Sunday, August 16, 2015

Gunpla WIP #1 - 00 Gundam

I've now finished my first gunpla build after a long hiatus. I looked back in my posts and it was quite a few years since I last bought and built any gundam plastic model kits, or gunpla as they are known.

I don't know how I got back into it now, I think I found a really well polished YouTube channel and then bought 2 kits and a lot of the modelling tools I didn't have first time round. Quite a time and money sink, but I wanted to get back into it and really put more effort into kits as opposed to snapbuilding them without painting.

I purchased 2 1/144 kits, a HG 1/144 00 Gundam GN-0000 and a HGUC 1/144 Char's Zaku II. Chars Zaku I've always wanted to build because Iove the zaku design and the 00 Gundam because it was supposed to be a good first kit, and wasn't too expensive-if I messed up, not too many problems involved.

I put the 00 Gundam together first and took a couple of weeks to fully build, prime and paint it. That included time waiting for parts to dry and more equipment to arrive in the post as I kind of kept finding more things I didn't have, sandpaper, paints, brushes, bamboo skewers and crocodile clips for spraying model parts. It can be done cheaply, gunpla, but you can also shell out for the hobby if you like, with advanced stuff like airbrushing being an option.

So it was actually a really rewarding experience seeing the kit evolve from sprues and runners, through a nice uniform primed grey, and especially the learning curve of thinning down Tamiya acrylics for hand painting on in layers. This was one thing I found really fun, the painting. I also found it frustrating though, as the white I put down initially turned out to be gloss. That wasn't the finish I was looking for, so I bought a Tamiya flat white and the gloss became something of a base coat. Also the grey primer showed through the white in places, even though I had put down multiple layers. So it was a case of trying to get paint thinned just perfectly so that you can put down smooth layers but not too thin so that you're basically putting down a wash. I don't think I got the hang of it and was recommended citadel paint if I'm going to hand paint for my second kit.

All in all, I'm happy with my progress with the first kit, and I'm looking to go into other types of paint ie sprays and do some weathering techniques for my next kits.

I'll update with more of these WIP or works in progress posts in future! I have photos on my phone but the blogger app is terrible and will not let me post anything, and the browser version of blogger doesn't appear to let me upload images into the posts...I'll keep trying.

Monday, July 13, 2015

An introduction to Gunpla

So I've been really inactive for here for many months and thought I'd make an update now. I've been pretty busy with work and I've been flitting between different pastimes in my spare time, video games, artbooks, reading novels, sketching and most recently now, aiming to get back into Gunpla. So I thought I'd make a post for people who are interested in the latter of these.

One of my favourite, the Deathscythe Hell

So what is Gunpla? It is something that you might have heard of, you might never have heard of it. But its pretty cool. Bandai release (scale) model kits of Gundam mechs which don't require any glue or really many tools to put to together. (It depends how much you want to get into it initially, and thereafter in the customisation side of things.)

I'll post some links which I have found while reading up on this. I first started becoming interested in this stuff many years ago, but I've been away from it for a while now mainly because of money. It can be an expensive hobby when you start to get on a buying spree or interested in some of the larger kits out there. Kits range from maybe as cheap as £10 up to hundreds of pounds. I also think it is quite an unknown and quite confusing hobby from what I can tell. And this is from my perspective; I sit somewhere on the edge of the community, having only really dipped my toes into this with a few kits and pieces of equipment. At times it does seem that there are lots of barriers to getting into this, and I hope this post can be useful for people who are interested in trying some of this stuff out, and also spreading awareness about gunpla, bringing it to more people's attention. Even though my blog has a tiny audience, but hey, that doesn't matter V_V

*cough disclaimer time* I'll possibly add some more as I find new stuff. Feel free to leave any comments below, or message me if you have any questions. I didn't create any of the links or guides below or claim any ownership to them. Kudos to the people who did create these, some of the following stuff is really comprehensive and helpful.

This is from a UK perspective, as that is where I stay, and as such, a lot of the blogs are based here, or stores are located here. If you delve into the other links, they will have stores located in other areas, such as the US, and Australia. Ebay and/or Amazon are always good sites as well, which often ship internationally.

Starting point links
This reddit page is a great starting point, with interesting links for beginners on the right hand side info box.
This master post on reddit/gunpla has a great amount of links and tutorials, especially with certain painting and preparation techniques.
Really impressive guide 

Reference Websites/Stores
Wow, this place has a great amount of reference pictures, even of manuals and the sprues/runners and stuff that you get in each kit. Good for finding pictures if the store you are browsing doesn't have much info. It has both korean menus and english menu options.

UK based stores

Gunpla Blogs

Youtube Channels

Gunpla Fixation