Reviewed by Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman
Mushroom's "D 520" Book
is available online from Squadron.com
One thing I have come to realize about the Mushroom Model Magazine (MMM)
Specials is how uneven they are. This recent issue from MM on the D 520 is
perhaps one of the weaker ones.
is usually the case with the other Yellow Series books from MMM, this volume is
comprised of three distinct parts. First there is the development and combat
use of the aircraft. The second part is a walk around of a restored aircraft
supplemented by pictures from the original aircraft manual. The third part is
made up of a number of colorful profiles.
While this volume begins with some interesting notes and drawings of the various
developmental aircraft in the D 520 series, it quickly falls off in the
operational use section.
his discussion of the combat history of the D 520, the author make a most
interesting statement: “The D 520 … was virtually an equal opponent to the
Messerschmitt Bf 109E”. But rather than following up on this comparison, the
author uses the majority of this section to relate the experience of one pilot
having a two hour lunch and watching a D 520 take on a hapless Fiat Cr. 42.
The other discussions of the service of the D 520 with the Vichy French, German,
Bulgarians and Italians are most brief indeed.
goodly part of this volume is taken up with a walk around of a pair of fully
restored D. 520s, one of which is in flying condition. But unlike previous
volumes in the Yellow series, the author provides no information on either of
these aircraft. Restored aircraft usually have their own particular history,
both in terms of their service and the process of restoration.
The walk around section also has the drawings from the original aircraft manual.
But one opportunity that was missed, was pointing out the unique “lantern” gun
sight that was used in the D 520. While there is picture and a drawing that
includes the gun sight, unless you know what you are looking at, it appears as
merely a strange object atop the instrument panel.
Finally there are beautifully colored profiles of 44
different aircraft. The profiles include D 520s in French, German, Bulgarian
and Italian service. One of them is most interesting and is a hypothetical
drawing. After France’s surrender and the armistice, it seems that the Italian
Armistice Commission wanted to impose its own aircraft recognition markings on
French aircraft. What those marking may have looked like is shown in that
However, a couple of profiles appear to be incorrect,
which always causes me to question the others. The last profile in the book is
of a D 520 in the markings of the Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana (ANR), the
air force of the Italian Fascists established in the north of Italy after the
Armistice with the Allies in September 1943. According to one of the authors of
the recently published “Camouflage and Markings of the Aeronautica Nazionale
Repubblicana”, no D 520 were in ANR service.
The other profile is of the D 520 of Reserve Captain
Cliguet (Cliquet) of the “Group Doret”. Although minor, the profile fails to
show the Lorraine Cross painted over the wing roundel. There is a picture of
this very aircraft in one of the sources cited in the bibliography.
For a modeler or aircraft enthusiast who wants a basic
overview of the Dewoitine D 520, this volume in MMM’s Yellow series may be of
some interest, and I recommend it to those individuals. For a more serious
enthusiast, this volume will probably fall a bit short.
All Mushroom Model
Publications books are
available direct from
who now accept credit cards (Visa, MC, Amex, Switch)
distributors are Squadron/MMD, Australian distributors are Platypus
Publications. In Europe, the books are available from any good bookshop (via our
UK distributors, Orca). Contact MMP direct in case of difficulties.
Roger at Mushroom Model
Review Copyright © 2005 by
Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman
Page Created 11 October, 2005
Last updated 10 October, 2005
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