|KIT:||Italeri 1/72 Do-217E-3/4/5|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Do-217 was a follow-on to the quite successful Do-17, an early war bomber that was quite fast, but not able to carry that much of a bomb load. The Do-217 was designed as a medium bomber and because it was developed after the He-111 and the Ju-88 was generally faster than either one of them and able to carry a larger bomb load. Until the development of the troubled He-177, the Do-217 was Germany's largest bomber. However, its size was also a concern as late in its development it became underpowered as the pace of engine development did not keep up with the increasing weight of the airframe. It was not as easy to fly as its lighter cousins or the earlier Do-17. Production ceased in 1943 as the need for fighters was becoming more and more necessary.
Very successful in a variety of roles, the Do-217 was used as a standard day bomber, night bomber, maritime bomber, and even as a night fighter. When using the Hs-293 guided bomb, it was quite accurate and responsible for sinking and heavily damaging a number of Italian and Allied ships when Italy surrendered and during the Anzio landings of 1943/44 respectively. It was also quite successful on the Eastern front where it was able to out-run a number of Soviet fighters. However, as with all things, it slowly became obsolescent and eventually, when Germany went on the full defense in late 1944, they were parked and used as decoys for Allied fighters.
This is a reissue of one of Italeri's more popular kits. It is the 217E bomber version, and considerably better, in my opinion, than the other kit done by Airfix. It has raised panel lines, a legacy of its age, though the sprues are in excellent condition with only a teeny bit of flash.
The cockpit section is fairly well appointed with generic seats, a control wheel, an instrument panel (with decal) and a floor section. Though there are crew figures included, they are marked off on the parts layout and not shown in the build section. Also a legacy of the time the ailerons, elevators and rudders are separate pieces. Engines include just half faces, which is fine as there are large cooling fans that will obscure most of this. The transparencies are bagged separately to prevent being damaged from the loose sprues that are in a rather large box for this kit. They are well molded and should provide no problems. An additional sprue included the Hs-293 and a large drop tank along with their pylons.
Instructions are well done and provide well drawn construction steps with colors in ModelMaster, generic, and, where required, RLM shades. Markings are for four aircraft, all in RLM 72/73/65, the standard Do-217 colors. The decal options are for an E-5 version from KG 100 in 1944 with the Hs-293, another E-5 version with fuselage mottling and the H-293 from 4./KG 100 in France during 1944, an E-4 with 4./KG 40 in 1942 and with a black underside, and finally, an E-3 with 3./KG 2. The decal sheet is well printed, matte and does not include swastikas.
It is always nice to see these older kits reissued. If nothing else, they provide usable decals as often the older ones are junk after a decade or two. It builds into a very nice model of an important German bomber.
Thanks to for the review kit. You can find Italeri kits at your favorite hobby shop or on-line at www.testors.com
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