Alitalia A320-216 EI-DSY New Livery Gemini Jets GJAZA1531 Feb 2016

This 2008 aircraft has recently (2015) been painted into the gorgeous new Alitalia colours and is the first attempt at a smaller aircraft to come available in 1:400. Alitalia has always been poorly represented in my collection, largely because of old moulds, low quality models and nothing especially interesting that wouldn’t date horribly quickly, like those Expo liveries. Being for ever cash strapped the airline never really got new aircraft that often. With Etihad now a 49% stakeholder clearly things are changing and not before time.

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Sky colour from an unusual sunrise
The aircraft is named Aldo Palazzeschi, an Italian Author of some renown who died in 1974. More interesting is the fact that wasn’t his real name, just a pen name of Aldo Giurlani.

Many of Alitalia’s aircraft are in fact Irish registered as this is, leased from APF. She formerly operated for Air One which was merged with Alitalia (No2) in 2009 after the recession bailout by the Italian Government.

So how has all this turned out on the model itself? Is it as good as the BA A320 from late last year in terms of fit and finish?

1)Fuselage

Gemini’s A320 is too long in the nose for my liking as A320 series go, just an opinion. The whole thing with detail, aerials and a complex livery is generally very well done and I’m perfectly happy with what they achieved here.

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The paint and the lines at the rear are a complex mix, add to that they variable shades in the greens of the logo and things are, all said and done, very neat.

2)Wings and landing gear

The cradle system fit always looks a bit too much on these smaller models, distorting the shape and accuracy, but it’s well done on this model and I have no major complaints. It will always be deficient and it has small issues of fit if you look at the photos.

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The big Alitalia logo underneath is excellent. Gemini’s landing gear on their A320’s puts Aeroclassics to shame and just highlights how awful the laters actually are. Gemini wheels and hydraulics are excellent, tyres are a bit ropey in places.

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With A332 I-EJGA

3)Engines

Even form an eyeball perspective you can tell the same issue has happened yet again, with the silver paint looking like it’s been slightly rubbed – and it hasn’t occurred in the box. I can’t work out why this happens. It’s almost like it peels slightly. OK it is very small and for most of you it won’t matter. But what causes it?

Overall the engines are really neat and the colours used are modern and well deployed. No more of that ghastly toy-like silver. In general, with the small caveat above, pretty good.

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4)Nose detail

Generally good, but patchy white marks in the flight deck windows where the paint has come off.

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5)Tail and stabilisers

This is where it all goes wrong. The tail is around 5 degrees leaning to the left, as viewed from the front. The gap in the vertical to body fit is horrible and very messy, ruining the rear end of the model. The leading edge of the vertical stabiliser is also slightly jagged with rough paint you can see from the sides.

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Tail fit is very poor and really stands out no mater where you look at it. Vertical stabiliser is far from vertical. 
Other than that colours and effects in paint are excellent, but the tail fit is very, very poor. On these grounds alone I’m sending it back and a replacement is already on its way. It just looks awful.

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Blistered green and red paint, poor fit, excess glue and a general mess

6)Colours

Only one colour causes me any concern, the main body pearlescent ivory. It looks perfectly fine on it’s own, but it isn’t really the same as the A330 I-EJGA released last year. It’s a little bit more silver and it seems that as with Virgin Atlantic and American Airlines, these specialist colours are not something Gemini seem to be able to duplicate.

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The A320 is definitely a different, whiter and more silver colour than the 100% accurate colour on the A332. Why is it so hard to duplicate these colours?

7)Score and conclusions

This had all the potential for being a superb little model. I’m incredibly disappointed that it isn’t right. The tail fit is very poor quality and again, shows a total lack of even basic quality control.

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-20 for the tail fit and issues, -2 for the engine paint edge finish, -3 for the tail edge finish, – 4 for the not quite right main ivory colour. 71% is 9% below a pass – it isn’t good enough. The tail is gruesome and ruins the entire model very visibly.

A disappointing model from Gemini that should have been a great deal better. Lets hope the replacement is a marked improvement. if it is all that shows is lack of QC and totally inconsistent production standards! That ‘commercial acceptability’ thing again, it just doesn’t go away.

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