by: Tim Hatton [ ]
The Dornier Do 17Z series was the most recognised and mass-produced variant, and saw more combat service than the E-U types. The Z-1 had a Bramo Fafnir 323 A-1 engines fitted while the Z-2 mounted the 323P-1 version of the Fafnir. The latter was specifically tuned to the performance needs of the Do 17 by decreasing supercharger power at lower altitudes and thus improving low-level performance. The increase in take-off power allowed the bomb load to be increased from 500 to 1,000 kg (1,100 to 2,200 lb). However the combat range with a full 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) bomb load was a very short 330 km (210 mi). The Z-3 was a reconnaissance version that had two cameras incorporated into the crew hatch. This affected the look of the hatch, the only external difference between the Z-2 and Z-3. The armament was upgraded by adding another pair of guns firing out of the sides of the upper part of the pod. As the three guns were all fired by a single gunner, only one of them could be fired at a time. After heavy losses of Do 17s during the Battle of Britain it was decided to replace the MG FF cannon with the more powerful MG 151/15.
The box lid state that the model depicted is a Dornier Do Z-2, but the two marking options included with this release are in fact a Dornier Z-1 and a Z-3. Both options are flown by Lentolaivue 46 of the Finnish Air Force and they both took part in the Continuation War [Great Patriotic War] against Russia.
The kits three grey plastic sprues are all placed in one re-sealable bag. The two clear plastic sprues are bagged separately. The small decal sheet is safely tucked away within the instructions. An initial look at the surface detail reveals very fine panel lines and hatches. The level of detail of the engines, cockpit parts, undercarriage, etc. looks very good.
I count around thirty parts to detail the cockpit and thatís not including the armament. There is plenty of decent detail on the instrument panel and on the instruments on the side wall. So some careful painting will lift the detail. The instrument panel has a couple of decals replicating the instrument faces. There is a couple of load bearing beams to fit again with some nicely refrained detail. The pilot seat looks tiny and the two other crewman seats has over scaled woven strap detail, but they still look impressive in this scale.
The transparent plastic parts are sparklingly clear and thin, with slightly raised framing. The one piece canopy has a RT mast, a clear dome or RDF loop and four machine guns to add. The one piece nose glazing has a single machine to fit as does the glazing at the ventral gunnerís position. The hand operated machine guns has plenty of detail including cooling slots in the barrels. The magazines are separate parts.
The slimness of the fuselage of the Do 17 never fails to impress, reflecting the purpose for this typeís inception as a fast mail/passenger carrying aircraft. As well as the well detailed cockpit, there is a well detailed bomb bay to install into the fuselage. There is a bulkhead and three trusses as well as two beams and a optional fuel tank to fit, all of which show some lovely recessed detail. There are four sticks of bombs to be fitted. Each stick has five bombs so there are twenty bombs altogether. The bomb doors can be displayed open or closed. There is a one piece door if you donít want to see the interior of the bomb bay. There are three glazed areas in the fuselage other than the canopy and nose. One is just behind the nose fitted in the lower fuselage, another glazed area makes up the ventral gunners position, then there is a window in the left hand fuselage by the bomb bay.
The upper wing is one piece and the under part is two piece. The recessed detail as with the fuselage is finely done. The tail is made up of left and right both horizontal tail surfaces are made up from two pieces as are two the vertical surfaces. All the control surfaces: ailerons, elevators and rudders are separate on piece items, so they can be posed at whatever angle you like. The surfaces have slightly raised lines replicating the ribs under the stretched fabric. The trailing edges are nice and sharp. There are actuator arms for the elevators.
The breakdown of the nacelles is interesting. The undercarriage bays are built onto the wing, then the nacelles are built around the bay. The actuating arms of the undercarriage are built into the bays before constructing the nacelles. The rest of the undercarriage can be completed later in the construction process. There is some good raised detail on the forward firewall and on the walls of the nacelles. Another firewall or bulkhead is located forward of the firewall in the undercarriage bay. The separate engine bearers are mounted on this. The radial engines have the cooling vanes replicated on each cylinder. The separate flattened exhaust and pushrods is a nice touch although Iím not sure about the look of the cowl bracing. It looks too much like a wagon wheel cart. I thought the bracing was staggered along the crank case. There is a little flash to clear from the braces. The covers around the engines are made up from two pieces, with a couple of separate air intakes to add to each. The final illustration in the instructions shows the panels in an open position too show of the engine detail. This arrangement with the panels open is not referred to during the build process. The propellers are one piece with separate spinners. The prop blade edges are nice and thin.
The undercarriage looks straightforward enough to construct. The detail is good and highly inflated looking tyres have a tread. The mudguards reflect the shape of the real thing nicely. Also worth noting is the fine raised detail on the inside of the under carriage doors. The one piece tail wheel fits into place before the fuselage halves are joined. despite being a one piece item it does look very good.
The A4 format instruction manual and paint guide takes you through 77 stages to build this Do 17 Z-2. Each diagram is clear and uncluttered. The parts map is useful with parts that are not used highlighted in red. The paint guides provide four view drawings of the two marking choices. The paint references given are for Revell and Tamiya.
Decals & Marking Options
The decals are on a small sheet just containing the national insignia, code numbers, squadron badge, instrument panel faces and three stencils. The decals are pretty matt with good colour definition
There are two marking option, the first has white paint applied over the green disruptive camouflage. So there is some scope for heavy weathering if you like that sort of thing. The options are:
●Dornier Do 17 Z-3, WkNr 4242, DC PZ. Redesignated DN-53. LLv.46, Finnish AF, Flew 220 hours 5 minutes mission time. Destroyed 8th August 1943.
●Dornier Do 17 Z-1, WkNr 1155, C4 BZ. Redesignated DN-57. LLv.46, Finnish AF, Logged 812 hours 5 minutes flying time. Scrapped 11th December 1952
This is a excellent looking 1/72 scale kit from ICM. The clean lines of the Do 17 Z-2 and the interesting camouflage will stand out from the usual Do-17Zís serving with the Luftwaffe. The amount of detail in the box is impressive, particularly in the cockpit and bomb bay. Highly recommended.