The typically American centric retailer has provided a diverse selection this month that should be appreciated. While nearly half of the models have an American registration, collectors can find models representing Australia, China, Jordan, Japan, and the U.A.E. While most of the moulds are your standard fare, there are a few interesting details. Namely a flaps down 777 and a slot-in 787-8.
American Airlines CRJ-900LR: N584NN
PSA Airlines operates 69 CRJ-900's on behalf of American Airlines. These regional aircraft criss-cross America every day. While many of these CRJ are aging, N584NN is just five and a half years old. The aircraft first entered service in 2016. It is MSN 15387. The model also is the first, and likely only option (at least for the foreseeable future) for those who have been working on updating their American Airlines fleets to the most recent colors and need a CRJ. PSA also operates a large number of CRJ-700s and I presume we will see a version of that soon enough.
The model at first glance seems good. The mould has been in use since 2006 and has not seen any changes. The broader details of the aircraft scheme are good enough, but it's not the graphic design department that has forsaken this model, but the construction department. This model suffers from the same issues as last month's Delta CRJ-900. The gears have widely not been installed correctly, and the horizontal stabs are angled. These issues can be fixed, but are unacceptable for the price point, but even more unacceptable for an experienced manufacturere like Gemini. Buy with caution.
China Airlines 777F: B-18771
China Airlines currently operates a fleet of 76 aircraft. They have a total of thirteen 777s but only 3 are configured to operate as fighters. They are on established 777-200 chassis which is interesting in that the other 10 777s are -300ERs. Each of these 777 freighters are brand new each being delivered in either 2020 or 2021. These aircraft are meant to replace aging freighters like the 747. The good news about this model is that it's being offered in two configurations, flaps up and flaps down. The better news is that both versions are on the JC Wings 777 mould. This means that these should be very crisp and problem free models. While it seems QC issues are more common with Gemini Jets, JC Wings are built in the same location but the JC Wings wide body aircraft seem to be far less effected by production issues. The biggest challenge of this model is likely the plum blossom and the intricate details and shading needed to get the logo correct. Gemini have been working hard to take care of the collectors who want fighters, this is a great opportunity to pick up a good one this month.
Flaps and Slats Up Variant:
Flaps and Slats Down Variant:
Eastern Airlines 757-200: N502EA
I don't believe it to be a coincidence that Gemini are more regularly offering models from a bygone era in jet powered air travel. This month there are three pre-year 2000 offerings. Eastern Airlines operated from 1926 until 1991. During this 65 year existence, Eastern operated 240, plus aircraft. 25 of those were 757-200s. In 1/400 scale, six of these have been made, two for each Aeroclassics (on the NG Mould), Gemini Jets, and NG Models. Each of these manufacturers have chosen one of the two they have released to also have the iconic "757" logo on the vertical stabilizer. For Gemini, this is their second release of an Eastern 757. The last time they made one was in 1999. While the mould is essentially the same, it has obviously been retooled to include rolling gears, and ariels. From the picture's I've seen, the model has that beautiful polished metal look, but some of the detailing looks suspect. One picture I saw revealed very subpar painting on the main gear door. If I still didn't have one of these, I'd still say it would be more worth it to look for the NG version.
Emirates A380-800: A6-EUD
The 216th A380 off the line has gone to Emirates. The airline has on hand or on order, 123 of these aircraft. Across all 1/400 manufacturers, 44 Emirates models have been made. Gemini Jets is responsible for 30 of those models. The first ones were made in 2009. Many of the models represent the various special schemes and logos Emirates have placed on these mammoth aircraft. This is the second Emirates A380 this year and while at first glance it seems to be a regular looking Emirates livery as has been hollered for by collectors as of late, it does also cary the Expo 2020 stickers. Beyond that, there isn't much more either remarkable about the aircraft, or the model. The 1/1 version is currently in storage weathering the Covid 19 pandemic and is yet to return to service.
Fedex MD-11F: N604FE
Fedex is often overlooked when it comes to sheer fleet size. They are in possession of around 450 aircraft which sustain it's global shipping network. The fleet is made up of 8 different types of airplanes and this provides a bottomless pool from which to 1/400 model makes can choose from and frequently do. To date, sixteen MD-11s have been made in 1/400 scale. Nine have been made by Dragon Wings and the other seven by Gemini Jets or Phoenix. Of those nine, Gemini can speak for six and each of those are in standard Fedex form. As this is a model that Gemini habitually makes, and due to the fact that the livery is basic, there shouldn't be many, if any issues with this model unless it pertains to production errors or damage from transportation. I presume many of those who are buying these MD-11s will be fleet building or are simply newer collectors who don't have one yet.
New York Air MD-82: N805NY
New York air was the brain child of the Texas Air Cooperation and Frank Lorenzo. The airline was one of the first post deregulation airlines to begin operations and was meant to be a low cost option to complete with the likes of Eastern Airlines. New York Air was an idea beyond its time in many ways. While the business model was good, labor issues and the Airline Traffic Control strike of 1981 severely impacted the start up. It's seven year run was mired in good ideas gone wrong over and over. They made efforts to establish hubs in multiple cities like Boston, and Raleigh, but were never able to compete when worker shortages created favorable conditions for airlines with larger planes like United or Eastern. The airline has been given representation six times in 1/400 scale. This most recent tribe by Gemini is not without its faults and simultaneously the best and worse offering from Gemini this month. The model was clear made quite some time ago as later MD-80 models have been retooled with ariels while this model has none. Many collectors who have picked this up are also noticing older gears and the port side engine has a strange concave contour. Sadly, this is once again a situation where a collector must choose between having a subpar model, or none at all.
Nippon Cargo Airlines 747-8F: JA14KZ
Gemini Jets brought their "interactive" 747-8F mould to the scene in 2019. Since then they have released seven different versions each with a different cargo operator including this month's NCA, registered JA14KZ. The aircraft itself is one of eight 747-8Fs delivered to NCA between 2012 and 2014. This makes the subject eight years old. It is the 1,469th 747 off the line. The mould itself is fine. While the ambition of doing a cargo 747 with multiple operational bay doors is pretty cool, it's not really for me. It seems as though there are many folks out there who continue to crave these as they do disappear from the market quickly.
Qantas Freight A321-200F: VH-ULD
A321 line number 835 was delivered new to British Midland in 1998 as G-MIDC. This aircraft served with the airline until 2010, then was leased to Onur Air where it worked until 2016 as TC-OBJ. The chassis was then withdrawn from service with it's best days of passenger service behind it and reconfigured to carry freight. The aircraft was finally registered as VH-ULD for Express Freighters and operates under the Qantas brand. This aircraft is the first converted A321 from pax to cargo and will not be the last. Qantas is working to meet the demand of goods being shipped in the region due to the growth of e-commerce. Gemini Jets is the third company to make this model in 1/400. Both Panda Model and NG Models have already gotten their versions to market. Both of these companies have better moulds but have sold out. This means there is still a market share for Gemini Jets.
Royal Jordanian 787-8: JY-BAC
Jordan is a small country in a region commonly referred to as the Middle East. Unlike some of its neighboring countries, Jordan has enjoyed relative stability in the past few decades. This has allowed the Jordanian economy to enjoy measurable growth and transportation is a leading part of that. Jordan has the 35th best infrastructure in the world according to the World Economic Forum's Index of Economic Competitiveness. Three first world airports support the operation of the country's flag carrier, Royal Jordanian which is based out of Queen Alia International. The airline has been modernizing over the past decade adding six 787-8s. This comprises about a fifth to their fleet which is currently about 25 airships strong. The best news about this model is that Gemini for the moment at least seem to have abandoned the attrocious 787-8 mould they have been using as recently as 2020. This mould I believe is the JC Wings mould and, while I have seem some pictures indicating poor construction quality, it is leaps and bounds better than the older mould. JY-BAC was the third 787 for Royal Jordanian and is individually named as Princess Salma Bint Abdullah after the Jordanian King Abdullah's second daughter. This is a very strong model and is my personal top pick this month.
USAir 737-300: N523AU
Good for one last retro this month, Gemini has once again referred to its 737-300 mould instead of the one developed by Phoenix models. The mould is good but as Gemini has made attempts to update this mould as opposed to replacing it, it has become more toy like and many of the "improved features" are chunky. It has been about a year since the United and Western 737-300s and it is nice to see the mould once more. While the polished metal finish looks superb, the printing detail looks to be a little on the suspect side. The main titles and the American flag both look less than impressive. Sadder still the finished product has the problematic nose up attitude that makes this mould a frequent tail sitter. This model will find many suiters and does provide an alternative to the hard to find Aeroclassics version of this aircraft registered N588US. USAir operated 102 of these airplanes before becoming U.S. Airways in 1997. It i a significant airplane in the lengthy history of what is now American Airlines. This model should be readily available for some time.
Few players in the game face as much criticism as Gemini Jets these days. However, few model makers have the fan following or the access to collector dollars or the mould portfolio. High expectations means most of the issues demanding collectors have is with poor workmanship. These issues seem to persist nonetheless. Gemini Jets can still be commended for their selection this month. Many types of aircraft from a good spread of countries means intrigue of some kind for most people. While there isn't anything here I will be rushing to add to my collection, perhaps you will.
This page will be updated to rank and discuss monthly releases from the 1/400 model aircraft industry as well as other hobby news and info.