ICM 1/72 Dornier Do-17Z-2

KIT #: 72304
PRICE: $20.00 or so
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2016 release


The Dornier Do 17Z series was the most recognised and mass-produced variant, and saw more combat service than the E-U types. The type was modified as a result of combat experience during the Spanish Civil War. The forward fuselage was redesigned, with the cockpit area being "dropped", or extended further to enable a rear firing gunner position to be installed, and the canopy extended aft, until it was nearly parallel with the leading edge and wing root.

To test the design, the Do 17S and Do 17U were produced, both to be powered by the DB 600 power plants. However, a call for all DB 600 series engines to be reserved for fighters led to the variants being fitted with Bramo Fafnir 323 A radial engines. The bomb load was increased to 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) and a fourth crew member was added. It proved to be underpowered, so Bramo 323 P engines were then fitted. Only three Do 17S and 15 Do 17Us were built. With the updates, the Dornier, with a full bomb load, had a combat radius of 322 km (200 mi). Later variants, in the Do 17 Z-3, Z-4 and Z-5, which were fitted with cameras, dual trainer controls and flotation aids (for maritime operations) respectively, still could not solve the problems with range and bomb load.


The 1/72 Do-17 has been released by a number of companies over the years including Airfix, Matchbox, Monogram and ICM. The more recent of these are by Airfix and this one from ICM. Both of these kits are a lot more complex than their earlier counterparts, as modelers expect a greater amount of detail out of modern kits. ICM has released four boxings of this kit. This one and the Z-10 nightfighter in 2016, and a Z-7 and Finnish Z-2 in 2018.

In two major areas, these newer kits are an improvement over the older one. One is a much more detailed interior and this one is no exception. The other is a highly detailed bomb bay. This latter item requires multiple bulkheads to host the eventual bomb racks and bombs that go in there, along with a fuel tank. Once you get the interior pieces installed, alone with the aforementioned bulkheads, the tail gear is trapped in between the fuselage halves as they are closed.

Attention then moves to the wings. A single upper and two lower halves are provided along with separate ailerons. In fact, all the flight control surfaces are separate, though it looks as if they are to be attached in the neutral position. Once the wings are attached, the tailplanes are assembled and attached. Then the bomb racks and bombs are built up and installed. Then begins the assembly of the main gear wells, which includes the long retraction struts. Engine mounts are assembled and attached to one nacelle before the other side is glued in place. Then commences the construction of the engines, which include exhaust and and pushrod pieces for both bands. Once installed on the mounts, all that detail is hidden for the most part behind the four piece engine cowlings.

Then props are attached along with the various clear bits and the machine guns that stick out of them. Only now are the main wheels and gear legs installed along with the gear doors. You can build this with the bomb bay closed, but doing so hides all that work that went into them. Of course, you can skip the part that covers the bombs and fuel tank if you do doors closed. Last items are more clear bits, completing the 77 construction steps.

Instructions are quite well done and nicely drawn. You are provided four markings options, all of them in RLM 70/71/65. Many of the options are similar units to the recently reviewed Techmod sheet with one being exactly the same. There is even the winter camo version. The only different unit is a KG 76 plane based in France during August 1940. Decals are very nicely done and lacking a swastika. Not even a split version is provided so you'll have to dig in the spares box for a set.  


Inevitably the question will come up as to which is better, this one or the Airfix kit. Well, I've not built either, but just looking at the sprues, the ICM kit seems to have superior detailing to it.



May 2021

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