British Airways 787-9 G-ZBKA Gemini Jets GJBAW1506 Dec 2015

Not quite your standard review, but a review comparing it to the previously reviewed Phoenix version of the same aircraft, which was far from good. This was part of the same month’s release that arrived with the Gemini KLM 787-9, which while greatly improved in terms of overall quality was not the best model for several reasons, not least of all the incorrect livery reproduction.

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Now if you’ve read the Phoenix review of the BA 789 HERE , you won’t need the background on what BA is doing with it’s 787-9 fleet , which has already reached 6 in service in less than three months.

So to the Gemini version:


Generally speaking the detail is far superior to the Phoenix model, in terms of clarity yet having said that it still lacks the crispness and quality that Phoenix, when they get it right, and Gemini actually do produce on other models. Again I hold up the Gemini 744F in Etihad livery, which is one of the finest detail livery finished anyone has ever produced.

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The paint is better than the Phoenix by a wide margin, but still, Gemini lacks the definition it is more than capable of

Still the blue-white transition line is relatively rough but nowhere near as dire as the Phoenix. Various minor issues crop up all over the place and while I  am happy to admit they are hard to pinpoint without close inspection (in most cases), others are too obvious and too poor for models of this price.

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If you look at the blue-white transition its not clean and yet they can do it on other models.

Look at the photos and see how poor some of the definition is. I just don’t understand how they can be so inconsistent, so consistently, across the different model types.

2)Wings and landing gear

The upper wings are neat and accurate. It’s the cradle that is truly sub-standard. The gaps in the wing-fuselage join are so poor you can see through them to the other side. The rear quarters of the cradle are very poor. There is also paint missing on the white-blue rear quarter of the wing. 1400Reviews-BRITISHAIRWAYS-789-G-ZBKA-GEMINI-CpyWrtJonChamps 6.jpg

The landing gear is a good shape and general quality, but again the white-grey paint on the doors is patchy and looks poor.

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These are much better than on the Phoenix, better finished and just generally superior across the board. Also on this model the engines are not tilting too far down as they do on the KLM.

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While the engine is superior to the Phoenix version, look at that gap between the wing cradle and fuselage – you can see through the model at that point when side-on.

4)Nose detail

The same song on repeat, it’s all about the detail and sloppy definition, the flight deck windows are very poor for example. And yet, it isn’t as bad as the Phoenix version! One thing that does stand out is the TFTS shield is a better definition than on previous Gemini or Phoenix models, but the OneWorld globe is pants.

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5) Tail detail

Probably the best part of the model, generally it’s fairly tidy and well put together, although the gappy stabiliser fit at each end is not ideal.

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6) Colours

The blue is fine, and the red is too, the white is actually a decisive issue over the Phoenix. The Gemini is a quality, bright white paint, the Phoenix is thin and overly grey.

7) Score and conclusion

-5 for the missing paint at the wing root, gear doors. -5 for the cradle not fitting as well as it should, -8 for various poor definition aspects across the model. 72%. This is no Model of The Year contender, but it is overall, better than the Phoenix. However, not by much. From January 1st 2016 models will have to pass the 70% mark to be considered acceptable. This only just passed that test.  I simply do not understand why Gemini can make stunningly good models on the one hand and mediocre on the other.

I’m also wondering now, have Phoenix picked up their game again, or at the very least are in the process of doing so? Gemini’s are much better than they were, but it’s way too easy to slip backwards again. If Phoenix had produced the BA to the same standards they produced the KLM, they would have won this easily.

Next up is the Delta A333 from this months batch.

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