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In-Box Review
Dornier Do X
Dornier Do-X 1929 12 Engine Flying Boat
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Dornier Do-X 1929 12 Engine Flying Boat

For you, good modeler, is this walk down memory lane; an oldie but goodie, a 'public service announcement,' or educational to just fill in the gaps, any of those are my reasons for eclectic model reviews. This review of the late Entex model company's Dornier Do X is one such review.

Dornier Do X (Otaki kit history, spelling & punctuation)
    Built by Dornier in Germany, the Dox made its maiden flight on July 25, 1929, carrying 150 passengers, ten crew members and nine stowaways. It was originally fitted with ten Siemens-built Bristol Jupitor Radial Engines. After considerable overheating and maintenance problems, these were replaced with Curtiss Conqueror water-cooled engines. The Dox was the largest plane in the world at that time.

    On early November 1930, the Dox took off for New York via Holland and England. It put down in Lisbon with a fire-damaged wing. After repairs, it took off again to cross the Atlantic via the Canary Islands, where the hull was damaged again. After repair and take-off, it made its way to New York making stops at Portuguese Guinea, Cape Verde Islands, Natal, Brazil and Rio de Janiero, arriving in New York in late August, 1931, almost ten months after take-off from Friedrichshafen, Germany.

    The original Dox was assigned to Lufthansa. Two later models, fitted with Fiat engines, were delivered to Italy. Many of the major aircraft companies during this period were concentrating their efforts on large flying boats, presumably because they eliminated the need for large runways and had the advantage of being able to touch down in many locations in case of emergency. Among these were the famous Sikorsky-American Clipper, which was smaller-114ft. wing span, but a greater commercial success.

    Type — 12 engine, 150 passenger flying boat.
    High-wing braced monoplane.
    Construction — Fabric and corrugated light alloy sheeting.
    Engines — 12 Curtiss Conqueror water-cooled in tandem pairs.
    Wing Span - 157ft. 9in. (48m)
    Length - 131ft. 4in. (40.05m)
    Wing Area - 4,887sq. ft.
    Weight (empty) - 65,040 Lbs. (29,500kg) (loaded) - 114,640 Lbs.
    Speed (maximum) - 134 MPH (216km/h)
    Ceiling - 1,640ft. (500m)

This aircraft still holds the record for the most engines on an airframe.

The kit
For most vintage models I generally touch upon the high points and otherwise let the pictures speak their 1,000 words.

This model was tooled by Otaki Model Toy Company. Otaki molding was usually very good and this model demonstrates one of Otaki's better efforts. Unfortunately Otaki went bankrupt in 1980; many Otaki 1/48 WWII airplanes went to Arii and some to Airfix. Other kits went to those companies and others, including Doyusha.

Molding only suffers insignificant flash, no visible ejector marks or sink marks. Struts, propellers, and trailing edges are a bit out of scale thick. There are six sprues of 129 parts include:

120 x white parts
5 x clear parts
4 x black display stand

Exterior detail on the fuselage is impressive. A combination of raised detail and recessed panel lines accurately depict the fuselage. Good external detail enhances the engine nacelles and radiator / intake parts. This small-scaled big plane lacks any cockpit and other interior detail.

Builders beware - this model is full of struts and braces. The fuselage is an interesting three-piece assembly of two side halves and a separate top.

Otaki engineered this kit detail well with airfoil shaped struts and braces.

Each engine is slightly different and Otaki cautioned the modeler to pay attention to the instructions. Excluding propellers each nacelle is assembled with six parts: left and right nacelle halves; oil coolers; radiators. Also each engine nacelle is connected to its neighbor with a pair of bracing struts.

Elevators and ailerons are equipped with raised balancing planes. Finally there are several antennas, pitots and other appliances to attach to the airframe.

It will be interesting to see how well all of these struts and braces fit together!

instructions, painting and decals
An eight page instruction booklet guides you through 23 steps to assemble this model. It is expertly illustrated with line art. The back cover is a sprue diagram. Inside are tips for modelers and side boxes showing detail.

Painting is simply illustrated for the four colors: black, silver, dark gray and mahogany. The same illustration shows where the decals are positioned.

Those decals are sharply printed. They are opaque and precisely registered. The decals have large areas of clear film that can tarnish the silver finish. Consider cutting around them. Only decals for a single airframe are provided: D-1929.

I did not remember this model when I recently found it. I think it is my first 1/144 airplane. So far I am very impressed with the model. Molding is excellent without meaningful flaws. The kit has recessed panel lines. Struts are molded with an airfoil shape. I wish all instruction sheets were this clear. The decals have large areas of clear film that can tarnish the silver finish.

Drawbacks are no interior and slight flash.

This is an impressive and tantalizing model! If you can find one, consider putting one of these big silver seabirds in your collection. Recommended!

...was formed in 1970, based in Compton, California. The name is the phonetic pronunciation of NTX, the initials of the two original founders plus an X. The company grew in the 1970s but withered into the history books in the early 1980s, supplanted by the electric and digital entertainment revolution.

Entex released almost the full genre' of models: cars, engines, ships, and aircraft (civil and military). I do not remember any military vehicles or figures. With a couple of exceptions Entex did not create models, they repackaged and reissued them. Distributed under the Entex logo were kits of many minor (At least in the U.S. and Europe.) Japanese model companies such as Otaki, Fuji, and Doyusha to name a few (Some of them also issued kits in confederation with other companies.)

Two models that apparently were Entex creations were the Rockwell B-1 bomber and the Hughes H-4 Hercules "Spruce Goose". I've never seen either in person yet both are reported to be very good models. Entex also issued in 1/100 the C-5 Galaxy and Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde.

Entex also released models by American manufacturers. I read on a WWI site that many of Entex's Pocket Planes series WWI models are original Revell molds. Although after Aurora's dissolution in 1977 many of their their molds went to Monogram, Entex received Aurora molds.
Highs: Molding is excellent without meaningful flaws. Good instructions.
Lows: No interior and some flash. The nice decals have large areas of clear film that can tarnish the silver finish.
Verdict: This is an impressive and tantalizing model! If you can find one, consider putting one of these big silver seabirds in your collection.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:144
  PUBLISHED: Sep 27, 2013

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


This kit was later issued by Revell, Revell Germany, and Revell Germany in a Matchbox box, so it's not as difficult to find as may be expected.
SEP 26, 2013 - 06:40 PM
Thanks Jessica, good to know. I haven't test-fitted yet but it looks like a very nice model!
SEP 27, 2013 - 04:38 AM
I gotta admit that I am not much for civvie planes; I must struggle against building this WasserVogel in RLM 72/73/65 ;-)
SEP 27, 2013 - 04:41 AM
Planes? This one's almost a ship!
SEP 27, 2013 - 05:44 AM

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