Building Your First Gundam

in Modelling, Modelling-Tips

Bandai produce hundreds of 1/144 Gundam kits, depicting mecha from each and every Gundam series. These stand about 5-6 inches tall, all told, and are often billed as 'the ideal beginner's kit'.

The parts are cast in appropriately-coloured plastic, interlocking lugs or soft 'polycaps' join the components to remove the need for glue and a sheet of stick-on decorations is provided so as to allow small colour details without paint, allowing even the least experienced modeller to get a decent-looking gundam out the other end.

There are many articles out on the 'net walking the reader through the process of building a Gundam kit, but they tend to fall into one of two camps.
The beginners will cover only the procedure covered in the instructions, construct their kit in snap-together mode, apply the stickers and end with a meek "more experienced modellers may wish to paint their kits".
The more experienced modellers, on the other hand, will go into detail about how they extended the legs 3mm to fit the original drawings better, scratch-built accessories that didn't appear in the kit and installed flashing lights...
The intent of this article is to cover the middle ground, going a few steps further from the default and hopefully ending up with something notably better-looking but without going completely over the top, requiring a massive investment in materials and equipment and taking several months to finish.

[Disclaimer: This article was originally written in 2004, to aid a friend who was developing an interest in Gundam-kit building. The tips within aren't necessarily the best way to do things, and I wouldn't follow all these steps in this manner myself - they're intended mostly to be easy to follow and not require too much specialist equipment or material. Some of the comments on the kits themselves are a little out of date; Bandai improves Gundam-kit technology at a startling pace. But it was one of the most popular articles on my old site, so I've left it here to avoid breaking all the various external links to it.]

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