1/72 Hasegawa Dewoitine D.520C1

n° 277, GC III/6 5ème escadrille l'armée de l'Air,
Rayack (Syria), June 1941,

flown by Sous-lieutenant Pierre Le Gloan

by Igor Svetlov (IS)

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Kit:

  • 1/72 Hasegawa Dewoitine D.520 "French Air Force"

Afermarket parts :

  • Eduard #72-254 photo-etched detail set (selected parts only)

  • Falcon vac formed canopy (from the set #26 “France WWII”)

Click on images below to see larger images

  

  

  

Corrections & additions made on the kit:

    The nose air intakes were originally the wrong shape being too narrow at their forward end. This was corrected with plastic inserts and re-shaping. The louvers were added to the intakes as it can be seen on the photos.

    The under-belly cooler was too narrow and also not curved enough in outline.  It was re-shaped by making two cuts in its rear part, repositioning the rear ends of the cooler sides outward and filling the gaps with Mr.Surfacer.

    The cooler interior (area covered by the cooler) was completely re-worked by cutting out the flat plastic fragment of the lower wing part and making an appropriate niche instead, as it was on the real thing.  Therefore, the etched cooler grills by Eduard (designed to fit the kit parts) became just useless and the replacement parts were finally scratch built. The wing area where the cooler is attached was also modified according to the reference photos.

    The main wheel wells (too shallow and represented totally wrong on the kit) were completely re-worked, in particular, the niches for the landing gear legs.
For the wheel well “ceilings” the Eduard parts were used, with some additions though.

    The kit parts for the landing gear covers were thinned down and modified for correct appearance. This way they still look much better than the flat etched pieces.

    The incorrect curved representation of the area under the rear view windows behind the cockpit (à la P-40) was removed and replaced by the flat panels at it was the case with the real thing.

    Some panel lines were added and some were corrected according to the reference photos.

    The rear view windows (unfortunately, not present with the Falcon set and too thick as kit parts) were therma-formed using the kit-parts as templates.

    The main wheels were flattened using the surface of the electric cooker.

    The etched parts for the gun sight were still too big and this one was eventually scratch built as well. I decided to add the ring gun sight as well, since it can be clearly seen on one of the photos showing this a/c.[3, p.140]

    Some further minor improvements made on the model can be clearly seen on the photos.

Camouflage and Markings

    This replica represents the famous “No.277”, or “White 6”, flown by the top-scoring French WWII ace Pierre Le Gloan during the Syrian campaign in June 1941.

    The model was finished with Model Master II enamel paints from the set “French Air Force WWII”. However, the only paint I used just out of the bottle was the light blue grey for the lower surface. For all other colours I just made my own mixes which looked acceptable to my eyes and corresponded more or less with some colour photos and artwork of better quality (oh well…) .

    This particular airplane is quite well documented. I was able to found at least 7 different photos showing it during its service life between mid-1940 and the 15.06.1941 when it was shot down. As the kit instruction and the most colour profiles proved to be not very accurate, the camouflage pattern and the markings were made according to the photos.

    Unfortunately, I was not able to find any correct after-market decals and the kit decals were of limited use because of inaccuracies and especially of ivory tone where it should actually be white… To fix this problem, the white areas were replaced with pieces cut out from spare decals. The tri-colour chevron was made from spare decal pieces too and for the white “6” on the fuselage and top starboard wing the kit decals were used. The shape of the wing number was OK, however, the fuselage markings were rather incorrect. To correct the shape I made carvings on the decals in several places and then repositioned the pieces to get the desired shape. After that the decals were sealed with white paint for the uniform white surface.

    Pastel chalks were used for the panel lines highlighting (wet method), shading and weathering (dry method). Some moderate washing was done as well. Future was used as clear coat: pure before applying decals and for sealing them and mixed with Tamiya Flat base for the final coat.

Igor

References

  • 1. DTU D.520 monograph
  • 2. Armee de l’Air – A Pictorial History by Paul Camelio & Christopher Shores – Squadron/Signal Publications
  • 3. L’Aviation de Vichy au Combat – Vol.2 – Ehrengardt/Shores – Ed. Lavauzelle
  • 4. D.520 Aircraft Profile No. 135
  • 5. French Aces of WW II – Osprey Aitcraft of the Aces No. 28
  • 6. Avions No.1, 83
  • 7. Replic No. 34, 62, 71
  • 8. Scale Aviation Modeller International No. 10-1998, 02-2004
  • 9. Armee de l' Air 39-45 Wing Masters Hors Serie

Click on images below to see larger images

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Photos and text © by Igor Svetlov (IS)