Flurry of Freighters:
When you take away the new interactive 747 mould that Gemini is making good use of, most of the time, a single freighter is exciting. This month we were given three. Each one is special for different reasons. The first, an Air Bridge Cargo 777, registration VQ-BAO is probably the most obscure. I say the because it is pretty far from the typical fare we usually see from Gemini. Air Bridge Cargo is a 100% owned subsidiary of Volga Dneper. It makes a little more sense in that context that we see this model released alongside the AN-124. VQ-BAO is a brand new aircraft just delivered to ABC this summer. The real tragedy here is that it's a brand new aircraft on an aging mould.
In the same vein, there are only two known moulds of the AN-124. Gemini Jets has one and Herpa Models has the other. I'm not much a freighter collector, so I don't have any first hand knowledge of which mould is better, but I do know that last time we've seen this mould in use from Gemini was in 2015. After a 5 year hiatus, the AN-124 is back. A nice stable mate to the Air Bridge 777 this month.
Trio of Airbuses:
This month Gemini also offers us a nice spread of medium sided Airbuses. While the selection is good especially as it pertains to the Iberia A321, Gemini sadly is once again hobbled by a second rate mould in all cases as it pertains to this family group. The most disappointing of these three I think is the Spirit A320-NEO. With its extremely low hanging engines, it gives the impression that its dragging its knuckles on the ground. This A320 mould on its own struggles. The nose gear is in the wrong place just for starters. Add in the big engines with no ground clearance, what you get is what you've got. I will surely be avoiding this one. The least disappointing of the lot I'd argue is the Delta "Thank You" A321. This biggest issue with the model isn't even the second rate mould. The issue is that it is extremely late to the party. Aeroclassics, and NG Models have already released this reg.
Two safe bets this month by Gemini are the Qantas 747-400, VH-OEH and Southwest 737-700 Illinois One, N918WN. Even still, the Qantas 747 is a tired choice for collectors. Gemini has released 11 of these albeit in various schemes. Gemini seems on pace to do all thirty thirtyone 747-400s that Qantas has operated. Too bad they didn't use the new 747 mould by JC, that would have at least made this interesting. In other news, Southwest fleet builders will be happy. Illinois One in the update scheme is on the menu for December and will surely be scooped up by many.
While Gemini Jets struggles in some areas, in others, they excel. The A400M mould is phenomenal and represents continued dedication to they MACs series. I'm sure Gemini will make sure we have a steady diet of these things in the years to come. Along side the A400M we also get 'Air Force Two.' The C-32A looks great. It's on the old cradle chassis but Gemini is showing a real knack lately for fuselage add-ons. This one looks crisp.
Gemini Jets in my opinion continue to be a carousel of inconsistency. This month represents a handsome variety of options for the collector. That variety however is broken down by older moulds and worse, poor quality construction. I don't think Gemini Jets realizes that collectors are rooting for their success, but at the same time, can't turn a blind eye to what hinders them. I won't be buying any of these impulsively this month, but there are a few I'd look to acquire in the future, namely the C-32A and the Lufthansa MD-11. You could probably put me down for an AN-124, but the price is very steep. On to January.