March brings Gemini's most exciting lineup of the year thus far and perhaps, the most exciting batch of models in over a year for the American based brand. 7 of the 9 models being released this month are American registrations so it's not that Gemini have done well in the diversity department. It's more about a few models in particular that are sure to be insanely popular.
NG Models took a long hiatus for the Chinese New Year, but are back with their February-March releases. While only using essentially four moulds this month, there are a total of eight variants. There are also aircraft from six different countries from five different global regions. No one except Aeroclassics has been doing more in terms of diversity and selection.
As models hit store shelves this week, I'm taking a in depth look at what's new. To see my take on all eleven, 1/400 models...
March 12th was the day that a fresh new batch of Aeroclassics models became available for immediate shipment. This continues the trend of Aeroclassics models being largely unknown until they are on the market for sale.
This is a method that most collectors have well adapted to however it forces some quickness and panicked buying that doesn't allow for studying before models are available motivated by short run numbers and sporadic availability at a variety of retailers.
This month, minus the single 1/200 Pan American release, Aeroclassics brings us eight models on four different moulds. There are just as many countries represented as there are models (8), and Airbus, Boeing, Douglas, and Tupolev are all represented. Every month is an illuminating reminder of the strength of Aeroclassics' portfolio.
Aeroclassics roll into February 2021 about a week later than usual. Typically they announce releases the first Friday of the month here in the U.S. but pushed back a week. The reason for that largely is unknown but in the work of 1/400 diecast, a week late is barely late at all.
For February, AC returns with once again, a very generous bunch of models. This month 11 models were released on 7 moulds. Most of the moulds from last month have returned. That includes the TU-154, the DC-8, the DC-4, the 727-100 and the A310. New mould this month include the A321neo (2x) and the DC-7.
From a geographical standpoint, 9 different countries from 6 different regions once again means that there is something here for every collector to at least consider. Not to mention there is also variety in manufacturer and time period, from the most modern to some of the earliest commercial aircraft. For my full take on things...
I'm sure there are still those out there that have no love or interest for NG Models. They were truly a juggernaut in 1/400 scale model airlines in 2020 and they made it quite clear they intend to continue their impressive foray in 2021.
NG Models brought in the new year with a bevy of models. 9 aircraft types on 7 different moulds and a total of 15 different registrations. It's amazing to see the NG catalogue develop before our very eyes.
Not only has the quantity of offerings been generous but so has been the regional selections made available. Collectors specializing in aircraft from China, Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mexico, Qatar, and the Philippines all have something to pay attention to. To see all HG has to offer in January 2021...
Gemini's second wave of 2021 is now beginning to arrive at retailers. There isn't very much innovation this month however a safe set of releases to targeted collectors ensures some average sales.
This month Gemini Jets continues to get millage from its A380 mould counting out 2 of the 10 releases. They also have doubled up on their 737NG with an El AL and a TUI. Still they double up once more on the 787-9 Dreamliner with a model representing Aeromexico and United Airlines. It's easy to see what Gemini are up to and it's certainly not innovation, but there are a few lookers this month as well.
As January comes to a close model retailers are taking delivery of Gemini Jets' January 2021 offerings. This month Gemini puts an emphasis on wide bodies with 6 of 7 commercial releases being of this variety. A loan DHL 737-800F is the only medium body aircraft. 1/400 scale also gets a strong military emphasis this month as three military models, all from the United States are available to MACs collectors. The most interesting is the new B-1 mould.
Unfortunately, this is a very limited set of releases. If you're a collector from Europe or the U.S. there are some good offerings, but minus the Garuda A330, there isn't much here that excites me personally. For my full take...
Aeroclassics welcomes the new year in stride. This month we get eleven 1/400 models and a singular 1/200 DC-8. Aeroclassics provides variety once again with eight different airlines from every corner of the globe.
At first glance I wasn't too enthused about January's offerings. It appears many folks are being a bit conservative as well, being that its Saturday evening American Eastern time here, a day after the release and only one model has sold out. Although the Ethiopian and the Air Niugini are well on their way.
I personally plan on picking up the Ethiopian, the Air Niugini and the Sabena. I have my eye on a few others, but time will tell if they make it into the collection.
Let's break down the Aeroclassics January releases.
In a rare move, Gemini has somewhat quietly released an exclusive 1/400 scale Southwest Airlines model. The model itself is the one of a kind, 'Louisiana One.' Gemini scarcely releases models in this way and the timing is interesting. 2020 has seen Gemini dip into the Southwest honey pot multiple times. In the past, years at a time have gone by without a single Southwest model at all. In the last 14 months, Gemini has released four 737 state flag models (not including N946WN). I believe the choice to release these in the way Gemini have, only to make the most recent release an exclusive model was more than deliberate.
In the last month of a very forgettable year, Gemini has brought out perhaps the most diverse group of models we've seen all year. There really is something for everyone as long as you are willing to overlook old moulds and risk receiving a product that could show up in several separate pieces.
This month features 10 moulds, 6 different airlines, 3 different cargo companies and two government military aircraft. The rare concorde release along with the MD-11 and Antonov AN-124 signify something for collectors of older aircraft all the way to the cutting edge NEOS and the A400. There's a lot to unpack.