Layman's Gunpla Guide and Tutorial

Hello and welcome to the Layman's Gunpla Guide!


A bit about myself. I, like many Americans, came to know Gundam through Gundam Wing when it aired on Cartoon Network during the 90's. From there, unlike many Americans, found my way to the other series in the franchise and have been a fan ever since. I'm not quite sure when I started with Gunpla but it followed shortly after. Many of my early kits were built by physically twisting and ripping pieces from the runners (shudder) before I progressed toward cutting and sanding. Interest in the hobby faded away through college but returned not long after. Getting into it and learning more than I had ever known about putting together models and Gunpla I thought it would be beneficial to put together a guide built from lessons learned. Thus, the Layman's Gunpla Guide was born.

The Guide has gone through many changes over the years. As I've grown as a modeler so has the guide. I've done what I can to keep the guide as user friendly as possible and open to builders of all skill sets. It is my wish that this guide provide helpful information to those just beginning and those looking to try something new. Though putting together a Gundam model may seem overwhelming at first, it is really quite easy. It just takes time and patience. The same goes for many of the tutorials. Remember that building Gunpla is about having a good time. Whether you're doing a build straight from the box or going all out with modifications makes sure to enjoy yourself. Beyond this guide there are communities of modelers all around the world willing to share helpful information and partake in the hobby with you. Don't be afraid to reach out!


I tried to break down the Guide into basic categories. They're listed below, as well as at the top of every page. Enjoy!


The Basics >>

Buying Kits & Difficulty Grades - Pretty much everything a beginner needs to know regarding the various kit grades and where one can go to acquire them.

Building Equipment - A basic equipment list for those looking to do a simple build of their kit

Detailing Equipment - Some of the equipment recommended for doing panel lines

Painting Equipment - Equipment information for those looking to paint with airbrush or by hand

Misc Equipment - All of the other bits and pieces which I find useful during my builds

Guide to Glue - Information on the various types of glues and which work best


Building Kits >>

Project Flowchart - First time building a kit and don't know where to start? This chart takes a look at the steps that make up most projects

Construction Guide - Great for first timers, all the information you need to build your Gunpla up right out of the box.

Detail Lines - Information on how to drastically improve the look of your kit by simply filling in those pesky detail lines

Decals & Stickers -

Top Coats -


Painting >>

Paint Space Prep - A few tips I've learned to keep your workspace clean when painting

Paint Types (Soon)

Sampling Paints - Before painting it's best to sample yoru paint and process to make sure everything goes as planned. Here's how I do it.

Paint References - Photographs of various paints I've sampled with associated commentary

Priming (Soon)

Airbrushing - Almost everything you need to know if you're thinking about taking up airbrushing

Spray Cans - For the true laymen amongst us, information and tips on using spray cans to paint your model

Masking -

Hand Painting -


This and That >>

PlaPlating (Soon)

Dry Brushing - A great way to weather an internal frame (among other parts)

Weathering - Because sometimes a Gundam just has to get dirty

Battle Damage - Simple techniques for roughing up and damaging your kit

Sig Super Stripe - Want to add stripes to your kit? Don't feel like masking and painting? Check out this specialty product.

Mini Thrusters - Add some quick and easy details to your kit by adding mini thrusters with IC sockets.


Extras >>

Misc Tricks & Tips - Little tricks & tips that make my life easier. Including using Super Glue to tighten joints and putty to mask thrusters.

Terminology - A list of various terms used by Gundam and Gunpla fans

Kit Photography - Key pointers to keep in mind when photographing your finished project

Recommended Sites - There are a lot of a great sites out there for news, reviews, and other great build guides. Here are the ones I highly recommend.

Not a bad idea falldog!

Not a bad idea falldog!

Thank you!

Thank you so much for this guide! I'm looking to start doing gunpla and I had no idea where to start. It looks like a lot of fun and I am sure I will be using your guide. :) Thanks again, it is appreciated.


Could I request you do a write-up on taking pictures of your Gunpla? Of the one Gunpla I did so far I tried to take pictures but I didn't get very good results. I know it sounds like a bizarre request, but I think it would be very useful.

I'll add it to my list of

I'll add it to my list of things to do for the guide! In the meantime check Google for guides on homemade lightboxes.

Spotting bootlegs

If I may make a suggestion for your next article: how about something on detecting bootlegs before you are out any money. I have a bad mood and a fake MG Destiny if you need pictures of the components.

I'm a beginner in the Gunpla

I'm a beginner in the Gunpla field and this guide is very useful!

Glad it was of some help! If

Glad it was of some help! If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

this are very helpful

thanks for this very helpful tips for building gunpla....i consider myself as an intermediate builder (I'm a former modeler of military scale models) and this tips and guides helps a lot!!!


newbie tt needs help

very informative page i must say!!..esp for someone like me...i've just got my very first MG 1/100 kit...but i dont think im quite ready to invest in an airbrush..but i do know how painting ur kit just spice it up by so damn im thinking of dry brushing my kit...but was i need to prime or anything like that before i apply the paint?...and also..i've realised shading the edges will also make the model standout so much there anyway i can achieve shadowing effect without an airbrush?..will pastel or chalk work?...

If you're trying to change

If you're trying to change your kit's color to something lighter than it is, or a different contrasting color, than primer is probably a good idea. The dry brushing technique I describe doesn't require any priming before hand. If you're actually going to just brush on paint make sure to do it with through multiple thin coats. Otherwise the paint will be too thick and look weird. You might want to try a Citadel type paint which is often used for painting figures.

As for adding shading, check out the bit about pastels in the weathering guide.

haha...okok..thanks for the

haha...okok..thanks for the help!!..

Link to this post

Hi, I've created a tutorial page in my blog and I've included your post's link in it. thanks

Thank you!

I just wanted to say that i love building, creating, etc. I've never really watched the Gundam series. I do enjoy some anime tho. But i love and have a fascination with Gundam models. I just found some on ebay for the first time... didnt know these existed. wouldve been doing these a long time ago if i knew. Back to the point, i had NO IDEA what i was looking at, while trying to figure out what to buy and where to start... THANK YOU. this guide is the best thing since sliced bread.

Seam welding

Hi, Falldog, I want to say thanks to you for creating these tutorials, but there's a couple things that I would like to request of you. Could you add in a guide on the "Seam welding" technique, and could you explain what all this about windex and Future Floor Polish is?

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