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Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale
Dornier Do 17 Z

by John Valo


Dornier Do 17 Z in Luftwaffe Service


Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale Dornier Do 17 Z is available online from Squadron



Classic Airframes' second release of the 1/48 scale Do 17 Z is the 'Battle of Britain' version, featuring decal options for four aircraft (including one with Black undersides).

For all of you out there who, like me, would intermittently drag out the Hobbycraft Do 17 and putter with it for a while, only to return it to the darkness of the Models I'll Build Someday closet, this release is very welcome.



I have always had a soft spot for the Do 17 Z as being a true iconic participant in the Battle of Britain, as well as a nifty looking plane in general.





As with any kit of this nature, you will need to spend a fair amount of time cleaning up and test fitting parts. On my particular kit, there was a fine hair of flash on most of the plastic parts, easily removed with the swipe of a blade. The resin parts are of the expected high quality and the commendably thin clear parts look great after a bath in Future.


As usual, I spent my initial modelling sessions cleaning up, painting, weathering and bagging all the various parts. I started assembly with the cockpit, and was pleased to discover that considerable thought went into providing alignment tabs and slots for the main parts. I added seat harnesses and belts from tape and fine wire. The cockpit fills up in a hurry, but everything fits. Building this area really gives a perspective to the cramped and vulnerable conditions the aircrews endured during the war...


I elected to leave the top and bottom nose sections unassembled until I had the rest of the airframe completed to avoid any unnecessary gaps.

I attached the lower wings to the full-span upper section and tweaked the wingroot fit by trimming the small alignment tabs at the roots. The nacelles do seem to be 'handed' port and starboard, but I still had to fill in some small gaps at the leading edge junctions. I would recommend finishing the wing/fuselage assembly before attaching the horizontal stabilizer, as this makes aligning the airframe a lot easier (had to learn that one the hard way, but no damage done).

I then attached the upper nose section to the main airframe, slightly sanding the edges for a perfect fit. By offering up the lower section (with all the fiddly cockpit stuff hanging out!) without applying glue, I was able to 'lock' the parts in place for a practically gap-free fit before applying liquid cement to the joints.

The canopy is slightly wide at the center, but fits well. I separated the barrels from the machine guns and glued the gun bodies into the clear parts using epoxy. The lower nose section glazing provided a bit of a challenge as it incorporates an insert for the bomb sight fairing and these parts in turn attach to a jagged fuselage cutout. Careful test fitting and a bit of sanding was necessary, but in the end it all fit properly. Careful sanding and test fitting is also necessary to fit the nose cap glazing, as on my example there was a bit of flash extending around the edge.

To mount the engines, I made two thin spacers to go behind the resin engines. There is a mounting tab incorporated into the casting, but it's a bear to try to clean up around. I used five-minute epoxy to allow me time to rotate and align the engines inside the cowlings. I added the spindly cowl support struts from thin styrene rod. By using slow-setting glue, I was able to assemble and align the landing gear assemblies without any problems.



Painting and Markings


I painted the model using Polly Scale paints, then clear coated it with Future. My favorite way to paint Luftwaffe splinter camouflage is to scan the color guide pattern, enlarge it to scale, and cut out the various segments for masks.



The Cartograf-printed decals went on flawlessly, with only a bit of MicroSol being used on some of the areas of the larger decals.

I couldn't resist the KG 76 pistol-waving Devil 'depositing' his bombload. The white is very opaque; registration is perfect.

The final clear coat was Flat Polly Scale Clear.





If you're in the market for a 1/48 scale Dornier, this is clearly the only game in town. Like any modeling project, the end result is directly proportional to the time and effort put into preparing and assembling the kit parts.



Though decidedly not for the rank beginner, I would highly recommend this kit to anyone with some experience with multi-media kits. Thanks to Classic Airframes for the opportunity to review this model!


Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Model, Images & Text Copyright 2007 by John Valo
Page Created 13 December, 2007
Last Updated 24 December, 2007

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