(Artwork by @aurahack on Twitter!)
Hallo and welcome to the Giant Bomb Gunpla Build Club, inspired by Austin has his love for Gunpla. What is Gunpla? Well Gunpla originally meant "Gundam Plastic Model" however Gunpla is more inclusive to all mecha model kits, however while we may be focused on such I am not going to begrudge anyone for wanting to talk or show off any other model kit, be it star wars, WWII or what have. So come on in and talk to us about your models or if your new ask us anything about models from what to build, what they are, how to get them or how to build!
It's almost February as I type this and for a few weeks now I have been plugging away at my own backlog it is two small HG kits and should be very easy to clear yet I have had them for 8 months now and I am only halfway through one kit! So I thought I'd not only challenge myself to complete this one and then my other kit in the next month but also everyone else!....also helps I just ordered three more kits.......I gotta not have too bad a backlog!
So to everyone I tell you now! Declare AT LEAST one kit (more is always nice!) in your backlog to have completed by the start of March, it is a leap year so you get to have an entire extra day!! May this may a dent in your backlog and get the ball rolling!
Don't let it get as bad as this guys!
With so many newbies coming and the same questions (rightfully so) being asked I decided I would compile some of the stuff on the first page to help folks out.
The model kits most people are building in this thread are snap fit robot kits namely from the anime series Gundam. These kits do not need paint nor do they need glue,you can paint or glue when you feel it and makes the kits better. However straight builds without paint or glue is perfectly fine!
So the next stage is selecting a kit you want to buy, I won't tell you were to buy from yet as you need to know what your looking at in the first place!
PS general rule of Gunpla is BUY WHATEVER LOOKS COOL TO YOU! However I do have a few kits of warning to not buy into as your first (or early) kit.
Here is a scale chart for different kinds of Gundam kits and what skill level you want to get into.
I myself build only 1/144 High Grades which is cheap and effective, they are simple in a sense yet also technical in their own way a low skill level a great entry kit as they will teach you how to read the manual and how to build without hurting your wallet if you do ruin the kit, they are hollow plastic with parts to make up joints while other Gunpla kits have full skeletons underneath. While if you delve into the modern Iron Blooded Orphans line then you will be treated to basic skeletons in the HG line, however do not expect such in older HG's. Here is a link that shows the building of an average HG to see if you want into this level. There are no kits to truly worry about being too difficult in this line.
Real Grade is same size as a HG yet with far more details and features packed into the small package many of which was only seen in the 1/100 Master Grades (more on that later) Real Grades have a small skeleton underneath which was a main feature MG's had and they are certainly more advanced in skill than HG and maybe slightly more than your average Master Grade due to the same amount of detail just with smaller parts now, a newbie can still come in and build RG kits no problem just a lot more parts than a HG and more concentration to building the kit. If you're confident in your skill shoot for it, if not then maybe HG is wiser. Here is a link that shows an RG being built and see if this is the level you want.
WARNING While all RGS kits can be a bit tricky to a newbie they can be built as your first kit however THE RG ZETA GUNDAM IS A NIGHTMARE EVEN TO EXPERIENCED BUILDERS AVOID AS A NEWBIE!
Master Grades are 1/100 scale much large than the two sizes already talked about and due to the size allows for features and details to be packed in but also for a higher price point, the main feature is the skeleton underneath which has its own many details that makes the kit feel like you're building the actual robot, some people only build some of the kit and leave the under skeleton exposed as if the mech is being repaired or such. While MG's are on the advanced scale of building this does not mean they cannot be your first kit, many many many people build MG's as their first and ONLY line. Never going smaller, Here is a little showcase of the kit of a MG being built and see if your into this level.
Now the kit showcased is one of the kits I do not advise going for as your first kit maybe as your second MG kit but not as your first MG kit unless you are really confident. The Nu Gundam Ver Ka is a bit more of a MG in complexity while the Sazabi Ver Ka is a daunting kit for even experienced builders. While you should come at the Nu Gundam Ver Ka a bit cautious, the Sazabi Ver Ka is a certain no no as a first MG also its one of the most expensive MG kits.
The Sazabi is cool but man....the details, I do want one however I need to actualy build some MGs before I think about the Ver Ka Sazabi! Look at it!
Aside from really those kits and to be wary of Ver Ka as a newbie, all other kits should really be free game for you to build happily.
The next stage up is the the 1/60 Perfect grades which is labeled in the scale image above as HG which it is however that image is more for scale than showcasing a PG, I won't be going into too much detail on Perfect Grades as for they are a kit that requires dedication as you can see this is the entire Perfect Grade Strike unboxed. This is not something you will be tackling as a newbie in general and mostly because the prices of these kits are just as big as the kit.
However again like the other grades there is not really any kits that you should avoid if you're feeling up to the task aside from two kits. THE PG UNICORN AND BANSHEE MORE SO PG UNICORN WITH ALL ITS WEAPONS WITH THE FULL ARMOUR EXPANSION PACK! It become an absolute monster!
As for tools!
Side Cutters, File and Hobby knife....that's all you need....well if you're building an MG then screwdrivers...here just get the Tamiya Tool kit or make your own based on this.
OK TO BUYING A KIT FOR YOURSELF!
Here are the main sites people buy from these are the common japanese websites.
Hobby Link Japan A well loved and trusted site, mainly used for bulk orders as they allow you to put things in warehouse and ship all at once.
Hobby search I use this site and have had no problem with them and will buy again.
Banzai Hobby This site is the absolute best I have used and I have had a great time with them more so as UK buyer.
A link for more Advanced buyers yet still good for Newbies.
Manadarake are a great place to buy kits and more so rarer or hard to get kits as they price them absolutely fairly and do not price gouge you, aswell as since they deal with "second hand" kits that are unbuilt they have a very unique stock that changes all the time.
Amazon....yup Amazon is a fine enough place to order Gunpla granted they are 90% gonna be in japan however I often shop at Toy shop Hobby one on amazon, however there are many there just watch out for postage and package price hikes.
A few USA based websites
UK based website.
Japan Cool is the more prefered UK based place to buy as they seem to do good stuff, based in Leeds meaning you can order online and drive up to them to collect if you live near.
http://www.gundammad.co.uk/home.php Gundam Mad has an issue with actualy having things in stock, if you see somthing for a price you want to pay for maybe go for it?
Gunpla UK another website that sometimes suffer from lack of stock. However its an option for anyone buying in country.
I think that's all to cover for newbies. Now let me show you a video on some advanced techniques of Gunpla...delivered by a man that is the absolute perfect tutor for Giant Bomb duders I urge you to watch.
My Original post before this thread become what it is.
So spoilers for anyone not watched Day 1 Recap, Austin has his own builders club in the recap and in it he built a the Gunpla HG Gouf Custom and it only made me want to see more. A while ago Tested got a Gunpla kit in a mail bag and they said they would build it as a feature some time....it still hasn't happened. I realy wanted to see them do it but hey ho.
So obviously I am into Gunpla as I have built 9 HG kits so far with two waiting to be built.
Here is my collection so far.
(From left to right) Reborns Gundam, Hyper Mega Launcher, Astrea Type F and Gaplant Hrairoo .
(Left to right) Gm Sniper K9, Lighting Gundam, Wing Gundam Fenice Rinascita, Kampfer Amazing, Zaku 1 Sniper Type and cut off is my 2008 reprinted 1998 Aestivalis from Martian Successor Nadesico.
Close up of the Gaplant Hrairoo with the Aizu (1.5) Gundam and Advanced Hazel Gundam still in their boxes ready to be built.
Anyone else builders of Gunpla kits? Be it Gundam or not?