Yes I know, I’m very new to this hobby myself. “What does this guy know about Gunpla? He has only been building for a few weeks” Well, it’s with that fresh perspective to the hobby that I feel I can offer tips to the enthusiastic newcomers.
Consider this, a beginners guide… From a beginner.
Before buying anything, allow yourself a dedicated (if possible) area for building. Somewhere to keep all your tools etc, a surface for a cutting mat and assembly.
This area will serve as the base of operations for your hobby, so keep it clean and clear of anything that will obstruct your work.
Storage of tools and paint is also a necessity. I picked up this desk organizer as well as the cutting mat from Amazon, both were inexpensive but have proven invaluable. Keeping your tools, paints, etc tidy, and well organized will help you greatly.
This is the next daunting can of worms to open. To separate the pieces from their runners, you’ll need a decent quality pair of nippers/side cutters.
If you’re enthusiastic and really ready to commit, it wouldn’t hurt to purchase a fair priced pair. Personally, I’m using the Citadel fine detail cutters as the reviews were good and were also on sale at the time.
A Citadel knife, this comes in very handy for trimming the excess nub marks after cutting them from the runner. Be careful! The blades are extremely sharp and always cut away from yourself.
Varied grades of nail files. These are also very useful for removing nub marks during assembly and can be picked up for next to nothing.
What kit should I buy?
When you’re shopping around for that first kit after watching some Studio G videos, you’ll find that there is a huge catalog of kits out there. From the various anime series, games, and graphic novels.
There are also a number of grades available, differing in their complexity, detail, overall size, and of course price. You’ll find each grade clearly marked on a corner of the box, shortened to two letters.
HG – High Grade 1/44 or 1/100 scale (Ideal for beginners)
The most readily available of grades and are usually the cheapest. High-Grade kits were the first released by Bandai back in 1990 and have shown plenty of improvements regarding detail and complexity since then.
MG – Master Grade 1/100 scale.
A level above HG, Master Grade kits sport that tidy inner frame and more detail. Master Grade kits are often considered the most popular due to their higher detail, gimmicks, slightly larger size, and slightly higher complexity.
There are also several higher grades, but we’ll get into those in another post. They’re not recommended for beginners.
Removing parts from runners. When you open your kit, you’ll be greeted with runners (sheets that contain all the Gunpla pieces) These will be removed with your nippers.
Take care when removing the parts, some can be quite small and have even smaller details necessary for joining pieces together. Once removed, you can clean them up with a knife and file to get them nice and smooth.
Patience! This is a new hobby, you have spent money on tools and a Gunpla kit. Your workspace is clear and ready to go. Take your time and read the instructions carefully, there is no rush. You’ll be much happier with the end result if you’ve taken care whilst building your Gunpla.
Put on some music or maybe have a few episodes of Iron Blooded Orphans playing in the background and get stuck in!