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SMER 1/72 Dewoitine D.510 Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review October 2007 Manufacturer SMER
Subject Dewoitine D.510 Scale 1/72
Kit Number 152 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Neat looking 1930’s era fighter Cons Missing markings on decal
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $8.98 (Out of Production)

First Look


French low-wing monoplane fighter with fixed landing gear developed from  D.501, replacing the engine with the more powerful 860 hp Hispano-Suiza 12Ycrs in 1934. The D.510 was the first production fighter to reach an operating speed of 250 mph, representing  a dramatic advance in fighter development in being a flush-riveted metal-skinned monoplane  with a monocoque fuselage. The Dewoitine 501 of 1935 was the first fighter to mount a cannon that would fire through the propeller hub.

This is another re-pop of an old Heller kit. Heller (and later SMER) released kits of the earlier Dewoitine D.500/D.501 (a two in one kit that you could build either way) and this later derivative the D.510.

SMER is based in Prague, Czechoslovakia. The kit comes in a tray and lid type box. The box art shows two D.510’s flying over a coastline. Both are in overall aluminum with diagonal red fuselage stripes, the usual French Air Force roundels and tri-color stripes on the rudder flaps and a red ball with a white number “1” in front of the stripes.

Unfortunately, you do not get these diagonal stripes or the red ball on the decal sheet and the French tail tri-color is missing too. So, you CANNOT do this scheme at all.

Two side panels shows an additional scheme in overall aluminum with a squadron marking of a black skeleton wielding a scye. It has the black tail numeral “5” on it. It also carries the large black code RD-49 under the wings. There is small black lettering on the tail, that goes over the French Tri-color stripes (that are missing) that says D.510 over No. 219. You will have to paint on the stripes and place these numbers over them.

This is the ONLY marking offered in the kit. Not exactly truth in packaging, with what’s shown on the box lid, I’d say.

SMER’s (ex-Heller) Dewoitine D.500/D.501 kit also had markings missing of the decal sheet. I can’t understand how SMER created these decal problems in BOTH kits?

Inside the box is a large cello bag that holds three light gray parts trees and the two part clear stand that you can expect to see in all SMER 1/72nd aircraft kits as a rule. There is a small, stapled cello bag taped to the side of the larger cello. It hold just the little clear windscreen part. The decal sheet and the instructions complete the kits contents.

The instructions follow the usual layout that SMER uses in all their kits. It is a single sheet that is folded into four pages.

Page one begins with a color copy of the box art, followed by the history of the Dewoitine D.510 in Czech only.

The left side of page 2 has a blow by blow text, in Czech, of how to proceed with assembling the kit. Wish SMER would do this in English too.

The right side of the page and the left side of page 3 show 10 assembly step drawings.

The right side of page 3 has a list, in Czech, of the names of the kit parts. The kit only has a total of 44 parts in it, so it is definitely a simple kit to build and a weekend project for modelers.

The first light gray parts tree is new to this kit, and not like that tree in SMER’s earlier kit of the D.500/D.501. It holds: the fuselage halves, a three-bladed propeller (vs. the two-bladed ones in the D.500/D.501 kit), wheel spats, propeller spinner and shorter landing gear legs than were in the earlier kit. (11 parts)

The second light gray tree is identical to the second one in the earlier kit. It holds: the lower wing half (which is full span), landing gear struts, external footstep for boarding the aircraft, horizontal tail supports, underbelly air intake, venturi tube, pilot’s head pad, two different nose pieces (one will become a spare), joystick, dashboard etc. (21 parts)

The third light gray parts tree is also identical to that one in SMER’s kit of the earlier D.500/D.501. It holds the lower wing halves, main wheels, pilot seat, and the access panel over the nose machine gun compartment with the gun troughs faired over, the cockpit floor and the underwing machine gun fairings. (12 parts)

The little one piece cockpit windscreen clear part is identical to the earlier kit.

The decal sheet (already described above) and the instructions complete the kit’s contents.

This is a nice little kit like the earlier D.500/D.501 kit. The only difference I can see is the 3 bladed prop in this one, as far as parts go. You used the part no. 1 nosepiece, leaving the other part no. 9 to be a spare.

I like the skeleton marking, but wonder why SMER omitted the marks for what’s on the box art and the French tail tri-color, needed for either scheme. No truth in marketing points for that.

It is an easy build and I recommend it to modelers of French aircraft and it is a nice follow on kit to SMER’s Dewoitine D.500/D.501 earlier kit.