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Tamiya Dewoitine D.520
by Lee Rouse

 

I won’t go into the history of this aircraft, except to make a broad statement that this was probably the best single-engine fighter aircraft in the arsenal of the Armee de l’Air at the beginning of WWII. The first production D.520 flew on November 2, 1939. It reportedly could compete well with the earlier marks of the Bf109 and had a maximum speed of 329 mph at 20,000 feet. It was armed with one 20-mm Hispano-Suiza 404 cannon firing through the propeller spinner, plus four 7.5-mm machine guns in the wings. After the fall of France, production of the D.520 continued under the auspices of the Vichy government. The aircraft was used by the Vichy Air Force, the Luftwaffe (primarily as a trainer) and later by the Free French Air Force.

I don’t remember exactly when this kit was released but I’m guessing it was around 1998. The kit is typical Tamiya quality and is very easy to assemble. I decided to use the Eduard photoetch set which was designed for this kit. Using the Eduard set really dresses up an otherwise average looking cockpit. Although Tamiya recommends XF-24 (dark gray) for the cockpit color, the correct color should be a dark blue. Many thanks to Randy Lutz for his help in solving this issue, and in directing me to a website where some scans of color drawings of the cockpit were available. Exterior colors were Tamiya bottled paints, mixed according to kit instructions, and airbrushed with my trusty Iwata HPb.

The other aftermarket item I used with this kit was the Aeromaster sheet, Dewoitine D.520s, Part 4. This sheet is long out of print but can probably still be found via a posting on Hyperscale or rec.models.scale. I really liked that alternate paint/decal scheme provided by Tamiya - a “spotted” D.520 from GCII/18, Free French Air Force. I used the wing and fuselage roundels and tail markings from the Aeromaster set. Remaining decals were OOB.

I was quite pleased with the final product. This kit is highly recommended, as is the Eduard photoetch set. 

Materials:
Tamiya D.520, kit #61048
Eduard Photoetch set, #48 188
Aeromaster decal sheet, #48 301

References:
Dewoitine 520, http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~pettypi/elevon/baugher_other/d520.html
Pictures of D.520, http://oberkampf.muddeln.free.fr/images/Aircrafts/Fighters/D520/