Reviewed: Apr 2021
Eduard have released the latest kit in their extremely popular "limited edition" range. This time around we have the very nice ICM Dornier Do-17Z plastic combined with a host of Eduard resin, PE and masks with a very extensive decal sheet.
In keeping with their recent Battle of Britain series kits, Eduard have named this release "Kampfstift", which translates to "Fighting Pencil". The boxart is very well done and includes an evocative silhouette of the London skyline and map as would have been used by the Luftwaffe crews during the Blitz.
The kit is already showing as discontinued on the Eduard website but at the time of writing most (if not all) of the detailing accessories can be purchased separately for use with any of the original ICM kits or the Eduard Overtrees.
The retail price for the kit is US$79.95 but it seems to be readily available for closer to the US$60 mark. When compared to the asking price for the plain ICM Do 17Z kits of around the US$40 mark I feel that it's pretty good value given how much extra stuff is included by Eduard. Included in the box for this release are:
The Dornier Do 17, sometimes referred to as the Fliegender Bleistift ("flying pencil"), was a light German Luftwaffe bomber used during World War II. The aircraft was designed as a Schnellbomber ("fast bomber"), a light bomber which, in theory, would be so fast that it could outrun defending fighter aircraft. The Do 17 was designed with two engines mounted on a "shoulder wing" structure and possessed a twin tail fin configuration. The type was popular among its crews due to its handling, especially at low altitude, which made the Do 17 harder to hit than other German bombers.
The Dornier Do 17Z series was the most recognised and mass-produced variant, and saw more combat service than other types. The type was modified as a result of combat experience during the Spanish Civil War. Production of the Do 17 ended in mid-1940, in favour of the newer and more powerful Junkers Ju 88. The successor of the Do 17 was the much more powerful Dornier Do 217, which started to appear in strength in 1942. Even so, the Do 17 continued service in the Luftwaffe in various roles until the end of the war, as a glider tug, research and trainer aircraft. A considerable number of surviving examples were sent to other Axis nations as well as countries like Finland. Few Dornier Do 17s survived the war and the last was scrapped in Finland in 1952.
If you are interested in the Do 17Z in 1/48 scale, chances are you already have at least one of the ICM kits which first appeared in 2015, being reboxed by ICM themselves four times since then. The plastic parts in this Eduard kit are identical to the ICM boxings so any and all aftermarket by other companies will fit perfectly well here. The real attraction of the Eduard limited edition boxings are all the extra "goodies" they include. In this case we are given interior colored photo etch, full canopy masks, resin wheels and perhaps the best treat of all, a large (and diverse) decal sheet with no less than 8 options.
The first inclusion is an extensive set of photo etch parts aimed primarily at detailing the interior of the Do 17Z crew cabin. These frets appear to be based on Eduards previous ED49738 set, designed for the original ICM kit. The colored fret covers the instrument panel and various consoles and levers around the crew cabin and a full set of seat belts. The plain brass fret focuses more on the cabin sidewalls and defensive MG-15 weapons. Ammunition canisters for the MG-15 machines guns were attached to many places around the cabin to allow a fast changeout when needed by the gunners.
The resin (Brassin) parts are first class as we have come to expect from Eduard. The main wheels are a huge timesaver over the kit plastic parts and include small details such as the Continental sidewall lettering. The tail wheel is a major improvement over the ICM kit part which comes molded as a single piece. Eduard has instead provided a separate wheel, strut and housing in resin which will make painting and finishing so much easier. The last parts (R11) provided in resin are teardrop shaped "flotation" cells which were installed on the nose of some Do 17s to provide aid in the event of a water ditching. These are a welcome inclusion and are needed for marking option D, a Do 17 assigned to Küstenfliegergruppe 606 that specialized in attacking surface vessels
A quick comparison photo which shows the equivalent ICM plastic parts and highlights the value of the Eduard Brassin inclusions.
Eduard are well known for making some of the most accurate (and easiest to use) canopy and wheel masks in the industry. If ever a subject was going to benefit from pre-cut masks its the glass house canopy and nose blister of the Do 17Z. Eduard masks are die cut from high quality Kabuki tape, best known for its use by Tamiya for their masking tape.
The detailing achieved in the 2015 ICM plastic tooling is equal to if not better than today's standards. ICM's modern kits are well known for their excellent fit and general accuracy. I particularly like the restrained engraved surface details on the main fuselage and wing parts, under paint and weathering these kits can really shine out of the box. Likewise ICM provides full Bramo Fafnir 323 radial engines in the base kit. The detailing achieved by ICM on the cylinder cooling fins is just another example of the finesse apparent in this kit.
I often find smaller parts to be a good guide to the quality of the engineering of a kit. Details such as the canvas straps of the crew seats and the effect achieved on the cooling jacket for the MG-15 barrel all speak to the quality of the ICM plastic. PE parts can be used to supplement fine parts such as the ring gunsight on the MG-15 which are simply beyond the capability of todays plastic injection molding technology.
The jewel in the crown of the Eduard Limited Edition series is undoubtedly the extensive number of marking options they provide. For the Kampfstift Do 17Z boxing we are treated to an impressive eight (8) marking options. This alone is well worth the price of admission in my opinion.
Spread across the eight schemes which Eduard have selected, we are given a choice of aircraft spanning all the major campaigns starting with the invasion of Poland, onto the Battle of Britain, service in the Mediterranean and the Russian Front, to North Africa and finally Finnland. I once again appreciate that Eduard invest the effort into supplying each paint scheme in full color on glossy A4 pages. This to me is a major factor in helping me settle on which scheme I will use for my builds. The color callouts are provided using readily available Gunze/Mr Hobby paints.
The decals in this kit are printed by Eduard themselves (and not Cartograph). Much has been said (good and bad) about the "new" Eduard printed decals which apparently have some form of removable carrier film. I have not tried these myself but have heard some mixed reports about how well (or not) this works. It would be a shame if the Eduard decals did not perform well for this boxing as I feel they are one of the main drawcards.
All I can say is that the decals look pretty normal on the sheet but I will be a little wary when I do get around to using them for the first time.
If you feel that you need to add even more detail to your Do 17Z then Eduard has you covered. Not included in this Limited Edition boxing, Eduard also has available an extensive list of extra detailing sets in both brass and resin, all readily available at the time of writing.
The LooK set provides a drop-in replacement for the kit (or PE) main instrument panel in colored resin. If you can't be bothered fiddling with delicate PE or painting and using the kit provided dial decals then the LooK set may be just what you are looking for. Each LooK set also includes a full set of pre-painted photo-etch belts.
Another set (not included in the Limited Edition kit) but worth considering is the resin replacement defensive MG-15 machine guns. The ICM parts are quite well done (as far as plastic parts go) but simply cannot achieve the detail possible in resin (or 3D printing). Set ED648609 includes sufficient guns, ammo canisters and spent casing collectors to cater for the different options fitted to Do 17's during the war.
Once again, by using their tried and tested Limited Edition recipe, Eduard have delivered us an interesting and inspiring release all for a reasonable price.
The modelling chefs at Eduard have firstly selected a well respected plastic kit, which has been unavailable in the market for several years. To this they have added a dash of resin, a pinch of photo-etch and topped it all off with an inspiring array of interesting and varied decal options.
As in the past, I think Eduard has another winner with their 1:48 Kampfstift Do 17Z kit. If you are at all interested I'd suggest you pick one up sooner rather than later as the Eduard Limited Edition kits tend to be fast movers.