Wednesday, September 27, 2023

1/72 Heller Dewoitine D 501 in Chinese colors

        During the Sino-Japanese War the Nationalist Air Force was in a desperate position trying acquire and deploy modern fighter aircraft to do battle with the Japanese. This need for aircraft was complicated by corrupt practices wherein the European "experts" hired as advisors also functioned as salesmen for their own profit. The result was a polyglot collection of often obsolescent aircraft. During this period the Chinese purchased twenty-four Dewoitine D-510Cs in 1938 and established a volunteer squadron of French pilots to fly them. After a short time there were disagreements over the terms of the volunteer's contracts and they were dismissed and the aircraft wee turned over to Chinese pilots. Although most Chinese aircraft were either overall light gray or, later on, overall dark green some were camouflaged in different patterns. One of these had a striking color scheme of small squiggly patches of dark green sprayed over a light gray base, I chose to depict that aircraft here.

       Wikipedia has a good short history (along with a list of the many different aircraft that served in the early years of the conflict)

hand painting the pattern was an exacting experience
the pilot is a clearly confident fellow 
(actually he is a converted U.S. tank crew member as Heller kits don't generally include pilot figures)

Chinese aircraft often didn't carry makings on the upper surfaces

and now with the magic color-changing background


  1. One of my favorite aircraft, and in an excellent scheme. Looks great!

  2. Another aircraft from the 30's. Kool John