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Special Hobby’s 1/72 Dornier Do 317V-1

By Chris Banyai-Riepl

 

History

 

The Dornier Do 317 was designed to meet the Bomber B specifications as a replacement for the Ju 88A and He 111H. Competing with the Junkers Ju 288, the Focke Wulf Fw 191 and the Arado Ar 340, the Dornier Do 317 was designed to incorporate any of the high altitude engines available, with the Daimler Benz DB603 and DB604, the Jumo 222, or the BMW 802 all potential powerplants. Starting with the Do 217K, the Do 317 featured a slightly larger fuselage with a larger bomb bay capable of carrying up to four SC1000 bombs.

Only one prototype was completed before the constantly changing Bomber B specifications and wartime engine needs shut down the planned Do 317 line. The remaining prototypes were finished as Do 217Rs and flew with III/KG100 based at Orléans/Bricy. Designed to carry the Hs293A missile, the Do 217Rs differed from the Do 317V-1 in that the cabin pressurization wasn’t installed. The operational history of the Do 217R is unknown, and III/KG100 was disbanded in August 1944.

The Kit

The Special Hobby kit of the Dornier Do 317 is mostly injection plastic, with the interior being made up from some nicely cast resin. The parts breakdown is somewhat standard except for the wing arrangement. Instead of having the wings fit into the fuselage halves, the upper wing halves have part of the upper fuselage and join together in the middle. This is an odd way of doing things and will make alignment difficult.

The resin interior is very well done, although it looks like it will be a painting nightmare as the cockpit floor, sidewalls, and rear bulkhead are all molded as one. The seats all have seatbelts molded on, and the level of detailing in the resin should keep you quite busy with that 000 brush. Some cleanup on the insides of the fuselage halves will be needed in order to get the interior to fit right, as there are ejector pins in the way.

The engines are made up of separate nacelles that fit onto the wing and capture the look of the Daimler Benz nacelle shape. There is a basic wheel well interior that could probably be spruced up with some added ribbing and wiring. The landing gear will need cleanup, but once done it will capture the look of the real thing quite well. The propellers will take some work, as they have individual blades connecting to a one-piece hub. There’s no locating pegs or marks, so a jig will need to be made to keep everything in alignment.

The canopy is vacuformed and has a front, top, and rear piece. Only one set is provided, but the simple shape of the canopy should make removal and assembly very simple, with little that could go wrong. The decals are printed by Propagteam and are up to their usual level of excellence, being thin and in perfect register. Only one option is available for the Do 317V-1, that being VK+IY. The swastikas are represented by a two-piece decal that will require the placing of the center ‘cross’ over the arms to make a complete swastika. While it is a bit of work, it’s better than not having them at all. The camouflage of the Do 317 is depicted as being RLM74 and RLM75 over RLM76. This goes against the common knowledge of bombers being painted in 70/71/65, and in looking at the few pictures of the Do 317 it appears that it was in fact painted in the darker colors of RLM70 and RLM71.

Conclusion

The Bomber B specification resulted in some rather interesting designs, but only the Ju 288 and the Do 317 ever made it off the drawing board and into the air. With the addition of some Hs293A missiles and KG100 markings, a Do 217R could also be made for a truly unique operational bomber. With this kit one can now make just about the entire line of the Do 17 family, from mail plane to bomber to night fighter to missile carrier.




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Air Intelligence
1999 Modelers'
Reference Guides

1/32 Scale Guide $18.00
1/48 Scale Guide $25.00
1/72 Scale Guide $25.00
HH-43 Huskie Color
Reference Guide $15.00

Please add $3.20 Postage in the US.

TacAir Publications

PO Box 90933
Albuquerque NM
87199-0933
USA

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