seems to be out to corner a segment of the modeling market, specifically the Dornier family of bombers and heavy fighters in 1/48. This new beauty is kit 48243
, the Do 17Z-10 Nightfighter
. It compliments ICM's releases of both the radial- and inline-engine Do 215B series of nightfighters and bombers, and heralds the current release of one of the best known Dorniers, the radial-powered Do 17Z-2 bomber. To date both of the Do 215s have been reviewed here at Aeroscale - please view them via "[ MORE REVIEWS]
Personally, I am delighted by these releases as I have been an enthusiast of the "Flying Pencil" (as the Do 17 family was christened due to their slender fuselages) since building the first of several Monogram Do 17Zs back in my youth. There is a certain quirky charm to the damselfly-slender bomber with the bulky canopy and the "fly eye" nose glazing. Decades ago Hobbycraft thrilled 1/48 and Dornier modelers with their 1/48 Do 17Z but the model turned out to be a disappointment, especially with a fuselage that suggested it jumped ahead in time to be designed after the Piasecki "Flying Banana" family of helicopters! About a decade ago Classic Airframes surpassed H.C. with a better Do 17 although these are not currently available.
In the box
ICM packages this model in a sturdy lid-tray box. Inside is a single clear self-sealing cellophane bag containing all of the sprues. The clear sprue is separately bagged. A sheet of decals were inside the instruction booklet.
Six sprues (five gray, one clear) hold 211 parts;
Sprue A: fuselage halves; tailplane; cockpit and internal structure parts; bomb bay doors; nose
Sprue B: upper and lower mainplanes
Sprue C: nacelles and wheel wells; fuselage tanks; cockpit parts; internal structures
Sprue D (two): engines and propellers; bombs; main gear; machine guns; cowls; bomb racks
Sprue E: canopies and light lenses
Several pieces are not used with this version of the Dornier.
ICM aircraft are establishing a reputation for excellent molding and this Nachtjäger
continues that trend with little or no flash, noticeable mold seams and sink marks, nor visible ejector circles. Some parts are very small in diameter, perhaps too fine. (We will discuss that later.) The exterior has just the slightest texture. Sharp panel lines are recessed into the airframe. While some of them disappear along some curves (a limitation of injection-molding), some modelers may think they are a bit deep. The canopy parts are crystal clear with slightly frosted framing around the glazing. Most parts have crisp edges where prototypically authentic. Pieces with less distinct rounded edges tend to be on parts ensconced within other parts.
ICM has engineered their Dorniers in a modular system for different versions. The wings are probably identical with different cowls and nacelles to accommodate radial or inline engines. Different noses and canopies and ventral "bathtubs" are used with a standard fuselage. This is a economic idea to hold down the cost of issuing new versions.
Let's look at each sprue and discuss various components.
This is the same parts tree as found in the Do 17Z and Dornier Do 215B-4 and Do 215B-5 kits, previously reviewed here on Aeroscale. It holds the fuselage halves, bomb doors (choice of open or closed), fuselage internal structures, some cockpit components, nightfighter nose and ventral gun pack, the ailerons, and the empennage. A few parts present, i.e., radiator housings, are not used with this radial-engine version.
The empennage lacks the hump over the incidence adjustment gear. A resin correction set by Sergey Kosachev's Vector
is available and worth considering, and it also includes a much improved replacement tail wheel.
The control surfaces feature subtle stretched fabric-over-structure ridges but no faux fabric texture. The pattern of panels looks accurate. One half of the fuselage includes the anti-tail strike rubber bumper (spornkufe
) behind the tail wheel well.
A bank of radio and electrical boxes lined the rear of the port cockpit side and these components are molded as a single piece. The dials and displays are large raised features. Compared to an oblique view of that communication equipment in Airframe Detail No.2 - Do 17Z
, this piece is lacking in accuracy and detail. No doubt a nice resin set will be forthcoming.
: upper and lower mainplanes.
: Landing gear struts; nacelles and bulkheads; seats; instrument panel; extra fuel tanks; cockpit controls.
Sprue D (two)
: engines and propellers; bombs (not used); main gear; machine guns; cowls; bomb racks (not used).
ICM offers some worthy detail for the interior. Several sub-assemblies are built with many parts.
The cockpit features dozens of pieces (I count 34), individual parts and groups of parts to build sub-assemblies. These include a multi-piece pilot station, gunner/radioman's station and seats, a seat for the bombardier, and several side-mounted apparatus. An infrared sight is included for the pilot. The seats have impressive "lawn chair" woven strap seat cushions. They also have support bars. The clunky repeater compass between the pilot's knees is a two-part assembly. One piece represents the forest of bomb release levers; trim and manual bomb door wheels are separate parts. Also, a specific canopy 'greenhouse' is provided. It has a notch for the Spanner-Anlage system infrared sight.
There are two definite, verifiable, visible mistakes in the cockpit. The Do 17Z-10 had a different instrument panel - sort of a mirror image of the bomber version - and it had a great big cannon breech jutting back out of it. Additionally, the passage to enter the nose section was blocked by compressed air bottles, used to charge the guns, and what appears to be a relocated repeater compass. And to be picky, the pilot seat is an overly simplified suggestion of the complex real thing.
Moving aft the fuselage is segmented by bulkheads and internal structures, all visible through the cockpit or the open bomb bay. Disappointingly, despite the visibility into these spaces, no formers, stringers, longerons nor ribs essential to a semimonocoque fuselage were tooled onto the interior surfaces. The only interior surface I found these on are on the inside of the top wings visible through the gear wells.
The specific nose cone is nicely shaped. The quartet of machine guns and the cannon are added as separate barrels.
Inside the bomb bay, the doors of which can be positioned open or closed, one can see the bulkheads, bomb racks, and auxiliary fuel tanks. Only the gas tanks are shown as used in this model although the Luftwaffe flew intruder missions early on, and presumable Do 17Z-10s could have sown a few bombs in their wake.
The wings and empennage are molded with the same surface detail found on the fuselage. The control surfaces are separately molded. But ICM did not engineer the flaps as positionable.
Two BMW/Bramo Fafnir 323 nine-cylinder radial engines are included. These are beautifully detailed with fine cylinder cooling vanes, panel baffles and other engine items. Several parts build each model engine, including separate intake and exhaust manifolds, collector rings, individual rocker covers, reduction gear housing with 18 pushrods, inner and outer cowling annulars and the spokes that suspend them, engine mount frames. Recall my observation that some parts may be too fine? The pushrods both demonstrate just how fragile some parts are despite ICM molding a protective ring around the piece. (Other parts arrived damaged on the sprue, too.)
Accessories and auxiliaries are provided to be attached to the rear of the engine. This is good because ICM molded individual cowl panels to allow the modeler to build this Nachtjäger
with cowl panels open and engines exposed.
The engine nacelles will be full of engine and accessories, yet there will still be a visible void in each of them. ICM's engines are not complete with piping and conduits, nor is there any internal structural detail; modelers will have to await aftermarket items or resort to the art of scratchbuilding.
Dorniers had stalky multi-strut main landing gear with spindly leg is made up of several gangling parts, plus the mud guard. The struts are well molded yet some forms do not quite match the contours seen in photos and reference materials.
This model has a great deal of detail. It is not comprehensive yet one should be able to build an excellent model out of the box.
Instructions and decals
ICM provides a high quality assembly instructions in a 20-page A4 booklet format on good paper. Line art is enhanced by shading; previous assemblies are shaded, new assemblies are clear. The illustrations are clear and mostly uncluttered. Excluding painting and decaling, there are 81 separate steps to assemble this Nachtjäger
. Some steps are basically sub-steps but distinctly numbered; those numbers are used to specify which sub-step is added in a subsequent step. I find this to be an effective and enjoyable method of leading me through the building process.
Painting guidance is simple. Only two Do 17Z-10 aircraft are represented and both are black. Only 11 colors are used and only Model Master is shown.
Decals for two airframes are:
, I/NJG2, Gilze-Rijen, October 1940
, Staffel-Kapitan 2/NJG2, Hptm. Erich Jung, Gilze-Rijen, Autumn 1940
The decals are sharply printed on thin carrier film. They appear opaque. ICM did not mold dial detail into the instrument panel but they did print it. The decals include the herald for NJG2.
I happily recommend this kit. Fans of Nachtjägern
, Dornier 17s and 1/48 Luftwaffe subjects owe ICM a tip of the hat for continuing this fine series of 1/48 Do 17s. Highs for the model include excellent molding with some very small diameter components. Most parts have crisp edges where prototypically authentic. Pieces with less distinct rounded edges tend to be on parts ensconced within other parts. I do not have a 1/48 Do 17Z-10 profile/planform to compare the contours to although looking at photos of the airframe, it appears accurate. Panel lines can be deceiving yet it looks like ICM got these right, too.
Lows include a definite, verifiable, visible inaccurate cockpit layout. ICM missed the step between the fuselage and horizontal stabilizer. Also, while each cowling and nacelle will be full of engine there will still be a visible void in each of them; ICM's engines are not complete with piping and conduits, but that is common for most model companies. Despite the visibility into the engine compartments and fuselage, no formers, stringers, longerons nor ribs essential to a semimonocoque fuselage were tooled onto the interior surfaces. Modelers will have to await aftermarket items or resort to the art of scratchbuilding.
I would like that ICM had corrected the cockpit mistakes and added internal structure to the visible interiors. Regardless, I am impressed by this first of ICM's 1/48 aircraft I have examined, as I have been with their 1/72 offerings. I believe this kit can build up into an impressive model right out of the box. And modelers who love to tinker and scratchbuild have an excellent canvas with which to create their next masterpiece!
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Airframe Detail No.2 - Do 17Z
Flightglobal Archive. Flight. German Radials
. [Web.] 3 December 1942.