to S66, built by Schichau Elbing

SMS G39 was a 1913 Type Large Torpedo Boat (Großes Torpedoboot) of the Imperial German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine) during World War I, and the 15th ship of her class. She was built by Germaniawerft in Kiel, Germany, and was launched in Jan 1915 and commissioned in August 1915. The “G” in G39 refers to the shipyard at which she was constructed, in this case, Germaniawerft Kiel.

G39 was assigned to the VI Torpedo Boat Flotilla of the High Seas Fleet of the Kaiserliche Marine where she participated in the Battle of Jutland. She served as the leader of the First Torpedo Boat Flotilla in this action under the command of Commander Conrad Albrecht. Admiral Hipper transferred from Lützow to G39 during the Battle of Jutland prior to his transfer to the Moltke. After the end of hostilities, G39 was interned at Scapa Flow and scuttled.

More information available about her on Wikipedia here and here.

I think this is the first 1/700 V25-Class torpedo boat apart from the G-37 which was a bonus in Flyhawk’s 1/700 SMS Lutzow from 2014. I’ve done some looking around and I can’t find any other kits of the V25 class in plastic or resin. I might be wrong on that and will be happy to be corrected.

The kit comes in an end opening box. The assembly instructions and painting guide are on the back and side of the box. The single sprue is bagged and the waterline plate, hull and deck are wrapped in foam. There is also a small decal sheet separately bagged. Inside the box we have:

  • 3 large parts
  • 1 sprue of 37 parts
  • 1 small decal sheet

Available separately for this kit is the masking sheet set also covered in this review. It does not come as part of the kit. There is also a small PE set available for this kit.

The level of detail in this kit is up to Flyhawk’s usual standards. The sprue has raised edges so the delicate parts are off the table when the sprue is laid down. Attachment points are small and ejector pin marks are out of the way. There is lots of fine detail on the parts. The ship is built in 3 simple steps and the instructions on the back of the box are clearly laid out.

The colour scheme is simple as most of the ship is dark grey. The colours and the paints are called out by name and Mr. Hobby, Tamiya and WEM colour ranges. The views are clear and it will be easy to paint her with the information given. You can make life a little easier for yourself with the masking set which is available separately. The small decal sheet has 4 ensigns.

Since the G-39 and her sisters were virtually identical, you could call this ship anything from G-37 to G-48 and no one would be the wiser as they did not have any visual differences in this scale.

This kit is currently a future release on a couple of sites and should retail at about $11-$12.

This is a nicely detailed kit of a small ship that would be a good introduction to quality 1/700 kits with a lot of detail. The kit won’t cost much and if you want to see what FlyHawk kids look like this is a cheap way to give one a try.

Many thanks to Flyhawk for sending the kit for review.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International
HobbyLink International

Paul Tosney

Paul has been with Model Builder International since almost the beginning. He started building models as a boy, and took a hiatus, but started building again a few years ago. He builds pretty much anything, but mostly WW2, with a smattering of modern and the occasional SciFi model.


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