My first Gunpla Build

I should preface this one a little bit. I have built a Gundam model before. It was a kiddy gunpla model of the Wing Zero. I picked it up from an anime bootleg store before I knew what bootleg meant. I looked up the model online and it is legitimate because it has the bandai logos all over the box and I found a legimate copy of it on Amazon. It’s an unspecified beginning model. I doubt anybody would ever bootleg a gunpla model anyway, because not everyone has the plastic manufacturing and the engineering modeling skill to make sure everything works.

Here is a photo of the Wing Zero model vs the Nu Gundam model. You may notice quite a few differences between how much detail each of the gunpla models have. The Wing Zero is definitely a kiddy model kit.

Gunpla vs Gunpla.png

The Build

The Nu Gundam model kit was something that I picked up at Sakuracon this year. I wasn’t going to pick up any gunpla models, because I’m not that much of a model builder, but my favorite Gundam was there. I had to pick it up. After that, the box sat on one of my shelves for a few weeks until I finally felt determined to do it. I looked up a few posts about it, including this one from animeheadsretroworld (a fun blogger with a focus on retro anime, a youtuber who has been doing gunpla videos recently named Professor Otaku, and I asked my coworker who is into building gunpla about it. Ask around before you start doing something like this. Having knowledge from people who do a model more often helps.

Finally, it was a weekend where I didn’t have to work over time, so I borrowed my coworkers tool kit and started building. I didn’t have to use every single tool that was available, because I just used the cutting tool and a file. Here is where I started.

gunpla building.png

That’s a lot of parts, isn’t it? Yeah, I was a bit overwhelmed too. I was hesitant with my first cuts, but as I kept going, everything started to make sense. The model started fitting together and the amount of parts I had to cut off the plastic sheets became less and less. I didn’t post a lot of progress shots, but here is where is was before I went to watch Avengers: The Infinity War with my dad. You can tell that I was pretty far along.

gunpla before infinity war.png

I should have stopped right there. I was a little bit emotionally compromised from the movie, so I made some mistakes. The first one is that I cut off a ball bearing from a part of the front skirts, so that’s battle damage now. I also broke one of Nu Gundam’s fin funnels in the process as well, so that’s battle damage too. Despite all of that, I had a lot of fun. Here is another photo of the final product. You can see one of my mistakes right in the front here. Still happy with it over all though.

gunpla complete.png

What I learned

I learned a quite a bit from this experience. The first one is to take my time and not bull rush in order to complete the project. I should have waited for the very next day to pull off the finishing touches of my Nu Gundam Model. Now I have to look at it every day as a reminder. I am currently looking up replacements parts online, but if I don’t find one, then I don’t. Just something I have to live with for now and I think that’s ok.

The second thing I learned is that there is a big difference between just buying a model and building it myself. Since building this Gundam, I feel like that I have more of a personal connection to this kit. I know this build’s flaws. Besides my obvious mistakes, I know that my cuts aren’t as perfect as they could be. The round parts are hard to cut, and I may have filed down some parts more then I should have. Also, one of the parts along the inside of Nu Gundam’s shoulders pops off if it’s stressed to far. This was annoyed as well. Just buying a Gundam figure is easy, but I wouldn’t get the same experience as I got from building this one.

Conclusion

In the end, I definitely want to build another one soon. This one took me about five hours for me to build, considering that I kept time through watching the latest episode of Agents of Shield, three episodes of Violet Evergarden, four episodes of Wakfu season three, and whatever I was doing after the movie. I am going to pick up my own gunplay tools from Amazon, which apparently are only 20 USD and pick another model to build. I am not completely sure what I want to build yet, but I am leaning toward a Zaku at the moment.

For the moment, I am definitely going to stick with High Grade model kits, because I don’t think I am far enough along at the moment to go any further then that. With everything that I learned from this one, I am going to make the next gunplay model more perfect. Experience is the only way to learn from these things, so I need to build some more. It’s not like these kits are that expensive either. I think I may have found a new hobby and I’m pretty excited about this one. Thank you for reading everyone. Hope this wasn’t too boring.

22 Comments Add yours

      1. mirrorpurple says:

        I will show you the real nightmare

        Liked by 1 person

  1. WeekendOtaku says:

    Nice work, Scott. Nu Gundam looks like a pretty cool model, too.

    My first was a MG Deathscythe that I found for cheap at a comic store. I think I was a bit over-careful with it as I spent a lot of time cutting and sanding pieces, but even then I managed to make a couple mistakes like cutting too deep into the plastic in some spots.

    Have you thought about doing some basic enhancement to yours, like panel lining? If your friend builds them a lot he might have a marker or something that makes it easy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Thank your

      Oh, the Deathscythe is awesome! And it is a little humanising in realising that one mistake can mean quite a bit when building these. I wonder if there is a good pace too build these at.

      I have thought about it and their kit have some markers. I thought my hands might be too big to use the pens accurately, though I might use them when I get my own gunpla building kit.

      Like

  2. KingDylbag13 says:

    Ive really been wanting to do one of these. I like the look of the bear gundams

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jon Spencer says:

    Glad you enjoyed doing this Scott 🙂 Not something I’d be very good at doing personally XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      You never know until you try!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jon Spencer says:

        That’s true haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. raexelphon says:

    Great job on the model! Don’t worry about the slight damage, it adds character to the kit. I used to love building Gunpla (the ultra cheap ones that will shatter if you stare at them too hard).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Thank you so much and you are completely right about that! It definitely says i built it :).

      Ooh, I would like to see those if you still have them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. raexelphon says:

        I don’t have them anymore (they all broke). I might still have a few MG models my brother built. I’ll upload some pics if I find them but, he might’ve taken them back.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Scott says:

        I keep hearing that and now I’m wondering if I started doing this too late life 😁.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. raexelphon says:

        It’s never too late

        Like

  5. Krystallina says:

    Great job! I have no patience for things like this, although it looks cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      You never know until you try.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for the mention Scott. Glad to see that the errors don’t bother you too much. Unfortunately when you start out it’s inevitable that you will make at least one small mistake. I agree with one of the above comments it’s never too late to start a new hobby. I’m 38 and it was only last year I started with model kits. I had helped a buddy of mine build some soft vinyl Guyver kits in the 1990’s but honestly he did the difficult stuff. I think if anyone reading this post has always fancied having a go then they should. New experiences no matter how small should be valued in life. It’s great developing a new skill or realising a talent you didn’t know you possessed. Plus as you say I think kits you put in effort to build mean more than something that looked nice out of the box pre-assembled.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Dreion says:

    Oh some companies do make bootleg gunpla models. Check out Daban and Dragon Momoko. Dragon Momoko got closed down by Bandai though.

    If you think you need more practice or familiarity with Gunpla kits, I’d suggest you proceed with your intention of doing more HG kits. Look for HGIBO (Iron-Blooded Orphans) kits. They’re not very expensive and have more recent manufacturing technologies implemented in both design and assembly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Damn, I’m kind of shocked Hegde that seems hard to pull off. Maybe it isn’t and the just “borrowed” some of bandai’s recipes and structures.

      I don’t know. I liked a few suits from Iron Blooded Orphans, but not sure they interested me enough for me to build them.

      Like

      1. Dreion says:

        Any particular Gundam (or derivatives thereof) that you like? That would be a good starting point when you’re looking for something new to build.

        It’s hard to go wrong with the more popular ones like RX 78-2 or Zaku II kits.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Scott says:

        Oh, I have been thinking about a Zaku II. I felt inspired watching the last Gundam Origin film.

        Liked by 1 person

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