How to Build a Gundam Model Kit

Written by larry simmons
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Gundams are human-navigated giant robots made famous by Japanese anime. The Gundams first made an appearance in the TV show "Mobile Suit Gundam" in 1979, according to Bandai Entertainment, the show's producers. Since that time, there have been a large number of different Gundam types. These various types have led to a subgenre of modelling, formed around recreating these robots in scale form. Building a Gundam is an exacting process, as with any model type. With the large variety of Gundam models available, a modeler can spend years building one after the other. Regardless of the specific Gundam you’re building, paying attention to the details will help create a displayable model. .

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Gundam model kit
  • Sprucing knife
  • File
  • Liquid soap
  • Water
  • Towel
  • Model glue
  • Squeegee
  • Paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Inks
  • Model putty
  • Sandpaper
  • Clear coat spray

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  1. 1

    Remove the model pieces from the sprue, the plastic framework containing the parts. Use the sprucing knife to cut the pieces away as close to the model piece as possible.

  2. 2

    File any sprue remnants from the model pieces using a small modelling file. Remove any lines left from the moulding process as well, leaving behind only the surface of the Gundam.

  3. 3

    Wash the pieces in lukewarm soapy water to remove any residue left on the model pieces from the moulding process that could interfere with the application of paint. Rinse the pieces in cool running water and then lay them on a clean lint-free cloth to dry.

  4. 4

    Separate the pieces into body parts. Make, for example, a pile of pieces for each arm, leg, head and torso for easier assembly.

  5. 5

    Test fit the model pieces. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, place the pieces as if you were assembling them. Test that the pieces fit together smoothly. Sand any model part edges when necessary to create a smooth fit.

  6. 6

    Paint the model pieces the colours of your choice. Begin the paint job with a layer of primer placed on the parts. The primer will create a bonding layer for the final paint to adhere to, as well as allowing an even colour tone to be seen when placing final colours. Use a dark colour, such as black or brown, for the primer to aid in creating shadows when you paint on the final model colours. Allow the primer to dry for 15 minutes before proceeding with the final colour placement.

  7. 7

    Paint a coat of the final colour onto the model parts. Use larger paintbrushes for coverage of large areas of the model, moving to thinner brush heads for placing detailed lines and painting smaller areas of the model. Build up the final colour coating by applying several light layers of paint to the model part to avoid clumping or running of the paint on the model’s surface. Allow the final colour coating to dry for one hour.

  8. 8

    Ink in the lines of the Gundam model by applying ink onto the lines of the model using a small detail brush. Wipe the surface of the model with a squeegee to remove excess ink and avoid discolouring the surface of the model. Apply a dark ink to the panel lines that represent the metal plating of the Gundam, creating shadows. Allow the ink to dry for 10 minutes

  9. 9

    Build the appendages of the model, according to the model manufacturer’s instructions. Build all model arms, followed by model legs, and then build the torso, head and any extraneous parts, such as weaponry. Do not attach appendages to the main body at this time. Use the model glue to construct the model, taking care not to spread glue onto the painted surfaces. If glue is placed on painted surfaces, remove immediately. Hold the glued pieces together for 30 seconds to allow them to set. Wait an additional 30 minutes for the glue to harden.

  10. 10

    Fill in any gaps in the glued parts using model putty. Smooth the putty with the surfaces of the model using a squeegee to make the gaps seamless. Allow the putty to dry for 30 minutes and then sand it level. Paint the patched area the same colour as the surrounding part.

  11. 11

    Complete the assembly process. Glue the appendages to the torso of the model, and add any weaponry. Place any stickers or decals onto the model and if the decals are wet, allow them to dry for about 15 minutes.

  12. 12

    Spray the model with a layer of clear coat spray to protect the colours. Allow the clear coat to dry for two hours and then display the Gundam model as desired.

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