Pavla 1/72 Dewoitine D.510

By Chris Banyai-Riepl

Overview

The Dewoitine D.510 was an updated D.501, with a more powerful engine and a three-bladed propeller, making it the final variant in the D.500 series. Over 100 were built, with 24 going to China. Other foreign operators included Spain (receiving two D.510s in a roundabout manner), Japan (also receiving two), England, and the Soviet Union (both receiving a single D.510 each). The majority were used by the French, though, and saw limited service at the opening of World War Two. The Spanish aircraft also saw combat, but the majority of combat experience probably goes to the Chinese, who used the type in the defense of Chengdu.

The Kit

This is not the first kit of the D.510, as Heller expanded their D.500 series to include this type as well. However, that kit is rather old and very weak in the details. This kit definitely surpasses the old Heller kit in that regard, with its combination of injection plastic and resin details. The nice decal sheet includes options for three French and one Chinese aircraft, all very colorful options.

Starting with the interior, this is all done in resin, with lots of excellent detail. This is good, as the open cockpit will expose all of this quite well. There is separate sidewalls, floor, control stick, rudder pedals, seat, and instrument panel, all of which will really look good after some careful detail painting. The completed assembly is then trapped between the fuselage halves, and I would recommend plenty of test fitting here to make sure all the edges are flush before tacking it in place.

The fuselage construction is somewhat complicated, given the shape of the cowling. While the fuselage halves are mostly right and left pieces, there is a separate upper cowling and a separate nose piece, required to correctly capture the bulges on the nose. A resin ventral radiator fairing is also separate, as is the rudder and some additional cowling details. Again, it would be better to test fit often, than glue once and fill repeatedly.

With the fuselage together, the rest of the assembly is very simple. The wings and tailplanes are molded as upper and lower halves, with a butt-joint to the fuselage. However, you will have to decide which option you are building, as there are wing differences between the Chinese and French aircraft. Beyond that, the rest of the assembly is just a matter of adding struts and such to get the landing gear in place and tailplanes supported. Speaking of landing gear, that too is different between the French and Chinese options. If you like spats, you're going to have to build French.

The decals are very nicely printed, and the options are some very colorful aircraft. Starting with the sole Chinese option, this aircraft is in a dappled camouflage of heavily weathered green over silver. Coded White 4105, this aircraft has the Chinese insignia on the lower wings only, in addition to the blue and white striped rudder. For the French aircraft, there are two silver and one camouflaged aircraft. The camouflaged one is finished in a three-color camouflage and is from GC I/1 in 1939. The two silver options are from GC II/8 and GC II/1, with a shark and a scythe-wielding skeleton on the fuselages, respectively.

Conclusion

This is a welcome step above the existing D.510 kit out there, and one which should be fun to build. The interesting history and colorful marking options (both in the kit and elsewhere) will make this a popular French subject to build. My thanks to Pavla for the review sample.

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