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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.