Tamiya 1:48 Scale, Dewoitine D-520

December 29, 2019 · in Uncategorized · · 12 · 2.8K

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays everyone! It's been a wee bit since my last post, but I figured with the end of the year so close at hand, why not?

Anyway, I had this kit sitting up in the stash, and I saw one in a video about the early part of WWII. I got the bug to build one from that. I dug through the boxes and after a few minutes, found her, and down to the 'Laborotory' we went. (That does sound a little off, doesn't it?)

The kit is fairly simple. Not a lot of parts involved, but what there is, really goes together very well. Fit and alignment are excellent, and detail is well represented in the interior as well as the exterior. All in all a terrific little kit, and one not seen all that much on contest tables. I highly recommend it.

About the build itself, the instructions say to paint the cockpit a medium grey. This is wrong, and the cockpits on many French aircraft were a dark blue. I used Dark Sea Blue, and did a lot of highlighting to bring out some detail. I know in the pictures, it looks black, but rest assured it is indeed Dark Blue. Wheel bays and landing gear are all the lower color of Light Blue Grey, and wheel hubs are aluminium. Otherwise the color call outs are pretty well spot on. I used acrylics, (Except in the cockpit) exclusively and custom mixed the camo colors according to Tamiya's instruction sheet. I can say I am happy with the results and will continue this trend, getting away from enamels and towards safer, more environmentally friendly products.

Markings are those of French Ace, Ad. Chef, Denis Ponteine, of G/CII/7, 3rd Esc. Chef Pontaine was credited with either five or six confirmed victories, plus one probable during the Battle of France.

On 5 June, 1940, Ponteine attacked and thoroughly roughed up a Heinkel He-111, near the beaches over Dunkirk. After dispatching the German bomber, he was attacked by one of the escorting Bf-109's, whose pilot overshot Ponteine. The French pilot turned after the German and put a few rounds into the Messerschmitt, which caused it to begin smoking.
Ponteine was then set upon by a following Bf-109, who hit his little fighter hard. The first burst hit the engine, causing 'White 3' to begin smoking heavily. The second, hit square in the cockpit, smashing instruments and seriously wounding Ponteine in his legs. With the D-520 losing speed and altitude rapidly, Ponteine rolled the stricken fighter over and bailed out. He was recovered by friendly forces, and spent months in the hospital.
With his flying carreer over as a result of his injuries, Chef Ponteine continued his war as a member of the French Resistance.

Reader reactions:
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12 responses

  1. Happy New Year! Frederick, a great way to end the year with a neat D.520. Your correct on the Blue interior. Building one of these a couple of years ago with the gaudy red/yellow stripe tails. Tamiya did not give you a lot of parts, but the detail within the kit is very well done to build a quality model such as yours. Love the French schemes, much different compared to the other nations allied or axis operating in theatre. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Chuck is spot on with his comments... It's good to see you posting again Freddie.

    I made two of these 1/48 Tamiya D-520's many years ago when they first came out. They're great kits and have a low parts count so they go together rather fast. However, when I built mine, I followed the instructions and painted the cockpit in mine incorrectly. This was before I had the internet at my disposal for research...

    Yours looks wonderful, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article. I especially like the back story about how the pilot became a member of the resistance once he recovered from his injuries. Until now I never noticed the small teeth and mouth under the nose. It would have been a perfect addition to the "Teeth and Fangs" Group Build.

    I wish you a belated Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year too !


  3. Watched you posting progress on this over on FB, Freddie. Very nice result!

  4. Oi Fred!
    Lovely model- build and finish look great. Seat belts & buckles... tape & ? Very nice!

  5. Hi Frederick,
    Your job is excellent, especially the camouflage colors.
    Two things:

    • the wear was not so heavy, as D.520 fought only 5/6 weeks before armistice in June 40. Then they fought under Vichy’s government, but markings were different.
    • there was no antenna thread, only upper and lower (retractable) masts (easy to correct here).

    Anyway, thanks for your nice rendition ?

  6. Thank you, Stephane for your holiday input. A French gentleman on another website informed me of the aerial issue, which has been corrected.
    As far as wear and tear, I guess I’ll chalk that up to artistic license?
    A question, I am about to start on a Morane, MS-406. Would you know what color the cockpit was painted? I have heard dark blue, but pictures I have seen, look grey or light blue?

    • Hello Frederick,

      I did some researches. WW II French airplanes are not easy concerning colors. However, I could find some details on a forum, given by a very good specialist of French aircrafts. After translation we have:

      • tubular structure: light gray, barely bluish

      • intrument panel: matt black

      • instruments and switches: satin black

      • seat: medium blue gray (same as tubular structure?)

      • right radio compartment: light gray

      • gas control ball: varnished wood

      • flap and landing gear controls: aluminum with red ends

      • trim adjustment wheel: wood

      I hope this helps 😉

      • Thank you, Stephane! You are, as we say in the states, "Da Bomb"!

        I am working with the Academy kit, and have a resin cockpit set for it. Directions say to paint it a dark blue color, yet all the pictures I have seen, show it to be light grey, possibly light blue. So, as you point out, there is conflicting information. I was set to go with the light grey, but based on pictures, and your input, will probably use Light blue. Thank you again and I appreciate your assistance.
        Happy New Year to you and your family!

        • Even for us French guys, colors of French airplanes are endless discussions (even today's airplanes like Mirage or Rafale). The fact is there were no strict standards as FS, BS or RLM. There were some, but experience shows there were so many exceptions... And in April, May and June 1940, there were so many airplanes to deliver quickly that it was difficult to apply exactly the official colors. I guess it is a part of the famous "French exception" 🙂
          By the way, I did this year a D.520 as well: https://imodeler.com/2019/09/dewoitine-d-520-armee-de-lair-gc-i-3/

          Thanks for your kind words, my best wishes to you and relatives for the new coming year, and happy building!
          Take care.

  7. Love the Dewoitine, and you did it justice!

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