Revell 1/48 Do-217E-4

KIT #: 85-5526
PRICE: $24.95 MSRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Reissue with new decals and different variant



The Do 217 could carry a much heavier bombload than either the Heinkel He 111 or the Junkers Ju 88. It was also very fast, surpassing both aircraft in maximum speed. It was Germany's largest bomber for nearly two years until the Heinkel He 177 was finally safe enough to use. Do 217s sank the Italian battleship Roma with Fritz X PGM bombs as she steamed to the Allies after Italy's capitulation. Do 217s were phased out of combat use in mid 1944.

Like the Do 17 and the Ju 88, the aircraft was used in a variety of roles, including that of the night-fighter - a sign that Germany desperately needed fighters far more than it needed bombers. Production was stopped in April 1944 in favor of single-engined fighters. Operational use of the Do 217 as a night-fighter was restricted in 1943 to NJG 4. The only capability in which the Do 217 was used up to the end of the war was as a night reconnaissance plane. Like the Do 17, this important type of service in the Luftwaffe is frequently overlooked.


This is only the second time this kit has been released in the US and this is a different version from the initial ProModeler kit. If you recall, the ProModeler version was the E-5 with the Hs-123 missiles. This kit has the drop tanks for the outer wing racks. Though not really a consideration when doing a kit preview, I should point out that this kit is most reasonably priced at $24.95. Back when the ProModeler kit was released, it retailed for $32.95 and it has been many years ago.

As the moldings are basically the same, all that has been said about the ProModeler kit are true of this one as well. Apparently there was some sort of minor 'incorrectness' when it came to props and forward cowling as Cutting Edge did a correction set for it. As I'm '217 ignorant', it looks fine to me, but thought you should know.

This is a relatively simple kit for a large twin. The majority of work will go into the cockpit and the wheel wells. The cockpit has all the detail on expects from a Monogram kit (which was the parent company when initially produced). A feature of this kit is that the upper fuselage, wing center section and tail plane upper surface are all molded as one part. This prevents problems with alignment and dihedral. Wheel wells are very nicely detailed and one can wait until near the end of construction to install the gear. This keeps them from being damaged during building. About the only options provided by the kit are whether or not to use the flame dampers over the exhaust and whether or not to install the wing tanks.

Instructions are superbly done provide generic and RLM paint references rather than tie one down to a specific brand as many times one sees. The markings are very well printed and provide basically insignia (including swastikas) and codes for two planes. Do-217s were not colorfully marked. Standard scheme for the aircraft was the maritime scheme of RLM 72/73 on the upper surfaces and RLM 65 undersides. Neither of these two aircraft use that particular scheme, however. At least, not according to the instruction. The box art plane is from 5./KG 2 in the Netherlands during 1943. It is in RLM 71/72 over RLM 76. The other is a night bomber from 5./KG 6 in France during 1943. It has the upper surfaces in RLM 76 with a wave mirror pattern in black. Undersides are also in black. It has a red spinner tip. There are no under wing insignia on this aircraft and the upper wing ones are partially overpainted by the black squiggles.

It really is great to see this kit finally reissued in the US. It is a nicely done kit and the fact that it is so inexpensive is a real bonus. From what I understand, Revell's new owners are trying to balance new kits (mostly cars) with the release of old favorites at a respectable price. The LHS had a bunch of the old favorite 1/48 Bf-109G-10s in stock and while not dirt cheap ($15 or so), it was nice to see them available again. These have been selling briskly so it would be a great idea to grab one before they disappear for another decade or so.

May 2009

Tony Hodun adds this information you may find useful:
“The E-4 kit has the same wings and wingspan as the E-5, which is correct.  The E-4 kit also includes a flexible nose-mounted 20mm MG FF cannon, as well as the longer early tail cone with which most E model bombers were built.  The braking parachute carried there did not work out well, so many Es had short tail cones installed later (like the one on the box art!).  Warpaint Series No. 24 on the Do217 is the best reference on this aircraft and illustrates many Do217 E model bombers.  The good news is that the shorter tail cone is included as part 4 on the fuselage tree.  E-2s and E-3s were quite similar externally to the E-4 as all had the dorsal aft-facing turret, and many had a flexible machine gun in the nose position, so it would not be hard to install a spare MG15 in the nose to backdate the kit.  You can also find three different E-2/3/4 sets of markings for KG 2 and KG 40 on the Eagle Strike decal set number 48010 produced a while ago which is reviewed elsewhere on this site.  Revell is to be commended for providing us the standard bomber version of this big Luftwaffe twin! “


Thanks to me and an 'impulse buy' for this one. Actually, it was easy to do!

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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