The cost of models nowadays, and postage too, means that I try and be careful with what I buy, although I often fail at this! This CP release is my third Gemini acquisition from the 2022 releases but only arrived a few days ago as I took advantage of a £10 off voucher from Aircraft Model Store, which made it a price I was willing to pay from UK sellers with it in stock. I never acquired any of the Aeroclassics versions so it was an important missing component in my Canadian fleet. Let's see how it stacks up.
Each review is to split into three key areas:
Gemini Jets don't make many Boeing 727-200s anymore. Although they've made 58 only 5 have been released in the past 5 years, with two of those coming last year. JC Wings have also used the mould twice, both for AA examples - one in 2021 and one in 2019. Aeroclassics are, perhaps unsurprisingly the big mover in the 727 field and have made close to 50 727-200s in the past 5 years.
This mould is a modernized version of the original Gemini Jets mould, which dates all the way from the turn of the century. The primary difference between the two versions are related to modifications in the undercarriage, the tail and the addition of aerials.
Looking at the basic mould the nose and forward fuselage are pretty good. The only detractor is that on the new mould version the nose seems pointier than the old. I don’t know why this is and it is inferior to the original as it is now a little too pointy. The rest of the main fuselage is very nice.
The age of the mould dictates that it is a cradle mount (then again so is the Aeroclassics). The seam is quite discrete and doesn’t follow the wing fairing as in the Aeroclassics version. This doesn’t make it any more obvious though and you could argue it is better. The wings themselves are shaped well but they are rather lacking the fine details especially at the rear wingtip and on the flaps.
Even though on the updated mould the tail has been updated to a seamless variant it is still not much better than any of the other moulds (and a lot poorer than the Dragon Wings). Although it has no seam at the tail top, to fit the horizontal stabilisers in, the shape is wrong. It has no upward angle at the anterior edge and the tail top is too flat. Also the attachment of the horizontal stabs as slot ins actually introduces a bit of a downward angle and a small gap where they fit.
The changes to introduce all new rolling landing gear have not been a complete success. The nosegear tyre on this release is too large but I'll talk more about that in the quality control section as it hasn't always been an issue. At the maingear the doors are too short as they fail to cover any part of the tyres they are inaccurate.
This example has only a solitary aerial on the roof, whereas the 727 models released in 2018, 2019 and 2021 all had a pair. It seems to be a cost-cutting exercise to remove the aerial under the belly.
Overall the effort in updating the mould hasn’t especially improved it over the original. Fortunately, the original is one of the better of Gemini’s older moulds and so you still get a decent aircraft. The Aeroclassics 727 has its own set of faults but won on points when I undertook a detailed comparison scoring of the moulds back in 2019 - see
That doesn’t mean the Aeroclassics version is light years ahead though and this is a mould I’m happy to purchase.
SCORE - 7
PAINT & LIVERY
In 1968 Canadian Pacific became CP Air when its owner, the Canadian Pacific Railway, decided to align all its brands. Each of Canadian Pacific's divisions (CP Rail, CP Transport, CP Express, CP Ships, CP Telecommunications, CP Hotels and CP Air) gained a linked branding using the new Multi-mark arrow logo. The arrow depicted motion, the semi-circle global service and the square stability. Each division gained a dominant colour with CP Air getting Orange.
CP Air only acquired a pair of 727-217s and they were only in service for 7 years before they were sold on. This aircraft was named 'Empress of Los Angeles'. The name is present on the model's forward fuselage and looks good. The CP Air titles on the nose are ok as well but the anti-glare panel ahead of the cockpit should meet the outside windows. It does not and is way too small.
The orange and red colours are rich and accurate. I am less convinced by the curve of the line above the cockpit which curves too early. On the real thing from the side the line looks straight above the cockpit and isn't obviously curved.
There are also issues at the tail with the Multi-mark arrow. On the real aircraft the arrow point is at the same level of the top of the no 2 engine. On the model it is higher and the top of the arrow is almost straight.
Smaller details like the red lower door outlines, Canada and flag with rego and fleet number on the nosegear doors are all good. Comparing this livery rendition to one of the Aeroclassics versions and they don't make any of the same mistakes. It isn't often that you can say Aeroclassics do a better job reproducing a livery than Gemini but in this case mistakes have been made.
SCORE - 7
PRINTING & QUALITY CONTROL
Gemini Jets is excellent at detailed printwork and most of the model shows that excellence. I say most because the cockpit printing is a mess. This isn't a one off issue either.
When you look at the last 3 Gemini 727-200s before this one you can see the regression. The AeroSucre release from 2019 looks good. The Kalitta release from 2021 has the windows printed too low and the National release from 2022 is a dog's breakfast. This CP Air release isn't much better. The cockpit windows are too thin and what should be a straight upper margin curves upwards towards the middle windows. Fortunately the bare metal of the model hides some of this and it looks therefore better than the National version.
The other issue that is obvious when comparing the previous models above is the nosegear size. It has got progressively larger across the releases so that both the 2022 models have an outsize tyre. On this CP Air version it appears that the factory have had such trouble fitting the tyre they have actually cut off a portion of the left side nosegear door so it fits. On the right side the tyre is actually overlapping the nosegear doors on the outside. Once again the small size of the model means it gets away with this embarrassing state of affairs without it being a real eyesore, but it is poor.
Above: It really looks like the gear doors have been cut around the tyre on the left side of the model! Note how the doors curve around towards the rear.
Below: On the right side the tyres overlap the gear door on the outer side.
Obviously this model is hardly the first time Gemini have had issues in 2022 with nosegear tyre size (see the Loganair Saab) or cockpit printing (see the Aer Lingus ATR). At least this 727 isn't fitted with hushkits like the National version from 2022!
In all other ways build quality is actually fine, but one last criticism is the colour of the engine exhausts. They are silver on the model but shoul dbe amuch darker almost black steel colour. Once again Aeroclassics got this correct on their rendition.
SCORE - 6
I'll be honest I was expecting this model to score quite well, which is one of the reasons it is getting a review. While I do tend to review all the Gemini's I purchase I don't like getting accused of bias when I review them so it helps when they aren't a mess! This is one of those times when the model looks ok from a metre away but dare to get up close and issues start appearing everywhere. The cockpit printing, anti-glare size, nosegear tyre and fit, plus the angle of the Multi-mark arrow logo are all annoying problems that shouldn't be happening. I know Covid has put stress on the manufacturers and Gemini, being US run, have not been able to supervise their production as they would perhaps like but the result is that this sort of lack of quality is a fairly standard result. Not great at all. I'm glad this didn't cost me the over £46 it was originally being sold for.
FINAL SCORE - 20/30
I'm Richard Stretton an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale models. On this page I take a detailed look at new releases.
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