by: Darren Baker [ ]
During The Battle of Britain the Dornier Do 17 or Flying Pencil carried out many bombing raids over Britain, but at a very high cost to the men who flew and fought in them. Attrition was so high that it was no surprise when production ceased in 1940, but the story does not end there. The Do 17 served on as a night fighter amongst other roles and did a reasonable job in that role. Roll in the Dornier Do 217 which was the replacement aircraft for the Do 17 and intended to continue as a bomber with the Luftwaffe. One of the roles carried out was as a night fighter, a role that it was not a great success for the aircraft. The Do 217N-1 was basically a combination of the Dornier Do 217J-2 with the airframe of a Dornier Do 217M body. A dedicated Dornier Do 217 night fighter was produced soon after as a Do 217N-2; basically the same aircraft minus the gun turret. The night fighter role of the Do 217 was short lived due to both the Bf 110 and Ju 88 being far more effective.
This release from ICM is packaged in the usual manner, of a cardboard tray with flip top lid, and a separate card lid with an image of the product printed on it. Inside there are two re-sealable plastic bags containing all the parts for the model, it is unusual to see the parts of a model packed in more than one bag but it is a welcome change. During transit one part broke free of the sprue with no obvious damage that I am aware of. Loose inside the box is the instruction booklet, with the decals nestled inside for protection. An examination of the sprues does not cause me any concerns beyond what you would all expect to find. There are some flow lines that do not look or feel to have caused any issues with the parts finish. There are always ejector pin marks with my best guess telling me these should not be an issue.
The crew compartment looks to have a good level of detail, bit I have found it difficult to find reference for the crew area. Radios and ammunition storage is well represented via the addition of panels moulded separately to the crew area, with some careful painting these addition will make this a great looking and busy area. I like the effort that has been put into the aircrafts seating, especially what I believe is the navigator/communication officers seat which is an interweaved canvas affair. The pilotsí seat is well detailed including the armour plate behind it, but ICM has provided no harness detail; It has been pointed out to me that this could be a plus as removing moulded on harness detail is a pain and many modellers now opt for/prefer aftermarket offerings.
I like that ICM has provided the internal parts for the bomb bay and a brace for the wings, I would have liked there to be two wing braces as that would make wing attachment in my opinion. Lastly I like that ICM remembered to supply some internal frame detail around the interior for the tail wheel. The Bomb bay interior is supplied with fuel cell, I believe and offers alternate parts for the doors to be open or closed; I like that ICM took this route rather than trying to use the same parts in different positions.
The external areas of the fuselage have great recessed panel lines that are light and so look realistic scale wise. The nose with the cannons and machine guns has some great detail, plus the cannons and machine guns are supplied separately and so look better plus they are easy to exchange for turned barrels if wished. The finely recessed panel lines continue on the flight surfaces that should result in a nice finish to the model. The flight control surfaces are all provided as separate parts and so can be positioned as wised by the modeller.
Something that ICM always seems to offer with their models are engines and the wonderful detail that is present is so often hidden. This offering from ICM is no different and two very nicely detailed engines are supplied, but ICM has also supplied the ability of adding the engine nacelles both with or without the engine added and so you could have one open and one buttoned up or however you wish. I personally like the idea of having the engines absent from the model but one built and displayed as if an engine replacement is going to take place.
The nacelles have nice frame detail where the wheel recesses are concerned. The wheel struts are also nicely tackled having a great level of detail that looks complete with the exception of brake cabling that will need to be added by the modeller. The external exhaust elements have been tackled in half parts and that has enabled them the be shown hollow and so realistic.
The glazing on the model is well done being thin and so avoiding distorted image through it. The canopy of the main crew area is very large and so a lot is seen through it. One aspect that made me sit and think is that there is a second glazed part to be attached of the large moulding and I was thinking about how to secure this in place without frosting occurring; my conclusion is that something like Klear floor polish will need to be used. If you can think of a better approach please share and do not keep it to yourself. The defensive machine guns could be with having the barrels replaced with turned brass offerings. The radar assembly has been really well tackled for injection moulded plastic and has a nice finesse about them. I feel happy to use these on the model, but I do know that master maker a brass set for the model if so desired.
This offering from ICM has four finishing options to choose from. The decals provided have a very good look and feel about them being both thin and good colour. The decals do not have large amounts of excess carrier in most cases and so should be easy to get seated. The aircraft represented are:
Do 217 N-1, Rechlin, Germany, Spring 1943
Do 217 N-1, Rechlin, Germany, Summer 1943
Do 217 N-1, I./NJG 3, Denmark, 1944
Do 217 N-1, II./NJG 4, Germany, Late 1943
This offering from ICM of the Do 217N-1, its WW2 German Night Fighter variant is a very nice offering with a great deal of detail present. I am pleased to see ICM starting to include alternate parts in order that the modeller has choices in what they wish to display on the finished model. It is good to see ICM packing the sprues in more than one bag now as that helps prevent the warping of the sprues. I cannot think of anything negative about this model offering.