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Dornier Do.17Z-7 WWII German Night Fighter (48245) 1:48


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Dornier Do.17Z-7 WWII German Night Fighter (48245)

1:48 ICM




The Dornier Do 17, nicknamed the Fliegender Bleistift or flying pencil due to its slender shape, was a light bomber designed by Dornier Flugzeugwerke in the mid-1930s. Along with the Heinkel He 111, the Do 17 carried out the lion’s share of bombing raids against the UK up to the end of the Battle of Britain. The Do 17 Z was the main production variant and featured a redesigned forward fuselage that was enlarged in order to accommodate a rear gunner. The Z-7 sub-variant featured a new nose that was borrowed from the Junkers 88C, and was fitted with four guns, one 20mm and three 7.92mm machine guns, all concentrated in the nose for maximum destructive effect.  An additional fuel tank in the bomb bay improved loiter time, and for those dangerous head-on assaults, additional crew armour was fitted to the front bulkhead to protect them from the defensive fire of the bomber stream.  The nickname Screech-Owl (Kauz) was coined, and the Z-7 was later replaced by the Kauz II, which was the Z-10, fitted with an infrared searchlight, an infrared detection suite and four machine guns instead.



The Kit

ICM have been releasing plenty of Do.17 and Do.215/7 variants in the last couple of years, which has been great news for the Luftwaffe modeller in 1:48, with only a few kits and variants to choose from previously.  The Z-10 was first of the Do.17 variants to hit the shelves, with the Z-2 and now the Z-7 based on the same basic sprues but with additional parts added to depict the differences.  The origin of the tooling is 2015, and is part of the newly invigorated ICM that has been pushing their mould manufacturing techniques, so is of good standard, with plenty of detail, sensible construction and so forth.  The plastic in the box is almost identical to the Z-10, save for the nose-cone, which has been tooled on a separate sprue, and the decal sheet of course.  There are a number of parts that will be left on the sprues after construction due to the nature of the tooling, and these are marked out on the instructions.  The box is standard ICM fair with the inner flap protecting the parts, and inside the sprues are protected by a single resealable bag with another separating the clear parts within and preventing chaffing damage in transit.  The decal sheet is hidden within the glossy colour printed instruction booklet, which has the painting and decaling guide on its back pages.












Construction begins with the cockpit, but unusually it is the sidewalls details that are inserted within the fuselage, which even includes the small raised platform on which the pilot's seat and control column sits.  The other crew seat is fitted to the starboard fuselage side along with more details, and aft of this there are three bulkheads that bracket the bomb bay, which also has a stiffening lip added long the sides, none of which will be visible, so don't waste any time painting them unless you are planning on opening the bomb bay doors to expose the additional fuel tank that will be fitted there.  The rear gunner's seat is fitted last on frames at the rear of the cockpit, and what passes for a cockpit floor is first glued to an insert that then attaches to the underside of the nose.  The lower glazing behind the nose is preserved, giving the crew a good view below them, which the solid nose curtails.




The upper wing is full span, and the lower wings are separate, with cut-outs for the landing gear bays that expose moulded-in detail within the inside of the upper panels.  It has separate ailerons and fits over the top of the fuselage, covering the bomb bay over.  If you're planning on opening the bay doors, remember to paint the inside of the wing a dark colour so it can't be seen, as it doesn't have any internal structure, but does have some recesses and ejector pin marks that could possibly be seen past the fuel tank or in the aft portion of the bay that is empty.  The elevators are separate and form a H-shaped assembly with the rudders, which are also poseable, and these fit flush with the top of the fuselage by the usual slot/tab arrangement.  Taking care to align these properly now will save a lot of work blending them in later.


Building up the engine nacelles commences with the firewalls added to the lower wing cut-outs, following which the aft bulkhead has the retraction struts glued in place, and they too slot into the wing.  The inner sides of the wheel bays are added to the wing, and these have pegs on their backsides that locate the outer nacelle skins on the airframe correctly, after the engine mounts are inserted into the port sides.  The starboard sides are mounted in the same manner, and the radial engines are then constructed from a healthy number of parts, including detailed pistons, crank case, exhaust collector and fishtail tips, fitting onto the exposed engine mounts in each nacelle.  The cowlings are provided as a frontal section with the annular radiator behind them, and then a framework that allows the access panels to be posed open or closed to show off the detail provided within.  The props are single parts, with a spinner that fits over them, and if you're so minded, you could leave them able to spin just for the fun of it.  A few scoops are fixed to the nacelles, the sturdy twin undercarriage legs with large tyres slot into the front of the bays, with two bay doors per nacelle, one each side fitting onto little hinge-points within the nacelle lip.  Open and closed bomb bay doors are included, and all that's left to do now is finish off the glazing.  The rear of the nose gondola is a clear part with two circular windows that will need masking off, and the canopy is moulded as a single part, with an additional armoured glass panel in front of the pilot's screen.  A ball-mounted machine gun slots through the rear, an aerial fits into a recess on the roof, and a cowling for one of the sensors (I want to say NAXOS?) sits behind it.




My Do.17Z-7's got no nose.  How does it smell?  Vaguely plasticky now you mention it.  The new nose has four holes for each of the guns, the largest of course being the 20mm MG151 cannon, the barrel of which is tubular.  The smaller 7.92mm MG17s have to be cut shorter according to a template before fitting to get the correct protrusion from the nose cone.  Pop the kinked pitot probe on the port wing, and wind up your compressor.




It's any colour as long as it's black because it's a night fighter, so don't fall into the trap of actually painting it black, but use some variations on a very dark grey.  There are literally thousands of shades, and you can mix and match to give it a more realistic colour, but as the matt black paint seems to have weathered quite quickly, there's plenty of scope for a really chalky, weather beaten finish if you check your references.  You get two decal options from the box, both from the same squadron and location, so if you fancy anything different, you'll have to do your own research and find some more decals.  From the box you can build one of the following:


  • I./NJG 2, Giltze-Rijen, Autumn 1940 – white tail band coded R4+HK
  • I./NJG 2, Gilze-Rijen, Autumn 1940 – white tail band coded R4+FK




Decals are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas.




Another of ICM's excellent line of Flying pencils.  At this rate we're going to need a pencil case to put them in!  Good detail with a slightly narrow choice of decals, which is a pretty minor issue, especially when price is taken into account.  It's now more possible than ever before to build a wide range of the Pencil's engineering history in 1:48, for which ICM are to be congratulated.  Where you'll put them all is entirely down to you.


Very highly recommended.


Review sample courtesy of


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Great review Mike! Thanks for posting. 1/48 isn't my scale, but as the Dornier 17 is a firm favourite of mine, your review has prompted me to trawl around for the 17Z. It certainly looks like a nice kit. And hey! It's not banana shaped like the old Hobbycraft kit! Bonus.


I wish ICM would scale it up to 1/32. I'm fed up waiting for Revell!

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18 hours ago, fightersweep said:

I wish ICM would scale it up to 1/32. I'm fed up waiting for Revell!

By all means cross your fingers, but I wouldn't hold your breath - asphyxiation isn't a pleasant death apparently ;)

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