Contrary to popular belief, the Gunpla community is not an exclusive community. You don’t need an encyclopedic knowledge of all Gundam Series to start building.
That being said, it can seem intimidating for people to get into the hobby. So here are a few tips needed before you can start:
Many newbies are intimidated by model kits in the first place because of the fact that kits must be assembled. Seeing the runners on a kit can be daunting to someone new to the hobby.
However, building the kit is actually beneficial to the new builder because they can take a sense of pride in their work as something they built on their own.
With that in mind, the first thing a new builder needs is:
The side cutter is used to cut the parts of the runners.
The quality of the side cutter is important, the better your side cutter, the cleaner the cut, the less nub marks on plastic.
Cheap side cutters cost around 150 pesos depending on where you buy them. The most expensive and popular ones can run you up to 3,000 pesos.
However, you can offset the quality of the cutter with certain techniques:
The trick is to not to cut “flush” or too close to the part
Ideally the builder cuts the part off the runner leaving a small “nub” this ensures that the part does not have any stress marks from cutting plastic off.
So you got your part off the runner, Good. Now you’ll be needing the next tool:
Many builders acquire a filing set once they progress in the hobby, but sandpaper can be bought at any hardware store and can be just as effective, if not more so.
New builders will want to pick up multiple sandpaper sheets with different grits for each starting from 400 or 600 up to 1000 or 1200 grits. Lower grit sandpaper is rougher, it is used to remove large nubs.
The technique is to sand the remaining nub off the part. First using the lower grit sandpaper and sanding the nub until it is smoothened out. A more in depth guide to sanding will be added in the future.
Now those are the basic tools needed for those planning to get into this type of hobby.
Cheaper tools will run you less than 300 pesos, so people don’t have to worry about breaking the bank with expensive tools as long as they’re patient and dedicated enough to work with the tools they have.
Don’t let the quality of the tools color your perception of your build. You can make amazing builds with cheaper tools as long as you work hard on them.