Starting Gunpla

I’ve always appreciated the time and effort needed when building model kits, but I never really got to experience making my own kits. I popped my gunpla cherry about two weeks ago when I wasn’t able to find any noteworthy games to buy for my Switch. Instead of going home empty handed, I went ahead and bought two kits.
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Bought these two separately from Toy Kingdom and Toys R Us

I originally intended to just get one, but bought two instead because they were relatively cheaper than a full priced video game. My friend suggested that I get an SD kit since they’re usually easier to build due to having simplified designs compared to full scale models.
Since it was my first ever gunpla building session, I went in blind and didn’t consider the general guidelines in terms of making the most out of a kit. Nub marks, sloppily applied stickers and bland posing made me realize how little I knew about the hobby. It also made me realize how fun it was. After finishing these two, I was completely hooked.

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Banshee Norn Destroy Mode and Deathscythe Hell EW SD
As for the kits themselves, they’re actually not bad as completed figures. Articulation is a bit limited, but that’s to be expected with SD figures. The parts and connections were sturdy enough that I didn’t feel like the figures would suddenly fall apart when being handled. What I did not like were the stickers. Color separation was pretty bad and stickers were pretty much essential for the SD gundams to come close to their intended design.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to paint my next figures instead of relying on stickers. Once I get a variety of paints, I’m gonna give these two a design refresh.

– D

8 thoughts on “Starting Gunpla

  1. I just started building kits last year. I haven’t painted anything yet though and have purposely bought kits with decently pre-coloured parts. I need to find a dirt cheap kit That’s easy to replace if I screw it up and also that has a fairly simple colour scheme.

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    1. How about the HGUC RX 78-2 Gundam Revive 1/144 kit? Pretty solid from what I’ve heard and there’s always mad respect for the Great Granddaddy Gundam.

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      1. Strangely enough that was my starter kit! Not sure what I could really add to that one. Weathering maybe? Since it was my first kit I messed something up too, I cut into the plastic on the shield . I actually wrote about it on the companion blog for Retro Mecha podcast (which I’m the co-host on) Article is here: https://retromechapodcast.wordpress.com/ You can see the damage in one of the pics.

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      2. Oof that looks painful. But it might actually be useful if you ever try and apply light to moderate beam saber burns as battle damage.

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  2. Yeah it really was. I really beat myself up about it but I guess I shouldn’t have expected my first kit to go perfectly considering I was a complete novice. Was really happy with how my first Votoms kit turned out though. I have another Votoms one to build (the Brutishdog) which will be my next project. I thought about trying to make the RX 78-2’s shield look like damage by putting a bit of black on it. Maybe even set up some kind of “scene” where another Mobile Suit’s beam saber is connecting with it. So what kind of process do you recommend for painting? Do you do several coats and give it a base coat? Do you have any kind of guides or can you point me to a guide you’d recommend?

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    1. Like for the beam burn? Some well placed black on the edges/inner part of the cut and then a light streak after the assumed initial contact point would make it look like a glancing blow.
      If you’re talking about full kit color conversions though, I wouldn’t call myself qualified to give you advice just yet haha. So far the only real painting I’ve done is by hand for accents and details.

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      1. Yeah I just meant general painting advice. I’ve seen a lot of guides and honestly they make it seem quite intimidating with sooo many coats and then ink washes etc. A few of em disagree quite strongly on the processes as well. Sorry yeah I forgot you haven’t been doing this that long either! By the way that was along the lines of what I was thinking for the beam burn. I’ll share my progress if I do manage to paint anything though!

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      2. Yeah they get even way more contradictory or confusing paint types are discussed. When I finally get decent painting tools, I’m planning on just doing a basic Primer, Base, Accent, Optional Weathering, then Topcoat process.

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