This is the second one of these I’ve purchased simply because I want something that isn’t basically made of cardboard and needs putting together like some giant puzzle. Maybe one day I’ll try that!
With one already in use, mirroring it seems like the best way forward for the RLSI re-modelling and small expansion now taking place.
UK price including 20% VAT for this is £129.99 so $208 USD at the current rate of exchange. It’s a pricy item and I have my doubts about the general quality – the first one required considerable effort to get up to scratch and I was not best pleased.
The worst thing was that rather than being resin as was claimed, it seemed to be hewn out of bits of old timber and glued together. Outside it looked fine, but under the skin it was pretty dire. The second thing was that almost all of the air bridges were either stuck in place or the wheels wouldn’t drop. Six of them had to be broken apart and rebuilt to get them to work.
The final insult was that not one of the air bridges attachments to the building which come with locator pins, actually fitted either the pin holes or the base, lifting the terminal up by as much as 2mm. This required hot knives, cut plastic, and glue to put right. The final element was the roadway ramp was curved up on its supporting pillars, though not by much and they dropped over time.
So what of this one, 18 months later?
The terminal comes with a huge set of graphics to stick on parts of the gates, bridges and terminal. Many of the airline ones are still current but just as many are not, United, Iberia, American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic to name but 4 are all now historic. Now some of you may appreciate this, but it’s not that they put them in for your convenience, its that they have never looked at updating them, by all accounts they are the same as they were when the item was launched years ago, so it depends on your collection, it may be good, it may not. The gate lettering is very neat, running from A1 to A7 as well as B1 & B2. There is a micro set as well, but they are so small they serve little purpose, frankly even with glasses they are so small I can’t see them at 3 point. They are very sticky and very fiddly to apply, it’s a matter of choice. I did use them but they take a lot of patience. It’s just a pity there are so many old logos.
THE MAIN BUILDING
Construction standards seem to have improved noticeably. Its external appearance is very good and it matches the older terminal well. The base even has felt feet and is screwed together far more professionally. The interior, after being disassembled to check the wiring as the bulbs were flickering (later traced to a failed recharge on a AA battery) is infinitely superior to the old one.
Not so good. The colours and everything match but the curve on the mould is really bad and the feet each end do not fall squarely with almost 3mm lift both ends. On top of that there is a noticeable lack of paint on the legs. The only way to resolve this is to heat it very slowly with a hair dryer and bend it to shape and match the paint.
THE AIR BRIDGES
I can honestly say I am pleased with these this time, in as much as they all work, slide and the wheels drop and the ladders function. Much better than some, as they’ve been bad even in the extra packs I’ve bought.
Yet again, not one of them fits the holes provided and they will all need to have a hot knife and a good 1-2mm in some cases cut away to make them fit, as well as remove the pins which serve no purpose as they don’t fit in the holes in the terminal. The point here is that they should all work every time, being surprised that they do, is rather telling.
It really isn’t good enough for this much money, but it’s not like there is a vast amount of choice is there? It seems that Gemini as they do with everything else, provides a Grade B product for a Grade A price. Nobody could use this straight out of the box, you would have to do something to remedy the problems or you may as well have made it out of a soap box yourself. 7/10.
In conclusion though, while it’s far from perfect as a product and you have to do a lot of work to make it what it should be, when you have it works well. The lighting is a little in your face and could do with some diffusion so the bulbs didn’t look so glaring, but overall, with vehicles and aircraft, the whole thing comes together. Just don’t expect everything to be perfect out of the box.