Diorama 23-01: Dewoitine D.520

In the early 1930’s Europe was rearming and all nations wanted a capable monoplane fighter, during the Phoney Wars and at the start of the Battle for France the Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 was France’s most numerous modern fighter. While highly maneuverable and capable of reaching speeds over 250 mph, it was thoroughly man-handed by the German Bf 109. The French knew this was the case and had pushed for a more capable aircraft built around the 20-mm cannon as it’s principal weapon, thus in 1938 the Dewoitine company started working on what would become the D.520.

The model entered service in 1940, just before the German advance into France, and despite a nearly 60 mph speed difference, the D.520 was found to be a capable fighter. Unfortunately for the French, the armistice came shortly after the D.520’s introduction, although the model saw action in the Luftwaffe, Regia Aeronautics and the Bulgarian Air Force; as well as both the Free and Vichy French Air Forces.

This is a Hasegawa kit, #51347 – Scalemates puts this kit as a new tool in 1997. Surprisingly the cockpit is really sparse, which if they gave you a seated pilot wouldn’t matter much, as his body would cover much of the details! So I decided to grab some bits of styrene and lay in some ribbing and other bits. The biggest correction was adding a small wall behind the seat, as test fitting showed it to be completely open when the fuselage halves were closed up. Anyway here’s a before and after shot:

When I got around to adding the wings, this kit uses the newer design of putting the upper wings on then adding the body, I still have mixed feeling about that, as the fuselage needs to be centered and line up with underbody panel lines. So with this in mind, I still dry fit the body on the lower wings and check the fit of the top wings. This time I found that I could not get the fuselage to center nor get each wing tip to line up if I centered the fuselage. My solution, slice the locator pins away and glue the wing tops on after gluing the centered fuselage. To my surprise, both wing tip mated perfectly – no sanding needed! Bonus feature, I also found that the wing roots mated perfectly to the fuselage so no putty needed in this “always” problem area. This may become my regular method of adding wings to planes!

The decals from the kit aren’t bad, but when the shapes are so simple, I like to try painting them on. I got okay results, some paint bleed under the masks, total my fault – paint too thin and not spraying 100% perpendicular to thee mask. I end-up adding the decals over the top of the roundels, but I’m not giving up on this method, just need more practice!


Another thing I wanted to try was to have the rear elevators hang down. This would have been the case with an airplane on the ground not under power – no hydraulics running. So I took my hobby knife and scored the top and bottom of the elevator “flap” and cut them from the horizontal stabilizers. Once free, everything was cleaned up with sanding, before being reattached with cement. I wasn’t entirely sure it would look correct, but once primer was applied I liked the look.


I’m not entirely happy with this build, as the paint (the canopy and white arrow are quite rough) and weathering felt rushed, and the detail of the kit isn’t grand, but it served as a way to expand some new skills and get my first diorama of the year completed.

3 thoughts on “Diorama 23-01: Dewoitine D.520

  1. Great work Ec! It certainly came up OK in the photos, I cant believe you would want to paint DECALS!! thats the last thing I would think of doing, well done mate they look pretty good to me.

    Liked by 2 people

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