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1:48 Do 17Z-7


James H
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1:48 Do 17Z-7
ICM
Catalogue # 48345
Available for around £28

 

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The Dornier Do 17 was designed as a lightweight, fast bomber that could, in theory, outrun any attempts by fighters to shoot them down. The long thin fuselage of the aircraft led to its nickname of ‘flying pencil’, and its shoulder mounted wing carried two engines, whilst its tail design was of twin fin/rudder arrangement, typical of that on the Bf 110. Initially powered by inline Daimler-Benz/BMW engines, but these were changed in favour of two Bramo 323 radials. A crew of three were carried, and up to 1000kg of bombs could be carried internally. Civil War in Spain saw the first baptism of fire for the Do 17, operating with the Condor Legion. Many of these pilots were unknowingly honing their skills for future operations against Poland, leading to the start of WW2, and eventually to the skies over Britain in 1940. It was here that the Do 17 became seriously outclassed by British fighter defence. The main version was the Do 17Z, which is the subject of this kit. The Z-7 variant had a solid nose that contained four forward-firing MG17. The last remaining, mostly intact Do 17Z was recovered from the waters off the Kentish coast and is not being preserved at RAF Cosford.

 

The kit
At the time of writing, this is the third incarnation of this 1/48 release from ICM, with this being the first Z-7 variant thus far. ICM’s style of packaging is probably one of my favourites, with the kit being supplied in a one-piece, sturdy corrugated cardboard box with a locking tab, and a separate product lid which sits over this. The glossy lid depicts a single Do 17Z-7 at dusk, in a simple but evocative image. This scheme is also shown on the box side. In fact, there are two schemes with this release, but they are nigh on identical, with only the fuselage code being slightly different. As Henry Ford once purportedly said, regarding his Model T car, “you can have any colour as long as it’s black”. Well, it is a night fighter after all. Inside the box, a total of six light grey sprues are packaged into a single re-sealable clear wallet, and a clear sprue is also slipped into there, protected within its own sleeve. In the bottom of the box, a 20-page A4 instruction manual is to be found, with a small decal sheet tucked within it. This release contains no photo-etch parts, instead leaning on companies such as Eduard, should you want to detail your model further. This certainly helps to keep down overall costs.

 

Sprue A

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You can certainly see why this aircraft was called the flying pencil when you look at the fuselage halves. This was supposed to be the very essence of the Schnellbomber, but alas, the Do 17 was easy prey whilst undertaking that particular role. The characteristic fuselage is moulded with an open belly for the various loadouts or fuel tank assembly (the latter, for the purpose of this kit), and of course, the upper fuselage is open due to the shoulder-mounted wing that will be fitted here. For the tail-plane, the traditional slots are included on both port and starboard. ICM has created some very fine external detail in the way of panel lines and various access ports and panels. These are both very narrow and even in depiction. They should take a wash beautifully. Note that the airframe is devoid of any rivet detail, leaving a blank canvas for those of us who wish to add this. Internally, the fuselage doesn’t have any detail to speak of, but instead location holes and slots for the separate detail parts.

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One thing I really do like about this release is the rib and fabric depiction of the control surfaces. This is superbly rendered and doesn’t look at all exaggerated. All control surfaces are separately moulded, and you will find them here, as well as the stabiliser and fin parts. It is worth mentioning too that the Z-10 nose cone is also still on this sprue, as is the clear part (Sprue E) for the infrared detector for target illumination. Without delving further, I’m not sure if a Z-10 can be made from this release, but it does look pretty favourable. All the parts do seem to be here, including bombs (Sprue D) for the Z-2 version, plus the glazed nose (Sprue E). It appears that only the inclusion of the Z-7 nose and the decals are what makes this is a Z-7 release.

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Other parts you will find here are the fuselage bulkheads and two bomb bay door options (both open or closed). A small number of parts are slated as not for use in this release.

 

Sprue B

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Only three parts here. These are for the full-span upper wing, and two lower wing panels. You will note that the ailerons are moulded separately, but the landing flaps are integral and not poseable without either aftermarket or with some surgery and scratch-work. ICM has designed the wing so the gear bay openings are moulded into the lower panels, with some rudimentary, corresponding interior detail on the underside of the upper wing panel. The nacelles and the remainder of the detail is separate. Externally, that detail is very neat, with thin and uniform panel lines and port details This model is not riveted, and for me, that leaves things looking pretty bare, so I will add the various rivet and fastener lines when it comes for me to build this kit.

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Sprue C

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Parts here mainly concern the engine nacelles and main gear interiors, plus the general internals for both the cockpit and bomb bay. A two-piece fuel tank is found here, moulded with its support straps. This will occupy half of the bomb bay. For the main gear bays, left and right walls are supplied, with moulded structural details, and also forward and rear bulkheads. The idea here is that these will be installed to the wing, complete with the retraction units for the main gear, and then the nacelles are built around these. Looking at the instructions, I do think that the retraction units can be fitted later, or at least I think so (don’t quote me!), making overall assembly and painting easier.

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Bar a couple of small parts, everything on this sprue is for use in this release. In amongst the numerous parts, you’ll find a lot of components for the cockpit, such as the two-part instrument panel, consoles, seats with their lattice weave, pilot floor and rudder pedals, control stick, avionics, machine guns, etc.

 

Sprue D (x2)

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This sprue is supplied twice and deals with those items for which multiples are needed, such as the engine, cowls, propeller, spinner, main gear wheels, mudguards, oleo struts, engine bulkheads and mounting frames etc. Bombs are also found here, but these aren’t for use with the Z-7, as are a couple of MGs and saddles, plus the bomb mounting racks. The engine is excellent, and comprises an exhaust system for which separate manifolds and stubs are included. ICM has chosen to depict their wheels without any load, so you will need to sort the weighted appearance yourself. A few seams lines here and there on parts, but nothing out of the ordinary.

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Sprue E

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If you hadn’t already guessed, this is the clear sprue, and it is identical to all previous incarnations of this kit, including the glass nose. There are also two different greenhouse canopies included, with only one slated for use with this particular kit release. For use here are the clear blister and separate armoured windscreen that fit to the main greenhouse, as well as the clear parts for around the nose, that will be painted over, and the lower gondola glazing. Transparency is excellent, with reasonably thin, distortion-free plastic that has no visible or unsightly patina. Framing lines are nicely depicted and those frames are frosted. Full marks.

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Sprue F

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This small sprue contains one part for the Z-7 nose, complete with nicely moulded apertures for the forward firing MG. No detail is moulded within the nose, and no guns are supplied to fit within this, so to complete this as would be seen, some scratch work will be required, plus a trip to your spares box for the guns and ammunition bins/feeds. This kit does include the MG stubs for you to fit into the apertures.

 

Decals

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Decals for this release are very basic by nature, with enough for two slightly different schemes. Printing is nice and thin, with solid colour and minimal carrier film. Everything is also in register. No stencils are supplied, but decals are included for the instrument panel. The two schemes in this kit are:

  • Dornier Do 17Z-7, R4+HK, I./NJG2
  • Dornier Do 17Z-7, R4+FK, I./NJG2

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Instructions
This is a rather nice 20-page A4 publication with the schemes printed on the glossy cover, and the construction sequence within, broken down into 81 stages. Illustrations are by means of both shaded and line-drawn images, with paint references given throughout for both Revell and Tamiya colours.

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Conclusion
I quite like this release as it gives plenty of detail out of box and still leaves areas to improve further, should you wish to. ICM are surely one of my favourite players in this hobby, releasing the sort of subjects that cry out for my attention. You may have seen their Ju 88 kits reviewed here, both in their own label and under names such as Special Hobby and Revell. Quality is excellent, my experience so far shows their kits to fit superbly. This really isn’t an expensive kit and provides amazing value for money in an age where everything seems to be getting more expensive by the day. I’ve always wanted a reasonably large scale Do 17, and now I have one. I’m certainly not disappointed!

Highly recommended.

My sincere thanks to ICM for supplying this kit for us to review.

 

 

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