The Gemini Jets DC-10 Mould
It is generally given that for DC-10s the Aeroclassics versions are the best, but of the four other DC-10 moulds in the scale only the Tucano Line / Phoenix edition is truly poor. Many of the models made on the original generation Gemini Jets mould are still solid offerings in the scale today, often literally as they are quite stocky and feel weighty in the hand. Their DC-10 moulds are surprisingly good and excellent alternatives where Aeroclassics versions don't exist, are incredibly rare or very expensive. Yes, they don't have rolling gears and exhibit some older features common to many early moulds, but the basic form of the aircraft is good.
I have just acquired two more Tens on this mould from the latest Waffle sale to take my collection of DC-10s using this mould to 11 of the 100 DC-10s I own. Given that excuse I thought I'd take a closer look at this classic mould.
There have been 59 releases using this mould if you ignore sample models and don't count the Schuco versions as separate releases. Several models have been made exclusively for other brands or retail stores.
Gemini Jets Generation 1 DC-10s (With Tail Seam)
Ignoring a series of sample run examples dating from 2000 the first proper release on this mould was in 2001. The original version of the mould, with the tail seam (to allow fitting of the one piece horizontal stabilisers), was used between then and some time in 2003. The JMC Air release was the last example. Several models were released in partnership with Schuco of Germany so have two versions with different part numbers and slightly different boxes (although the models are the same).
Gemini Jets II DC-10s (No Tail Seam)
Gemini rebranded for a time as Gemini Jets II to highlight the removal of the tail seam and DC-10 releases continued from mid-2003 until 2009. There was also a series of JC Wings editions in 2012, plus a Gemini MD-10 in 2014. There have even been a couple of Singapore Airlines release from JC Wings as late as 2018, with aerials added, so the mould is still available for use.
The above DC-10-30 made for Socatec of France in 2005 shows the features of the mould off well. The general form of the fuselage is good with a great cockpit and nose region. The undercarriage is a little chunky and has static gear, but for the time it is good and demonstrates the slightly forward angled nosegear. The gear is at least in the right place and of sufficient height - two things several current moulds with rolling gear can't get right.
One of the mould's best features is how discrete the wing seam is - helped by the lack of much in the way of a wing-fairing join at the fuselage. The form of the tail region is generally decent, albeit it could do with a little more angularity and a one-piece exhaust fin above the number 2 engine exhaust.
Strongest criticism of the mould is reserved for the engine pylons, which hang the engines too low, although they still have good ground clearance. Given it was made in 2005 aside from the pylons all the other issues relate to the mould's age not quality at the time. Older moulds like this deserve some respect and while obviously not a 2023 mould this still displays really well.
It is worth pointing out that the Gemini Jets DC-10 only represents a series 30 properly and not a series 10 since it doesn't have the shorter wingspan and although the centreline gear is missing from the series 10s the door for it is still present. The majority of the releases have been series 30s anyway, but there have been a couple of series 40s by JC Wings, which do not have the classic number 2 engine bulge so are best ignored.
I've got 11 of these DC-10s in my fleet and have just added the UTA and Ecuatoriana editions.
Organised geographically, above are my 6 'New World' DC-10s and below are 4 of my 5 European DC-10s. The Laker at the bottom is my 11th Gemini Ten and was camera-shy!