I don't acquire that many Gemini Jets models anymore, they just don't make a lot that interests me, so I tend to do a detailed review of everyone I get. This wasn't intended to be a detailed review, but there has been some discussion of the United 737 release so I thought I'd put down my thoughts about it and it has kind of turned into one.
I ordered this model well before the release appeared, off of the back of the Gemini photos, which due to the high angle they are taken at successfully hide a multitude of sins. The initial feedback when the model came out almost led me to cancel my order, however it seems there is some variation across the run as some versions I'd seen looked better than others. In the end I kept my pre-order but I'm still really on the fence as to whether I did the right thing.
In this quick review I'll rate in my usual manner, which is to split the review into three key areas:
This is an old Gemini mould that has been updated with aerials (but not rolling gear). In fact, it dates from 2004 originally. This isn't a major issue, although the casting was never a world beater to begin with. It is nevertheless a solid effort for its time. More recently Gemini had been using the Phoenix 737-300 mould but they appear to have stopped. I'm not sure why, but it doesn't bother me as the older Gemini 737-300 is actually a better mould in my opinion.
Even so this old mould has a nosecone, which is a little long and not pointy enough. The nosegear doors do not angle up correctly, the new aerials are a little large (typical for JC Wings) and for some reason the maingear is shorter than the nosegear.
The latter point gives the entire model a taildown position, which it should not have. I'm not sure why this has happened as my older Gemini 737-300s do not have this problem. The rest of the mould is actually pretty decent. Yes there is a seam but it isn't very obvious.
Overall this is a perfectly middle of the road older mould. It doesn't hold a candle to the newer Panda / Aeroclassics 737-300 but is ok.
PRINT & LIVERY
This is the early 90s lowered Saul Bass double U, rainbow or tulip scheme (you pick your preferred name). The colours of blue, orange and red are spot-on. Unfortunately the rest of the livery is not particularly accurate.
In general it is correct but in detail the whole doesn't fit together properly. The cheatline seems to curve at both the nose and tail but the whole thing is a little thrown off by the fact the model doesn't sit level. It also seems overall a little high, especially at the nose (probably because the cockpit is weird), whilst the main titles are not quite tall enough.
The titles are also a little too thick. The worst sin is on the tail itself, where the tulip logo sits level with the ground but not the rest of the aircraft. Having the mould sitting inaccurately without a level back has confused the printing and the top of the tulip is not level now with the tail top.
Aeroclassics have also been struggling with this aspect recently but on this model it really sticks out. I've seen some photos where the model looks better than my copy so this may not impact the entire run to the same extent, but I am not happy with it at all.
PRINTING & QUALITY CONTROL
The printing on Gemini models is usually pretty good but this model, although having plenty of detail, is poor. I have already deducted marks for the livery printing but quite obviously the cockpit on this model is all over the place. It is way too high, especially in the middle. This is the biggest flaw with the model eclipsing even the tail logo.
The nosecone printing is also slapdash. The line is too obvious but worse it isn't even straight. It is a mess. Otherwise the printing is good on the engines and underside, except that the engine fanblades are bright silver.
Build quality is ok. The horizontal stabilisers have a bit of a gap at their front but this looks more like a mould issue than a quality one. There is a tyre tab on the nosegear.
This model should be a gem in my collection but instead it is a model that you try and skim over when looking at the fleet, especially when it sits next to an NG Models 757 in the same scheme. I can forgive the mould's basic failings but what has happened with the landing gear has led to the tail being stuffed up. Worse the printing of the cockpit and cheatline is lazy. At distance it just about passes muster but pay attention to it and the errors jump out in an unpleasant way.
I am not trying to attack Gemini - I want them to succeed, I honestly do. However, this is the 2nd worst scoring model of the 48 from 2019 and only 11 models have scored as poorly or worse of the 163 I've now reviewed since 2017. Do Gemini just stuff up the few models of theirs I want to buy?
TOTAL SCORE: 20
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of 1/400 scale model aircraft and airports. This blog reports work on my model airport dioramas and discussion of the model manufacturers output.