Grades

Sandrock Custon box

High Grade (HG)

One of the most affordable grades to purchase. Better range of motion and greater posability than most No-Grade kits, great for new hobbyists.

Master Grade (MG)

One up from High Grade, more pricey, more detail, more work, more decals.

Perfect Grade (PG)

One up from Master Grade, bigger, more detailed.

Real Grade (RG)

Smaller than Perfect Grade, but cheaper and as highly detailed.

Equipment

God hand cutters

Cutters

The sharper and better your cutters, the least likely you'll get those white stress marks as you cut each piece and trim the nibs.

We use the God Hand Ultimate Nipper because it's the sharpest on the market.

Sandpaper p1500 grit

Sandpaper

Fine 1500 grit sandpaper is useful for grinding down any bits of leftover nib.

Some people like to have a range from 800 to 2000 grit but we don't find that necessary.

Bottles of Tamiya cement

Cement

Used for glueing parts but most importantly for the way it slightly melts the plastic, removing any white stress marks left over from cutting.

Gundam marker pens

Marker pens

Used for weathering, paint effect, etc. There are a few different types, fine tip (good for fine detail), brush tip (good for weathering), and pour type (good for panel lines and all the above).

Building

Altron torso in construction

Cut

Everyone has a different technique. We find that cutting as far away from the piece as possble, and then slowly trimming the nib down with your cutters is the best way to prevent stress marks.

Sandrock Custom and Altron heads in construction

Smooth

Inevitably you'll need to sand down a lump your cutters can't quite get at. Also very useful for 'polishing' when you've used cement to melt out a stress mark.

Sandrock Custom pilot in Gundam torso

Assemble

The best bit.

Click and push the parts following the instructions, not much more to it. Very satisfying.

Altron upper body in construction

Take pictures as you build, chances are you aren't going to dismantle it ever and it's nice to remember what it took to put together.

Finishing

Painted Gundam pilot

Painting

We like to paint the pilot before constructing the suit, but as the pilot is not visible after the fact, not many people take the time.

Gundam parts ready for painting

Spraying

Optional: You'll need a cardboard box/spray booth, some spray paint, and a clamping/standing base with alligator clips. Don't break the bank here - you can use a piece of styrofoam for a base.

Read more on this optional step on gunpla101.com.

Gundam part showing before and after weathering

Weathering

Use your markers to bring out the battle damage your suit has taken. A little detail can really make your suit look increadible.

Display

Gundum display image 1 Gundum display image 2 - Altron
Gundum display image 3 - Sandrock Custom Gundum display image 4

Tips

Altron head in construction

Slow. Down.

Take your time with each piece. If you make a mistake with your decals or your assemply it'll bug you forever.

Sandrock Custom foot showing heat shrinkage

Stress marks

Stress marks are annoying. You can try avoid them from the outset, melt them with cement, or even (controversial) melt the plastic further with a hairdryer.

Be warned: Hairdryers will affect the whole surface area of the piece and, like in this case, while the marks will dissapear you risk the whole side shrinking and distorting :(