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Dewoitine D.520C.1
1/32 Scale

 

Azur


Azur's 1/32 scale D.520 is available online from Squadron.com

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: #A040
Scale: 1/32
Contents and Media: 69 parts in grey styrene; 1 part in clear injection moulded styrene; 16 parts in cream-coloured resin; decals for two aircraft.
Price: USD$32.99 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Appealing subject; high-quality plastic; crisply engraved surface features; subtle fabric texture; good size; high quality injection moulded canopy; simple parts breakdown and good engineering; separate flaps; encouraging fit; colourful decal options
Disadvantages: No separate sliding section for canopy; no locating pins; some minor scratchbuilding required; fairly bare cockpit; fuselage may be slightly short.
Recommendation: Recommended

 

Reviewed by Brett Green

 

FirstLook

 

As the best French fighter of WWII, the Dewoitine D.520 is hardly an esoteric subject, but I was still surprised and pleased to see a kit released in 1/32 scale by Azur.

Azur's 1/32 scale D.520C.1 comprises 69 parts in grey styrene, 1 part in clear injection moulded styrene, 16 parts in cream-coloured resin and decals for two aircraft.

The plastic is smooth and free from any moulding imperfections. The surface features crisp and consistently recessed panel lines with convincingly subtle fabric texture on control surfaces. Gun and shell ejection ports are indicated by shallow recesses which will benefit from deepening with a drill or hobby knife.

The big ejector pins that often plague the inner surfaces of limited-run kits are rare, and none will interfere with fit or be visible when the kit is assembled.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


A single clear part is supplied in high-quality, thin injection-moulded plastic. The top front spine is moulded as part of this clear plastic, with the curved windows behind the cockpit included in this area. The entire clear part can be glued to the fuselage and the windows masked before painting - a nice, low risk way to approach the problem. On the downside, the single clear part is also moulded with the main canopy and the windscreen. This will make it tricky to depict the canopy open. Hopefully, Squadron will offer a replacement vacformed canopy for this kit before too long.

 

 

Resin parts are supplied for the exhausts and some smaller (indeed, tiny) details for the undercarriage and cockpit.

 

 

The cockpit on the real aircraft was quite spartan, and the kit reflects this simplicity. However, many modellers may wish to replace or add further detail in this area, especially in this large scale.

Kit options include alternate positions for landing flaps and the radiator flap; and different spinners. The Ratiel propeller with the long spinner is applicable to early machines up to serial number 350. Subsequent D.520s were fitted with the short spinner and Chauviere propellers. Only one set of propellers is supplied in the kit, but both styles seem to share a similar profile.

Markings are supplied for one French and one Vichy option with the prominent red and yellow horizontal stripes covering the nose and the tail, plus diagonal tricolour stripes on the wings. The decals are in perfect register and the colour looks good.

 

 

I compared the main kit parts to drawings scaled-up from DTU's "Dewoitine D 520" book (ISBN 2-912749-00-X - a great one-stop reference). I have no way of confirming the accuracy of the drawings, but a comparison showed that the wing dimensions were very close; and that the kit fuselage was some millimetres short in the nose.

 

 

Test Fitting

 

With most limited-run kits, the contents of the box is only a small part of the story. The important question is, how does the model fit?

 

 

I snipped the main fuselage, wing and canopy parts from the sprues. After quickly cleaning up waste from the narrow sprue connectors, I taped the parts together. The image shows that all the parts were well aligned, there was no suggestion of gaps at the wing roots and trailing edges were quite thin.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Despite the French name and its primary focus on WWII Armeť de l'Air subjects, Azur is a brand of Czech model manufacturer MPM.

The quality of MPM's offerings have been improving dramatically over the last few years. In particular, the grade of injection moulded styrene parts is now approaching that of mainstream manufacturers. Along with other companies like Classic Airframes and Eduard, MPM's brands are offering interesting and rare aircraft types as limited-run models that are of quite high quality and appropriate for even relatively inexperienced modellers.

Azur's 1/32 scale Dewoitine D.520C.1 benefits from this new high standard. It is an attractive subject with great surface detail and should be fairly straightforward to build.

At USD$33.00, the kit is priced about the same as Hasegawa's new 1/32 scale Bf 109 and Fw 190 family, making it great value for money too.

Azur's D.520 is the first time that an Eastern European manufacturer has turned its attention to a 1/32 scale WWII subject. Let us hope that it blazes the trail for many more!

Recommended.

Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample.


Review and Images Copyright © 2003 by Brett Green
Page Created 25 June, 2003
Last updated 15 August, 2003

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