Monogram 1/72 Do-17Z






See review


Scott Van Aken


1969 release


One of the first modern bombers in the Luftwaffe was the Do-17. Initially designed as a 'fast mail plane/airliner', it was obvious that this was going to be a warplane. The very cramped seating and minimal passenger room would have made for a fast, but quite uncomfortable flight. Known as the 'flying pencil' because of the slim fuselage, the Do-17 had a wide wing that enabled it to carry a decent load and still have pleasant flying and landing characteristics.

The Do-17Z became the most used version and was operational in late 1939. It was undoubtedly the most used bomber during the Battle of Britain and the blitz of 1940. It is unusual that the Do-17Z has gotten very little press as most of what you hear about from that period are the He-111 and the then-brand new Ju-88. The Do-17Z was a dead duck without fighter escort and was soon replaced by faster and better armed bombers. It found a new lease of life in the Eastern Front and the Balkans where opposition wasn't as fierce.


The Do-17Z has been issued in 1/72 by two companies that I know of: Frog and Monogram. Both kits come from the late 1960s. Of the two, I'd have to give the Monogram kit the upper hand. I have not built either of them, but just the overall look and feel of the Monogram kit is better. Both are similar in layout and design, but the Monogram one is more detailed. For instance there is some detailing on the fuselage sidewalls for the cockpit in the Monogram kit, and the detailing is just crisper.

On to the kit itself. It is in a dark green plastic (so you don't have to paint the dark green part of the paint scheme!), with raised panel lines. You can see this from the sample sprues shown above. There are also four crewmembers for the cockpit area. The cockpit includes four seats, a control stick and an instrument panel. There is a decal for the panel so things won't look too bare in there. 

The upper wing is a single piece to aid alignment and the tailplane is a single molding. Wheel wells have no detail at all and are not boxed in. The tailwheel is part of the fuselage halves. There is very little engine detail beyond what is molded with the cowling fronts, but it is sufficient for the kit. One thing that you won't find on most of today's kits is a display stand. It is the same size as that provided with the P-36 and other fighters so will look a bit small under the Dornier! 

The transparencies are nice a crisp. They are a bit thick and some of the curved panels show some distortion. All of the parts are flash free and mis-alignment of the molds is not apparent in any of the parts. Frankly, it looks like it will make into a nice kit despite its age.

Decals are all on a single carrier and need to be cut out. They have yellowed a little bit in the last 31 years! The white appears to be off register. There are markings for two aircraft, both on the Eastern front. One is for 7./KG53 'Legion Condor', a Croatian volunteer unit. The other is 7./KG2. They are both in RLM 70/71 upper with RLM 65 lower. Naturally the RLM colors are not given! the painting and decal section has all the color information for the kit on it. The instruction sheet consists of five major construction blocks containing 37 total steps. Each step has a circle that the modeler can check off when done. Naturally, the sheet is devoid of any international icons or multitudinous warnings that fill today's instruction sheets.

All in all, a very nice looking model for a blast from the past. What really grabbed my attention was the 'Hobby Catalogue #2 for 1/72 and 1/32 kits" that was in the box. $7 for a Phantom Mustang, $1 for an A-5A Vigilante, and a whopping $15 for the B-52D with 'real engine sound'!

Review copy courtesy of me and my wallet! 

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