Azur 1/32 Dewoitine D-520
By Olivier Barles
Here are a few shots of my Dewoitine D-520 from Azur in 1/32nd scale, the only real opponent to the Bf-109 E-3 and E-4 that France could produce in 1940.
It is great to be able to build such a model of one the planes used by the French “Armée de l’Air” in 1940 in my favorite scale, even though this plane did not have neither the operational life, nor the development it should have had if historical circumstance had been different (!).
The kit is a “short-run production” and it was the first of the Azur series at this scale…
Therefore, despite a nice moulding giving good general shapes with thin engraved lines and nice surface panels, some parts show no accuracy in their forms and correct adjustment is more a concept than a reality when assembling.
Nevertheless, after many hours of hard work and the use of the Contact-Résine detail set, the so typical lines of the D-520 started to show up for eventually giving birth to a very likeness result.
The vacuformed canopy comes from the detail set. It is very easy to get it fixed and definitely a plus compared to the Azur crystal part for its thinness.
Colors and markings represent a fighter from « la 4ème escadrille du Groupe de Chasse II/7 – GC II/7 » during the battle of France in May / June 1940 (the 4th squadron of the Fighter Group II/7), that became when included in the Free French Forces in 1943 and re-equipped with Spitfires, the “Groupe de Chasse 2/7 Nice”.
The insignias were hand painted and the aging very close to nothing because those planes just went out of the production lines before being “nearly” immediately assigned to the fighting units.
So, the aircrafts had no time to get old, but they were certainly dirty as spring 1940 was very muddy and rainy in half North of France…
Besides, because of the fast progression of the German troops, the planes were forced to switch from one airstrip to another very often, sometimes up to 2 to 3 times in one day!
Not to say that under those conditions, maintenance became difficult and cleaning was no longer a priority.
I have started to build the “Morane 406 C1”, the most numerous French fighter of the Armée de l’Air in 1940 (but not the best, far from it)!
Being a more recent Azur production than the D-520, its conception looks much better.
Then, I will probably build the Curtiss H-75 A-3 to finish with the Bloch 152, but this is more or less a “reasonably long-term project” to have the full set of “the significant French fighters” of the Battle of France at my favorite scale!
To be continued…
© Olivier Barles
This article was published on Friday, September 27 2013; Last modified on Wednesday, August 20 2014