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Dornier Do 217 J1/J2

Italeri, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y

Item No. Italeri No. 1266 Do 217 J1/J2
Contents and Media: 123 mid-grey plastic parts on 2 sprues, 3 clear plastic parts on 1 sprue, decals for 6 aircraft plus a 5 page fold-out instruction sheet with history, parts plan, 10 build diagrams and 4 pages of paint/decal instructions.
Scale 1/72
Price: around 8.50 (available online from Hannants) and hobby outlets worldwide
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: The only 1/72 scale kit available of this aircraft, reasonable detail inside and out, some very interesting colour schemes and excellent decals.
Disadvantages: Raised panel detail; needs strengthening along the upper spine; engine cowling somewhat out of shape.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended


Reviewed by Glen Porter

Italeri's 1/72 scale Do 217 J will be available online from Squadron.com




The BMW radial engined Dornier Do 217 J was a modification of the Do 217 E bomber due to a lack of suitable radar equipped airframes for nightfighters. Although it was not a success, it accounted for many allied bombers damaged or destroyed. The Do 217N was similar but with in-line liquid-cooled Daimler-Benz engines.

Before I started this review, I had a look at Italeri's web site to see which models of the Do 217 they had produced and was some what startled to find only two. The 217E was there and this one. The others, and I'm not sure now how many there were, have all been deleted. I know for sure there were two Ks, a long wing and a short wing and an N because I have all three of them in my collection. I think there was also an M which is a K with DB in-line engines. However, I don't think they ever got around to producing a J before. All they've done is remove the two fuselage halves from the E fuselage sprue and added the N fuselage and Hey presto, a J. It would have been easier if the BMW engines and cowlings had been on the wing sprue but they're not and this is probably why there was no J earlier. I would expect that the earlier marks will re-appear at a later date although it could be several years off. 


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


"So, whats in the box? I hear you ask. Well, nothing has changed very much except the swapping of parts from kit to kit and the plastic is now mid-grey instead of the black of the deleted kits. The same subtle raised panel detail as before and the same sparse to adequate interior detail. The BMW cowling are still some what suspect in fact there has been no change in the plastic what so ever except the above parts swap. However, If you want a Do 217 of any type in small scale, apart from the old Airfix E, these are the go.  



This kit's real forte is in the new decals and colour schemes. The decals are printed by Cartograph and are spot-on for register, colour density and minimum carrier film. There is a complete set of stencils and markings for six aircraft and some of the most interesting schemes I have ever seen for a nightfighter.

  1. A Do 217 J-2 coded D5 + MM  of NJG 4, transferred to the Regia Aeronautica but still wearing Luftwaffe markings in February 1943, in RLM 74/75 uppers and 76 below with a low demarcation.

  2. A similar aircraft to above, coded 3C + IL also of NJG 4 and also transferred to the Italians but this time in RLM 73/02 uppers with 76 below and again a low demarcation.

  3. A third J-2 with factory radio codes KD + MZ, no unit noted, winter 1942/43, in the same colours as the first.

  4. An all black J-2 noted as an Experimental Radar Aircraft, Germany 1943, coded GE + EA with a white 51 inside the fuselage cross and below the canopy on either side of the nose.

  5. Yet another J-2 of II/NJG 101 in Hungary 1944, coded  KI + LV with RLM 75 uppers and 76 below and a high demarcation and 75 extending down under the fuselage crosses.

  6. This time a J-1 in the Regia Aeronautica, 41 Stormo, 60 Gruppo, Lonate Pozzolo, July 1943, coded 235-4 with German crosses under the wings only and no Italian markings at all. Its colour scheme is over-all Matt Black with Black-Grey (RLM 66?) on the exhaust shrouds and spinners plus RLM 74 engine covers on the cowlings.

Italeri does not supply Swastikas in this kit and there is no indication if any of the aircraft should have them.





These Dornier kits and other multi-engined models from Italeri are not state of the art by any means but, although old technology, in many ways can still be built into attractive models.  

The Dorniers have some shape problems around the nacelles but when built they still look like the aircraft they are designed to represent and because they are the only game in town I expect they will sell quite well for some time yet. 

I just wish Italeri would take the time to modernize these moulds, put a bit more detail in the interior, engrave the panel detail and fix some of the shape problems before Hasagawa or some-one else does it for them, a la the Mitchell and He 111. 

In the meantime, it is better to have these than none at all. 


Thanks to Italeri for the review sample

Review Copyright 2007 by Glen Porter
This Page Created on 15 July, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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