éronautique Navale ordered another 120. The first production D.520 flew in October 1939. The production aircraft have the rear fuselage extended by 51cm, redesigned engine cowling panels, the curved, one-piece windscreen replaced with one containing an optically flat panel and armour plate behind the pilot's seat. The production-standard armament consist of an engine-mounted Hispano Suiza H.S 404 20mm cannon and four MAC 1934 M39 7.5mm machineguns in the wings. Despite the improvements, the first batch of 520s failed acceptance tests due to insufficient top speed and troublesome cooling. Redesigned compressor intakes and modified cooling pipes improved the latter while propulsive exhaust pipes cured the former. As a result, the type was not declared combat ready until April 1940.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X) especially in 1/48 but perhaps it could be used as an introductory kit for my son. The alternate radio aerial is now shown to be used for two of the marking options available in the kit. Speaking of which, they are:
1. Adjudant Chef Bouton, GC II/3 Dauphine, 2 Escadrille , June 1940
2. Adjudant Chef Denis Ponteins, GC II/7, 3 Escadriile, June 1940
3. Sous Leutenant Pierre Le Gloan, GC III/6, 5 Escadrille, Spring 1942
The decals are quite thick however but the red in the French roundel has been corrected (the red was more burgundy in the earlier release). As a matter of interest, the original Tamiya kit also include markings for Le Gloan's earlier plane, aircraft No.277.
Painting and Decalling
With a kit this simple, there wasn't really much to do at this stage. The landing gear however needed some trimming to the fairing and to the top of the gear itself so they can fit properly into the well. The aerials at the top and the bottom of the fuselage was cemented and so while the flaps were then permanently cemented into place. The torn areas of the decals were touched up using Tamiya paints (X-14 Sky Blue, XF-2 Flat White and a mix of X-7 Red and XF-3 Flat Yellow). The model then received panel line enhancement using AK Interactive Paneliner solution with thicker application being done on the borders of the control surfaces. The exhaust manifolds were painted Burnt Iron and afterwards Tamiya Weathering master 'Rust' was applied onto them. Tamiya Weathering Master 'Soot' was then applied on the fuselage to represent exhaust deposits and also propellant residue near the gun openings. Finally, an overcoat of Flat Clear was sprayed, finishing the build.
Tamiya's kit of the 'French Spitfire' is another prime example of Tamiya philosophy of having simple to build yet having great details (OK not that great but highly acceptable, except maybe for the cockpit and the landing gear). Even though a few problems arose during construction, in general the parts were very well-moulded and engineered. The subject matter is also welcomed as like French early war armour, there aren't that many choices and types kitted by mainstream manufacturers. As for the Citroen, it went into my to-be-build stash.