Hello all. This is my first time trying to dip my toe into the world of gunpla. I've done a couple of the super deformed kits that someone got me for Christmas, but that's it. I have done some other model work, so I'm not new to the hobby as a whole. That includes some Tachikoma models whose instructions were all in japanese.
I've always liked anything that has to do with intricate parts working together: watches, machines, models, legos, etc. Anything that requires lots of time bent over tiny parts trying to assemble them into one big cool thing, especially if it has some cool moving parts afterward. I also really like tanks and robots. This has lead me to the world of gunpla.
I will say that one thing I do not like is painting. I will cut stuff from sprues all day, and don't mind spending hours, days, or even weeks on assembling things. But ask me to do any kind of detailed painting and my interest will suffer greatly. If I can lay out a bunch of individual parts and just do various spray paint colors on different parts, then it's not so bad, but I hate having to pick up a fine-tipped brush and try to do details myself.
I've read a few guides on starting, but I'm looking for some more specific advice for what I'm interested in. I've perused some galleries of various models but want some advice to hopefully zero in on the right model for me. Something that can be a project I can work on, modify, upgrade, etc.
Some of the things I am interested in, in no particular order: dark paint schemes, especially with more earthy colors; gatling guns (heavyarms is one of my favorite gundams from what little I know of all the series, though not a fan of the orange paint scheme), shields, posable, intricate, upgradable (I saw that there are a lot of after market kits for upgrading parts and/or adding detail like metal, lights, etc), customizable (exchangable weapons, accessories, etc).
While looking through the galleries, I created a list of some of the models that I like the general look of, to give an idea of my taste: Unicorn Banshee Titanium Finish, 01H2 H-Arms Custom, RGM Sniper, RGM Jesta, RX Full Armor Unicorn, GAT Strike Noir.
I also saw a dual/quad gatling upgrade for the Sazabi that I really like and would like to attach to some of the frames above. Though I do prefer 6-barrel gatling to 4-barrels, I like the ammo belts on it. And while I don't dislike the Sazabi model, I'm not as big of a fan of the bigger samurai-armor-like look it has.
So what I'm hoping for are some suggestions from all of you more experienced gunpla-ers for a model to start with that I can gradually get upgrade parts (more metal, lights, etc.), trick out, and if needed even paint.
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After looking into it more, I think I'm most interested in a PG Unicorn. I see that there are 2 white ones, one with green glow effects, and one with red, and a third one that is black and orange, though I can't tell what the glow effects on it are.
My question would be, are the upgrade kits for the 3 of them compatible?