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Dornier Do 215 B-4


ICM, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: ICM 72301 - Dornier Do 215 B-4
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: Grey and clear styrene; markings for five aircraft.
Price: GBP£12.34 will be available online from Hannants website and retailers worldwide
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Accurate; includes most parts for B-5 night fighter
Disadvantages: Minor flash; rough surface here and there
Recommendation: Recommended

Reviewed by Peter Willicks

ICMs 1/72 scale Dornier Do 215 B-4 will be available online from Squadron.com



After Sweden, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union had shown interest in the Do 17, Dornier revised the design of the Do 17 Z and developed ans combat/reconaissance version with DB 601 in-line egine instead of the Bramo 323 radials of the Do 17 Z. After the outbreak of the Second World war all aircraft were modified to Luftwaffe specifications and used by various long-range reconnaisance units, mainly the Aufklärungsgruppe OBdL (Recce group of the CinC Luftwaffe) over France, Great Britain and the Soviet Union until replaced in 1942 by the Ju 88.
Although the Do 215 had a much better performance than the Do 17, only a small series was built. One reason was the shortage of the DB 601-engines which were neede for the production of the BF 109 and BF 110. Another reason may have been the smaller bomb load of the Do 17/215 compared with the He 111 and the Ju 88. During 1940/41 most of the units equipped with the Do 17 converted to the Ju 88.

The main variants were the Do 215 B-1 and B-4, which had different camera equipment, the B-4 was distinguished by a large bulge for a Rb 20/30 camera under the forward fuselage. Two aircraft of a version called Do 215 B-3 were sold to the Soviet-Union in 1939, but neither Sweden nor Yugoslavia got any of the aircraft they had ordered. At the end of 1942 some of the surviving Do 215 were given to the Hungarian Airforce which used them over the Soviet Union in 1943.

In 1941 a night fighter version, called Do 215 B-5, was developed, which was equipped by various radar sets and even an infrared system, called "Spanner" (= Peeping Tom), but the reliabilty of the latter was bad, so it was not developed further.




The new kit, the first injection moulded kit of the Do 215 contains two sprues for the fuselage, cockpit and undercarriage, two identical for the engine nacelles and one with the clear parts. The sprues contain most of the parts which will be used for the Do 215 B-5 night fighter too, which has already been announced by ICM. The cockpit section is separate from the rest of the fuselage, perhaps ICM may develop more variants of the Do 17. A Do 17-Z has been announced, but after RS-Models had started to produce their Do 17 M+P kits, we'll see, who will launch a new Do 17-E/F or a Do 17-K in 1:72.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


I would have preferred a fuselage half which is moulded as one piece. A first dry-fitting of the main fuselage and the cockpit-section shows a small gap at the bottom of the fuselage.

There is some minor flash on some sprues and parts of the surface are a bit rough, but the panel lines are fine and some of the smaller parts are very crisp, especially those of the undercarriage. So great care is needed when you cut them of. The cockpit details of this kit are a significant improvement compared with the Do 17 kit from Frog and Monogram, but leave enough space for those who want to add more. For the ambitious scratchbuilder ICM has included some drawings of the cockpit at the end of the instructions.

The doors of the bomb bay are separate, but there are no detail for the bay itself. No real mistake as the Do 215 was mainly used as a reconnaissance aircraft. The whell wells are niceliy deatailed and a there is a spar which help to align the wings correctly.

I have compared the kit with the line drawings of the Do 215-profile, published as No. 39 in the Ledwoch range, and they're spot-on. Only the prop-blades look a bit tiny, but perhaps this impression will change when the model is completed.

Marking Options

Decal for three Luftwaffe aircraft are included, all painted in the usual RLM70/71 over RLM 65 (Black Green/Dark Green over light blue). Two aircraft have the well-known yellow Eastern Front-markings, and one has lots of small dots in dark green painted over the light blue underside, a modification, often used by Luftwaffe Reconaissance aircraft to reduce the visibility of the light blue undersides.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


All markings are for aircraft of the Aufklärungsgruppe ObdL, but two are still wearing the codes of their former units.

ICM classifies all three aircraft as Do 215 B-4s, but photos of the T5 + AH show this aircraft without the camera-bulge under the entry-hatch. A profile of the G2 + JH in one of the old "Aircam Aviation"-books show this aircraft without the bulge, but I did not find a foto of the aircraft. So both aircraft could have been a B-1. As ICM has moulded the bulge as a separate part, there is no problem to build the model without it. Perhaps the bulge was detachable on the original aircraft too. Unfortunately I could not find a clear statement about it in my books.




Although there are some setbacks, this is a fine kit and make the vac-form and resin-moulded conversion sets obsolete. Like ICMs Tupolev SB, building of the model may require some extra work, but at the end we'll have a nice replica of the last version of the famous "Flying Pencil".


Purchased with reviewer's funds

Review Text and Images Copyright © 2007 by Peter Willicks
Page Created 04 May, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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