Gundam Building – How to Build a Gundam Model

Are you interested in the Gundam building and want to know how to do it? If so, keep reading this guide, and we will explain how to build a Gundam easily.

Owning a miniature Gundam mech can be a great thing for many mech-anime enthusiasts. Especially if you have watched Gundam Wing or played Sakura Wars on PS4, you will love this concept. A Gundam character on your desktop would be nice, isn’t it? With that said, you might find model kits to be somewhat annoying at a glance. However, there is no shortage of easy models to pick from. Also, you can start building Gundam model with some easy steps. To make the job easier for you, we have composed the below-mentioned article.

Gundam Building – The tools required for building Gundam model 

Those who wonder how to build a Gundam should have a couple of basic tools.

  • Nippers
  • Hobby knife
  • Any sort of standing tool of your preference

You will need nippers to cut off the plastic parts called “gates” that are found between the parts. You can buy a pair of nippers from companies such as Mr. Hobby or Tamiya. They sell special nippers for the same purpose. If not, you can even use a wire-cutter or a side-cutter that is used to cut jewelry. In fact, you can purchase such a tool from your local hardware store easily. After all, what you need is something that can handle miniature parts.

It is true that hobby companies across the globe make a large variety of tools for this purpose. However, you can even consider buying those tools from your local pharmacy as well. You should reach its nail section, and you can buy those basic tools at a very affordable price. For instance, you can buy a low grit one and a couple of finer grits as well. Those grits will work absolutely well with all the plastic model kits in the market. With those grits, you can just brush off the small bumps that are left after nipping them. You can even buy an all-in-one tool (the combination of nipper, knife, and file) if you need it.

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Gundam Building – What are you going to build?

Here, we intend to explain the process of building Gundam model for you. In some cases, Gundam building is called PLAMO or GUNPLA as well. That is specifically if you build Mobile Suit Gundam models. In addition to that, you can even find model kits in vinyl or resin. However, we still consider plastic as the preferred option due to various reasons. They are strong, affordable, and widely available.

Interestingly, many kits sold by vendors like Kotobukiya and Bandai come with a “snap-fit” approach. So, there is no need to worry about fixing them. All you need is to slot the parts with each other. They are more like Legos that interlock permanently. So, if you buy one of those models, you don’t want to have glue or plastic cement. Both of those vendors offer their products with plastics that are colored for you. Some models include decals as well to add finer details to the final product. Basically, those models appear nice and attractive even if you don’t apply paint on them.

Those who wonder how to build a Gundam will find plenty of model kits that are based on anime. Also, there are models designed based on popular movies and TV shows. However, if you are new to building Gundam model, it is better to start with an easier one. Otherwise, you are likely to give up in the middle of the process. The best option, in this case, is a product line called “30 Minute Missions,” which is sold by Bandai. In fact, this line of products is introduced specifically for beginners. You can buy one of those kits for less than $20. Thanks to the swappable parts and their modular design, they come with excellent customizability.

To make things easier, they offer simple instructions as well.

You can find those instructions in English and Japanese. So, even if you are an absolute beginner to Gundam building, this will be handy for you.

30 Minute Missions (30MM) don’t come with a comic or cartoon tie-in, at least for this moment. It doesn’t have narrative value as well. All you get is a pretty weightless story which is told through instruction manuals. It says something about an encounter between aliens and humans. In terms of aesthetic values, 30MM models are recognized to be chunky ones. They appear as robots that are similar to Mobile Suit Gundam to a certain extent.

Assembling them is not difficult. You can do it after taking them straight out of the box. As you gain more experience and confidence, you can consider them as unlimited opportunities for creativity. You can detail those models and paint them to customize them as you wish. Also, you can even combine parts from multiple kits to make them more unique.

There is another product called Zoids (from Takara Tomy). They are also ideal for beginners. A large number of new Zoids come with no runners. Therefore, you can build those models without the assistance of nippers.

Zoids are not humanoids, mechs, however. In fact, they are more of mechanical animals. Also, they come with a unique mechanism, so they walk once they are built.

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Gundam Building – Why is Gundam special?

Mobile Suit Gundam kits have a very long history. Over the past period, Bandai has offered plenty of them. You can put Bandai kits into several categories (in fact, you can call them grades). The grades define the level of difficulty. However, all those kits, regardless of their grades, are easy to build.

● HG (High Grade)

These are entry-level models, and they come in a relatively smaller size compared to others. Also, the complexity is less compared to the others.

● MG (Master Grade)

These models are larger than HG. They are complex as well. These kits come with an inner structure (a skeleton), so you can put the parts on it. The overall complexity is slightly difficult than HG. Also, it has some very easy parts to work with. Moreover, they come with a larger number of parts compared to HG. Having considered all those aspects, MG may be rated as the best for beginners.

● RE/100 (Reborn-One Hundred)

The size of RE/100 is similar to MG. However, they don’t have a skeleton or a large number of pieces. In a way, they are large HG kits.

● RG (Real Grade)

They are similar to HG in terms of size. However, when it comes to details, they are more complex and more detailed. They are affordable, but the models become somewhat complex because of the smaller parts.

PG (Perfect Grade)

They are massive in size and very complex. Also, they come with expensive price tags. Definitely not the best choice for a beginner.

● SD (Super Deformed)

These models come with more of a cartoonish appearance. They are very easy to assemble. Moreover, they are very cheap.

On top of those models, Bandai offers some other kits as well based on some franchises. Dragon Ball, Star Wars, and One Piece are some of those franchises. If you are a fan of Sakura Wars (for PS4), a Koby Kai mech kit would be ideal. It is true that those kits are from different franchises. However, the overall quality of the model kits remains the same.

Kotobukiya comes with a different product line called Frame Arms. They also offer a line of products called Frame Arms Girls. As per that product line, the models represent girl-like killing machines. They are similar to Gundam in terms of how they are fixed. They are snap fits, so you don’t have to grab paint and glue. Those who love Metal Gear Solid can choose White Tiger and Black Tortoise kits. These kits are designed by Yiji Shinkawa. Those models come under the Frame Arms product line. On the other hand, Kotobukiya also comes with different product lines for Metal Gear Solid kits.

Gundam Building – How can you buy those model kits?

If you are interested in building Gundam models, you should know where to buy them. Well, you can check with the local hobby stores first. If you buy your model kits from those small shops, that will be a support for them. However, if there’s no such shop is available, you can buy them from Barnes and Noble. Also, you can buy them from Target and Kinokuniya Books. If you want to buy Kotobukiya’s products, you should try them from specialized retailers. Big Bad Toy Store and Gundam Planet are some of the examples.

For those who are interested in learning more, there is no shortage of YouTube channels about these models. They show you everything related to building, painting, and customizing these models.

Gundam Building – What if you want to take Gundam building to the next level?

If you want to take Gundam building to a more advanced level, there are easy ways. You can do that even without using paints. In this case, the best option is to use Tamia Weathering Master. This is a very impressive method that can add some metallic or other finish to your models. You can do that with a sponge or fingers. Thanks to the soft consistency, you will have to use a sealant to make it solid. You can use a spray lacquer to accomplish that purpose. Basically, using Tamia Weathering Master is a great way to add details to your models without using regular paints.

If you are unable to find Tamia Weathering Master, don’t worry. You can gain the same effect simply by using some soft pastels that are readily available. You can also do some scraping and apply some powder to make it look better. Such an approach will give it a shaded detailing which is very beautiful to the eye.

If what we have explained is too daunting, you can go for some model markers. Those markers can help you add some attractive details and outlines. As a result, you can give some authentic looks to those models.

So, that’s all about Gundam building. As you can see, building Gundam model is not that difficult. As a beginner, you should start with an easy model and then advance to the other models.