Italeri 1/72 Do-217K-1




Picked up at a swap meet.


2 aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Probably the original boxing



The Do-217K-1 differed from its predecesors,the most noteworthy difference being  an entirely redesigned nose section, eliminating the usual stepped 'airliner' nose with a fully glazed version as with the He-111. The BMW 810Cs were supplanted by the D versions offering 1,700 hp on take off and operating on 97 octane fuel. It was intended primarily for night bombing and initial production aircraft started leaving the production line in  late summer of 1942, first serving with KG 2 a bit later on that year. Initial production planes had the R 25 tail fairing housing a Perlon braking chute (for use as a dive bomber) , but that was eliminated early in the run. Other additions were underwing racks for torpedoes though none were used operationally.

The aircraft was supplanted by the longer winged K-2 version which could carry Fritz-X guided bombs and operated throughout the 'baby blitz' of 1944. As the war drew to a close, it was seen that bombers were not of much use and like many other remaining bomber types, they ended their war as cannon fodder to attacking Allied fighter-bombers.



Italeri (formerly Italaerei) has a well deserved reputation for producing interesting kit in 1/72. They are currently the 'helicopter kings' but in the late 70s and early 1980s, were well known for producing a rather substantial line of desirable WWI subjects, many of which are still not bettered (or produced by anyone else). Among their list of accomplishments were a number of German bombers, including a couple of Do-217s. The E/J were done by Airfix, so Italeri chose the K version. Packaged in those miserable 'open and both end' boxes, the kit is molded in a dark grey plastic. Detailing overall is really very good, though of the raised panel line variety that was common.

The cockpit included seat, sticks and floor as well as four piece crew members. The usual number of guns and turrets are provided. The kit also has separate control surfaces, a feature that I personally like as it means I don't have to cut any away if I want to show something different from the usual static look of most models. These rather thick pieces are prone to sink areas and this kit has a few of them there. There are also a few ejector pin marks to deal with and a touch of flash, though it is very light and more like large mold seams than anything else.

The kit can be built 'in flight' though there is no longer a stand with the kit, otherwise the gear doors will need to be cut to use. Wheel wells are boxed in, but have no detail. Engines are generic, though hidden by bans. The bomb bay doors are molded shut and there is no bomb bay provided.

Instructions are quite good with a parts layout, construction drawings and a painting guide for small parts similar to Matchbox instructions at the end of the construction sequence. Color info is all generic names. Markings are for two aircraft. One, as shown on the box art, is from III./KG 4 during 1943/44 as based in France. It appears to be RLM 76 over black with RLM 75 splotches on the upper surface. The other, from I./KG 66 is in similar colors, but with the RLM 75 in a wave mirror pattern. The color and decal placement guide is repeated on the back of the box in color. Decals are well printed, quite matte and may still be usable after all these years. There is little in the way of aftermarket for this plane so one must use what is provided. The instructions hint at the RLM 75 actually being RLM 71, but I have my doubts. I'd suggest more research on the actual colors before painting this one, but what I mentioned seems reasonable enough.



Though it is not currently being produced, the kit is easy to find and will undoubtedly be reissued as a 'special' in the near future. It was also reboxed by Testors in the mid 1980s so look for it in that box as well. It should build into a nice and relatively hassle free model.

Review kit courtesy of me.

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