Smer's 1/72 Focke Wulf Fw190A-5/F-8 & Fw190D-9
The Focke Wulf Fw190 series was one of the most successful German designs during the Second World War and much has been written about it. So much, in fact, that a quick glance at my reference shelf on this plane shows titles in four different languages! If you really want to know more about this famous plane, I'd recommend the Squadron In Action title on the Fw190 for starters. From there you could turn to either the JaPo book on the Fw190A/F/G or the AJ Press book on the same series.
When it comes to plentiful kits, it seems that the only plane that has more is the Bf109, and perhaps that's only because there were more variants. With kits from Italeri, Hasegawa, Academy, Aoshima, Matchbox, Revell and others, it is surprising that Smer would come out with a pair of kits. Since Smer has been known to rebox other company's kits, there is a possibility of this being one of those other company's products, however I don't have any but the Hasegawa to compare to.
What you get in the boxes is some decent injection plastic parts with recessed panel lines throughout. Other than that the detailing is very basic, with hardly anything in the cockpit. Both kits share common trees, with the only difference between the kits being the tree with the fuselage halves. The Fw190A kit comes with two different styles of upper cowling bulges, while the Fw190D has only one. Both kits have a simple interior consisting of a tub with the seat molded in and a basic instrument panel. I'm no expert on the Fw190, but in comparing the fuselages of both kits to photos it seems that the tail section has some shape problems. Some time with accurate drawings is probably in order for these kits to verify that.
The wings are broken down into a one-piece lower wing with separate upper right and left halves. There is some decent wheel well detailing, and all of the proper bulges are present for the wing guns. The landing gear looks somewhat frail, but with the added support of the gear doors it should be just fine. Both kits come with a choice of either a fuel tank or a bomb to hang under the centerline rack.
The decals are the only other area that is different between the two kits and these are worth the price of the kit alone. They are printed by Propagteam and are in excellent register. There are three choices in each kit. The Fw190A-5/F-8 markings include an Fw190A-5 of 1./JG1 flown by Walter Köhne out of the Netherlands in 1943. The camouflage pattern is the standard RLM 74/75/76 scheme with a RLM 04 yellow cowling and mottling on the fuselage sides in both shades of gray and RLM 71. A white 7 is on the fuselage and the name "Uschi" is in yellow and black under the cockpit. The second scheme is camouflaged similar to the first and is a Fw190F-8 of II./SG 4 in 1945. A white 3 is on the fuselage side and the name "Erni" is on the nose in white. The final scheme is that seen on the boxtop and is a Fw190F-8 of 2./SG 4 flown at Anzio in 1944. It is finished in RLM 79 upper surfaces with RLM 80 blotches, over RLM 78 lower surfaces. Since this plane was flying in Italy, a case could be made for it being finished in Italian colors, as it is definitely a non-standard camouflage. The unit badge is on the cowling and a red 10 is on the fuselage.
For the Fw190D-9 kit you get some interesting examples as well. The first choice is a D-9 from 11./JG 54 flown by Hans Prager during Operation Bodenplatte in 1945. It is camouflaged in RLM 82/83 over RLM 76 with a yellow cowling underside and rudder. There is little fuselage mottling present. A yellow 2 is on the fuselage sides and no Defense of the Reich band. The second choice is a D-9 from 5./JG 26, again in 1945. This time the camouflage is RLM 83 and RLM 75 over RLM 76, with the JG 26 Defense of the Reich band colors of black and white around the rear fuselage. The upper part of the bands have been overpainted with camouflage colors to hide them. A black 14 is on the fuselage side and an interesting black shape is around the exhaust stubs. The final choice is that from the boxtop, a D-9 flown by Werner Hohenburg of Stab./JG 2 in Belgium, 1945. The camouflage of this one is RLM 81/82 over RLM 76, with the yellow/white/yellow Defense of the Reich bands around the rear fuselage.
When it comes to Fw190 kits there are definitely better choices out there than these two kits, at least where the plastic is concerned. The lack of interior detailing and potential shape problems would probably rate these down near the bottom for those who want an accurate & detailed Fw190. However the extensive and well-printed decal sheet makes up for a lot of the shortcomings of this kit and if you can get these for a few bucks it will be worth it for the decals alone.