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1/32 Dewoitine D.520 (Black and White crosses)


JeroenPeters
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1/32 Dewoitine D.520
 
Short Run Injected Plastic, Photo-etch and Resin
Manufacturer: Azur
 
Catalogue # A108
Available directly from www.cmkkits.com
 
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What a cool little plane! That's what I thought when I saw this kit was released. Well.. It is cool, but it's not that little.
 
The Azur Dewotine D 520 is not a new kit and has been around for some years now. Over time some special editions have been available. This version is a limited edition with two foreign decal options. A Luftwaffe fighter training aircraft and a Regia Aeronautica D.520. No French decals are provided.
 
What’s in the box?
The kit comes packed in a small end opening box. Usually one reads in reviews how this kind of packaging is hated. We don’t see the problem. You can make three cuts in the top of the box and vôila a top opening box. Sometimes the same “issues” are repeated over and over. The clear and thin transparency sprue is sepearately packaged avoiding damage and provides the one piece main canopy only. The parts come in dark grey plastic. Being limited run low pressure injected there is some flash but that is unavoidable with this kind of kit. On our sample some flap parts seem to be irregular formed due to flow problems. A bit of sanding should even these out. The sprue gates are a bit heavy but removing the parts should not be a problem. There are no location pin and sockets. A small photo etch fret is provided care of Eduard and three small bags of resin. The decals cover two versions and are printed by Aviprint. 
 
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There are three sprues. One for the fuselage, one for the wings and one for the cockpit parts. This last sprue will hardly be used, since most of the parts come in way better detailed resin. 
 
 
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Panellines
These look very good compared with various drawings. The wing-undersurface for instance on the D.520 looked quite uneven with various overlapping joints. The wings in the kit are perhaps to “clean” in this respect. There is a very distinctive “piano hinge”-detail on the real aircraft undersurfaces. Azur have rendered these as very shallow depressions which gives a nice effect. The engraved lines look good. The fabric surfaces such as ailerons, elevators, rudder and flaps are represented by faint ridges and look nice. No stitching is represented. From experience I can say that this plastic is easy to work with. Not too hard, so it's easy to add your own rivets.
 
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Notes regarding the wings
The gunports are represented by oval depressions. These should be drilled out for dimensional effect. This goes for the spent casing openings too. The wingtip lights are only shown as engraved lines. For effect these should be replaced by clear plastic and filed/polished to shape.
 
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Cockpit
The standard issue kit cockpit looks to be reasonably detailed but this is a limited edition. This kit provides more additional detal in cream/yellow resin. These are provided to enhance or replace the kit parts. The parts for the sidewalls for instance are much better detailed than the simple plastic parts. These are also much larger compared to the plastic parts. As this is an inbox review we don’t know if they fit well. A very well detailed pilot figure with backtype parachute is provided. If you want to show off this detail the canopy has to be sawn in three parts. A delicate operation and only one is provided. 
 
The resin floor and sidewalls:
 
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Resin cockpit details:
 
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The 'throne' (with separate cushion):
 
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The resin IP (details are provided in photo-etch and film):
 
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The Eduard photo etch fret with seat belts, meshes, instrument panel:
 
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And the film:
 
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The canopy.
The detail is sharp and the plastic is clear and flawless, but cutting this part in three parts with a razor saw takes (as stated earlier) guts.
If masking the windows is not your thing (god knows it's not mine) you can get a Montex mini mask for the job (SM 32003).
 
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Pilot figure
As said this kit comes with a highly retailed resin pilot figure in seated position, looking over his left shoulder. The harness is moulded on, so the PE harness won't be used when this chap is in the cockpit. The only down-side to the figure is the highly startled look on his face. Other than that: a nice bonus. Take note: the flight helmet does not look like anything Luftwaffe I have ever seen, so when building the German version, you might want to replace the head. 
 
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Gunsight
The Dewotine used a very distinctive reflector gunsight which looked like a lantern. Azur have provided this in photo etch. The angled glass should be made yourself from thin acetate. It’s this attention to detail that shows the level of research this manufacturer has taken to provide us modellers with a quality product. In this case there is no need for aftermarket parts. 
 
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Undercarriage
The wheelhubs are well detailed and look very close to photographs in the Mushroom book although there seem to be some variations. Photo’s taken from preserved museum airframes can be misleading though. The kit part inner hubs have a star engraved that cannot be found in the references. The undecarriage legs are very simple but so are the real ones. The oleo section looks to be quite long as if in the exteded position but according to photographs this was true for the full size version too. The tailwheelleg looks simplified and skinny.
If you look at the reference photo from the Mushroom book you will see some detail that is missing from the kit.
What is hard to understand is the omission of Resin wheels. These would have really made this kit complete.
 
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Spinner
Two spinners are available in the kit. A short pointed version and a longer much blunter version. Check your references which one to use. The instructions don’t give any clue to which version is used in which decal option. Published photo’s show that either version was used by the German and Italian airforces.
 
Exhaust
Nicely cast in resin. They do however need a bit of drilling out.
 
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Instructions
These are printed in A5 format and black & white. The exploded view is used here and there. Read these carefully as they can be confusing at times.  Painting instructions are provided with the colours indicated by numbers. Only Gunze Sangyo numbers are referred to. We consider this to be inadequate.
 
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Nose
The D.520 had a distinctive intake below the spinner. The kit has this in plastic but a photo-etch version is also provided which looks very good and is much superior to the plastic part. The two intakes on the sides are also on the photo etch fret. The oil cooler opening is provided as a resin insert (see second pic below).
 
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(Photo from Flickr)
 
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Markings
As this is a special edition no french variants can be made from this kit. The decals printed by Aviprint are in register. There are relative few decals but surprise, even swastikas are included albeit in two halves. A nice touch, well done Azur.
 
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D.520 flown by a German training unit. (photo credit: Flickr.com, Steward Callan)
 
 
 
Overall conclusion
The whole package looks to be well researched. Some impressive detail parts are provided for the cockpit. The overall level of detail looks to be very good. The only critique we have on this kit is the lack of resin flattened wheels and the one piece canopy. For this limited issue two foreign decal options are provided. So if you want a French vesion some aftermarket decals must be sourced.
 
We give the standard plastic kit a 7 out of ten but the extra resin and photo etch parts really lifts the standard and we give it 8 out of 10.
 
Highly recommended
 
Thanks to Azur for choosing to cover this subject and providing us with the review sample.
 
Cees Broere and Jeroen Peters
 
 
 
 
 
Reference used:
 
Dewotine D.520 by Bartomiej Belcarz A Mushroom Model Magazine Special (Yellow Series) 
ISBN 83-89450-09-7
 
 
 
PS
For size comparison I placed the Spitfire fuselage alongside:
 
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