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Morane-Saulnier MS.406.C1
Battle of France

Dora Wings, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

Dora Wings Kit No. DW48031 – Morane-Saulnier MS.406.C1 Battle of France

Scale:

1/48

Contents & Media

117 parts in grey-green plastic; nine parts in clear plastic; approx. 18 photo-etched parts on one fret; die-cut vinyl masks; decals for four marking options.

Price:

Price TBA. Will be available online from Dora Wings web store

Review Type:

First Look.

Advantages:

High level of detail; high quality mouldings; crisp recessed panel lines and raised surface textures where applicable; poseable control surfaces; appropriate use of multimedia; welcome subject.

Disadvantages:

In a perfect world it would be nice to have paper Kabuki masks instead of vinyl masks.

Conclusion:

This is another very nice kit from Dora Wings.

Strictly speaking, this is a limited run kit as suggested by the absence of locating pins but otherwise it looks very mainstream with its fine recessed surface textures, high quality plastic and fine sprue attachment points.

It is also worth bearing in mind that this Ukrainian company has produced and distributed its 1/48 scale MS.406 in the middle of a war and with their CEO fighting on the front lines. Buyiing this kit is one small way to support the Ukranian effort.

Battle of France modellers rejoice!


Reviewed by Brett Green

Background

 

The Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 is a French fighter aircraft developed and manufactured by Morane-Saulnier starting in 1938. It was France's most numerous fighter during the Second World War and one of only two French designs to exceed 1,000 in number. At the beginning of the war, it was one of only two French-built aircraft capable of 400 km/h (250 mph) – the other being the Potez 630.

In response to a requirement for a fighter issued by the French Air Force in 1934, Morane-Saulnier built a prototype, designated MS.405, of mixed materials. This had the distinction of being the company's first low-wing monoplane, as well as the first to feature an enclosed cockpit, and the first design with a retracting undercarriage. The entry to service of the M.S.406 to the French Air Force in early 1939 represented the first modern fighter aircraft to be adopted by the service.

Although a sturdy and highly manoeuvrable fighter aircraft, it was considered underpowered and weakly armed when compared to its contemporaries and the M.S.406 was outperformed by the Messerschmitt Bf 109E during the Battle of France.

The type was capable of holding its own during the so-called Phoney War from September 1939 to 10 May 1940. Upon the invasion of France in May 1940, approximately 400 Moranes were lost. Out of these, around 150 were lost to enemy fighters and ground fire, while another 100 aircraft were destroyed on the ground during enemy air raids; the remainder were deliberately destroyed by French military personnel to prevent the fighters from falling into German hands. French M.S.406 squadrons had achieved 191 confirmed victories, along with another 83 probable victories. Limited production of the type continued in France for some time after the Armistice of 22 June 1940 under German supervision..*


 

The Morane-Saulnier MS.406 in 1/48 scale... until now

There are at least four 1/48 scale MS.406 kits that have been released until now.

First up is the Hobbycraft kit, first appearing in 1991 and regularly re-released after that. This was a simple model with a small parts count and light on in the detail department.

Next is the resin JMGT kit, now long unavailable.

AZ Model released a multimedia MS.406 in 2007. This was an improvement in terms of detail compared to the Hobbycraft kit.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Enter Dora Wings with the definitive MS.406 to date.

Ukrainian company Dora Wings has a knack for picking interesting subjects, and this time they have expanded their range to include an all-new 1/48 scale injection moulded plastic Morane-Saulnier MS.406.C1 in Battle of France finishes. We now have a new 1/48 scale MS.406 champion.!

Dora Wings' 1/48 scale Morane-Saulnier MS.406.C1 comprises 117 parts in grey-green plastic, nine parts in clear plastic, 18 photo-etched parts on one fret die-cut vinyl masks and decals for four marking options.

 

  • Dora Wings Morane-Saulnier MS.406.C1Battle of France Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Morane-Saulnier MS.406.C1Battle of France Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Morane-Saulnier MS.406.C1Battle of France Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Morane-Saulnier MS.406.C1Battle of France Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Morane-Saulnier MS.406.C1Battle of France Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Morane-Saulnier MS.406.C1Battle of France Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Morane-Saulnier MS.406.C1Battle of France Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Morane-Saulnier MS.406.C1Battle of France Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Morane-Saulnier MS.406.C1Battle of France Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Morane-Saulnier MS.406.C1Battle of France Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Dora Wings Morane-Saulnier MS.406.C1Battle of France Review by Brett Green: Image
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The plastic is grey-green in colour. It is very smooth and semi-shiny. Surface textures are made up mainly from crisply recessed, fine and consistent panel lines. There are some raised surface textures where appropriate too, in particular width-wise strips on the wings and stretched fabric effect on the rear fuselage.

Sprue attachment points are narrow, but they do extend onto the visible outside surfaces of the fuselage and wings so do take care when removing the parts and cleaning up.

 

 

The cockpit looks good. It is mainly made up from plastic parts. There is noticeably fewer parts in this kit than earlier releases - a good thing if you ask me.

Photo-etched harness straps are included.

 

 

The instrument panel has a plastic base with raised bezels and dial decals. It is further detailed with decal dials and switches.

The wings are made up from separate upper and lower halves plus a full span bottom half.

 

 

Control surfaces are separate parts and may be posed neutral or offset. Flaps are moulded in the retracted position.

There is no wing spar.

The wheel well ceilings are moulded as separate parts.

 

 

Main wheels are moulded as integral hubs and tyres split horizontally. Spoked hubs are depicted.

Clear parts are thin and free from distortion and supplied in separate sections to permit the canopy to be posed open or closed. The proof here will be in the building.

 

 

Dora Wings has thoughtfully provided die-cut, self-adhesive vinyl canopy masks, which will save some time on this often unloved task.

 

 

Instructions are supplied on a 16-page, glossy booklet. There are 44 illustrated construction steps.


 

Markings

The decal sheet is printed by Decograph from Ukraine. The decals are satin in finish.

 

 

Markings are supplied for four Battle of France options. The are finished in a range of early WWII French multi-coloured camouflage.

Registration and printing look good.

 

 

Conclusion

 

This is another really nice kit from Dora Wings.

Strictly speaking, this is a limited run kit as suggested by the absence of locating pins but otherwise it looks very mainstream with its fine recessed surface textures, high quality plastic and fine sprue attachment points.

It is also worth bearing in mind that this Ukrainian company has produced and distributed its 1/48 scale MS.406 in the middle of a war and with their CEO fighting on the front lines. Buyiing this kit is one small way to support the Ukranian effort.

Battle of France modellers rejoice!

*Historical summary adapted from Wikipedia

Thanks to Dora Winga for the review sample.


Review Text and Images Copyright 2024 by Brett Green
Page Created 22 May, 2024
Last updated 23 May, 2024

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