Hobbycraft 1/48 Do 17M/P Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||August 2008||Manufacturer||Hobbycraft|
|Kit Number||1603||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Neat WWII German bomber. Unusual Bulgarian markings||Cons||Way oversized packaging. Very short history on instructions|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$20.95|
The Dornier Do 17, sometimes referred to as the “Fliegender Bleistift” (“Flying Pencil”), was a light bomber produced by Dornier in Germany. It was designed as a Schnellbomber, a light bomber, which in theory, would be so fast that it could simply outrun defending fighters. It was used in the first 3 years of WWII, with some success by the Luftwaffe. The type was popular among it’s pilots, as a maneuverable low-altitude light bomber, capable of surprise bombing attacks.
It’s sleek and thin airframe made it harder to hit than other German bombers, as it presented less of a target. The Dornier was used in every major campaign in significant numbers until the end of 1941, when it’s limited bomb load and range became too much of a problem, and it’s effectiveness and usage was curtailed.
The Do 17 continued in Luftwaffe service in various roles until the end of the war, as a transport and test and trainer aircraft. A significant number of Do 17’s were sent to other nations. A small production run of an updated version, known as the Do-215, was also produced for export, but ended up in Luftwaffe service as it was sorely needed. The successor of the Do 17 was the Dornier Do-217.
The Do 17L-0 and Do 17M-0 were developed in parallel, as replacements for the earlier E’s and F’s. The L being the reconnaissance version. Both were designed around the more powerful DB600A engines, developing about 1,000 hp (750 Kw). Two L’s and one M version were built as prototypes, both with another MG15 machine gun in the nose.
Production versions of the basic Do 17M model airframe were fitted with the new Bramo 323A-1 “Fafnir” radial engines of 900 hp (670 Kw), which gave reasonable performance and raised the bombload to 1,000 kg. The resulting Do 17M-1 was produced in small numbers and operated until the first year of WWII, when they were withdrawn and set to Luftwaffe training units.
Donier Do 17’s were operated by: Bulgaria – who received 11 ex-Yugoslavian aircraft in 1941. They remained in service until at least 1945 there., the Air Force of the Independent State of Croatia, Finland, Germany, Romania – who received one ex-Yugoslavian Do 17Ka-3, Spain – received ex-Legion Condor Do 17E, F and P’s and 13 of these remained in service after the end of the Spanish Civil War, Switzerland – operated one Do 17Z-2, which was interned after landing at Baseo Airport in April of 1940, Yugoslavia, Britain – who used 2 ex-Yugoslavian Do 17K’s which escaped Yugoslavia with King Peter and a load of Gold.
Hobby Craft of Canada is a model company based in Toronto, Canada.
The kit comes in a very large tray and lid box. Actually, the box is way more blousy than it needed to be. There is a letter L void around the parts inside that is around 3 inches wide.
The boxart shows a Do 17M/P in a camouflage of RLM 70 schwarzgun (dark green) and RLM 71 dunkegun (dark green) splinter above and RLM 65 hellblau (light blue) below. It only carries the German crosses on the wings and fuselage and no other markings. This nude scheme is not one offered in the kit.
The side panels, both, give a one sentence history of the aircraft and Hobby Craft’s address and phone number. In small print it says that the markings on the boxart may differ from what’s on the decal sheet. This is true on this kit. On one side panel is the address for the Hobby Craft distributor in the UK.
Inside the box are two large trees of medium gray parts in a sealed cello bag, a medium sized tree of medium gray parts and a clear parts tree in another sealed cello bag and two loose parts of the fuselage. The decal sheet, instructions, a pre-paid post card – to put your comments and suggestions on and mail to Hobby Craft and a slip warning that the kit is not for kids under 3, because of small parts that could be a choking hazard (in multiple languages, including English).
The instructions consist of a single sheet that accordion folds out into 6 pages of 10 ¾” x 8 ½” format.
Page 1 begins with a repeat of the boxart in black and white, followed by a 2 sentence history of the Do 17M/P in English, French, Spanish, German and Italian. The bottom of the page has international assembly symbol explanations and Hobby Craft’s address.
Pages 2 through 4 give a total of 6 assembly steps.
Page 5 has a 4-view drawing a scheme for a Do 17P-1 of 3(f)/22, Germany 1940. This aircraft is in a splinter of RLM 70 swarzgun (black green) and RLM 71 dunklegrun (dark green) above and RLM 65 hellblau (light blue) with a squiggle pattern of the dark green on the sides and bottom. It carries the fuselage code 4N+HL on the sides of the fuselage. The 4N & L are in black and the H is yellow. Underneath each wing tip is the letter H again in large black letters. The swastika, on the tail, is black with a white outline. This swastika is cut in two, diagonally on the decal sheet and you have to re-assemble it into the whole. This is to get it past the taboo in Germany against this symbol. There is a squadron symbol on the sides of the nose that is a white cross with a small red diamond in the center.
Page 6 has a 4-view drawing of a scheme for a Do 17M-1 of the Bulgarian Air Force in 1944. It carries some very odd national markings, that this modeler has not seen previously for Bulgaria. They are black squares, with a white circle that has a red circle in the center and a horizontal red bar dissecting the red circle. It carries the fuselage code GB (odd national marking) G. The first G is in red and is smaller than the other letters, which are both in black. The odd national roundels are on top and under the wings, but are without the black square. There is a white number 7 on the rudder. The aircraft is in a splinter camouflage of RLM 61 dunklebrun (dark brown), RLM 62 light green, and RLM 63 hellgrau (light gray) above. The underside is RLM 65 hellblau (light blue). The propeller spinners are all white. Up until I saw these markings in this kit, I thought Bulgarian markings were a black X on a white field.
There are no parts tree illustrations in the instructions. However, the trees are alphabetized and parts are numbered on them okay.
Letter A medium gray parts are the two fuselage halves. These are done as a top and bottom piece vs. the usual side pieces we see in aircraft kits.
Letter B medium gray parts tree is part of the largest one in the kit. It holds: the cockpit floor, foot pedals, control column, seats, instrument panel, DF antenna, radio antenna, tail surfaces, fuselage tail cone, pitot tube, flap hinges (that you have to cut apart), landing gear struts – fenders & wheels, tail wheel and 6 machine guns etc. (43 parts) This tree is co-joined to the letter C tree.
Letter C medium gray parts tree the other half of the largest tree in the kit. It holds: the rudders, the propellers, engine cylinders & pushrods, more main landing gear struts etc. (25 parts)
Letter D medium sized and medium gray pars tree holds all the engine cowling parts (12 parts)
There is no letter E parts tree.
Letter F medium gray parts tree is the wing halves.. (4 parts)
There is no letter G parts tree.
Letter H parts tree is the clear parts for the cockpit , cabin windows and wing light lenses. The tree holds 8 parts. There is a single loose clear part that is an alternate dorsal gun position canopy in the closed version. This is the one you use to build the kit and the open-ended one on the tree is excess and should go in the spares box.
There are no crew figures in the kit.
The cockpit is very sparsely provided for. However, I don’t know how much can really be seen in there through the thick transparency parts. Panel lines are the scribed type. Flaps are all molded solid, so would take surgery to alter their positions. The main wheel doors are molded closed and have to be split down the center to get the open doors needed for wheels down.
I recommend this kit to most aircraft modelers, as it does not appear to be too difficult to build.