Having recently flown KLM again, it reinforced for me why I like the airline so much. Not a shred of arrogance and a really nice airline to fly with. Not the best in terms of aircraft at the moment, but they do their best with what they have, and the attitude is a positive, helpful one.
The new livery is being rolled out fleet wide as and when aircraft become due for refits and resprays. PH-BXZ, a regular on the five times a day BHX services, is often overhead and I see her regularly.
It wasn’t really on my radar to buy, I already have 737-700 PH-BGW (a Phoenix), 737-800 PH-BXH (a Witty) and the E190 PH-EZP by Gemini, along with the 744 95th livery Combi and a 744 Cargo. The 787-9 is also due at the end of the month. However with the demise of aviamart.com, he happened to have one for a low price, so I felt compelled again. £18 isn’t a lot when the starting price was nearer £29.
A 737-8K2 PH-BXZ ‘Flying Dutchman’, was a 2008 delivery and flies routine Schipol-European regional flights. The new livery, from a distance barely notices, when it does its the downward curve that strikes you, but there are several changes. Rather than KLM behind Door 1, it has Royal Dutch Airlines and the KLM further back, but other than a slightly thicker separator coach line between the blue and white under body, you could stare for an age and not really notice much change.
For one this has a mid-mounted roof antenna and 2 underneath and they are all painted and placed with precision – yes Phoenix – precision, remember that word? Gemini do and they look excellent.
Overall the print and finish is very high, there are a few bleed marks from the coach line, but these are only visible under magnification. It passes the eyeball test in every way.
2)Wings and landing gear
This is the new 738 Gemini have been using with push-in wings. I loose patience with who makes who’s moulds anymore, there are so many and they are so incestuous, but whoever makes it, it’s way better than what they used to use. The wings are neat, tidy, detailed and not swamped by paint. The over-wing escape markings are all present and the winglet markings are legible.
The landing gear is excellent quality in appearance, buy only the port gear rolls, the starboard and nose gear are immovable.
Mould and fit wise, no issues, but the blades, which are deeply recessed, leave a cylindrical interior wall that hasn’t been painted on the inner ring. Now this is pretty minor in the overall effect because they are so small, and you need a bright light to even tell. Yet, it shouldn’t be like that really and it’s slightly disappointing on what, overall is a pretty good model.
4) Nose detail
The nose and flight deck detail is excellent, maybe a bit thick on the frames but nothing serious detracts. The door detail, often a major Gemini flop is quite the reverse, with minor-detail well applied.
A downside, and this happens more and more regularly with all models, is that by cheap-skating and not using the plastic nose cover, the nose is paint damaged from rubbing the plastic carton in the box. This is just unnecessary – what’s wrong with the nose defender? Bring it back please! It must cost next to nothing even in bulk. Things like this are all about owners not saying anything – if nobody seems to notice, nobody complains, they get away with taking one more thing away.
Take a good example of the reverse. The new Apple TV, opened it today, heavy packaging, the item itself, wrapped in anti-scratch plastic, even on the never seen base, the sides the top. It made it feel like they care, it’s quality. It’s one of the things I love about Apple products, they never stitch you up on short-cut packaging. You’re guaranteed a perfect product out of the box. That’s what I expect for an expensive piece of painted die cast metal thank you Gemini, Phoenix, and JC Wings.
5) Tail detail
Problem free. All is as it should be.
Gemini and Phoenix are pretty spot on for this colour scheme, oddly enough the Witty tis the odd one out, being a tad too light. No issues on this model.
7) Score and conclusion
The engines get a -4 for missing interior paint, -2 for the nose paint damage, -2 for a couple of colour bleeds, -2 for immovable wheels, but otherwise this is a pretty good model all round and I have no serious complaints. If you haven’t got this model as a KLM fan, there’s nothing so bad I wouldn’t buy it. Another positive result for Gemini. 90%