If you’re still not satisfied you smooth it further by using different grits of sandpaper. First use a low grit number to even out the surface like 800 grit sandpaper. Then increase the grit number to smoothen the surface. Do this for all of the parts to have a nice clean look on your built Gunpla. Goodbye pesky nib marks!
Phase 4: Topcoating Options to Make Your Gundam Stand Out
The Gunpla Kit Painting Guide for Realistic Models The Gunpla Tutorial: How to Decal your Gundam Plastic Model Have you ever thought about building a Gundam model or bought one only to find it sitting on your shelf? Inside a kit box you will find a dizzying amount of pieces with instructions in a crazy language, but that doesn’t mean they’re difficult to build. In this article we lay out each step and give helpful tips along the way to make your model building experience a lot of fun! The next thing to do is to become more familiar with your kit by taking out the runners where the parts are and taking a look at the instruction booklet. On the first few pages of the instruction booklet you will find a visual list of the runners and their respective parts with corresponding letter designation. You can cross check your runners in the box with this list so that you’ll be sure that your runners are complete. Decals that come with RG kits and MG kits play a vital role in making your Gunpla look more realistic, so don’t be intimidated by the sheer number of stickers that come with the the kits especially RG and MG ver KA kits. They are not that hard to apply as long as you use the proper methods in applying decal stickers. And as a side note, they do provide some extra decal stickers so not everything in the sheet will be used if you follow the decal instructions in the instruction booklet.
More Tips on Topcoating
Carefully run your panel lining pen through the piece’s the creases; don’t worry about excess ink or lines that go beyond the panel line, because you can clean remove later using the rubber erasers.
- Applying Decal Stickers to RG and MG Gundam Models
- Cutting Out and Piecing Together Parts
- How to Choose the Right Gundam Model Kit
Phase 2: Panel Lining Done Easily
Now the instructions are in Japanese, but don’t worry, the visual diagrams are very straight forward and easy to understand. Here are translations of some of the most common symbols that can be found in your Gunpla instruction booklet:
- Do not make the starting point of your spraying on the Gunpla model itself, start on an empty space beside the model and work your way through the Gunpla model spraying sideways and stopping past the Gunpla model, again do not stop on the model itself.
- Topcoating Options to Make Your Gundam Stand Out
Phase 1: Cutting Out and Piecing Together Parts
After blowing off the eraser dust, viola! It’s now cleaner and thinner! It’s that easy to apply panel lining to make your model look even more realistic. Gundam COPIC Multiliner markers do not dry quickly, which allows for easily correction after a mistake. Just be sure to have a rubber eraser prepared for cleaning.
- First, here are the tools you will need to make panel lining a breeze.
- You can dip the can in warm water first before spraying so that the particles will be finer during spraying.
- In cutting the parts, do not cut right on the edge of the part. Cut away from the edge, leaving a few millimetres of plastic on the part, and then begin to remove the excess plastic little by little. This will avoid the creation of white stress marks that can be left when you cut as close to the piece as possible.Take your skills to the next level with our detailed Gunpla Panel Lining Guide!Before you start building Gunpla, the first thing to do is prepare a suitable workspace like the one below. While it’s not required to have a cutting mat on your workspace, it is recommended so that you do not damage the surface of your worktable. It’s better to have your Gunpla workspace organized so that you won’t lose parts or throw them by accident in the trash bin while cleaning up.
- Topcoating can fog clear parts, if you do not want this effect, you can just remove the clear parts beforehand.
- First, here are the recommended tools for cutting and building Gunpla pieces.Learn how to master dry transfer and water slide decals with our in-depth Gunpla Decal Tutorial!You can also use your X-Acto knife in cleaning the nib marks further. The choice between the two really comes down to personal preference. The advantages of matte Topcoat spray is that it can make scratches and sandpaper marks on the plastic surface disappear. The reason behind this is because the matte Topcoat spray makes the surface of the Gunpla plastic rough at the micro level thus reflecting less light. Gloss finishes are more suitable to metallic finished Gunplas to show off the metallic shine.
Gundam marker or COPIC Multiliner
You can then arrange the runners in alphabetical order. A good tip is to lay them inside the box so that when you need a runner that contains a specific part, it will be easier to access it. Application of decal stickers guide can be usually found near the end of the instructions booklet or at the back. You just have to follow the number and/or letters of the decal stickers to be used on a certain part of the Gunpla model as can be shown on the diagram of the instruction booklet. In this article you find useful information on:
X-Acto Hobby Knife
Top coating is the last step in this basic Gunpla building process. Top coating protects your Gunpla and seals in the decal stickers so that they won’t easily come off through time. There are two main finishes of Topcoat, which are gloss and matte. These are one of the best side cutters for Gunpla, it cuts plastic like butter, great for cleaning out nib marks because stress on the plastic piece is reduced die to the high quality design and sharpness of the side cutters.
Making the Pieces Fit
- The Gunpla Top Coat Guide: Giving your Gunpla a Fantastic Finish And be sure to check out our series of Gunpla How-to Guides below! You can use tweezers or a hobby knife in lifting up the sticker from the sheet, but in using a blade be careful not to tear the sticker. I prefer using a hobby knife because it is easier to control and easier to lay down the decal sticker on the model surface. The Gunpla Panel Lining Guide: Gunpla’s Guide to Markers and Paints
Phase 0: Setting Up Your Workspace and Preparing Your Gunpla Kit
The Gunpla Weathering Guide: Creating Realistic Battle Damage
Tamiya Craft Tools no. 35 Side Cutters
- Always shake the can before each spray.
Creating Satisfying Panel Lining
You can also use a toothpick for laying the decal sticker in place and pushing out the air bubbles under clear decals to obtain a clean look. Parts to be cut are indicated on the instruction booklet that is denoted by a letter of the runner and the number of the part. Assembling them is pretty straightforward most of the time and can be easily understood based from the clear diagrams. When the part doesn’t fit to another part; do not force them together; it usually means you have the wrong part or are installing it in the wrong direction. If that’s the case, review the diagram and try to find the proper orientation of installation. We’ve got even more tips in our Gunpla Topcoating Guide! Gundam markers come in different colors like grey and brown, though black is the standby color for most models. COPIC Multiliner inking pens can be a good an alternative as a panel lining tool. This is used to clean excess ink from the part especially if you want your piece to look spotless.
- Setting Up Your Workspace Preparing Your Gunpla Kit
Phase 3: Applying Decal Stickers to RG and MG Gundam Models
- And that’s it! Now you’ve built a beautiful Gunpla model! It’s very easy and fun to do! This is a basic guide for building your first Gundam model and there is a wealth of resources online for more experienced builders. If you have any tips you’ve found while building Gunpla share them with us in the comments below. This is for further cleaning of nib marks. Be careful when using this tool because the blade is really sharp!
- Panel Lining Done Easily
- Using the model piece below, we explain of how to easily create panel lining on each piece.Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the instructions and the runners, you can start cutting the parts from the runners and building them into your model.As you can see in this example, the line is a bit thick and there is a slight excess of ink around the bottom of the piece. You can easily clean that by rubbing the eraser perpendicular to the panel lines. These are used for sanding the parts after nib removal for an extra smooth finish. You can make your own with just some Popsicle sticks and sandpaper that have been cut to size. You can see in the image that the grit size has also been written on the stick for easy reference. When Topcoating your Gunpla model, it’s recommended to do this outdoors and in nice sunny warm weather because Topcoat spray fumes can be toxic and unpleasant when done indoors. You don’t have to disassemble your Gunpla model and spray each part separately. Simply spread the arms and legs out as far as possible so that the spray will cover them. It’s best to spray around 30 centimeters (1 foot) away from the model to prevent too much coating on the model, which will cause dripping or bubbling. Spray the whole model in multiple light thin coats waiting a few minutes in between coats to dry and to achieve maximum effect. On average 3–5 coats should be adequate. Here are some recommendations for hobby knives: Here at Gunpla 101, we are always striving to improve our technique, and that often means upgrading to new tools. If you have any recommendations for us to try, leave them in the comments! But the not-so-funny thing is, you can clearly tell which ones we built first, and which ones we’ve built more recently. They’re a little wobbly on their feet, a little rough around the edges. That’s because, as we started to wise up to the world of Gunpla, we began to add tools to our Gundam building arsenal. This post was updated with new information on September 3, 2019. Every year, John and I bring dozens of new Gundam models into the world. From Universal Century to Future Century, from Master Grade to No Grade, our house is filled with them! Tweezers also allow me more precision than when I’m using my big, stubby fingers—I can more easily line up where I need the sticker to go. I suggest using angled tweezers for precisely this reason. That way, they stay out of the way while you’re gauging the exact positioning of a sticker. Here are some recommendations for toolkits. For more explanation about why we picked these two, check out The Best Tools for Gunpla, Ranked. In many cases, you can buy all of the tools I already listed in one single kit for much less than it’d cost to buy them individually. These set also comes with some stuff you probably don’t need yet, like a metal file for sanding down parts, that will be useful when you want to get more advanced. See also: The Best Tools for Gunpla, Ranked Nippers + X-Acto knife = nubs! However, getting a pair of side cutters specifically designed for Gunpla and modeling can seriously step up your building. In the photo, I’m using Tamiya side cutters, which were designed for hobbyists, not jewelers. They’re stronger for when I’m cutting through even big pieces of plastic. Here are some of our recommendations for tweezers for Gunpla:
I don’t think you need to drop a lot of money in order to build a nice looking, polished, sturdy Gundam model. But I do think that a few tools can take you a long way. Next, I use a hobby knife for cutting down the nub that gets inevitably left over after I cut out a piece. In the photo, I’m using a Tamiya Precision Cutter, which is retractable so you can control how much of the blade is poking out at a time—a great safety and control feature.
Hobby or X-Act Knife
When choosing a pair of side cutters, pick a pair that feels comfortable in your grip, because you will be using them more than any other Gunpla tool! You may also want to choose multiple pairs that you can alternate between depending on the project. For example, I love how my Tamiya cutters are up to the task of even the thickest sprues, but I also love my God Hands, delicate though they may be, for their precise snips and great detail work.
Gundam Markers for Inking
Here are our picks for building the perfect Gundam model, at any level. I’ve found that when I try and apply stickers to Gunpla manually, the oil on my fingers makes the stickers less sticky, so now I apply them with tweezers. As pictured above, you can buy Gundam-brand markers specifically for inking your Gunpla, most frequently during panel lining. The fine tip of the pen is perfect for getting in the ridges of Gunpla parts so you can add lifelike detail and contrast. You can also read our panel lining 101 tutorial for more detail on how to do that perfectly.
Gunpla modeling is certainly easier today than it’s ever been, and all you actually need to get started is a basic High Grade kit (here are my recommendations for beginners) and basic wire side cutters, like the kind that’s used for jewelry, to cut out the pieces. Here are some of our recommendations for markers. For more explanation about why we picked these markers, check out The Best Tools for Gunpla, Ranked. There are two main kinds of hobby knives—retractable and replaceable. If you have a replaceable knife, like an X-Acto knife, you can simply trade out the blade with a new one when it gets dull. » src=»https://i0.wp.com/www.gunpla101.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/nubs.jpg?resize=1200%2C675&ssl=1″ alt=»» width=»464″ sizes=»(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px»> It’s not just that your Gunpla will look better if you use a hobby knife. It’s also that the pieces will fit together more smoothly without any extra friction. It’s just one extra step, but it makes a big difference. Here are some of our recommendations for side cutters. For more explanation about why we picked these models, check out The Best Tools for Gunpla, Ranked.:
- Be careful in filing your model kit because it can ruin the opportunity for panel lining in general. Nubs should always be filed down, but anything can go as Gunpla is freedom.
- Assemble the complete mobile suit. One of the best parts of Gunpla is witnessing the assembly of your complete model. As each limb is assembled, make sure you can hear a distinct and even snap. That snap is the sound of the model being locked in place and is good to go.
- For certain builds, having damaged plastic can enhance a model. These models are known as “battle-damaged Gunpla” and are great for dioramas or for a more gritty and realistic look to it.
- This is for beginners getting into the hobby of GUNPLA! GUNPLA, or “Gundam Plastic Models» derive from a very popular franchise known as “Mobile Suit Gundam,” or «機動戦士ガンダム» (Kidō Senshi Gandamu) that began in 1979. This plastic model hobby provides model kits from each show and movie they come from and due to its hobby nature, allows the hobbyist assembler to have complete freedom in what they wish to assemble and customize. This wikiHow will show you how to build and assemble one.
- You should choose what looks the best to you as well as what gimmicks that specific model offers. It’s ultimately your choice in what you want to build and what you like the most.
- Separate Gunpla contents. The box usually is wrapped in a thin plastic wrap as well as a semi-thick strip that can be removed easily. Everything besides the instruction manual is wrapped in plastic and should be removed.
- Decaling is always optional and doesn’t need to be applied. It is, however, recommended as it adds a whole level to your model.
- The instruction manual holds key information for the decals, or stickers, to place on key parts of the figure.
- Perfect Grade (1/60) are considerably larger and more time-consuming, so therefore more to assemble due to a higher part count.
- A cutting mat isn’t necessarily an essential item to have, but if you are thinking about doing this hobby in the long-run, it is becomes essential.
- Detail and refine your parts. To make your model pop out in the final assembly, there will always be small nubs on your model kit or thin empty spaces that can be filled in that makes a detailed kit into an amazing kit. With some kits, they also come with an extra decal sheet to make it pop out even more.
- A light source, such as a lamp, will help a lot for getting some focus on a specific part.
- Make sure not to apply too much pressure; otherwise, the plastic will break! The plastic that’s used to manufacture these models are strong, but they are not strong enough to withstand a the pressure of a human-being.
- General retailers such as Barnes & Nobles, Target, and Hobby Lobby have begun selling these kits.
- A comfortable environment is important! Make sure you have everything necessary. Music or a show to listen/watch in the background enhances the overall experience.
- Panel lining your model isn’t necessary, but it overall adds a “Wow!” factor into the finished build. It’s recommended to panel line when all the
- The sprues (or plastic frames) & decal sheets when unwrapped should be placed in the box so they’re not easily lost & forgotten.
- Each part of the Gunpla is numbered and labeled. With some kits, they even label what sprue (or plastic frame) is necessary for building that part or what decal must be placed. (e.g. head, arms, torso, legs, accessories)
- Cut your sprue frames carefully. Making a mistake is entirely possible during this step, so you must pay attention to the area that you cut in! You could possibly damage the plastic itself or make a certain part unusable.
- Be extremely careful, and make sure to re-read the instruction manual throughout assembly! There are small indicators throughout the manual on what to cut and what not to cut! Making a big mistake could potentially turn things upside down.
- Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 2,619 times.
- The box is also a great place to store your frames and Gunpla, so don’t throw it away!
- Real Grade (1/144) are designed around an inner frame and to look more realistic and functional compared to their high grade counterpart.
- Pose your finished model. This is where the fun begins. You can pose your model kit however you want, and that’s the beauty of it.
- Some plastic connectors are incredibly important to the build itself, and you can find out on the instruction manual since it’s always labeled.
- Don’t try to make your Gunpla do anything crazy with the poses otherwise it can fall. Depending on what model kit you have purchased, that model may be fragile and can fall apart.
- Ordering online may be a good option; however, it can be pricier due to online shipping costs.
- Local hobby shops may not have these kits since they are a niche.
- The box is also something you should not cut as it’s designed for the bottom to slide out when shaken.
- Look at your stores online or locally. Depending on your personal location, it would most likely be difficult as purchasing Gunpla Kits could be harder.
- Most tools can be obtained through a local hobby store around you
- If a part is loose, there are various methods on how to tighten a part, but it usually depends on the severity of the looseness. Superglue and Tamiya Cement are the most used products and preferred methods of re-tightening a part.
- For more dynamic poses, it’s best to purchase a Hobby Action Kit which allows your model kit to stay airborne! Make sure the Hobby Action Kit is the correct size as well as if the adapter will connect with your model kit
- Read the provided instructions manual. The instructions manual is a great guide into how to assemble the figure. The Japanese text may be intimidating, but the pictures will guide you through!
- High Grade (1/144) are more available to purchase as they’re more plentiful. Recommended for beginners due to their simplicity
- Mega Size (1/48) are the largest models offered; yet, they are cheaper compared to Perfect Grades.
- Master Grade (1/100) are larger than their high grade counterparts. They have more detail as well as an inner-frame that’s designed for it.
- Choose what Grade kit you want. When you’ve found a store or place to purchase a gunpla model kit, you’re given six options of what to assemble. Depending on what grade, they will be more of a process to build. The size ratio of the model to real-life is in parentheses.Purchase some tools necessary such as a plastic nipper, filer, panel liner, and a cutting mat. When you’ve decided on what you want to build, you will need some sort of workshop to assemble your Gunpla.Prepare your workstation. Once you’ve obtained all the items necessary for assembly, including your choice Gunpla model, have a selected area for each tool so they don’t get mixed up.
- Gunpla assembly is very messy with excess plastic. It’s best to have a plastic bag for the leftover plastic.
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