Superscale 48-544: Do-17Z-2


$Long out of production


KG.2 and KG.3


Tony Hodun

The Dornier Do17Z twin engined bomber variants were the pinnacle of the development of the airframe known as the “Flying Pencil”.  This nickname applied best to the slim-nosed earlier variants, as the Z series adopted a larger, more angular nose which allowed for more crew and more defensive armament.  While overshadowed by the He111 and Ju88, at its peak the Do17Z equipped 12 staffeln of 4 Kampfgeschwader and 1 KampfGruppe, and was an important part of the Luftwaffe’s bomber strength from the invasion of Poland through Operation Barbarossa; a few also served into 1943-1944 with Finland and with a Croatian staffel on the Eastern Front.

 This set is one of two that SuperScale produced for the Do17Z several years ago and provides options covering three theatres of operations.  Some of the references they used are older ones, so I have pointed out a few things that you may want to change.

 The first option is Do17Z-2 5K + red FD of Stab III/KG3 in East Prussia in 1939 in the standard RLM70/71 over RLM 65 scheme.  There is one questionable area, the choice of red for the spinner tips and aircraft letter F.  The standard color for the Stabskette of a Gruppe is green, and while there were exceptions, most Luftwaffe units followed the standard.  My references don’t include any color photos of this Do17Z, but profiles of this bird in newer books show green as the staffel color.  It will be your choice as to whether to change this. Also, the red used on the sheet may be a bit duller than Luftwaffe RLM 23 Rot; personally I can live with it.

 The second option is Do17Z-2 U5 + yellow BH of 1. /KG2 operating out of Greece in 1941, also in the 70/71/65 scheme.  This unit was involved in the invasion of Yugoslavia & Greece (Operation Marita), and Crete (Operation Merkur), and shows the yellow rudders and cowls that were the markings used for Marita & Merkur.  All Do17Z photos I have seen had the full cowl painted yellow for Marita /Merkur; the sheet shows a partial cowl, which may be correct for this aircraft; your call.  The yellow underneath the wingtips was not typical for most aircraft for Marita/Merkur, although I have seen this on a few other types (but no Do17Zs).

 The third option is Do17Z-2 5K + White HU of 10. (kroat)/KG3in Russia in the winter of 1941/1942, with a winter whitewash over the upper colors of the 70/71/65 scheme.   This staffel was formed in August 1941 with some of III/KG3’s former Do17Zs as that Gruppe became the last Luftwaffe bomber unit to convert from the Do17.  The Croatian staffel operated on the Eastern front attached to KG3 until July 1942 when it was redesignated 15.(kroat)/KG53 and attached to that unit. Photos of this airframe show the whitewash wore off over time and became pretty rough looking, so the modeler could do this scheme as newly applied or when well worn.

 The sheet includes a full set of national markings and basic stencils that allow you to do any one of the three versions.  Since it is SuperScale, you know the decals will perform well.  The only available kit in 1/48 is the Hobbycraft Do17Z; while the recent reissued boxing has quality decals, the decals in the original boxing are poor, so this set is a perfect way to improve the look of your Do17Z.  Though the set is out of print it can sometimes be found at shows or online for a reasonable sum.  Even with the “glitch” in the Stab KG3 color, definitely recommended!

July 2006

 Review copy courtesy of my wallet!

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