Xotic-72 1/72 Dornier Do-22

KIT #: ?
PRICE: $
DECALS: Five options
REVIEWER: Carmel J. Attard
NOTES: Short run with vac canopy and resin parts

HISTORY

Dornier Company has always been known for its design of floatplanes. There was a period prior to WWII when the need for such a market was on the decline and the company eventually decided into building land planes. There was also the growing need of such types of aircraft in the upcoming new Germany. The Do-22 was designed and built in this transition period and it was to cater for a wide range of use that was to appeal to requirements of small air forces. The Do-22 was a three seat reconnaissance and light bomber floatplane which evolved in 1934. Basically the aircraft was of a sturdy metal construction with fabric covering except areas around the engine and floats which were metal. It was a high wing monoplane, powered by a Hispano-Suiza 12 cylinder liquid cooled engine of 860 HP, driving a three blade propeller that gave the aircraft a cruising speed of 186mph and a maximum speed of 217 mph. The aircraft was also able to operate on land when floats were replaced by wheels. The crew of three comprised of a pilot, an observer/navigator and a gunner. The aircraft was armed with a twin mount for the rear gunner, one gun on the nose above the engine and one ventrally in a tunnel beneath the rear crew station aiming down in the aft fuselage. The arrangement was in line with custom of previous Dornier design and gun positions mounted on other types as Do-11 and Do-23.

 Some 30 Do-22 were produced, which were all delivered to foreign air forces in fact it never appeared in operational Luftwaffe markings apart from the two prototypes. The first country to receive the Dornier Do-22 was the Royal Yugoslav Navy which ordered 12 aircraft. These were all operational when the German army swept through Yugoslavia circa 1941. Luckily the Do-22 had the advantage of having a long range (1400 miles) and eight of these were able to escape across the Mediterranean to Egypt. The contingent of Do-22 that arrived in Egypt reformed as No 2 Yugoslav Squadron under the command of the RAF and continued to perform service on coastal patrol and reconnaissance duties for a time until grounded by lack of spares. Greece, Latvia and Finland also received the Do-22. Most of the Greek aircraft were lost in defence against Germany whereas the Latvian aircraft were taken over by the German government before delivery and transferred to Finland instead. The Fins used the 4 aircraft extensively in a wide variety of roles and appeared as both floatplane and landplane as well as on skis. The Do-22 had a length of 43’2” and a wing span of 53’2” The empty weight was 5,600 lbs.

THE KIT

The D0-22 kit is issued under the trade name Xotic-72 hence the scale is evident. The box cover indicated that it is a limited run kit and that it is recommended for the experienced modeller. Not that this should indeed be so but possibly since there are a few resin parts and a single vac-form cockpit canopy. The box cover art depicts a Do-22 making a low pass and is shown in what appears to be Finn AF camouflage and markings even though the Finn insignia appears as a light blue cross over a white circle.

  Upon opening the box there are two sprues of light grey plastic components with fine engraved panel lines and detail areas having the fabric covering are well represented. Flash is minimal and there are no sink marks to be found. The ejector pin stubs are on the inside of parts while those on the wing surfaces have to be removed. The kit contains nine resin parts and a single vac-form cockpit canopy in clear acetate. The 4 page A4 size instruction sheet is very well represented to follow a sequence of assembly in six steps. Each of these steps is very well displayed with isometric clear sketches of exploded views indicates each part and where it fits. The cockpit and crew station is well fashioned and includes also a floor cushion on which the dorsal rear gunner rests for firing downwards. One should note here that the resin parts to fit inside are a bit proud and should be filed to reduce in size to fit. Propeller blades come separate and this is where careful assembly may be needed. A plan view showing the blades including angle of 120 degrees is printed and one may suggest amplifying this sketch with a photocopier and assembling the blades and leave to dry while these are positioned over the drawing and this will assure that a correct propeller blade assembly is resulting. The upper nose opening needs to be drilled and a hollow tube the size of the gun is inserted inside. The two inverted ‘L’ shaped exhaust pipes also needs careful boring with a small drill of a suitable size and the result will be very effective.

CONSTRUCTION

 When it comes to assemble the wing actuators it is suggested to refresh the tiny locating holes which indicate their positions below the wings and this is best done at some time before fixing the wings in place. A unique feature about this aircraft is that it has what appears to look like dive brakes fitted over the tail planes and care is also needed when fixing these at their exact place .On the last page of the instruction sheet there are additional building notes which one should not overlook. When it comes to fit the wings it is suggested to glue the centre struts first and while these are drying careful dry fit the wing to struts in order to ensure that the struts dry in the proper aligned position. One may build a simple jig to help support the wing in this endeavour to produce perfect alignment. Careful assembly of the struts for the correct alignment is probably the trickiest step and is emphasised on the ‘building notes’ in the instructions. It will take a while to complete because of all the drying times sequence recommended. Some strut placement dimples on the wings are not quite in the correct place and these are blanked with a small amount of putty in the end.

COLORS & MARKINGS

 There are markings for six aircraft. I selected to finish mine in Finn AF floatplane version. One will have to make his own research for the correct pattern of the black and medium green camouflage as an overall green is suggested. The camouflage pattern may vary from one aircraft to another but are very close to each other. Insufficient pattern detail also applies to the Greek AF version which could be finished in beautiful camouflage of dark earth and olive green. Otherwise one may opt to do a Yugoslav plane in overall aluminium with dark green mottle on the upper surface. The decal sheet is superbly done and caters for any of the following aircraft: Two Greek, two Yugoslav and a Finn AF one in either land plane version or on floats. Showing the wheel version without spats was somewhat irrelevant as only spaded wheel components are provided with the kit unless of course one will make the extra effort to build ones.

CONCLUSIONS

  This is an interesting subject for a kit and one should make careful assembly and achieve pleasing result as it also turns out to be an eye catcher indeed. One may also look hindsight and ask why floatplane aircraft of this sort are not supplied with a beaching trolley as we have seen recently with kits of the Ro-43 and Ro-44. It took me some time again to research for the type of beaching trolley that would be normally recommended for the Dornier Do-22. Being an origin of German design I went for a beaching trolley the type of which was used for the He-42, He-60 and Ar-96 that were in service with Bulgarian AF and Chilean AF that continued to use German type of equipment. This built was time consuming more than others of same category but was worth spending time on it in view of its unique design and interesting colour scheme and markings.

Carmel J. Attard

August 2006

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