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Mushroom Model Magazine Special

D 520

Bartomiej Belcarz


Color Illustrations by

Artur Jusczak


S u m m a r y

Publisher and Catalogue Details: Yellow Series No 6115
ISBN: 83-89450-09-7
Media and Contents: Soft cover; B5 format; 104 pages plus covers
Price: USD$19.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: Basic overview with color 44 profiles and 1/72 scale drawings
Recommendation: Recommended with some reservations


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. 

As 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. 

In 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. 

A 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 profile. 

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 the publishers, who now accept credit cards (Visa, MC, Amex, Switch)  

North American 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. 

Thanks to Roger at Mushroom Model Magazine  for the sample.

Review Copyright © 2005 by Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman
Page Created 11 October, 2005
Last updated 10 October, 2005

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