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ProModeler 1/48 scale Dornier Do 217E-5

Manufacturer:ProModeler, Revell-Monogram, 8601 Waukegan Road, Morton Grove, IL 60053-2295, 847-966-3500
Kit: No. 5954
Scale: 1/48
Price: $33.10
Comments: Injection-molded, 142 parts, decals
Pros: Good interior detail, fine engraved panel lines, excellent clear parts
Cons: Tricky fit of major components
The Do 217 was a development of the earlier Do 17 "Flying Pencil." The design was quite adaptable and even provided the basis for a night fighter. The Do 217E-5 represented by the ProModeler kit was a bit of a contradiction, blending a 1930s aircraft design with a futuristic weapon such as the Hs 293 radio controlled stand-off missile.

This is the first 1/48 scale injection kit of the Do 217. The kit is molded cleanly in neutral gray plastic with neat recessed panel lines. A well detailed cockpit is provided and flattened tires are included. Options are limited to exhaust shields; no crew figures are provided. The instruction book lacks photos of the real aircraft usually found in ProModeler kits.

I started building with the extensive cockpit module. It's a fairly busy place and requires careful painting to highlight the details. Take care gluing the walls and floor together to keep the assembly square. The cockpit module is a tight fit when enclosed in the fuselage. It required several dry runs to get it right.

The molding of the fuselage has an unusual breakdown - the usual left and right components are there, but the top of the fuselage is molded with the wing's much of the wing's upper surface. When testing the fit of all fuselage components I was shocked to find the lower main assembly to be narrow when compared to the top! Adding spreader bars would help the fit. As there are alternating tabs I decided to use brute force - lots of finger pressure and quick-setting liquid glue. I still needed to fill and sand seams, as large gaps were created using this solution. My right fuselage side had two sink marks that required filling.

Next I attached the wings to the fuselage assembly. Since almost half the upper surface is molded with the fuselage top, a major seam is present at mid-span. I spent some time with a sanding stick to reduce the appearance of the seam and make it look like a panel line.

The engine nacelle subassemblies were a tight fit into the wing openings. The right nacelle created a large gap at the top joint to the wing, which I filled with gap-filling super glue. The landing gear consists of multiple parts and has excellent detail, especially the mud guards.

The Hs 293 radio controlled missile included in the box is a mini-kit of its own. It's well molded and looks convincing.

The cockpit canopy is beautifully molded with little distortion. The beam machine gun ports are separate panels and required a little sanding to achieve a good fit. The aft gun turret was a perfect fit into the canopy. The fit of the completed canopy to the fuselage was excellent. The ventral gunner's glass panel (part No. 207) was a very tight fit. Use care here so you don't damage it during installation. Given the many glass panels on this kit, I decided to use the True Details painting mask set. It saved me a fair amount of time and allowed me to do a neat paint job. I painted my Do 217 with Polly Scale acrylics.

Decals are included for two aircraft. They went on well over a gloss coat using some setting solution. Take note of the lower wing crosses as they go over the wing pylons. I suggest cutting out the carrier film that covers the small square holes for the pylon attachment braces.

I used William Green's Warplanes of the Third Reich as my main reference. The kit looks good and compares well to the dimensions listed.

My Dornier took 29 hours to complete; it's not an easy build. Experienced modelers can handle the construction challenges, and Luftwaffe enthusiasts will want one in their collections.


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