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Plastic Scale Modelling |OT| Gunpla and Everything Else

Eridani

Member
Oct 25, 2017
693
Since several people have expressed interest in a dedicated plastic modelling I have decided to make one. The aim of this thread is to serve as a place for discussing anything related to plastic scale modelling and hopefully, to get more people interested in the hobby.

So if you're looking for beginner tips, want to talk about your current (or completed) builds, ask questions, or if you've ever been interested in this whole thing but didn't know where to begin, this is the thread for you.

What is plastic scale modelling
Plastic scale modelling refers, unsurprisingly, to the process of building plastic miniature models. In practical terms, this means starting from a bunch of plastic parts, like these:

And putting them together, painting them, and adding various details to end up with something like this:

(It's not the same kit, I know, but it hopefully gets the idea across).

Unlike plastic figures, the main appeal comes from building something yourself and creating a very personalised final product.

How to get started

At a first glance, this whole thing might look very intimidating. However, it is not all that difficult to get started - all it takes is a model kit and some basic tools (and time). And while your first model will likely not be a masterpiece, making something that looks decent is not as hard as it might seem. The pointers below should be enough to get anyone going (hopefully), and if not, there is an incredible amount of advice out on the internet, covering pretty much every question you can think of.

The first important dilemma most people face is picking what to build. Going to an online hobby shop is definitely overwhelming, as most contain a very large amount of stuff without any indication of what's good, how difficult it is, and what's needed to build it. Below are some of the more popular categories, with brief descriptions, which will hopefully make the choice a little bit easier:

Considering this is a gaming forum, with a number of people interested in Japanese games and/or anime, the first category I feel like should be mentioned are Bandai's Gunpla kits. Bandai make an absolutely incredible amount of mecha kits based on their Gundam franchise of anime, manga, and games.

Another reason for mentioning these first is that they are slightly easier to build than most models, due to two factors:
  • They do not require glue but just snap together. While these aren't the only models like that, the Gunpla line is definitely the largest line of such models, and likely the one with the highest quality.
  • Their parts are molded in color, so painting is not required.
They are also just generally well made, and most recent (read: last 10 or even 20 years) should not have any major problems. This means you can pretty much just pick something that looks cool and get started (though do google the kit to see if it has any obvious issues). This means they are perfect for starting out and their impressive quality and amount of detail means that they are great for more experienced modellers as well. The main thing to be aware of when buying these is that they come in several sub-categories, with the main ones being:
  • High Grade (HG) - this is the cheapest category. The kits come in 1/144 scale and lack the detail of the more expensive "grades". They are, however, very cheap and are still of very high quality.
  • Master Grade (MG) - The more detailed, larger, and more expensive category. The kits come in 1/100 scale and contain much more detail.
  • Perfect Grade (PG) - These things are pretty insane. They are huge at 1/60 scale, have an insane amount of detail, and can cost several hundred dollars. It's definitely not something I'd recommend for a first model, but if you can afford them they are incredible.
  • Real Grade (RG) - A more recent line of kits which combines the small size of HG with the detail of MG. The smaller scale makes the added detail even more impressive, but naturally also makes them a bit harder to put together (though not by much, really). As the line is rather recent, the amount of kits is rather limited though.
Aside from these, there's some other sub-categories, like the so-called "No Grade" kits that aren't marked with a specific grade. For those, the 1/100 scale kits are of decent quality (equivalent to HG or better, while being cheaper than MG kits). The 1/144 No Grade kits are generally bad and should be avoided unless you know what you are buying.



Another, although very different, category are aircraft kits. Mostly, these are based on military planes, though there are also plenty of kits of helicopters and civilian aircraft. Unlike Gunpla, there are no general sub-categories would tell you how simple/detailed the kits are, but they do come in different scales:
  • 1/144 - This scale essentially covers two things - very tiny kits of smaller planes, and kits of larger aircraft that would be too big in larger scales (like commercial airliners, for instance). It's not the most popular scale, and the smaller planes will lack the detail of the larger scales.
  • 1/72 - This is a very popular scale. The kits are small (excluding some larger aircraft), but still large enough to contain a good amount of detail. They can also be very cheap and the selection of kits is huge, which makes them a great starting choice.
  • 1/48 - Another popular scale. The kits are larger and contain more detail, but are also more expensive.
  • 1/32 - A less popular scale, with a more limited selection of models. However, the large size allows for some really impressive details.
  • 1/24 - These are huge. And expensive. And not very popular. Something you buy to go all-out with after you get some experience




If you prefer something more grounded, military vehicles are another popular category. It's mostly dominated by tanks, but other military vehicles (APCs, armoured cars, artillery...) also exist in smaller numbers. The main scales are:
  • 1/72 - Unlike with aircraft, this scale is not very popular. It's simply too small to contain a lot of detail. However, several kits in this scale do exist, and their cheap price might make them a good starting point.
  • 1/48 - Another less popular scale, though in recent years Tamiya have started producing a line of very high quality 1/48 kits, which make for good starter kits due to great quality and decently affordable prices.
  • 1/35 and 1/32 - These are the most popular scales. They are quite big, but in turn allow for a great amount of detail. Still suitable for beginners, and you'll probably have a hard time finding your favourite vehicle in other scales.



As with the above categories, this category mostly consists of military ships, though there are some interesting civilian kits available too. The two main scales are:
  • 1/700 (and, more rarely, 1/720) - The smaller and cheaper scale, although it can still get pretty big with larger ships. Still, the kits here are mostly affordable but can be pretty tricky to do well due to small details.
  • 1/350 - The larger, and therefore more expensive scale. They can get absurdly large, and aren't really something I'd recommend for a first model, but there's no denying they look pretty impressive if built well so if you think you've got the time and patience to build one don't let anyone stop you.
Aside from that, there are a variety of smaller ships available at different scales. For example, Italeri make a 1:35 line of military boats and Revell make a bunch of different things.




For something less combat-focused, cars are a very good choice, with a wide variety of kits ranging from racing cars to trucks and pretty much everything in between. The most popular scales are 1/24 and 1/25, which are basically the same. Larger kits with more detail also exist but are much less common. A thing to note with cars is that replicating their shiny, polished exterior can be quite tricky, and requires a lot of sanding and polishing. Or you can always just forgo all that and go for a super rusty, weathered look.



While I'm not all that familiar with this category, I know this forum has a lot of fans of all things anime so I'm including it on the list. With model building being very popular in Japan, it's really not much of a surprise that there's a lot of anime (and anime-inspired) kits out there. So if Gundam isn't quite your thing there's still a lot to choose from. Things like Macross, Evangelion, Patlabor, Full-Metal Panic (everything with mechs really, including mech-girls not related to any specific series), Space Battleship Yamato, and more. Japanese companies are also quite happy to re-brand their existing kits when the opportunity arises, which means there is a pretty wide variety of Kancolle and Girls und Panzer kits out there.

On a related note, there are also several videogame kits out there, from games like Valkyria Chronicles, Metal Gear, Xenoblade, Armored Core, and more.

Also, Sci-Fi in general gets a lot of love. There's a large number of Star Wars and Star Trek kits out there, for example, but I'm not very familiar with those.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully it shows some of the more popular things out there, and it hopefully makes choosing your first kit a bit easier. Personally, I think Gunpla are a great place to start with (and stick around with) due to their consistently excellent quality, and due to the fact they do not require paints or glue. However, those things aren't terribly important (gluing things doesn't really change anything, and while painting can be tricky it's also very rewarding, and getting a satisfying result isn't as hard as it might seem) so if that's not quite your thing every one of the above categories should be fine, and the cheaper kits will all likely be fine even for beginners.




Buying a model kit is, unfortunately, not enough since you also need tools to build them. This section will hopefully clear up what the tools you need are.

The Essentials:


Sprue Cutters:
You will definitely need something to get the plastic parts of the injection sprues they come in. The best way to do this is with dedicated modelling cutters.

Hobby Knife: The cutters will often simply not be enough, and will leave small nubs on the plastic parts. These can be cleaned off with a knife or sanded off. Generally, there's two types of hobby knives: scalpel-looking ones with removable blades (x-acto knives) and ones with a segmented blade where individual segments can be broken off when they go blunt (Olfa knives). They are also just really handy whenever you need to cut anything, obviously. Oh, and always cut away from yourself, because these things are much sharper than you might think and will effortlessly cut through your hands or fingers.

Sanding Files/Sandpaper: This is just really useful to have. It allows you to sand off nubs and lets you smooth off the surface of the model. For a start, cheap emery-boards from your nearest drug store should do. For sandpaper, don't buy the very rough ones meant for woodworking or things like that, as they will do more harm than good. Go for finer grits.

Glue: You do not need this for Gunpla or other snap-fit kits. For everything else, however, it's a must-have. Things are actually quite complicated here, as there are different types of glues. Essentially, you need the following:
  • Plastic Cement: This is your bread-and-butter glue. It works by melting the plastic and then allowing it to re-harden, which creates a very strong bond and helps cover the seams between parts. However, it only works on plastic. Plastic cement comes in two types. First, there's your ordinary plastic cement, which is pretty thick and preferably comes with a needle applicator (like Revell Contacta Professional). I would not recommend the ones that come in tubes as they can be far too thick and not any fun to work with. The other type is liquid cement, which is much thinner and is applied with a brush. To use it, you just hold the two parts together and then go over the area they meet with a brush. The glue will then go into the area and join the parts together. An example of such a glue is Tamiya Extra Thin. A lot of people swear by liquid cement, but either type is fine.
  • Clear glue: Plastic cement has the unfortunate side-effect of making clear parts look cloudy if you use it to glue them (as does super glue). Because of this, several companies make special glues for clear parts. An example is Revell Contacta Clear. You don't really need this right away, but it will make clear parts look much better. Ordinary PVA glue can be used as an alternative.
  • Superglue aka Cyanoacrylate aka CA: Since plastic cement only works on plastic, you need a different type of glue for non-plastic parts (or parts that were painted before gluing them). Honestly, clear glue actually works fine for that, as does your ordinary PVA glue, but CA glue has the added benefit of drying pretty much instantly and creating a really strong bond. So not really necessary, but nice to have.
Paint: You do not need this for Gunpla or kits that come molded in the correct colors or are pre-painted (although these are not very common, so always assume a non-gunpla kit will require it unless it states otherwise). This is the big one really, because there is a lot of choice and a lot of things to take into account. To keep it simple, there are:
  • 3 types of paint: acrylic, enamel, and lacquer.
  • Acrylic paint can be thinned with water, and sometimes alcohol and dedicated thinners. Acrylics dry faster than enamels, but are more likely to leave behind brush-marks (which look ugly) when using brushes to paint. I've only used acrylics, since the disadvantages of other types are too much for me, and it's definitely possible to get a pretty good look with them, so that's what I'd recommend.
  • Enamel paints need special thinners, dry much more slowly (hours, or even days for them to fully cure), and the solvents used in them are toxic (so keep the room well aired), but they leave behind fewer brush-marks.
  • Lacquer paints are also toxic, but dry fast and produce a strong, durable finish. They also need a dedicated thinner. They can be difficult to use and are hard to acquire online due to shipping restrictions. They aren't something I'd recommend for beginners, but their durable, often shiny, finish makes them good in some cases.
There are a variety of manufacturers that make model paints, too many to list here really, and I'm only personally familiar with the Revell Aqua line (acrylic), which is pretty great. Other brands include Revell Email Color (enamel), Tamiya Color (all three types), Vallejo Model Color (acryllic), Testor Model Master (all three types), and Gunze Mr. Color (lacquer).​
  • 2 ways to paint them: Either with plain-old brushes or with an airbrush.
The most important thing to note here is that you do not need an airbrush. Brush-painting your model is perfectly fine, and with some patience and skill, it's possible to achieve great results. Though you should at the very least follow some basic advice.

Basic brush-painting advice: When brush-painting, it's easy to mess up and end up with globs of thick, ugly paint. To avoid that, use the following tips:
  • Thinning your paint is very important. Out of the box, most paint is way too thick to achieve good results. Sadly, it's not trivial to say when your paints are thin enough (a milk-like consistency is often recommended, but that's not very specific, and specific ratios don't work since all paint is different), so this is best learned through practice. With properly thinned paint, you will need to do multiple coats to get a good looking result.
  • Only apply a new coat after the previous one has completely dried.
  • Getting some good brushes is also important. For fine details, you want a good fine detail brush (say, 000 to 00000 size) and some good larger brushes for painting larger parts. Better brushes leave behind fewer brush marks and aren't terribly expensive, so they a good investment. Go to an art store and pick up some decent synthetic brushes for $5 each for a start.
  • Before starting to paint, you can apply some primer from a spray-can. Primers make paint stick on better, and while they aren't necessary, they can make your work easier. This also holds for airbrushing.
  • If you are not using a primer, give your sprues a wash in some soapy water before doing anything else. This will remove oils that are left over from the manufacturing process which make it harder for the paint to stick.
Airbrushing: Then there are airbrushes. While they aren't essential, there are definitely some things that can only be done with them:
  • Soft edge camouflage (the one that looks sprayed on)
  • Or more specifically, the distinctive mottle camouflage on German Bf-109s (this site has some good examples: http://www.cbrnp.com/profiles/quarter2/bf109e.htm. ).
  • More advanced techniques like pre-shading, which adds realistic colour variation to your model
  • Using metallic paint (which just generally doesn't look good when brush-painted).
  • Airbrushes also just make applying consistent coats of paint much easier, and will never leave behind ugly brush-marks.
On the other hand, a decent starter set of an airbrush and an air compressor will set you back a least $100, likely over $200 if you want something that's not bottom-of-the-barrel quality. So it's definitely a sizeable investment, but one that makes sense if you realize you're actually into this whole model building thing.
Spray-cans: An alternative to an airbrush are spray-cans. They are cheaper (though more expensive than brush-painting), but are a much less fine tool. So while they are useful for putting down a good looking coat of a single colour, they are incapable of painting on smaller details, fine camouflage patterns or for pre-shading. Still, they can be a great alternative, especially for models that come in a single colour (like most cars).

The things that are nice to have:

Something for panel lining: Panel lining is used to emphasize panel lines and other recesses on your model, which can really enhance its overall look. It's pretty much essential on Gunpla and is also great on aircraft. For this, you've got three main choices:
  • Fine point Gundam markers: These are cheap, easy to use, and perfect Gunpla. The only real thing to note here is to avoid using the black colour on white parts since it's just too strong. Grey gives a better result. An exception are Gundam mouth vents, which look better panel-lined in black.
  • Panel line washes: They are essentially very thin, slow-drying paint that will flow into the panel lines by itself. Just apply it to a point of the panel line, and the wash will cover it (or a part of it, in which case you repeat the process in a different point). After that, you clean up the excess paint with a q-tip. There are several options for this, with Tamiya Panel Accent and MIG panel line wash being two popular examples. However, some people report that using such products on bare plastic results in the plastic becoming brittle and possibly breaking due to how the thinner in the paint reacts with it. If using it on bare plastic, I'd recommend first covering it with a clear coat, which will also make if flow better (more on clear coats later).
  • Custom-made washes: Since panel line washes are just thin, slow-drying paint, it's completely possible to make your own. The easiest way is to go to an art store, pick up some artist oil paints and thin them heavily with odourless mineral spirits (there are other alternatives, like turpentine, but odourless mineral spirits are the nicest to work with). Good colours include burnt umber, raw umber, burnt sienna (all variants of brown), payne's grey, and ivory black (to mix with other colours and make them darker).
A decal softening solution: This is not needed for Gunpla that come with stickers (which is most of them except for some of the fancier kits). What this does is soften the decal, making it look as if it was painted on, and not like just a sticker. There are a variety of options for this, with Micro Set and Micro Sol probably being the most common. Those are actually kind of special, since they come in two bottles (set and sol), where set is applied on the model before putting the decal on, and sol is applied on the decal to soften it after it has been placed. Other alternatives include Revell Decal Soft and Humbrol Decalfix, which go over the decal after it has been placed (so just the Micro sol part).

A clear coat: These come in gloss and matt variants (and semi-gloss/satin, but that's less important) and serve several purposes.
Clear coats either come as spray-cans or as paint to be used with an airbrush. However, for gloss coats specifically, there is a popular alternative that can be brush painted: Future floor finish (and similar products). A complete guide covering the many alternative products is available here: http://www.swannysmodels.com/TheCompleteFuture.html.

While it is by most accounts not quite as good as dedicated modelling products, it is:
  • Dirt cheap - a $5 bottle will last you forever.
  • Very easy to apply with a brush, since it will level really well by itself.
Tweezers: They are just a very versatile tool. Great for holding small parts and applying decals.

Masking tape: Needed whenever you want to paint a straight edge, or when you want to not paint a piece of your model (like an aircraft canopy).

Other things:


Putty: Sometimes, models just don't fit together very well. In those cases, you can fill the holes with modelling putty and sand it off so that it's consistent with the rest of the model.

Hand (pin vise) drills: Some models require you to drill holes, in which case these come in handy.

Fine-grit sandpaper and polishing paste: You'll need this if you want to make things really shiny. You can buy packs of really fine-grit sandpaper (up to 12000 grit), sand the model with them and then apply the polishing paste. It's only really necessary if you want a really shiny finish (like on a car or an airliner).

Weathering products: There is an extremely wide variety of things that can make your model look worn out (weathered), from washes to pigments to filters to rust effects. There's just too many to mention, and weathering techniques would really require a section of their own, but that's a bit more advanced than the things I want to put here. Just be aware that they aren't really necessary for your first model (but go ahead and buy them if you think they're cool. There's plenty of guides covering weathering on the internet.).


Manufacturers

Another thing I want to mention are model-kit manufacturers since an obvious question is "well, I know what I want to build, but there's still so many options and so many companies making them". Hopefully, this section can give you a clearer look on what's good. Unfortunately, the manufacturer's name printed on the box often doesn't really mean much since companies often re-release their old, awful kits, or even re-box kits of other manufacturers. Because of this, it's impossible to say "everything X makes is great". There are, however, still some general things to be aware of for some of the more well-known manufacturers, specifically:
  • Tamiya: They are great. Their models are slightly more expensive than most alternatives but are pretty much guaranteed to be good. The exception are their old kits, as well as some of their re-boxes of other companies. Still, if you see a new Tamiya kit, it's a safe bet that it's going to be great. They also cover pretty much every category, so there's a lot to choose from.
  • Airfix: A mixed bag. Their new kits are generally good, the old ones are generally bad.
  • Aoshima: A company that has a reputation for being pretty good. They make some good car models and ships.
  • Bandai: Another great company. Aside from Gunpla, they make a variety of anime kits, as well as some good Star Wars kits and various other things, but don't really dabble in other categories.
  • Eduard: A smaller company that mostly focuses on planes, which are great. They started off as a company only providing extra photo-etched brass detail parts. Their profipack line of kits all come with those included, and are generally of great quality.
  • Hasegawa: They are pretty great, though a bit pricey. Mostly famous for their aircraft, but they make other things too, like a number of Virtual-On kits.
  • Italeri: Mostly a mixed bag, though they do make some specific kits other companies do not (like their line of military boats, and kits of Italian stuff).
  • Kotobukiya: Worth mentioning since they make a number of videogame kits covering games such as Armored Core, Zone of the Enders and Muv-Luv.
  • Meng: A premium brand that focuses on tanks. The quality's supposed to be generally good, but they are pricey and don't have a large selection.
  • Revell: This is actually a bit complicated since there are two Revells. There's the American one, which is a mixed bag and generally not very good (cheap though!). They are also currently in some big financial troubles (http://www.scaleautomag.com/articles/2018/04/revell-has-been-sold). The other one is Revell of Germany, who generally make good models.
There are many other companies that probably deserve a mention (Takom, Dragon, Academy, Hobby Boss, Fine Molds...), but I'm really not familiar with them. There is one thing applies to pretty much every company: sadly, the company name isn't a guarantee the model will be good due to the re-releases and re-boxings mentioned above. Pretty much every company has good and bad models. The best thing to do is to first look up the model on Scalemates (https://www.scalemates.com/), which has a database that can tell you how old the kit actually is, and who actually made it. You want to go to the timeline of your kit (googling your kit + scalemates will usually get you there), find the box you're looking for, and trace it to the closest "New kit" - that's when the model originally came out. The newer the model, the better. Some companies are still selling kits from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, which you'll want to avoid most of the time. Googling the kit will also give you an indication of whether it's good or not.

In general, Tamiya is a great safe choice for a first kit, as is Bandai with Gunpla. For others, you'll want to look the kit up, but reviews are generally pretty easy to find so it's not much of a problem.
Where to buy

You'll also need to buy all these things from somewhere. If you've got a local shop that's a great option. Otherwise, here's a short list of online shops:

Amazon has a variety of kits. It's not as comprehensive as other options, but it's still an option.
America:
http://spruebrothers.com/
UK:
https://www.hannants.co.uk/
Japan:
Pretty much the only choice for some of the Japanese kits are online shops like these. They are fully in English, but shipping and customs can drive up the price.
https://hlj.com/
https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/
http://www.amiami.com/

Thanks to deltaplus, Wubby, and xEik for providing feedback.
 

Deleted member 45

User requested account closure
Banned
Oct 24, 2017
338
Great OT!

To everyone, I just wanted to echo this:

This means you can pretty much just pick something that looks cool and get started[...]
The easiest way to get started is to go on Amazon, find something you think looks cool and is relatively inexpensive, and get started! For Gunpla specifically, there are so many mobile suits that you can generally pick the coolest thing and have fun!
 

Liljagare

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
616
Just bought myself this puppy (frontier armored vf 25f messiah 1/72):



Pros, all coloured plastic model, no need to paint.

Cons, feels like it is 900+ parts.. :P
 

Neo0mj

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,764
Nice work OP! Feel Kotobukiya should have gotten more attention but eh.
Anyone here took notice of GSC's Moderoid line of kits? Look pretty interesting. Seems they're focused on super robots.

 

TAJ

Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,646
Cans aren't cheaper than airbrushing. You lose much more paint to overspray.
Besides, you can decant a can and put the contents in an airbrush.
Unless you mean upfront cost?
 
OP
OP
Eridani

Eridani

Member
Oct 25, 2017
693
Thanks for all the positive responses. I really appreciate them.
Nice work OP! Feel Kotobukiya should have gotten more attention but eh.
Sadly, I'm really not familiar with Kotobukiya's kits. I was also really running out of space at the end (the post barely fits into the character limit). If you feel like writing more about it I'd be more than happy to see it and link your post in the OP. Or if you'd just like to see a small change I can hopefully fit that straight into the OP.
 

Arklite

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,736
Nice intro. I ordered an inexpensive high grade Gunman kit off of Amazon. Looking at the different paint types and applications was confusing but I'll probably settle on some primer and testor model master paint, spray can type. A bit surprised to see the OT recommend brush applications for full painting, most of what I've seen on youtube recommends aerosol. Since the kit is cheap I might try weathering but not sure if it's better to use acrylic or oil based paint for that.

I'm not handy and I've never been great at arts and crafts so this could go south but the kits seem like a fun time.
 

xEik

The Fallen
Nov 17, 2017
3,598
The Catalan Republic
I want to say that if anyone is unsure of what model to buy (specially for gunpla) don't hesitate to ask and we can help you choose something that fits your needs / taste / constraints.
 

squall23

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,314
Nice work OP! Feel Kotobukiya should have gotten more attention but eh.
Anyone here took notice of GSC's Moderoid line of kits? Look pretty interesting. Seems they're focused on super robots.

I saw a completed version of the normal Mazinkaiser while I was randomly window shopping. Looks nice for something from a company's first foray into plastic models. It was sold out all over Hong Kong too.
 

iFirez

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,285
England
Great work with the OT. Really awesome to have this here on ERA! I'll share some of my Gunpla once I've moved and got my display setup all done. I mainly collect PG and MG kits. I am very tempted by the PG Exia at the moment but will wait until later this year I think.
 

Wereroku

Member
Oct 27, 2017
945
Is there a big market for counterfeits that people should be on the lookout for? I have only bought a couple of gunpla kits from legitimate online shops but I like some of the older models that only seem to be available on eBay.
 

Faiz

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,795
Just bought myself this puppy (frontier armored vf 25f messiah 1/72):



Pros, all coloured plastic model, no need to paint.

Cons, feels like it is 900+ parts.. :P
Worth pointing out for anyone getting started, nearly all kits that come in completely colored plastic benefit greatly from a spray of testors dullcote (or similair matte varnish, though dullcote seems the most popular). Takes the plastic sheen out of it and generally makes the pieces look like it is actually painted. ObHobbyDisclaimer: always spray outside and with the wind current. Fumes and blowback are awful.
 

Rvaan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,536
Oh no. I shouldn't have come in here. I just got over a bout of the GUNPLA itch and now I feel it coming back.
 
Oct 25, 2017
82
Phoenix, Arizona
^ Awesome. Is that flat white? What did you use for the weathering/battle damage?
Thanks!!! Yep! With flat clear topcoat to give it that matte finish. For the battle damage I used toothpicks and a lighter to melt the plastic which then I'd go over drybrushing with silver paint. I also used the Tamiya weathering kit to make it look even dirtier haha Funny story with the front skirt missing a plate, when I was building it, piece of the bracket behind it completely broke off. So I super glued it and after while it was fine amd I was able to finish the rest of the kit. Well, when I was weathering, the brush got caught on it and it snapped right off! So I was like "fuck.." but then I figured, more battle damage! haha Also this was my first attempt at weathering a kit and applying battle damage which was fun to learn!
 

Arklite

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,736
Thanks!!! Yep! With flat clear topcoat to give it that matte finish. For the battle damage I used toothpicks and a lighter to melt the plastic which then I'd go over drybrushing with silver paint. I also used the Tamiya weathering kit to make it look even dirtier haha Funny story with the front skirt missing a plate, when I was building it, piece of the bracket behind it completely broke off. So I super glued it and after while it was fine amd I was able to finish the rest of the kit. Well, when I was weathering, the brush got caught on it and it snapped right off! So I was like "fuck.." but then I figured, more battle damage! haha Also this was my first attempt at weathering a kit and applying battle damage which was fun to learn!
Damn, interesting. A lot of the damage modeling I'd seen was done with light drilling. Slick results with the lighter though, thanks for the share.
 

The Sum of Zero

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
2,476
AL, USA
Awesome OP.

Just gonna ask again, anyone have experience with third party kits, specifically Daban? I'm looking into their MG Strike Freedom.
 

Mandos

Member
Nov 27, 2017
7,100
Ok, so fun tip, if you have a Gunpla itch, don’t have a particular model you are after, and just want to look at some options Barnes and Nobles is a good option here in the Usa. all branches tend to have a Bandai case which usually averages 3 hgs, 3mgs and a pg or rg or two, generally from the last year or so, along with some other Bandai kits(I’ve seen Star Wars, power rangers, pacific rim and dragonball, generally smaller selection than gunpla). Generally msrp so you won’t get ripped off, but outside of standard deals you won’t get amazing savings. But it is a great option if you just want to grab a random kit and don’t wont to deal with shipping. Also 50/50 chance they’ll have Gundam markers too

I know some people like to browse, and find something that gets their interest in person, so figured that would be a good option to point out. Also, what they carry can vary greatly from store to store if you’re in a big enough area

Ok since we need to start filling this place with our builds, here’s my first kit that I built last week, took me 5 hours




Also anyone here have an opinion on the revive hg Gyan?

Oh and I got a few kits ordered, Hg Origins char’s Zaku 2 for this weekend, and got revive Guncannon and Gouf slow shipping from japan
 

Griselbrand

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,361
Awesome thread!

I've got a late 80's RX7 that I haven't touched in a while. I should really get back to it since I've almost completed the engine assembly.

Then I've got a Mazda 787B. That one is going to require some serious work.

I've got a McLaren MP7 with aftermarket decals since none of the Tamiya kits come with the Marlboro sponsorship.

There's a Bandai Slave 1 that's way on the backburner, although I do have all the paints for it. That one is going to be a serious test in weathering.

As for gunpla, I gave away my fully custom MG Zaku based on the Johnny Ridden zeek. I was super proud of it, but I don't think I have pictures anymore. I've also got a Tallgeese I that I've now bought for a third time that for various reasons I've never gotten around to building. It's currently my unicorn and it mocks me every day it sits there.
 

Mandos

Member
Nov 27, 2017
7,100
Say, since I’ve seen them, I don’t know if I’d pick one up or not, but what’s the general consensus on Bandai’s Dragonball kits and the relative difficulty compared to the Gundam line(saw Launch and Broly the other day at a B&N)? Just kinda curious, although Gundams my focus now, using it as a lego supplement/replacement due to my tight budget.

Also I wish whoever had the Nintendo licensing was doing arwing kits or a powersuit(Samus Aran, Metroid) kit, in gunpla/Bandai snap style, that’d be sick
 
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Ouroboros

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,808
This is great! I built a few Gundam models in high school. God Gundam, PG Wing Zero, but they all got severely damaged while moving and I had to throw them all out. My wife is going to be gone for about 2 weeks soon so I will have some time to build a new Gundam!! So many options. I can't wait to see what everyone on ERA is building.
 

Mandos

Member
Nov 27, 2017
7,100
This is great! I built a few Gundam models in high school. God Gundam, PG Wing Zero, but they all got severely damaged while moving and I had to throw them all out. My wife is going to be gone for about 2 weeks soon so I will have some time to build a new Gundam!! So many options. I can't wait to see what everyone on ERA is building.
I wonder how she would react if you built a mg perfect Zeong or PG Pyscho Gundam or PG Neo Zeong while she was gone XD (those are the huge ones XD the foot or more tall)
 

Jim_Cacher

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,926
Nice thread! I will surely post some of my goodies.
Regarding Kotobukiya, their relatively new product line Hexa Gear is godly. I heard many good things for Megami Device and (of course) both Frame Arms and Frame Arms Girl either. HMM Zoids are really good too. Series in the OP (ie. Armored Core, Zone of the Enders and Muv-Luv) are kind of outdated.
 

Mandos

Member
Nov 27, 2017
7,100
Nice thread! I will surely post some of my goodies.
Regarding Kotobukiya, their relatively new product line Hexa Gear is godly. I heard many good things for Megami Device and (of course) both Frame Arms and Frame Arms Girl either. HMM Zoids are really good too. Series in the OP (ie. Armored Core, Zone of the Enders and Muv-Luv) are kind of outdated.
Oh yeah, I forgot I heard about Zoid kits, it’s similarly long running like gunpla right? What’s the comparative difficulty ranges, availability, a general breakdown perhaps? Is it just snap together?
 
OP
OP
Eridani

Eridani

Member
Oct 25, 2017
693
Cans aren't cheaper than airbrushing. You lose much more paint to overspray.
Besides, you can decant a can and put the contents in an airbrush.
Unless you mean upfront cost?
This is a good point, and thank you for bringing it up. I was referring to the upfront cost yes, since the whole OP was meant as a "first model guide" sort of thing. Over the long run, spray-cans do get more expensive. So if you like spray-cans and see yourself using them for a long time, picking up an airbrush makes a ton of sense.
 

Kiunch

Member
Oct 26, 2017
239
Oh finally, the Gundam thread is great, but I miss seeing people's work in Plastic Modeling.
 

Muu

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
566
Nice OP.

Started a MG Ground Gundam w/ my daughter a month or so ago, need to get back into it and finish it up. It's amazing what a 4yr old can do if you do it in relatively short bursts.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,771
Brooklyn
Any suggestions on cheap but good airbrush? I don't have a price limit, but 50 or under would be nice.

I have some German tanks I want to camo up but painting camo on tanks seems a bit daunting.
 

Neo0mj

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,764
Eridani asked for feedback on the OT in the last thread and the only person who gave it about Kotobukiya was me so it only covers what I've bought from them. :P
I'm sure he'll include it if you give him a more extensive list of products they offer.
I was too busy to check it out and give feedback. Very important stuff, trust me >.>

I saw a completed version of the normal Mazinkaiser while I was randomly window shopping. Looks nice for something from a company's first foray into plastic models. It was sold out all over Hong Kong too.
Well, they did use Sentinel's Riobot Mazinkaiser as a base. When I first saw someone mentioning that they'll buy this kit I thought they mistakenly used the Sentinel pre-built figure instead of the one Kotobukiya released a few months ago.

I'll be building the first Moderoid release this week actually.
Oh hey pubic servant is here!
 

Stencil

Member
Oct 30, 2017
994
USA
Man, that OT is pretty good. Everytime I'm at a hobby shop or import store that sells Gunpla I'm always super tempted. I built a couple in grade school; I still have them even. Maybe I'll pick one up again finally.

Question about the painting, though, do you paint the pieces before assembly or afterwards?
 

BrutalInsane

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,905
Man, that OT is pretty good. Everytime I'm at a hobby shop or import store that sells Gunpla I'm always super tempted. I built a couple in grade school; I still have them even. Maybe I'll pick one up again finally.

Question about the painting, though, do you paint the pieces before assembly or afterwards?
It’s case by case. I do mostly aircraft / armor, for a plane I’d assemble the main fuselage and then paint the smaller things like landing gear, bombs, etc on the sprue and then attach them afterwards. You really have to plan ahead.

Edit: to add, there’s a great series by MiG Jiminez, I believe it’s call the ‘Encyclopedia of Aircraft’ that will walk you through all the steps of modeling, from the supplies you need, to painting, to weathering. I highly reccomended it, as everything you learn translates to whatever you’re modeling, from Gunpla, to aircraft, to tanks and cars.
 
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xEik

The Fallen
Nov 17, 2017
3,598
The Catalan Republic
Nice thread! I will surely post some of my goodies.
Regarding Kotobukiya, their relatively new product line Hexa Gear is godly. I heard many good things for Megami Device and (of course) both Frame Arms and Frame Arms Girl either. HMM Zoids are really good too. Series in the OP (ie. Armored Core, Zone of the Enders and Muv-Luv) are kind of outdated.
Those were suggested by me because the model subjects originate from videogames and we are in a gaming forum after all.