Tamiya 1/48 Dewoitine D.520






Three aircraft


Scott Van Aken




France's best fighter of WWII was undoubtedly the Dewoitine D.520. Developed in the rush to get modern equipment in the late 1930's, the war had already been two months old before the first production aircraft had made its first flight. From there it was put into unit service as quickly as it could be built. Delays in obtaining some items like guns and propellers meant that less than half of the total production run of 437 aircraft were able to be completed before the 1940 Armistice.

Relatively powerful, fast and armed with a single 20mm cannon and two machine guns (all in the nose), the D.520 was easily able to hold its own against the Bf-109 and other German aircraft. However it was the Curtiss Hawk that got the majority of air to air victories won by the French as the D.520 was just too late to enter the war. During the war they were used by the Vichy Air Force and after 1942, by the Luftwaffe as trainers. Several were also sold to Bulgaria and to Italy during the war. In late 1944 and 1945, those left were again used by the French to fight against the Germans, mostly those holding territory along the Atlantic coast.

The D.520 series was the last  production aircraft to be designed by Emile Dewoitine in France. After the war, he, along with a number of aircraft designers, emigrated to Argentina in hopes of establishing an aeronautical industry. As you know, it got off to a fine start, but fizzled out in the early/mid 1950s.



Hey, its a Tamiya kit. You know that the quality, workmanship and engineering are some of the finest in the industry. It has everything. You got your engraved detail, your complete cockpit with instrument decals if you wish to use them. You even have your pilot figure! You also have your optional dropped flaps and the ability to have the radiator door open or closed. Finally, you have the option of two prop spinners; one with and one without the 20mm cannon.

Instructions are superb and again, my only gripe is the use of Tamiya-only paints in the color descriptions. Fortunately, most of us know that there are authentic WWII French colors available and so will buy them rather than mix paints. Decals are by Scalemaster and the blue appears to be a bit off register. Typical of Scalemaster, but at least the blue is the right shade. Three markings are available, a couple in sub-variants. The box art version is for GC III/6 in both regular AdlA and early Vichy markings. The CG I/3 aircraft can also be done in regular and early Vichy markings. Finally, a late war version done in German colors for the GC II/18. If you don't like any of the options, Aeromaster produced several sheets for the D.520 and of you hurry, you still might be able to find them.



A really superb kit. Like all of Tamiya's releases since the F4F Wildcat, it is bound to be a very hassle-free build. I see enough of them in contests to know that they do well. All you need (at least in this case) is another set of decals.

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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