Air Canada Express CRJ-900LR C-GJZV Gemini Jets 1:400 GJACA1675 Dec 2017

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This is a detour from the intended review of the 787-10 by JCWings – sadly that was pretty much destroyed in shipping because of poor packing materials and isn’t salvageable.

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Fortunately the news came through as I sat trying to see if the 787-10 was viable, that this had been dispatched. I was quite pleased, it’s the last new Gemini of the year.

You might think it’s slightly odd for me to collect this particular airline’s express sub brand and it is. It’s just that I love CRJ-series aircraft.

Air Canada Express operates 5 of these, all delivered in the period December 2016 to January 2017, and this one was the last. While it might have been the last, it was the first delivered in the new livery.

She carries fleet number 721 and is operated by Jazz air on contract for Air Canada Express.

The CRJ-900 (strictly speaking a Canadair CL-600-2D24 Regional Jet CRJ-900 Long Range), is fitted with 12 business class and 64 economy. Powered by 2 GE CF34-8C5’s. It has a range of 1,744 statute miles or 2,806km.  The aircraft type has been a big success for Bombardier, with 438 CRJ-900’s ordered and 416 delivered to date. Lufthansa have converted most of their Embraer Cityline fleet to CRJ900’s and it’s considered to be about 15% more efficient than the ERJ-series.

At the time of writing she’d just crossed from Colorado into Kansas on a flight from Calgary to Houston, and has appeared all over North America from Sand Diego to Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg as well as Denver and New York.

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The CRJ-900 isn’t one Gemini make very often, and the only other one I’ve ever had was an America West Express I purchased back in 2012 at Farnborough Air Show – the engines on that fell off and vanished. So I’m quite looking forward to getting an aircraft type currently completely missing from the collection.  Hopefully the Lufthansa will not be far behind it, and appears in 2018.

1.Fuselage

I’ve often said that Gemini have a remarkable capacity to have built for them excellent small aircraft models. They’re often far better than anything larger.

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This is one such model. The fuselage is exquisite in its detail and production. Everything is neat, tidy, perfectly to scale and in very high-definition, giving it a superb quality and refinement we rarely see on Gemini’s generally second-rate models these days.

2.Wings and landing gear

This is a very small cradle system mould but you’d be hard pressed to notice it in any way, The wings and mould detail are excellent and the quality and finish of the paint is first-rate. Again the level of small high-definition detail is first class.

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The landing gear is so very, very small, yet it’s superbly made, of the highest quality, and again, far better than anything we see on a narrow or wide body, of almost any description Gemini make.

EDIT: THERE’S BEEN A LOT OF FEEDBACK ON THIS MODELS LANDING GEAR!

My model isn’t affected, but it’s become pretty clear that many have both sets of gear backwards, and almost as many have one side backwards and the other OK. Others have no problem, and it seems to be set about a third or so of each version is out there. Many buyers have returned them and had them replaced with another faulty version. 

Very dissapointing to hear of yet another Gemini fail, and of course what do they do about it? Zilch, nada, nothing!

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3.Engines

I really checked these throughly as my last CRJ-900 fell to pieces – the engines both went missing from their pylons.

If anything this is the weakest part of the model, the left pylon isn’t quite fully touching the fuselage whereas the right pylon is. There is also a messy over-paint of silver on the upper rim of the No.2 engine, which being on black stands out a fair bit.

Otherwise the engine detail and fixing is pretty good, with no other visible faults.

4.Nose detail

Superb. Lots of HD small detail and the cockpit windows with their Batman mask in black have been done superbly.

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5.Tail detail

Being a T-top brings extra challenges, but the high-mounted horizontals are well fixed and detailed. The logo of the encircled maple leaf still isn’t bright enough however.

Surprisingly the lower rear fins are actually well painted and accurate.

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The silver blob on to top of the No.2 engine rim really stands out because it’s so reflective.

6.Colours

For the most part no issue, the deep blue-black seems par for the course and the bright white is excellent. However the red of the maple leaf isn’t bright enough, though it’s far better that Phoenix managed on the 788, or AC on the A330.

7.Score and conclusion

  • -3 for that way to visible silver over run on the engine upper nacelle.
  • -2 for the engine pylon not matching the fuselage
  • 95% for a Gemini! Extraordinary.

A really nice, special little model, marred by some minor quality issues of course. It is a Gemini after all!

Jesting apart, not that I am, this really is a very nice, neat, detailed model, and it wasn’t too hysterically priced. My last new Gemini of 2017. If only all of their models could be so well made. I’m generally very pleased with it.

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My recommendation: A must buy for any fan of this gorgeous aircraft type. It looks especially smart in this livery.

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