Azur 1/32 Bloch MB.152C-1

KIT #: AZ094
PRICE: 4800 yen from Hobby Link Japan
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Tom Cleaver


             Société des Avions Marcel Bloch began producing aircraft in 1930, with their first military design, the M.B.80, appearing in 1933.  The M.B. 150 that first appeared in 1937 was their first all-metal low wing nouvelle vague design.  The airplane was underpowered and lost out to the Morane M.S. 406 for production.  Further development saw the M.B. 152 appear in 1938 with a Gnome-Rhone 14N-49 engine that provided 1,125 h.p.  Unfortunately the engine was under-developed and unreliable, so many were equipped with the 900 h.p. IN-25.  Designed as a bomber interceptor, the airplane was underpowered and lacked maneuverability.

            The M.B.152 entered production in late 1939, but a combat-worthy example wasn’t produced until March 1940.  The airplane equipped nine Groupes de Chasse in the Battle of France where they were largely outmatched by the faster Messerschmitt Bf 109E. It was slow with a low climb rate, bad for an interceptor, with an unreliable propeller and radio; it did however have a strong airframe that made it hard to shoot down. 146 Luftwaffe aircraft were claimed during the fighting, including 44 Bf-109Es, 25 Bf-110Cs, 33 Do-17Zs, and 28 He-11Ps. 

            The M.B. 151s and 152s were stranded in Metropolitan France at the Armistice due to their lack of range which prevented them being flown to North Africa, Six Groupes continued to fly the aircraft in the Vichy French Air Force in the Unoccupied Zone until this Vichy was invaded by the Germans on November 13, 1942, following the successful invasion of French North Africa by the Allies.  The surviving aircraft were mostly turned into fighter trainers for the Luftwaffe, though 25 were given to the Romanians; what use was made of them in Romania is unknown.

            The Greek government ordered 25 MB.151s, though only nine actually arrived. They were used by the 24th Moira Dioxis (Fighter Squadron) of the Royal Hellenic Air Force in Elefsina against the Italians and Germans and scored several air‑to‑air victories until April 19, 1941, when the last one was shot down.

            In 1944, several surviving MB.152s were liberated at an airfield in southern France. After being flight‑tested, they were fitted with more powerful American engines and were used for ground attack against the last remnants of the Wehrmacht in France by the Free French.  Two survived the war but were scrapped in 1947, while a third was salvaged in 1990 and sent to the French Air and Space Museum for restoration; it was destroyed in a fire a few years later.


            Azur released the M.B.152 in 2008 and Bill Koppos reviewed his build of the kit at this link.

This kit differs from that one only in the decals offered, which provide markings for three different M.B. 152s operated by the Armee de l’Air de l’Armistice.


            Having read Bill Koppos’ review, I first assembled the wheel wells with the separate rib sections, then glued that into the lower wing.  When that was set, I glued the upper wing parts on and set that sub-assembly aside.

            I glued the fuselage together and attached the horizontal stabilizers, with the separate elevators dropped. 

            I painted the cockpit in Tamiya Field Blue and assembled it.  I used Airscale instrument decals for the instrument panel.  When all was set, I inserted it in the fuselage and glued it into position.

            Fortunately my kit did not have the warp in the wing fairing Bill’s did, so gluing the wing and fuselage sub-assemblies was easy.  I used cyanoacrylate glue and Tamiya White Putty on all the joints and seams, sanded them smooth and rescribed detail where needed.

            I assembled the five-part cowling and set it aside.


            I mixed a light grey-blue with Tamiya paints for the lower color, then used Tamiya Neutral Grey, NATO Green and Hull Red for the upper colors, suitably lightened for post-shading.

            I then painted the tail and the cowling flat white, followed by Tamiya Flat Yellow.  When dry, I masked off the stripes.  Each of the markings options is different as to the order of the stripes and their placement, and photos show that the “slave’s pajamas” were not applied with consistency or neatness as a goal, so I followed suit.                         

            The markings choice I chose had a black prop and spinner, so I did that with Tamiya semi-gloss Black.

            I gave the model a good coat of Xtracrylix Clear Gloss. 

            The kit decals went on without problem.  When set, I washed the model and applied a good coat of Xtracrylix Clear Flat.


            I had shortened the gear legs 1/8 inch, and then took 1/8 inch out of the gear door, just above the circular center section, since these parts are made too long.  I attached the gear legs, wheels and gear covers. I attached the engine, offsetting it slightly to the left, then attached the cowling and followed that with the prop.  I attached the stabilizer bracing struts.  The canopy was unmasked and posed in the open position.


             This is one of Aszur’s better kits, and with it you can complete a collection of the major French fighters of the war.  This partciular model will look good out at Planes of Fame, next to the Hawk 75, M.S. 406, and D. 520.  Any modeler with any experience of short run kits should have no problem with this kit, which makes up into a distinctive-looking model.

Tom Cleaver

August 2012

Thanks to HobbyLink Japan for the review kit.  Order yours at this link.

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