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Azur 1/32 scale Dewoitine D.520

Kit: No. A043
Scale: 1/32
Manufacturer: Azur, available from Squadron Mail Order, 1115 Crowley Drive, Carrollton, TX 75011-5010, 979-242-8663, www.squadron.com
Price: $47
Comments: Injection-molded, 120 parts (37 resin, 14 photoetched metal), decals
Pros: Well-proportioned model; fine resin and photoetched details; nice pilot figure
Cons: Some resin parts shattered; fit problems of small parts; inconsistent painting instructions
The best French fighter of World War II, the Dewoitine D.520 was 20 mph slower than its rival Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3, but it had better maneuverability and was easier to fly.

With the second issue of this kit, Azur has added cast-resin and photoetched metal improvements, along with a resin pilot figure. There's a 10-page instruction booklet and decals with markings for two aircraft (three options, actually).

The plastic surfaces are smooth and glossy, with delicately engraved panel lines. The trailing edges of the flying surfaces are a bit thick for the scale, and the injection-molded canopy has some distortion. The landing gear doors are hefty, so I sanded them down to about a quarter of their original thickness.

The resin components are well-done, but all were loosely packed in a single sealed bag; many were broken in my sample. I was able to fix most, but substituted stretched sprue and fine wire for the fractured pitot.

The resin cockpit details included in this issue are an improvement over the original plastic ones, and the whole cockpit went into the fuselage through the wing opening without problems. Take care fitting the photoetched/film instrument panel to the floor so that it doesn't sit too high.

I glued a piece of sheet styrene to the inside of each exhaust opening to give each manifold (cast resin parts P28) a solid mounting surface and to position them at the right depth. I drilled out each exhaust pipe.

Filler was needed at the outside edges of the fuselage to wing leading edge fairing (part A10), around the canopy, and where the stabilizers fit on the fuselage. I extended the spinner axle with sprue for the optional long spinner to make attaching it easier.

The instructions are mostly easy to follow but don't show the final positions of some items adequately. For example, how far forward does the gunsight assembly go (if that is what it is) in step 15? Also the cockpit detail painting callouts use Humbrol color codes (with with no explanation and no color names), but the camouflage diagrams call for Gunze Sangyo Aqueous Color numbers with names.

The resin pilot figure looks good, but since I've yet to master painting figures, I left it out.

The decals are thin and need careful handling. A light application of Micro Set after blotting makes them snuggle down. My model depicts Gabriel Gauthier's fighter, Tunisia, summer 1941.

The finished D.520 looks good. It's a small fighter, and in 1/32 scale measures only 10-1/2" long with a 12-1/2" span. I spent 26 hours on the kit, much of that masking and painting the attractive Vichy color scheme.

- Allan F. Jones

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