by: Tim Hatton [ ]
After WWII many German aircraft designers left the country amongst them was Claudius Dornier Jr., who moved to Spain and set up the Ofiicinas Técnicas Dornier [OTEDO]. In the middle of the 1950’s Dornier Jr designed a new STOL aircraft stemming from a requirement from the Spanish Air Ministry. The new design: the Dornier 25 was to be a four seat high wing aircraft. Two prototype air frames were built by CASA in Spain. A redesigned prototype was also built in Germany and was designated the Dornier 27. This was powered by the Lycoming GSO-480-B1B6 engine. When the Do 27 went into production it was the first mass produced aircraft in Germany since the end of the WWII. In total 428 aircraft were built. It served with three arms of the German military: the Air Force, Navy and Army. CASA produced 50 examples of the C-127/U.9. The Do 27 was exported to several countries including Portugal, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, israel and many others. It was used extensively on the African continent. It is very popular with civilian operators such as bush operators and skydiving clubs due to its ruggedness and excellent performance in the harshest of environments.
The types represented in this kit include:
Do 27A-1 - Military five-seat single-engine STOL utility transport aircraft, 177 built
Do 27J-1 - Production of the Do 27A-4 for Belgian Army, 12 built.
CASA C-127 – 50 built in Spain
The end opening box contains:
4 x grey plastic sprues
1 x clear plastic sprue
1 x small photo etched fret
1 x sheet of decals
1 x A5 format instruction manual containing 12 pages.
The four grey sprues are all contained in one clear plastic bag. The clear sprue and decals are packed separately. The grey plastic parts have a mix of fine recessed and raised detail. If you are browsing in your local model shop then there is a good idea of the marking options on the reverse side of the box.
The interior is nicely detailed with a cabin floor and two seats up front and a bench style seats to the rear. As the model depicts the Dornier Do 27A there is just one pilot position and that has a control stick. The type, number and position of the of the seats varies depending which aircraft are creating so make sure you study the instructions carefully before applying any glue to plastic. The detailing on the inside of the fuselage halves is also well executed. There is a bulkhead to the rear to prevent you seeing into the tail. The instrument panel is represented as a decal. The instructions suggest cutting the decal into three parts before applying. The plastic part of the instrument panel has small indentations where the instruments are located. Obviously with a bit of research you could add a further detail: seat belts
There are seven clear parts four of which make up opening window/doors and two are fixed clear screens in the roof of the cabin. The good thing about the window/doors is that they can all be displayed open. You will have to scratch build some props if you are displaying the windscreen doors open. The instructions provide instructions on how to do this. The windows are pretty clear, although the complex curves of the windscreen means there is some distortion of light. The frames are moulded onto the clear parts making the build process much simpler. Some caution is needed removing parts from the sprue as some of the attachment points are quite big. So any undue pressure on the attachment points may cause some damage to the parts.
The fuselage comes in two halves, left and right. There are really fine locating pins to assist with lining the halves up. The centre frame for the windscreen is attached to the left hand fuselage. The engine nacelle is made up from five parts including a vent flap. There is a bit of a representation of the radiator [?] just behind the prop, but there is no engine detail at all. The prop is a single piece item including the spinner. There are two choices of exhaust pipe: long or short. There are separate steps for access to the cabin. There are two different tips to the vertical tail one with a beacon on the other without. The photo etched fret features parts for the aerials that sit on top of the fuselage. The whip aerials for the Belgian Do 27 need to be scratched built.
The wing is full span and is made up of the upper wing with control surfaces attached and a full span lower half that inserts into a recess in the upper surface. The final clear part is for the cover of the landing light. Unfortunately my sample has a couple of air bubbles in the plastic marring the look. The tail plane is a one piece item that simply slides into the tail of the fuselage. The rudder is separate one piece part. All control surfaces have raised lines representing the taped fabric covering.
There are two styles of undercarriage depending which aircraft you are opting for. Each of the main undercarriage legs are one piece as are the wheels. The attachment points for the legs do look very positive and should provide a strong joint. The detail of the spoked hubs is very good and there is even a representation of the brakes. The torque links also look very well done. There are two choices of tail wheel and these are both one piece.
These are printed by Cartograf and as you would expect the quality is superb. The colours are dense and the decals are slightly glossy and very thin. The definition of the stencils and instrument panel is superb.
The instructions take you through twelve building stages. There is a fair bit to take in and some of the illustrations will require some careful study particular the arrangement of the cabin and the aerial arrays on top of the fuselage. The paint guides are very good featuring colour profiles.
Well as we all know in box reviews are fine, but what is the build like. Well I have to say it has to be one of the easiest builds I have done in some time. Thanks to the sensible break down of parts, and the fit is outstanding. I was particularly impressed with the fit of the clear parts. Special Hobby ought to give themselves a pat on the back for this little gem. Gripes, just one really and that is the location of the sprue attachment points of the windscreen/doors. It is very difficult to separate the parts from the sprue without damaging the parts. To be fair I cannot really see how this problem could be otherwise resolved. Other than that I really enjoyed putting this kit together. It took me all of two evenings. There are no seams to fill; just some of the sprue attachment points might need filling and sanding. I only used Tamiyas extra thin cement to join the parts.
This is a fine release of the Do 27 by Special Hobby, one that I particularly enjoyed putting together. I’m impressed with the level of detail and the fit of the parts. The three marking options certainly provide some variety. There are civil versions of this release around if you prefer a non-military subject.