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
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.
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
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!
Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample.
Review and Images Copyright © 2003 by Brett
Page Created 25 June, 2003
Last updated 15 August, 2003
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