The Bonkurasu Brigade

Gunpla Tips – 5 things you should take note

The fairly recent end of Gundam Build Fighters and its upcoming Season 2 announcement revived many Gundam fans’ passion for Gunpla. Gundam Unicorn’s finale also contributed to that.

So you went to pick up a kit on your favourite Mobile Suit, fixed it up, and wondered why it didn’t turn out what you have expected. You went online for some tips, but simply cannot understand all that jargon. Here are five tips that all Gunpla builders should take note.

Read your instructional manual properly
Always observe the parts as per instructional manual and assemble them accordingly. It may sound simple, but many builders often overlook the importance of this point. Forgetting to fit in certain parts may result in disassembly, which may also create chances for broken joints or parts. Rushing to assemble your kit is also another troubling habit. Take your time to assemble, and that’s half the battle won.

Simple flooring and open area
Chances are, you will be assembling your kit at home. Try to place a cheap grey carpet of about 150cm x 150cm around your assembly area. This is to prevent your parts from mysteriously disappearing when it drops from your table.

There’s a part I swapped out from my completed customized build of theHG Gouf Custom – can you guess which part?

Choosing the proper kit grade
One serious misconception among many beginners is overestimating their own skills. Attempting a Perfect Grade kit as your first kit is not recommended, as there are literally hundreds of parts to go through. Many beginners also want to try a variety of poses on their first kit, and are too rough on their kit. That would lead to parts wearing down and eventually break.

If you are a parent and want to get a Gunpla kit for your kid, try SD kits or High Grade (HG) kits. Those are a lot easier to handle and assemble. Many current SD kits do not require tools to assemble – just snap off the parts from the ‘Tree’ and assemble them accordingly.

Teens and adults can try Master Grade (MG) kits, or most 1/100 kits. Certain MG kits such as Sazabi, Sinanju, Unicorn and Superior Gundam are not recommended for beginners, as they are quite fragile and require more care and attention compared to other simpler kits.

Once you get the hang of building Master Grade kits, you can begin your first Real Grade (RG) and Perfect Grade (PG) kit.

Took me more than 20 hours to assemble and sand the MG Sazabi ver. KA

Practice makes perfect
After reading through tutorials online, you go to your nearest hobby shop to get the recommended materials. You sand your parts, but it looks and feels nowhere like how the tutorials depict. This is where many beginners give up. Always practice your techniques. Watching videos without practising them on your own will not result in a good-looking kit.

Do not rush – take your time
Rush work almost always ends up sub-par kits. Take your time to assemble and practice your sanding and painting techniques. It took me 5 years to fully grasp the basic skills, and fairly recently (about 2-3 years ago) where I start to fine-tune my techniques to increase my building speed. Attending workshops will definitely improve your skills, but the onus is on yourself to go back and practice.

I have my fair share of lost and broken parts throughout my kit building years, even up to this day. So don’t be disheartened, and continue to learn and practice. In short, patience and practice is key to building great Gunpla!

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