Gundam has been around for over 25 years as a recognizable anime multiverse. Gunpla, or the plastic models based on the Gundam mobile suits, are offered by Bandai to help fans bring some vibe from their favorite show to their own home or desk. The plastic model building hobby has recently got popular again and it has become easy to get your hands on Gunpla today.
If you too have ever thought of building a Gundam model or have already got one but don’t know how to get started, this guide is for you! In this guide, we explain everything you need to know about getting into Gundam models and talk about the best Gunpla starter kits to make your experience more fun.
Getting Into Gundam Models – A Complete Guide
Gundam models are classified in two different ways – by difficulty level and by size. You can often find hobbyists referring to them as ‘scale’ and ‘grade’. The scale is a measure of how big the model becomes after building. The best scale for beginners is 1/144. Here is how the model measures up to the actual Gundam:
- 1/144: This is the smallest scale, 5-6 inches tall
- 1/100: Mid-range in size, 7.5 inches high
- 1/60: A life-size model of Gundam
Grade, or difficulty level, represents how complicated the model is. The higher the grade of Gunpla, the more difficult, intricate, and expensive the model is. Here are the grades the models are classified into:
– High Grade: The ideal grade for beginners, the high grade has parts modeled in colors and need no painting.
– Real Grade: The scale is 1/144 but there is some more detail. These models come with an inner frame that you can use to make the Gundam model flexible for giving poses.
– Master Grade: Most of these come with a skeleton frame and are quite detailed. A person who builds several 1/144 model kits can buy a Master Grade.
– Perfect Grade: The most expensive of all the kits and with intricate details, this is ideal for anybody looking for a challenge.
Bandai keeps releasing newer grades like Super-Deformed and Real Grade with varying difficulty levels. You can find the grade in the corner of the box as a short two-letter code like MG, PG, or HG. Once you have the scale and grade, you can buy your favorite kit from a hobby shop or local bookstore. You can find a variety of options to buy Gunpla online on different platforms.
How To Get Into Gundam Models?
Once you have picked your Gunpla kit, you should collect the tools you need for the job. The first accessory is a pair of nippers that help remove each piece from the frames holding the piece. Then, you need a pair of tweezers used to apply decals or stickers. Some starter kits include nippers as well as tweezers to make your job easier. You also need a mechanical file and a hobby knife.
When you have the kit and tools ready, you should arrange for a clean workspace. An organized surrounding makes it easy to get whatever is needed. A cutting mat is not an absolute necessity but it helps keep the table clean if you add other materials like adhesives.
Gunpla For Beginners – Getting Started
Once you have the kit and the tools required, you simply need a clean workspace. When you open the kit, you see runners in several different colors. The pamphlet you get with the kit contains the checklist of runners.
You simply need to follow the steps carefully after you have all the runners. Use the nipper to remove the piece from the runner and cut it a bit away. The excess sprue can be removed with nippers or a knife. Repeating this for all the sides makes the piece come off.
If you don’t understand any step instructed or get confused with small parts, there is no need to worry. Go away and come back when you are ready to work with the kit. Follow the instructions properly and you will get better with every kit you build.
Best Gunpla Starter Kit – UPDATED 2021
With so many Gundam model kits to pick from, it is easy to get overwhelmed when choosing your model for the first build. The best kits for beginners are the High-Grade kits with smaller models, fewer parts, and no hassle of painting.
Here are some of the most popular Gunpla starter kits.
#12 Astray Gundam Red Frame HG Model Kit
If you are looking for a simple starter kit, this one is a great choice. The model comes from the SEED Astray series and boasts a samurai-like look. You can equip the model with weapons like beam sabers, shields, beam rifles, and katana. You can get it here for an amazing price.
Gundam Barbatos Iron-Blooded Orphans Model Kit
This is a great choice for a beginner Gunpla kit. It is possible to make it challenging by painting the details or filling them with stickers that come included. It has a low price which makes it ideal for experimenting.
Gundam Kimaris Trooper HG Kit
Though it looks complicated, it is a beginner-friendly kit that builds quickly. This model can even be converted into the Trooper form which is a four-legged form that lets the mobile suit hover above.
List of All Gundam Model Kits
Here are the top Gundam models kits for mech anime fans and model lovers.
- Bandai Hobby MG 1/100
- Bandai Hobby Wing Gundam Zero Version 1/100
- Bandai Hobby MG Gundam Kai Model Kit
- Gundam IBO Gundam Barbatos
- Gundam MS-06S Zaku
- Bandai Hobby #59 Gundam
- Bandai Hobby #1 Gundam
- Bandai Hobby HG IBO
- Bandai Hobby MG Freedom Gundam
That’s it! You can now make a Gunpla model quickly. This basic guide to building a Gundam model should help beginners get started. Choose your kit wisely, follow the directions closely and you will get faster and better as you build.