Boeing 747-8F Interactive Series in 1:400 Scale
Modified: November 2021
I probably haven't given Gemini enough credit for the interactive series of models and that is because I tend to think of most of the progressive moulds and innovations in 400 scale they use coming from their production designer and manufacturer JC Wings and not themselves. That's probably a little unfair, but generally it does seem to be JC pushing new ideas. It is also because the models Gemini make rarely meet my collection criteria too, however I recently acquired a 747-8F Interactive model, albeit from JC Wings, and so although I haven't yet done a 747-8 mould review itself I thought I'd take a closer look at this special line.
Above: A couple of Raimond's 'As Real As It Gets' diorama setups showing how much value the interactive feature adds
The 748F interactive is just one of a whole series of innovations that have been coming out of the JC stable in recent times, which have been able to be used by Gemini too. Other examples include the flaps down feature, the open door Beluga XL and A320 inserts for the Beluga XL, plus glass airbridges. JC Wings really do seem to put a lot of effort into new features, which is all the more impressive considering they have also been making quality new moulds in recent years too for the 747-400, 777 series and others.
The interactive 747-8 series allows for the display of the freighter models as both standard closed up aircraft and on ground loading in progress aircraft, with open cargo doors. The most obvious door is of course the large upward opening nose cargo door but the models also feature an open left side SCD and two right side belly holds.
Production in 1:400 So Far
It is a little hard to be certain how many interactive models have been made as the Cathay models tend to go under the radar somewhat, but here is the list I have of releases to date in release order. As far as I can tell there have been 14 models released or announced - 8 from Gemini Jets and 7 from JC Wings.
The aircraft can be displayed with all the cargo doors closed, although the join between the nose door and fuselage is a little obvious. The fit of the smaller cargo doors is quite tight and you need to be careful not to push them in too much. If you do getting them out again can be tricky. I can't believe that many people display the model with the doors closed anyway as if you wanted to do that a standard release would be a better choice. All the interactive elements come separate in the box.
It is of course the nose cargo door that makes this interactive feature sing. As you can see in the below photo it is easily attached/detached using a pair of pins:
The result is impressive and makes the aircraft look great:
The smaller open doors have long tabs that push into grooves inside the cargo spaces to hold them in place - you can see them in the Polar Air image. They are easy to fit and remove.
Accepting that the hump shape of the 747-8F mould is not perfect the interactive feature is very nice and really increases the range of display options for any model airport diorama. It also adds an extra interest factor when viewing the collection and is the sort of innovative new feature I'm glad to see being brought to the scale. Well done Gemini Jets and JC Wings.