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Gundam Education
slodder
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North Carolina, United States
Joined: February 22, 2002
KitMaker: 11,718 posts
ModelGeek: 3,131 posts
Posted: Monday, October 09, 2006 - 05:54 PM UTC
I've been trying to educate myself on Gundam modeling.
Three things jumped out at me.
1. Seams
2. Paint vs. no paint
3. painting panel lines.

1. Seams - I noticed a number of builds did not really do much with covering seams. I did take note that there are movable parts and some seams are actually supposed to be there. Coming from an Aircraft world where seams are not your friend it struck me as 'different'. So I ask - putty or no putty?
2. Paint vs no paint comes from the fact that Gundams are molded in multi color sprues and a number of builds weren't painted. So, is it acceptible to paint or over paint the molded color? I noticed that details such as visors and control panels are painted- is that the focus?
3. Panel lines - these look great. WIth the construction and design of these kits the opportunity to make kits really 'pop' is amazing. What techniques do you guys use?
Dixon66
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New Hampshire, United States
Joined: December 12, 2002
KitMaker: 1,500 posts
ModelGeek: 589 posts
Posted: Monday, October 09, 2006 - 06:42 PM UTC
Scott,
You can never go wrong treating the Gundam models as combination aircraft and armor kit.

1. Seams- I get rid of all of them, or will turn them into panel lines if they are in places that are impossible to putty and clean.

2. Paint- Since I do seam work, everything that isn't supposed to be clear gets painted, even if I'm painting the plastic with the exact same color it is molded in. Colored clears (red, green, etc.) get Tamiya or Gunze clear paints over the original tinted plastics.

3. Panel lines- I use the same techniques I use on Aircraft, depending on the background color, I use either a superfine marker or a mechanical pencil. For lighter paint schemes I use the mechanical pencil and sharpen the tip to a finer point by rubbing it at an angle on regular white paper. This technique takes a while because I can only go about an inch or so before I have to resharpen it. On darker schemes I use a superfine marker made by Micron. It seems to be alcohol based and I use a swap and isopropol to clean up any overflowed areas before it can dry.

HTH,
Dave S.
shonen_red
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Metro Manila, Philippines
Joined: February 20, 2003
KitMaker: 5,762 posts
ModelGeek: 1,086 posts
Posted: Monday, October 09, 2006 - 06:46 PM UTC
Hi Scott! I've built some Gundam models in the past and I might help you out.

1. Seams - most Gundam kits had been engineered to have the seam lines where the panel lines should be. This eliminates the major headaches of puttying and sanding. If you tried researching some concept and/or mechanical designs on the web, panel lines enhances the details of the kit.

2. Paint - Gundam kits are modeler-friendly models. I started modeling through Gundam kits. Since most are prepainted, the modeler can focus his skill on assembly and proper cutting of the kit from the sprue. If he thinks he's not satisfied with the results, he can go one step further and paint them.

3. Panel lines - I don't know what you mean, but like aircraft kits, panel lines are treated with a wash. Some modelers uses graphical pens in lieu of a wash.

Hope this helps!
Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
KitMaker: 12,596 posts
ModelGeek: 2,789 posts
Posted: Monday, October 09, 2006 - 07:24 PM UTC
I haven't built any Gundam kits per se, but I have made a couple of Evangelion kits (a type of large, skinny robot). Very high quality kits produced in the proper colors and on multicolored sprues. Some even have vinyl "muscles" that flex when bent. If you ever run across one at a reasonable price, grab it to build just for grins. You'll enjoy it.
FichtenFoo
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: January 26, 2006
KitMaker: 329 posts
ModelGeek: 249 posts
Posted: Monday, October 09, 2006 - 07:45 PM UTC
I always paint mine... not just because there's the occasional flaw in the surface from the injection process, but because it improves the appearance overall.

Seams and putty... depends on where. Building while following the instructions will allow you to see what needs built when, what needs glued, and what can be left alone. I always have a forest of parts on skewers while painting. Since they're posable, it's better to NOT do sub-assemblies as that means once something is painted it needs moved again and again to hit all the unpainted spots.

Panel lines... I used to use a Koh-i-nor Rapidograph, but now I've been using pin-washes with oils or some Tensochrom I was given.

I have a HUGE tutorial on building Gunpla here:

http://fichtenfoo.com/02GiantRobots/02c-MGHowTo.html
Trisaw
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California, United States
Joined: December 24, 2002
KitMaker: 4,105 posts
ModelGeek: 933 posts
Posted: Monday, October 09, 2006 - 10:46 PM UTC
I've built only a couple of Gundam models. The fit is very precise although sometimes the stress on the joins causes gaps in the pieces on High Grade kits.

I find with Gundam models, the more expensive, larger scale, and newer the kit, the better. Especially with Gundams, "You DO get what you paid for!" The 1970s and 1980s Gundams are good, but the 1990s and Y2K kits are much better.

I also always paint mine and find it easier to paint the parts on the sprue. I know some expert Gundam builders cut the pieces, mount them on sticks, and then airbrush them.

For panel lines, I find it much easier to draw them in instead of using a wash because drawing them in gives the modeler more control. Even with permanent marker, one has about three seconds to wipe away mistakes before the ink dries. Some Gundam modelers think black ink is too dark for white Gundams. The problem with washes on panel lines is that they're often not dark enough compared to black ink if one uses the same paint color to wash over other parts of the Gundam.
BM2
#151
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Virginia, United States
Joined: November 19, 2005
KitMaker: 1,361 posts
ModelGeek: 795 posts
Posted: Tuesday, October 10, 2006 - 08:37 AM UTC
I enjoy building Gundam mostly 1/100 MG- we have one of the best here now- Fichtenfoo- you can't go wrong with his advice - check out his site - good stuff!
MZ3
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Colorado, United States
Joined: August 26, 2005
KitMaker: 229 posts
ModelGeek: 196 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - 08:09 AM UTC
I think I learned more from his site than from this site.

As for painting, I think it's worth the extra effort. Even if you just put a flat coat on it, it makes it look better.
FichtenFoo
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: January 26, 2006
KitMaker: 329 posts
ModelGeek: 249 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - 08:57 AM UTC
Thanks guys! Glad you like the tutorials!
Trisaw
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California, United States
Joined: December 24, 2002
KitMaker: 4,105 posts
ModelGeek: 933 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - 10:55 AM UTC
Same here! . Great tutorials!
slodder
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North Carolina, United States
Joined: February 22, 2002
KitMaker: 11,718 posts
ModelGeek: 3,131 posts
Posted: Thursday, October 12, 2006 - 04:15 AM UTC
Michael - I've read through them too and they are well done, photography, text, internal link, nice job.

Hopefully I can use them in the upcoming ModelGeek University class.

(Michael - still owe you an email).