As always, I do not claim expertise in this hobby but I just want to share my steps on how I build my kits. I thought of this coz I get a few emails on inquiries on how to build Gunpla. Questions like, Do I prime my kit? Do I apply gloss coat before putting on decals or Is top coat necessary after the panel line wash?
I do not mind answering those inquiries, though it gets boring typing the same answers for every email. So I thought of creating this basic guide on how I do my Gunpla ( ootb ). Now whenever I get the same inquiries / questions, I could simply direct them to this list. Nifty move ey? hihi... Now let's start building!
I always snapfit! This is my fav step in building and collecting Gunpla. However, I do think snap fitting is very important coz you get to see the flaws of the kit, problem areas during painting, masking jobs and even plan some mods if you like your kit modded. Note: Always cut the male peg diagonally for easier dis-assembly.
2. SAND OFF
The most boring part but is one of the most important steps is sanding & sanding & sanding! Disassemble the snap fitted kit and sand off the nub marks or cut marks. Remove the seam lines ( if any ) with Tamiya thin cement, let cure overnight and sand off also. Gradual wet sanding of 800 grit - 1000 grit - 1200 / 1600 grit is advisable for a smoother plastic without scratch / sand marks.
For those who does mods, I am pretty sure you do not need this list. hihi... but for the new guys, this is where modifications, scratch building and kitbashing should be.
3. WASH PARTS
After all the sanding fun! Use an old toothbrush and brush off the sand dust/grime under running water, then soak all the parts overnight in water with a drop of liquid soap. Rinse and let dry before priming.
Prime, prime and prime. Priming is also important, it adheres to plastic better than non - primer paints. You could also see some errors or sand marks after priming, thus you could correct them or re-sand before re- priming and painting. Plus, kits looks great in primer! :)
I used to use spray cans during my first year of Gunpla modeling, but eventually shifted to airbrushing coz I find it more practical and a lot more fun to use. I usually use Tamiya acrylics for painting but shifts to Mr. hobby colors from time to time. Let paint cure at least overnight before sealing.
6. SEAL with GLOSS
I use Future ( Pledge Wipe and Shine ) for sealing. Gloss coat after painting will help protect the paint and will be a necessary finish for water slide decal work. Let cure at least overnight before decaling.
I have used Samuel decals and Bandai water slide decals, they adhere best over a glossy surface. Use mark softener for better results.
8. SEAL with GLOSS
Another layer of gloss coat after decaling will protect the decals and is a necessary finish for the panel line wash. Never do panel line washes over a matte or flat surface.
9. PANEL LINE WASH
I use Tamiya enamels thinned with ZIPPO lighter fluid. Apply with a small brush and let capillary action so that the thinned enamel will run through the lines smoothly. Clean up excess with cotton swabs dipped in lighter fluid.
For those who are into weathered kits, weathering should be here. I personally use enamel washes, Tamiya weathering sets, Citadel paints for paint chipping and Gundam markers. Give the kit a nice Matte coat before applying Mungyo chalk pastels though.
10. TOP COAT
Apply the final top coat! your done! I give my kits a final top coat of flat or matte and sometimes semi - gloss for kits with curvy armors. I use Future mixed with 10% to 30% Tamiya flat base. If you mixed more than 30% you'll end up with a white snowy kit! hihi
Hope the list is helpful. thanks for dropping by! :)