First Third 2016: Gemini Jets
In general the conclusions and insights of my 2015 production reviews remain accurate. The Gemini Jets review can be found here.
The conclusions of the 2015 review were that though they are focused on their core market of corporate orders for mainly US and European majors about 1/3 of their output was for non core airlines and amongst all the manufacturers they also had the widest variety of moulds in circulation. There was also a rediscovery of several moulds, usually updated with antennae, that hadn't been used for some time and a gradual transition over to JC Wings new moulds like the 737NG and A330. Though their output rarely met with my collecting criteria (despite my criteria being pretty damn wide) they produced decent, though fairly uninspiring models. So what has 2016 brought from Gemini so far?
In terms of new moulds there have been none unless you count the release of two US Airways bus sets - using a bus that is suspiciously similar to those used by Panda models. They are fine but the choice of airline is curious, considering they no longer exist, and the cost of the buses is high for what you get.
In terms of the actual releases this is the list of actual models made:
In many ways it is standard Gemini fare with entertainingly one Emirates A380 (possibly Gemini's signature release) per month! At least two of them feature attractive animal themed schemes unlike most of Emirates rather lacklustre special colours. Many of the other airlines are hardly surprising but will please fleet builders of modern liveries like British Airways, Delta and United.
It is hard to pick out stand-out models from quite an uninspiring selection, though full marks have to go to the Alitalia A320. Aeroclassics attempt at the challenging new Alitalia scheme is awful and Gemini have done a much better job. The Aeromexico MD-80, BA Embraer 190 and Qantas 737 are also welcome models for many I'm sure, though I'm still not convinced that the MD-80s nose problems are resolved. Less good appears to be the Monarch A320 whose colours seem to be well off even past Gemini releases. I am also still less than impressed with the JC Wings 737NG mould Gemini are using, which seems too low to the ground and to still have a too pointy nose.
The continued return of regional jet moulds has also been well received, though personally I'd prefer that they did some older examples myself. The ERJ-145 has been improved with a new nosegear by JC Wings, however the CRJ-200 is still far from impressive - looking more like a 1/500 mould than a 1/400 in terms of undercarriage.
Another plus is that the only A330-300, using the new JC Wings mould, appears to have not inherited the awful up tilted wings of many of the earlier releases so there is some hope this probem has been resolved.
I should also mention the Pan Am 737-200. Usually this would be a model I would welcome, however it was announced after Aeroclassics did a pair of PA 737-200s and only someone with a fetish for antenna would chose the old misshapen Gemini mould over the excellent Aeroclassics versions. The choice of an ex-Air Florida example with a non-standard PA registration is also a bit odd but at least differentiates it a bit from the Aeroclassics releases.
So it has been another solid but rather boring 4 months from Gemini. Some nicely made models, always with the caveat that using JC Wings to produce the models means QC can be a bit variable. For those who know my collecting style it isn't really a surprise that I haven't needed to open the wallet at all for Gemini so far this year. Hopefully that'll change and the CV-580 will make another rare outing into the release list. Could this be the year I don't buy any Gemini? I doubt it - they usually slip a few crackers out amongst the modern stuff and I look forward to seeing them.
19/4/2016 10:47:04 am
regarding the Pan Am 737:
19/4/2016 06:14:16 pm
Thank you for this analysis, Rich. I'm with you in wanting to see Gemini do more classic regional carriers. If they alone have a Convair 580 mould, please use it! Convairs in both North Central final blue-cheatline Herman colors, as well as Frontier Bass colors, are badly needed in 1:400.
1/6/2016 08:42:14 am
Thanks for your information on Gemini Jets! I enjoy reading your reviews and found the breakdown interesting. You mentioned wanting more classics as I have heard others say as well, but I think the vast majority of us who collect Gemini exclusively chose them for their large selection of current livery, current airframe selection. I also find your use of the word "uninspiring" when describing current livery aircraft with no special markings to be off base. As a fleet builder of major U.S. carriers, that is what I look forward to, not specially marked aircraft with animals or Disney plastered all over their otherwise beautiful airframes. As for special markings, I was overjoyed to see the AA retro TWA 737 and One World 772, but they can keep stuff like an Emirites flying turd with animals all over the fuselage.
1/6/2016 10:54:59 am
Hi Lance - glad you liked the review. It's each to his own with all the manufacturers and I can understand the wish to fleet build, however for me the current US majors are probably the least interesting in the world. That's my opinion however and I'm glad Gemini are pleasing some of the collectorate. I personally don't like Emirates much but I actually did rather like the animal liveries - not enough to buy them mind!
1/6/2016 05:25:29 pm
Thanks Rich! Keep up the good work. You are helping this hobby greatly by sharing your knowledge.
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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: