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Sep 02

Gundaamu Plastic Model – Part 1

It’s time to return my blog back to its original state! Expect more otaku stuff, except a bit closer to home :) We will start with something my “otaku-era” originated from: plastic model building. My first blog-project was a special version of the F-22 Raptor. It turned out pretty nice in the end after working on it for a full year (with some small/long breaks).

My old plastic model finished in 2012…

Now that I’ve returned from Japan, I finally found some time to actually build something that I purchased there. It’s not a plane, but a real GUNDAM. Yes, it’s a robot. Still fun to build though. Any Gundam theme related plastic models are called Gunpla (ガンプラ Ganpura), so you now know what the difference is if I refer to Gunpla :).

For starters, there are some major differences between normal plastic models like fighter jets/tanks/ships compared to Gunpla. I’ll just give a few of them:

  • No glue needed! The model has special joints so you can pose it like an action figure. So everything just snaps together instead of glueing.
  • Paint is even less mandatory to make it look good. The pieces are already in a bunch of colors.
  • Gunpla models are very dynamic, you can combine parts, place them on different stands or even alter them with your own modifications. Normal models are very static and require a lot of skill to achieve the same result.

But enough random talk, time to work on my Gundam :) The Gundam-type I bought from Japan is actually the “first” and most famous one of the franchise. It is called the RX-78-2 or just Gundam. Just ask a random Japanese/Asian guy what this robot is and he knows its a Gundam (and not a Transformer). While there are many many other nice Gunpla out there, this classic one is still my favourite and therefore I wanted it as my first MG-scale Gunpla model.

Third revision of the RX-78-2 and most current model…

So lets get building! Like all kits, the components of your plane/robot/boat are all connected by runners and sprue. The first thing of course is to cut them loose and remove any excess nibs with a sharp knife. Always be careful to not cut yourself again.

Always nice to smell the plastic smell when you open those bags…

A nice instruction manual (all in Japanese) will tell you exactly how to build up your Gundam and not to screw it up. Many many people still do because of too much excess force or just plain stupidity. Hopefully I won’t :P The Gundam is made up from 15 different subparts, which can be seen from the figure below. I’ll be making blog post from all mayor parts, so the core fighter (this post), torso, arms, legs, head and weapons will get a separate post. After these assembly post I will continue to paint and decal the robot and hopefully end with a nice model/endpost.

Clear step by step instructions!…

So you might have noticed that the Gundam includes a small figher jet (Core Fighter). This little plane is part of the torso of the robot in which the pilot controls the Gundam. So while he sits in a fighter plane cockpit, it kinda transforms into a giant robot by adding the rest of the Gundam parts. Kinda like Transformers but the other way around. The main reason why they have a separate fighter module is that in case of heavy damage the pilot can discard the rest of the Gundam and fly away. Modern Gundams have a similar system but most of them don’t really look as cool as this one. It’s so cool that they even made a real life model of it in Japan. It can be found in one of the Gundam museum in Tokyo (the same one where the big RX-78-2 is placed outside). But enough about that, lets build the little thing.

 

Not so difficult right?…

Only around 30 pieces are required to fully assemble the core fighter. No fiddly small pieces, most of them snap together very easily. The most difficult part was the clear canopy of the cockpit. These “clear” parts are difficult to handle, getting a scratch or improper removal of the nib can result in an ugly canopy. Painting these parts later on will be hell too. But luckily that will be in the future :roll:

Finishing the first page results in a two part core fighter without landing gear and rudder:

So close…

Wrapping up the last few parts of the fighter:

Top view…

Core Fighter Complete!…

Now that the whole fighter is completed, how does it actually fit in the giant Gundam? With some neat folding techniques we end up with:

Ready to combine…

And that’s it for this blog post. Hopefully you will stick around for the future building post it will interest you in building hobby models too :) They are a great time-waster and if you get gut in it, they are very pretty to display. Till next time!

アムロ行きます

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