by: Darren Baker [ ]
The Dornier 217 can be considered the bigger brother and replacement for the Dornier 17 Flying Pencil. This aircraft was larger than the Dornier 17, and was put to many uses other than the bomber role for which it was designed. This particular offering from ICM, covers a Night Fighter variant in 1/48th scale.
This offering from ICM is packaged in a sturdy flip top box, with an additional card lid depicting the artwork of the model. Inside the model is package in a re-sealable plastic bag, which can lead to warping, but that is not the case in this offering. There is however flow lines visible in the plastic, but this has caused no issues to the quality of the finish of the model parts. A couple of parts had come free from the sprue, but no damage has occurred.
The cockpit area of this model looks to have been very well tackled, apart from that is the lack of harnesses for the seats. Side wall detail has been provided via separate parts, for which ICM has provided some decals to enhance the finer details for modellers that do not invest in coloured photo etch aftermarket parts. ICM has provided a brace for supporting the wings in the correct orientation, which is something I approve of, and has also included the interior of the bomb bay from a previous release, which will aid greatly in the rigidity of the fuselage during construction. I was also pleased to find that ICM have included some of the internal framing structure. Where the rear wheel sits, should someone want to inspect the area. One thing I have noted, is that the balloon tyre rear wheel, is directed to be installed very early in the construction, stated in the booklet, and I cannot help but think this is begging the modeller to break it off during the proceding stages.
Moving to the exterior of the model, there are very fine recessed panel lines on all surfaces, with the modeller even being provided with separate flight control surfaces, so these can be displayed as desired by the modeller. The engine nacelles are a new addition to the model, and have great details on both the interior and exterior surfaces. The nacelles can be assembled off of the model, and the under carriage also installed prior to addition to the main body of the model. Radial engines are provided with a good level of detail, but again could be further improved via addition of aftermarket photo etch. Of note, I did find that one of the engine flaps, had become disconnected from its sprue, when packaged, but no damage had occurred.
The clear parts of the model have been well tackled and should not cause any issues such as magnification or obstruction of view. One aspect that does confuse me is that the bomb bay doors can be assembled open, and with this being a Night Fighter I do not see the reason for it. The radar antenna is one area where the aftermarket companies, such as Master could improve upon the kit offered parts. This is purely down to the finesse of the parts rather than the lack of effort, on the part of ICM. The forward firing armament has a reasonable level of detail that will need to be drilled to give the muzzles the open aspect, and so again I would suggest that the discerning modeller takes a look at what is on offer from Master.
ICM has provided four finishing options with this release, which are as follows:
Do217J-1,II./NJG 1, Hungary, 1944
Do217J-2, Germany,Spring 1942
Do217J-2, Germany, Autumn 1942
Do217J-2, 4./NJG 3, Denmark, 1944
The decals provided, are of the high standard that I have come to expect from ICM with good colour and thin in order to seat properly when applied to the model. There is one issue, the Swastika’s that would be on each side of the tail have been omitted and an aftermarket source will be needed, by anyone wanting to include this detail. The only physical issue with the decals is that some of the carrier could do with being trimmed back.
ICM rate highly with me, due to the fact that they offer many different variants of the models they release, and this means that the modeller can wait for the specific release that they want, rather than investing in after market resin sets, and does away with all that surgery that is required to use such sets, that can destroy a model. For me the only real negative is again the lack of harness detail on the seats, but otherwise I am hard pushed to critique it.