by: Darren Baker [ ]
The Dornier 17 played many parts for Germany during World War Two, from bomber to night fighter and just about everything in between, these aircraft were very much used as a dog of all trades and master of none, but that does not mean it didnít have its day. Of the twin engined aircraft used by the Luftwaffe, I believe from memory that the Dornier 17 was the most produced in all of its multitude of forms, with the possible exception of the Junkers 88. The Junkers 88 replaced the Dornier 17 as a primary bomber in 1942, this was due to its range and bomb load restrictions and what in turn lead to the many roles the Dornier 17 performed. The aircraft model offered here is a night fighter version of the Dornier 17.
The model is packaged in what is now ICMís usual very rugged flip top cardboard box with a separate card lid. Inside of this packaging you will find;
3 grey sprues
1 clear sprue
A decal sheet
An instruction booklet
Taking a look of the plastic that goes into making this model, I am very impressed at the level of detail offered in this 1/72nd scale model from ICM, it has some very finely moulded parts that should give this model a lot of appeal. The mouldings themselves are very cleanly done, and have no obvious issues that I am aware of at present. The ejection pin marks present on the mouldings are for the most part small and should be hidden on the completed model, but it is good practice to fill most of them if in doubt.
The cockpit detail provided in this 1/72nd scale model from ICM is easily a match for many of the 1/48th scale model aircraft I have seen in my years. The cockpit wall detail is surprisingly good for the scale, and this should more than meet the needs of most modellers. The pilotís position is correctly raised and his instruments are supplied via decals. The seats do not look to have any harness detail, but in this scale that is not really a surprise. ICM has even opted to provide framework in the Bombay area of the model. Also included are an internal fuel tank and a bomb load, but I am surprised to see a bomb load in a nigh fighter variant.
The fuselage of the model has very finely recessed panel lines present, and while I cannot comment on the accuracy and placement of these lines I am liking what I see here. The wings and tail assembly of the model is also very nicely rendered, again the very finely recessed panel lines are present and really lift this model in my opinion. The control surfaces for the wings and tail assembly are supplied as separate parts, and while not workable, these can be set in whatever position the modeller prefers. My only concerns at this point and for that matter on going, is how easy it would be to damage the model parts while removing them from the sprue due to the finesse of many of the parts.
The undercarriage of the model has also been very nicely provided by ICM. The wheel bay have detailed wall parts all round and on the underside of the wings, these details should lift the area greatly for anyone viewing it or the modeller having assembled it. The undercarriage legs are well represented which with the addition of some cabling added by the modeller should look very good. The tyres are split in two halves, and this does concern me a little should there be any gaps after assembly, this is due to ICM having provided the tread on the wheels which would need to be re-scribed if filling is required. The tail wheel has been supplied as a single moulded piece, and while this may be disappointing, it does have quite a good look to it.
The engines have a good level of detail for the scale with the front bank of cylinders for the radial engine present and the ignition harness also provided separately. In addition to the details mentioned separate exhausts are provided, once assembled all of these items should result in quite a busy and pleasing look to the business area of the engine nacelles. My knowledge of the propellers is limited, but they look right shape wise compared to images online of the aircraft. I am again very pleased with what is offered from the box here.
Moving onto the armament in this model; as mentioned earlier I am surprised to see a bomb load inside the aircraft, but moving on from that the machine guns for inside the cockpit, the detail on these is excellent, when I think back to the featureless straight pins I have seen in the past that represent guns, these are a different level of magnitude to them, they even have separate ammunition magazines. The nose cannons are also supplied as separate barrels.
The canopy and other clear parts offered with the model are obviously over scale in thickness due to moulding requirements and limitations, but I do not see any distortions in the clear parts and they also do not seem to cause any distortions either. I am again a very happy modeller with the offerings in this model from ICM.
The instructions provided look easy enough to follow to me and should not hold any pitfalls of which I am aware at this time. None of the stages are overly busy and that should also help to reduce the risk of an error occurring. ICM has provided decals for two night fighter aircraft, both belonging to I/NJG2, one based at Gilze-Rijin in October 1940 and the other based at the same location in the Autumn of 1940. The second offering is listed as being the ride of Hptm Erich Jung.
I am exceptionally impressed with this offering from a model point of view, and while the accuracy of what is offered is beyond me I think just about everyone who gets to grips with it will be very happy. I am very hard pushed to find any negatives with what ICM has presented us with here.