Try these, no tools required kits!
An introduction to the basics of building GUNPLA with some quick tips.
- HG (High Grade) or EG (Entry Grade) GUNPLA Kit (Or 30 Minutes Missions, etc)
- A pair of modelling nippers. (BANDAI Entry Nippers or better will be perfect)
Hello fellow builder
So you’re either reading this because you have just bought a Gundam, are thinking of buying a Gundam kit or you have built a few and wanna see my approach.
Either way my goal is to help make your build experience easier and hopefully help you avoid making the same mistakes I did back when I started this hobby.
Understanding your Gundam kit.
Gundam kits do have different grades. These grades mostly speak of the technical quality of the kit more than the difficulty of the build.
It is however worth noting that RG (Real Grade), MG (Master Grade) and PG (Perfect Grade) do require some experience to really enjoy the process, as these Grades aren’t really catered for a first time model builder.
This is a HG kit.
First Phase - InspectionUpon opening your kit you will find all the “runners” that have all of the parts.
They are each labelled with a Letter, a Number or a combination of both.
You may or may not have foil stickers and marking stickers included in the box as this is kit dependent.
More often than not you will have foil stickers.
And of course the construction manual or instruction booklet if you prefer.
In this booklet you will find your parts list pictured below.
Use this to make sure you have all the runners before you start your build.
Pro tip: I like to organise my runners, Alphabetically in the box like this.
I will then keep the box lid on my lap when building to catch parts when clipping them off.
Get to know the manual. I know many experienced builders who have made mistakes on their kits because they didn't check the manual properly.
Pro tip: figure out where the beginning of the manual is and walk yourself through the build process in your head.
Advanced tip: You don't always have to start at the beginning of the manual.
(I'll go into this in a future blog post.)
Second Phase - Tools
Grab some model nippers. Considering that as a beginner this is the only tool you’ll need to build Gundam kits I would like to suggest you get a pair of nippers.
The Entry Nippers by BANDAI are perfect for beginners.
Pro tip: Super cheap nippers won’t cut it (pun intended) They are often misaligned and aren't always the sharpest or most durable. I use These Tamiya nippers and have had this pair for almost 11 years and they’ve served me well.
I wish when I started out I had access to the Entry Nippers from BANDAI because they are awesome.
Third Phase - Building
I'm sure you may have guessed that you have to use your nippers to remove the parts from the runners. There are many ways to do this but this is my advice for beginners.
The 4 cut method!
Always Look before you CUT, and if you’re unsure, check the manual over and over again until you are sure.
PLEASE DON'T CUT CLOSE TO THE PART TO REMOVE IT FROM THE SPRUE.
You run the risk of hurting the part or worse cutting off an important connection or detail on the part. You have been warned. :P
1ST Cut: Cut these guys first.
2ND Cut: then cut closer to the part leaving some plastic parts (nubs)
3RD Cut: use your nippers to remove the sprue nubs.
4TH Cut: sometimes a part can be tricky and so it’s safer for you and your kit to use 2 cuts to remove a nub.
What it should look like
Pro tip: Take your time here and make sure you know the difference between what you need to cut off and what is part of the kit.
It can be even better than this. I'll cover how in the advanced section.
Hint: it requires a modelers knife and a nail buffer.
- Remove (clip) parts from runner
- Clean Parts (remove nubs)
- Check manual
- Fit parts
- Move to the next one.
Enjoy the process, have fun and be patient. You don't have to build the kit in 5 minutes.
Take your time and do it right and you will have an awesome out of box build that s now a cool figure to pose and play with.
Next Blog will be advanced tips for those that want to take their building skills further.
AKA taking things to the next level. Are you ready?
Please show off your kits on social media and tag us!
As always guys. Keep Building Joy. See you on the next build
- Paul Loubser of GUNPLA SA