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Bill Koppos
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Dora Dewoitine-a 1/32 scale China rarity

April 20, 2022 · in Aviation · · 14 · 1.3K

Another '30's warplane to make it into The China cauldron was this early example of transitional monoplane from the desk of Dewoitine. The all-metal D-510 was a step in the right direction but just behind the new modern. One thing going for it was the mounting of a 20mm cannon in the prop hub, mounted between the cylinder banks of it's Hispano-Suiza engine. This plus the usual 2 rifle-caliber machine guns gave it a good-for-the-late-30's armament. China ended up with 24 of these in 1937, and they were even manned by French pilots I hear, but this did not last long. For what reason, I am not sure. They then appear to have been sent to a training school in Chunking, where they did intercept some bombing raids and knocked down at least one raider, despite the cannons giving jamming trouble. (More on armament later). They then vanish into the fog of history.

Anyway has been quite busy putting out 1/48 scale kits, this is to my ken the only so far. This suits me fine as I always liked this airplane, and it fits into my Sino-Japanese War interest. It has good and bad, the surface detail being excellent and overall appearance good. BUT the devil is in the details, and Dora wants them kept secret. The interior is sparse, and the wings and rudder have the dread trailing edge split, which leaves a very hard to fill seam along the affected areas. This kit was released as a Japanese version (They bought 2) and no info is given for armament. Supposedly the Chinese D-510's had the MG's inside the wings. French ones had Darne MG's, carried in underwing pods. A little bit of a hint of a MG port is in the leading edge. But I can't see how any MG would fit inside those skinny wings (hence the pods). The pods are on the sprues but no mention made in the plans. Two holes are given to drill in the bottom wing for said pods but no mention is made of these at all. The provided 3-views show the pods! Also given are photo-etched parts for the top of the wing which APPEAR to be MG access hatches, but the location-vague. So-scour the innertube. As usual, my more savvy kid found some obscure pics with clues. No definite proof, but clues. All the fuzzy pics added up to what you see here. I ended up moving the pods over to line up with the hatches, which I put in the only place that made sense. If I'm wrong-I don't want to know, thank you. I'll just call it a Dewoitine D-510K.

Another bit is the radiator shutters-they are given as Photo-etch, much like the cowl flaps on their P-43 Lancer. Uh-Uh. No way this boy is fiddling with trying to line those up with CA glue when there are no locating holes or pins. It was bad enough to get the assembly together with scratch built styrene. Ugh.

For paint, I used nice new Tamiya lacquer Flat Aluminum first. Nice-goes on smooth and dries fast. The mottling was done with Mr. Color RLM 80 Dark Olive. My new love is a Neo (for Iwata) with an 0.2 needle. Using Mr. Color self-levelling thinner assures a clog-free paint session. The large side numbers were size estimated from a photo and stencils cut from Tamiya Masking Tape. I chose 4101 cause the last number was a nice easy 1. I was going to cut and mask the underwing Chinese stars, but after 20 minutes of that I said...well you know. So I gave up and used the much too light decals from my last ICM I-153 build. I even tried to cheat, and sprayed black circles underneath to try and darken them. For once a decal was not opaque in the slightest No dice.They're on the bottom anyways. Tail stripes were masked and sprayed.

I used Tamiya Lacquer clear coat prior to washing, and old Testor's Flatcoat to finish off, leaving some sheen behind, as all the pics I see of warplanes always have some shine to them.

According to my vague fuzzy refs, some of these had a dark piece of glass vertically in front of the windscreen which I assume to be part of a sighting system. Some had @PhillipFriddell's collumator, but others apparently had this. Another pic showed a pin and triangle set of iron sights on the top engine deck. This is what my D-510K uses.

So my ROC Airforce has grown again. I don't know how long this dizzying pace will last, but I have an ICM Gladiator right next to me on the pile. And an ancient Hasegawa P-26...

Reader reactions:
17  Awesome

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

14 responses

  1. Congratulations she was very beautiful. 🙂

  2. Very elegant plane even with those long legs and spats. It’s one of my favourite French designs and you can see some ancestor lines of the later D.520.
    Excellent spray work btw

  3. I really like this! It's one of the few interwar warplanes that captured my attention - just a cool overall shape with that radiator hanging beneath the chin with a nice rake to it - makes it look racey! Great job getting it together and painting it up so nice.

  4. Very cool model with a very nice paint job. Well done, Bill

  5. Nice work, Bill!

  6. Excellent all over, Bill!
    A rare subject!

  7. An unusual build, looks great!

  8. Nice work there sir.

  9. Another stunner, pops. I feel like I've said this before. That's a good thing, keep it up.

  10. Excellent build of this unusual model, Bill @billkoppos
    The scheme applied is awesome.

  11. Another nice one for your collection, love the undercarriage.

  12. Yes,real nice !

  13. I have had my eye on that Dora Wing kit for a while and you have done a really nice job of it. Lovely model of a.pretty aircraft.

  14. Thank you all for the positive feedback.

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