American Airlines 767-300W N383AN Gemini Jets GJAAL1548 May 2016

Officially a Boeing 767-323ER, this aircraft was delivered to AA back in June 1993. US airlines generally like to hold on to aircraft until the seams split and the rivets pop out, and with low-priced fuel at present there is little incentive to remove older aircaft from service.

300px-American_Airlines_logo_2013.svg.png

I love the new AA livery, it’s inspired and I’ve got virtually every type of long-haul aircraft currently in service. My big gripe with these from Gemini has been the consistent failure to manage to get the colour the same on any two of the models they produced since N718AN back in 2014. Have a look at this article on colour variation: American Airlines – Gemini, pick a colour please!

Fitted with 30 business class and 195 economy seats and carrying fleet number 383, the winglets were fitted in December 2009. She was the 500th 767 built.

13009_1434745612.jpg

She has a wide range of flight histories but mostly operated Chicago-Manchester (UK), Miama-Las Vegas, and Dallas-Honolulu in the last few months.

Now the question is, will it be as good as the Delta 763w last year? How will the colour measure up? This is a basic, Gemini staple model of a major US airline. How could they possibly get it wrong?

1400Reviews-767-300ER-N383AN-American-Gemini-CpywrtJonChamps2016 12.jpg

1)Fuselage

Well it has to be said; welcome to shade number 5 of the American Airlines paint scheme. Yes, unbelievable but true, Gemini have managed yet another new version. On it’s own you probably wouldn’t notice, but with the others side by side, it represents yet another colour inconsistency.

1400Reviews-767-300ER-N383AN-American-Gemini-CpywrtJonChamps2016 10.jpg
Yet another new silver-grey from Gemini

The rest of the fuselage detail is average, but it does have quality aerials. The dome is a print-on type rather than a mould. This particular layout of 767 is the hardest to fit on my diorama, I prefer to use door 2 as the entry as it allows the model to sit closer to the terminal and thus takes up less space. This like so many of the older versions, has only door 1 and 2 with small over-wing emergency exits.

1400Reviews-767-300ER-N383AN-American-Gemini-CpywrtJonChamps2016 7.jpg

A questionable detail is the heaviness with which the cargo doors have been outlined in very dark grey, when a lighter and less obvious colour would have been more in keeping. At the same time the real thing has very noticeable black escape slide details under the doors, completely missing to the naked eye (but just visible on high-mag), on this model on one side (starboard), but visible on the port side. The port side Oneworld logo is awful and on closer examination even the American lettering isn’t the highest definition.

2)Wings and landing gear

Cradle system, but well fitted with no major issues. Gemini’s choice of wing paint, a less glossy type works better. Markings seem to be on form.

1400Reviews-767-300ER-N383AN-American-Gemini-CpywrtJonChamps2016 8.jpg

The landing gear, wheels, are only good for the most part; the tyres are lumpy and strangely shiny – this type often leaks some sort of oil into the diorama foil; it may add a bit of realism in terms of markings but you have to wonder what sort of Chinese toxin it actually is! They also fit rather oddly, seeming thin in places, especially at the nose. The wheels rotate though the bogies are rigid.

1400Reviews-767-300ER-N383AN-American-Gemini-CpywrtJonChamps2016 5.jpg

3)Engines

The pair of GE CF6-80C2B6’s look very good, detail is commensurate with the real thing and the engine paint and finish, including the rims is excellent. No complaints!

1400Reviews-767-300ER-N383AN-American-Gemini-CpywrtJonChamps2016 3.jpg

1400Reviews-767-300ER-N383AN-American-Gemini-CpywrtJonChamps2016 9.jpg

4)Nose detail

There is a small patch of nose-rubbed paint from the box. It really is time manufacturers put back the nose protection plastic, it’s a cheap skate quality issue that saves probably a cent per model.

1400Reviews-767-300ER-N383AN-American-Gemini-CpywrtJonChamps2016 4.jpg
The wheel/tyre is just an odd finish, the door escape is clearly visible on this side and only just visible under hi-mag photo conditions on the other. Oneworld logo is rubbish, only under photo bright hi mag can you see the eagles ‘head’, the nose chip is obvious at this scale. The sensors on this side are darker and easy to see. They’re invisible to the naked eye on the other side.
1400Reviews-767-300ER-N383AN-American-Gemini-CpywrtJonChamps2016 1.jpg
The level of contrast and brightness required to make detail visible is beyond belief, most of it is impossible to see with the naked eye and appears to be missing.

Other than that the nose detail isn’t actually quite right. The aircraft itself has a very noticeable and quite large square marking in black around the very black air speed sensors on the starboard side. There is no sign of this on the model and the sensors are almost invisibly silver. It might be small detail, but the point is other models and manufacturers are managing it perfectly well.

There is also absolutely no need for the window frames to be silver.The dark grey ‘glass’ would have been adequate, the real thing doesn’t have thick silver frames.

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 1.02.41 PM
Note the door, cockpit and sensor detail, all missing or wrong on the model. Also the Eagle is relatively white merging to grey – you can barely even tell it’s there on the model.

5)Tail detail

There is only one clear complaint I have about this; it just lacks lustre, brilliance, vibrancy. I saw probably 60 different AA aircraft in the flesh in the last three weeks and not one looked this flat or lifeless.

1400Reviews-767-300ER-N383AN-American-Gemini-CpywrtJonChamps2016 2.jpg

6)Colours

Not by any means on target, frankly too dark in the body and the tail colours lack life in natural light. The photos have made this look better than it actually is.1400Reviews-767-300ER-N383AN-American-Gemini-CpywrtJonChamps2016 6.jpg

1400Reviews-767-300ER-N383AN-American-Gemini-CpywrtJonChamps2016 11.jpg

7)Score and conclusions

  1. The colour fail is an automatic -10
  2. Missing details -4
  3. Incorrect details -4
  4. Tyres  -2
  5. 80% is the minimum pass mark.

The problem with this, as so often these days? Lack of research and I suspect, a degree of complacency. It’s AA, it’s just a standard fleet aircraft fall back, easy to knock out and ideal for fleet buyers. It’s bread and butter production. And why I ask, does that mean it’s not deserving of an accuracy review? It’s a barely OK model. It is once again, that jaded phrase; commercially acceptable. Just about good enough not to send back, not actually brilliant or even close. There is a cynicism to this approach I find hard to stomach. I was always taught and still believe, that if you intend on doing something, do it well and to the best of your ability. If not, don’t bother.

Now I’ve finally overcome my jet lag…and I’m feeling on top of the world again. That’s positive, because really, I hate ending on a negative. I hate bad or mediocre reviews, I want the best for everyone, me included.

Please like us on Facebook: 1400Reviews for review news, aviation and livery news and updates!

You can also follow 1400Reviews on twitter