KLM ERJ-190STD PH-EZP Gemini GJKLM1254 1:400 April 2014 Release
The model is of an Embrarer (Brazil) ERJ-190STD in service with KLM’s Cityhopper Service. Also known as an E-190-100. It was delivered to KLM on 1st April 2010. The City Hopper service is entirely European regional, in a typical past week she’s flown from Amsterdam to Bilund, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Trondheim and Newcastle.
This model is a big deal for Gemini. It the first of an aircraft that has received little attention other than the smaller Herpa E170-100 almost two years ago. It gives Gemini an opportunity to show it’s recognised its quality issues and begin to redeem itself in the eyes of people like me who have become fed up with high prices and poor quality.
The model can be obtained new from between £17.50 and £26 (about $29-44 US) depending on where you buy.
1) Main Fuselage
The mould is new and it’s very good. Presumably a reduction exercise on the successful 1:200 version. There is a great deal of detail immediately visible and I think the biggest thing that strikes you is it’s a lot bigger than you’d expect – easily 30% larger than the E170. I’ve been on one and I still didn’t realise quite how much difference there was.
The details extend to the under body spar and waste “aerial” (actually a small heater to stop waste water from the sinks freezing in the body or on exit). The detail is very good, I’m impressed and I like it.
The colours really shouldn’t be a problem and the blues and greys are all where they should be.
Of particular not is the really rather neat cockpit treatment and the wipers.
On the downside, some of the paint is a little sloppy – the dark blue coach line is ragged on the bottom edge with close inspection and even tiny amounts of paint are missing in some places. Yes, in close up you can see it and generally it passes the naked eye test, but paint is again missing or thin at the APU end; there is some blurring on the tiny detail reds for example. The tail and blue coach line paint problems are visible without assistance. Having said that, it’s a hell of a lot better than Gemini have been of late but not to the standard of the Witty KLM 738.
All in a distinct improvement over some of Gemini’s recent efforts such as the dreadful Jetstar 787 and American 737 that had landed on its nose.
2 CF34-10E’s with the serrated baffles for noise reduction.
These are notoriously Gemini’s weak spot and while better they are still a disappointment. Take a look at the photo from behind – I’ve gone to considerable trouble to make sure this was taken at a zero tilt. Look at the starboard (right side) engine shape compared to the port side, Its not even the same. The annoying thing is that generally they seem to have gone to a great deal of trouble to create a good detailed moulds, only for QC to let the side down.
Sadly this extends to the paint – the silver around the engines is far better than of old but not as good as it could be, with several wobbles on the infamous intake silver. You might not mind or even notice, but things like that leap out at me!
3) Landing Gear
Painted metal with detailed struts and hydraulics, fully rolling wheels. At last Gemini realise the plastic one fits all approach isn’t going to work here and they’ve done a good job of it.
4) Tail fin and stabilisers
There are a few thin paint moments but what really annoys me is the poor way the tail fits. It just looks like it was bunged in with some glue, even if it is straight, with large and visible black gaps.
5) Wings and underbody.
Here Gemini seem to have raised their game, highly detailed, good thickness of paint that doesn’t swamp anything out with exceptionally good sharklets. (The packaging has bubble moulds in it to cope as they are quite large and very thin). The reg number is a bit too close to the rear of the wing underneath, but its passable. Overall the wings and detail on the underbody are extremely good.However they could have been fitted better and have quite large gaps in places, visible where they join the fuselage.
There are 4 main colours, the KLM blue, the blue coach line, the grey and white. They and the Witty 738 are both a tad out on the official Delft Blue and together you see it straight away, apart you’d never know.
7) Overall score – we start at 10.
We loose 1 point for that engine and another point for the dodgy paint in places, plus half a point down for the tail and wing gaps -It’s a well deserved 7.5/10 and it looks very much like Gemini are trying very hard with this model to get it right and quality back on track. they still have a way to go and with any luck future versions of this superb mould will just get better.