Gunpla Building Tutorials? Here’s the ‘Fun to Build Gunpla’ Campaign

I have been asked a lot of times for Gunpla building tutorials. I always direct them to the Fun to Build Gunpla Campaign which can easily be found on Youtube. All the instructions you need to properly build Gunpla are practically here.

For those who are too lazy to search, here’s the complete playlist of the Fun to Build Gunpla videos.

  1. Introduction to Fun to Build Gunpla
  2. Basic Tools
  3. Cutting Out Parts
  4. Dealing with Gates 1: Cleaning Up Nubs with a File
  5. Dealing with Gates 2: Smoothing Out Nubs with Sandpaper
  6. Touch Up Painting 1: Basic Tools
  7. Touch Up Painting 2: Panel Lining with a Mechanical Pencil
  8. Touch Up Painting 3
  9. Decals for Gunpla
  10. Basic Decal Application 1: Foil Stickers
  11. Basic Decal Application 2: Transparent Stickers
  12. Basic Decal Application 3: Gundam Decals
  13. Basic Decal Application 4: Waterslide Decals
  14. Trimming RG Decals
  15. Smooth and Clean Polycap Insertion
  16. What to do When You Forget a Part
  17. Smoothing Over Edges
  18. Taking the Next Step 1: Sharpening Up Parts
  19. Taking the Next Step 2: Boring Barrels with a Pin Vise
  20. Using Lining Pens 1: Choosing a Color
  21. Using Lining Pens 2: Wipe-away Pens
  22. Using a Marker for the First Time
  23. Before Painting 1: About Different Types of Paint
  24. Before Painting 2: Oil Base Color
  25. Before Painting 3: Acrylic
  26. Before Painting 4: Enamel
  27. Trying Out Airbrushing 1: Good Paints for Airbrushing
  28. Trying Out Airbrushing 2: Thinning Paint
  29. Trying Out Airbrushing 3: What Happens When I Don’t Thin Properly?
  30. Trying Out Airbrushing 4: Basic Painting
  31. Trying Out Airbrushing 5: Keeping Paint Off of Shafts
  32. Airbrushing Techniques 1: Gradations
  33. Airbrushing Techniques 2: Shading 1
  34. Airbrushing Techniques 2: Shading 2
  35. Airbrushing Techniques 3: Metallic Colors 1
  36. Airbrushing Techniques 3: Metallic Colors 2
  37. Airbrush Maintenance

Sources: GUNDAM.INFO, Youtube

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What Could Happen if Bootlegs Win Against Bandai

I once saw this post in one of the Philippine Gunpla community groups in Facebook: “Bandai should just close down if they can’t compete with the prices of [enter bootleg company here].” —or something within that context. It seems that he is a bootleg collector as there was a smiley at the end of his statement.

So let’s think about that for a while. What if the bootleg companies actually bring down Bandai and the company just decided to shut its doors for good? What could go wrong? First, let’s view this promotional video from Bandai to get an idea on how Gunpla are produced.

What’s the next release?

Okay, so point number one, Bandai has engineers who create the Gundam designs. But why engineers? Why not artists? Because more than the aesthetic form of the mecha they also have to plot each part of the robot to make the framework mechanically movable. Or else, you end up making a static statue rather than a dynamically posable action figure.

So if we lose Bandai, it takes its entire design team with it. Since bootleggers primarily just copy the design molds Bandai engineers created, the possibility of new releases goes down the drain. We’ll be stuck with what is generally left existing in the Gundam world.

Where’s that mobile suit from?

Let’s say one of these bootleg companies shell out the money (I’m pretty sure that investment will reflect on the price of their kits) to hire their own design team, that would be awesome, right? But wait, Bandai also owns Sunrise, which is basically the soul of Gunpla. Without the Gundam series, animes, manga, OVAs, etc., these mobile suits are just shells that do not have personality because they do not have a profound backstory.

When you build an RX-78-2, you don’t just visualize the Gundam, you also remember Amuro. You see Char in the cockpit of that Sazabi. These pilots, characters, personalities are the ones that bring life to Gundam and, subconsciously, you feel that when building Gunpla. Honestly, would you continue supporting a Gunpla that does not have any essence whatsoever?

New studio, new anime?

Again, hypothetically, that bootleg company creates its own anime studio and revives the Gundam series. That will again, of course, cost money. They will now gamble on the premise that the new series will be a hit with the fans, so as to increase sales of new Gunpla releases. That’s if they legally get the rights. If not, they will be left with the choice of introducing a new mecha series. Which is an even bigger gamble on their part.

What has happened here?

So what do we end up with all these hypothetical scenarios? Well, practically, the bootleg company has replaced Bandai as the legitimate brand. And with all those new investments, you should expect that their model kits will also increase to cope with the extra overhead. Which, opens up the opportunity for another bootleg company to release imitations at a lower price. And the cycle starts again.

But all of these scenarios are accompanied by big IFs. IF a bootleg company would actually invest. IF they decide to continue with their demographic of just bootleg another brand. IF they actually visualize themselves as the primary brand for Gunpla. Because otherwise, Gunpla will no longer move forward and will inevitably end. Sucks for us.

What’s the Best Way To Improve Your Building Skills?… Compete!

I bet, when you started building your first Gunpla, you did not realize that there was more to it than cutting the parts from the runners and snapping them together. Removing nub marks, filing, sanding, and top coating were not the initial skills that you intended to learn. Admit it, Gunpla was merely a simple toy that you can build and play with afterwards.

Now, you’ve learned to custom paint, kit bash, scratch build, etc. As far as you’re concerned, you are doing a great job. But how can you really tell? Social media is the best portal in which other builders, collectors, and hobbyists can get a glimpse of your work so you post photos in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Seems like you always get positive reviews, likes, and comments. The problem is, photos are really not good mediums for judging your work. If you really want to know your skill level as a builder, join competitions.

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Have you ever had somebody tell you that they joined a contest for the experience? So should you. Chances are, you will not win your first competition but the experience you can gain will benefit you more in the long run.

You are judged more on your building skills

In Gunpla competitions, fundamental building skills take a large chunk of the judging criteria—practically, almost 50 percent. Why is that? More than designing and conceptualization, customizing Gunpla is mostly about craftsmanship, and you are judged as a craftsman. A perfectly-executed OOTB (out-of-the-box) build can win against a poorly-crafted custom build any day. If your beefed up Sazabi loses to an OOTB Zaku, that’s when you know you have to go back to the basics.

Compare your work with those of the best builders

You might have seen their work online—on blogs, Facebook, Instagram, etc.—but photos really don’t do justice to the actual work of a master builder. Nothing compares to seeing a masterpiece with your own eyes. You might not see it at first but the best builds have a similar quality: they are flawless.

Mingle with other builders

A contest’s venue overflows with knowledge that is just waiting to be shared. All you have to do is talk to people. The simplest Gunpla building advice you get might be what you exactly need to up your game. You can easily spot contest participants. They are usually the ones that carry Gunpla boxes. You never know, the first few people you chat with might be master builders. Just remember to keep the conversations polite and positive. And don’t be afraid to show them your work. You might get negative comments, but those are exactly what you need in order to improve.

Look around and get inspired

You are practically at a convention where Gunpla builders showcase their best works. Don’t just fixate on your entry. You practically have a smorgasbord of eye candy Gunpla all arounfd you. Enjoy the exhibition of masterpieces. Look around twice, or even three times. Soak all the creative vibes around you and use that energy to imagine your next build. The priority here is to learn but don’t forget to have fun. That’s what Gunpla is all about, right?

 

Mechapinoy/GMMC In-House Competition: “Grimoirein Mo! Mock-ha Mo!” Entries and Winners – Photo Gallery

This is a photo gallery of the entries and winners of the recently concluded Grimoirein Mo! Mock-ha Mo! model kit competition held last June 28 in cooperation with the Gundam Caravan in SM Manila. This was an in-house competition by Mechapinoy and GMMC (Gunpla and Mecha Modelers and Collectors) sponsored by Ban Kee Trading Inc.

The goal is to customize either a 1/144 HG Grimoire or Hi-Mock kit. Judging was based on fundamental building skills, painting and detailing skills, and overall presentation.

The Winners

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First Place: Nathaniel Barrera

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Second Place: Dan Tumbaga

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Third Place: Michael Janoy

Other Entries

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