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Do 17Z-7 WWII German Night Fighter - 1:72 ICM

Paul A H

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Do 17Z-7 WWII German Night Fighter

1:72 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 was a dedicated night fighter, featuring a solid nose borrowed from the Junkers 88C. The new nose was was fitted with four guns; one 20mm cannon and three 7.92mm machine guns.  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 defensive fire. 


This kit is the fourth iteration of ICM's excellent new tool Dornier. The plastic is essentially identical to the original Z-2 kit, but with a small extra sprue containing the new nose. Inside the very sturdy top-opening box are three largish frames of light grey plastic, a single clear plastic frame and the aforementioned nose. Together they hold a total of nearly 200 parts. The airframe is covered in crisp, recessed panel lines which look very good indeed, and the mouldings are crisp and clean. The instructions are an A4 stapled booklet which has been printed in colour and the decal sheet is clear and well printed. The overall impression is of a well-executed kit which looks like it should be thoroughly enjoyable to build. 






Construction begins with the very well detailed cockpit. Interior detail includes crew seats, rudder pedals, a control column (moulded in two parts), radio gear and other sidewall details. The instrument panel is made up from two parts and is really nice in terms of moulded detail. Internal frames for the bomb bay and wing spar are also included, as is the additional long range fuel tank for the forward part of the bomb bay. Interestingly, the instructions suggest you assemble and fit a full load of bombs into the aft part of the bomb bay. I think it's safe to say you can ignore this stage and save yourself the trouble of painting ten bombs! 


The upper wing is moulded as a single span, complete with interior detail for the main landing gear bays. The ailerons are moulded as separate parts, which is always welcome. The rest of the flying surfaces follow suite, with the rudders and elevators all moulded separately. The elevator balance mechanisms are also included. The bramo radial engines are presented in their complete form and are rather nicely detailed, which opens up the possibility of finishing the model in some form of maintenance diorama. The main landing gear legs have to be installed as part of the construction of the engine pods, so take your time making sure everything fits well together and is painted ready for installation.




With the engines in place, the rest of the build is occupied with finishing details. The canopy is nice and clear, while the rear-firing MG15 is included. The new nose includes the muzzles for the cannon and machine guns, all of which

were already included on the original sprues.




Decal options are included for two aircraft, both of I.NJG 2, Glitze-Rijen, Autumn 1940 (R4+HK and R4+FK). Both aircraft are finished in the overall black scheme shown on the box artwork. The decals look nicely printed but no stencils are included.






ICM have certainly made the most of their investment in their new tooling, unlike Airfix who stopped at the classic Battle of Britain bomber. While both kits are excellent, ICM's effort is slightly ahead of the Airfix kit in terms of detail. The mouldings are high quality and the surface structures are fine and crisp. Overall this is a well executed and carefully designed kit which looks as though it will be thoroughly enjoyable to build. Highly recommended.




Review sample courtesy of



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