Using the DiMA database as a guide Gemini have released 97 1:400 scale models in the year 2015, which equates to about 8 a month. As a manufacturer their output has been very conservative within recent years and they have received some criticism from the collectorate for the rather boring selection of models they have released. I think this has been justified, though in fairness to them you can hardly blame them for filling corporate orders for airlines like Hawaiian, Emirates, Fed Ex, Delta, American etc. I assume it is good for their bank balance and the models seem to sell well. Below is a selection of some of these more standard releases from 2015 - generally well executed on decent moulds:
What has been nice is that Gemini seems to have rediscovered several moulds they had apparently stopped using. Some of these are older moulds updated (A310, 747-100, 747SP, IL-62, VC10, ERJ-145) whilst some are moulds that are relatively new but had just seemingly been ignored (CV-580). This activity seems to link in with Gemini getting back in touch with some classic releases after effectively stopping making them in recent years. Hopefully this is a promising sign of a more adventurous style to come in 2016.
Below are some of the rediscovered moulds. Its nice that they have often been updated with aerials. The only real mis-step is the Antonov 124 - the mould for which is much inferior to the Herpa AN-124 which had already been made in this scheme anyway. Its fabulous to see the CV-580 again - despite its rather chunky undercarriage.
Gemini also updated another of its moulds in 2015 giving its 777s new legs. Gemini has several moulds with rather chunky undercarriage (like the 757) and the 777 was rather notorious for this also. The updated mould is still not as good as the Phoenix 777 but does appear to be an improvement over the older version. Here are a couple of the 2015 777s with the new undercarriage:
SWITCHING TO JC
As well as the modification of older moulds Gemini made quite a few changes to its available moulds this year. For some time now Gemini has had a strong relationship with JC Wings and this continued to get stronger in 2015 as Gemini transitioned over to several new JC Wings moulds. This was most noticeable with the 737NG. Personally I prefer the old Gemini mould and the Phoenix 737NG (see my 737NG mould review) however Gemini has gone all in on this new mould with 10 blended winglet releases and 2 with the split scimitar winglets. The latter looks better than the standard winglet version - as the nose appears less pointy. From what has been said about the Phoenix split scimitar version the Gemini/JC one appears better but that's not the case for the non-wingletted / blended wingletted version. Here are several of the new 2015 Gemini 737NG releases on the JC Wings mould:
Gemini also finally stopped using its old A320 mould in 2015 and switched to JC Wings superior mould. The last old A320 was the Philippines release and the subsequent British Airways release is on the new mould. So far the A319 continues to use the old mould as you can see below with the Spirit release:
Gemini is also I believe using the superb JC Wings A350 and has just apparently switched to the JC A330 also - though the one Delta release on the latter is afflicted by some odd wing flex not seen on the JC releases I own:
One mould I do find frustration with Gemini with is the MD-80. The initial release was a disaster and in fact in 2015 Gemini did revert to even using the old Phoenix mould for one of its 3 releases. Now the new mould appears largely fixed (though still not perfect) I don't understand why they barely use it. Hopefully the recent excellent Meridiana release means there will be plenty more MD-80s to come, though given Gemini's lack of focus on an aircraft type I expect this won't happen. Below are the three 2015 releases - note one of the Allegiants is on the old mould:
Overall I think Gemini has had a pretty good 2015. Their models generally have a high standard of printing, detail and colour correctness. I don't rate many of their moulds as being the best, where there is competition, but they are almost universally acceptable. Their partnership with JC Wings appears to give them access to more moulds than they would have otherwise and often they are very good moulds (A320, A330, A350, EMB-190) though its a shame that they seem to have opted out of producing their own new moulds nowadays and not all the JC moulds are great (737NG).
Their range of aircraft types is excellent and I am pleased they are returning to releasing a few more classics. Despite this of the 60 new models I have purchased in 2015 only 3 are Gemini Jets, showing that for me at least they are not the go to manufacturer. This is not because of the quality of their models, which is in fact very high, but more because they produce very few classics and the only modern aircraft I collect are Russian and Chinese - two areas Gemini rarely touches.
Personally in 2016 I would like to see greater use of moulds for types they alone have (especially the MD-80 and CV-580) and better QA. Even though I only got 3 Geminis - the Pan Am A310 literally fell apart out of the box and even now refuses to sit on its front gear.
For 2016 I feel that there will be a few more unusual aircraft dropped in now and then, but never infringing too heavily on their core business of producing corporate orders and fulfilling the need for relatively mass market mainstream airliners. Someone's got to do that and Gemini do it well.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: