In my opinion, one of the star releases of recent months has been ICMís generally excellent 1:48 Dornier Do 215. Representing great value for money, and with the prospect of a whole series of Do 17 variants to follow, itís an important addition to the ranks of mainstream Luftwaffe kits.
But, as good as it is, thereís no denying that ICM didnít quite get the tail area correct. It all fits together neatly enough (see the photo at right) - the problem being that itís ironically a touch too neat, lacking the subtle hump over the tailplane incidence adjustment gear and the resulting gap over the stabilisers.
Sergey Kosachev has come to the rescue with a beautifully designed and cast resin correction and upgrade set that sorts out the tail and also replaces ICMís solid-moulded tailwheel with new parts.
Comprising nine grey resin pieces, the set arrives in a zip-lock bag accompanied by a small sheet of instructions. The casting is flawless in the review sample.
The tailplane parts are very cleverly designed to capture the look of the original aircraft with minimal surgery. A full-span tailplane is accompanied by a top section that overlays it and so creates the distinctive gap. Wafer thin side plates snuggle over the kit fuselage, eliminating the need for scribing. Finally, separate replacement elevators are also included, featuring an excellent fabric effect and realistically thin trailing edges.
Sergeyís tailwheel is a great improvement over the kit version, with a separate wheel, hubs and yoke that fit into a new fairing. This not only looks far better than a solid-moulded wheel but, of course, you can also mount it deflected like the full-sized castoring unit.
To judge how simple, or otherwise, the conversion is, I dived in and cut away the kitís tail according to the instructions with a combination of a scriber and an Alec Hypercut saw
In any conversion like this, I would normally cut too small and work out to the indicated lines with constant test-fitting along the way. However, for the purposes of this review, I cut straight on the lines, and Iím happy to say the result is excellent; the fit is very precise and the new tail should blend in seamlessly. I can recommend this upgrade to any modeller with a little experience whoís prepared to try some surgery on their kit - it really is quite straightforward and, so long as youíre careful, you should hit any problems.
One beauty of ICMís Dornier is that its low price means you donít have to worry about breaking the bank if you chose to add upgrades, and Iím tempted to say the Vector tailplane set is an almost essential accessory for this exciting kit. Itís simple enough to make an ideal first resin correction for modellers new to the medium, and the improvement will be immediately apparent to anyone who is familiar with the real aircraft. Highly recommended.
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