by: Darren Baker [ ]
I remember growing up in the 1970’s and being given a model produced in the Eastern BLOC countries and thinking “What am I supposed to do with this” it would likely have taken a good amount of filler just to close up gaps. Now jump forward to the present days and there are a number of former Eastern BLOC countries releasing models that are a match for just about anyone. One of the companies from these countries is ICM who have been releasing some excellent figure sets, soft skinned vehicles and aircraft. In this review I will take a look at their Do 17Z-2 offering in 1/48th scale. Fred Boucher only recently reviewed their Do 17Z-10 Night Fighter recently, and as a large proportion of this model is the same as that, I will concentrate on the model as a model rather than repeating comments about accuracy.
The model is packaged in a single plastic bag, this is something I am not keen on as I have concerns about parts becoming damaged or misshapen during storage and transit. On the positive side ICM has some of the best packaging going as regards the box itself. The box consists of a very sturdy cardboard tray with a flip top lid and then a separate card lid with the graphics printed on it. The contents break down as follows;
1 clear sprue
5 grey sprues
A decal sheet
An instruction booklet
I believe this is the second 1/48th scale flying pencil from ICM and covers the aircraft as it looked during the Early days of World War Two and the Battle of Britain. A look over the mouldings has left me with a very positive initial opinion of the contents. I do not see any moulding issues at this time, and other than one of the clear parts having all but broken loose from the sprue there is no damage jumping out at me.
The cockpit of the model looks to have a good amount of detail to make the area look busy through the large clear canopy. There are decals provided for instrument panels, but as these would require the removal of raised detail I would either paint this detail or look for a instrument panel set from a company such as Eduard; you of course can take whichever route suits you best. I like that ICM has added painting instructions for the model during construction, but these are general painting guides and you may wish to look for better painting reference. Other aspects I really like is that ICM has provided separate side wall details in many cases and even things such as foot pedals; these are details that just look so much better than a semi shapeless representation often supplied with moulded on detail. There are things that need to be added by the modeller to lift this area such as seat harness detail.
ICM has also opted to provide a kitted out Bombay with full bomb load and what I believe is an internal fuel tank. The details in this area of the model should look quite good depending on the modellers painting and weathering skills. If displayed over a mirror this area of the model should attract some interest for viewers.
External surfaces look very nice, having very light panel lines present. The only issue I can see here is that the seams have been done so lightly that flooding could be an issue if you are not careful with the paint. The upper wing surface has been provided as a single span and this should mean droopy wings will not be an issue with this model, it also means that depending on the fit the need for filler should be minimal; ICM does have a fairly good record on the fit front of the aircraft models. The flight control surfaces have been provided as separate parts and this should provide the modeller with some display options as far as I can see.
There are two radial engines supplied with this model and the framework for mounting them. ICM has even gone as far as providing the supports to show the engine cowlings open. You will need to add some wiring to represent fuel lines and the like to really make the most of this feature, but otherwise I am very impressed with the effort put into this area of the model by ICM, as it is some of the best detail work of its kind I have seen in this scale. Unless I am mistaken some scratch work will be required between the engines and the wheel wells to finish the area off. That concern aside I am very impressed with this area of the model.
The undercarriage of the model looks reasonable to me, and has a fair amount of detail present in the moulding. The structure is quite fine for something that is to take the rigours of landing, and this fine detail may take some effort on the part of the modeller. Again you will have to add some wires for brakes lines, but it should look pleasing when complete.
The glazing for this model is as you would expect quite large and the added details is very nice; even the six machine guns consist of three parts and should add a nice touch. With that said the masking of the glazing could be a right royal pain unless someone releases a masking set for it.
Once painted this model should look very good I believe, and while on the subject of painting it is a good time to look at he finishing options provided. ICM has provided four finishing choices for model, these are;
Do 17Z-2, 7/KG 3 Blitz, France August 1940
Do 17Z-2, 7/KG 3 76, France August 1940
Do 17Z-2, 1/KG 2 Holzhammer, Greece 1941
Do 17Z-2, 15 Kroat/KG 53 Blitz, USSR, Winter 1941/42
The decals provided for this model are very good, having good colour and being very thin.
Looking over this offering from ICM, I have to say I am very pleased with the model. It offers far more detail than I was expecting from a model of this scale and size. The star of the show must be the two radial engines supplied, which while fairly complex to build, will be very eye catching aspects of the model depending on the abilities of modeller.