Returning Member, Need Some Gunpla Advice

Howdy there everyone,
It has been awhile since I was last here, since the old website got taken down in fact. After rewatching Gundam Wing and seeing my brother showing off his latest Gunpla purchases, I caught the ole Gunpla itch again. I have built Gunpla before, but it has been many years and to be honest, I was always on the more casual side of it, but now I want to build Gunpla on a more advanced level. I had a couple questions now that I am restarting, and I was hoping to get some advice.

  1. I could use some recommendations of hobby supplies; in particular a hobby knife, a pair of nippers, and a cutting mat. I used to just use some cheap knife kit I got at the swapmeet and a pair of my dad’s side cutters, but not only do I no longer have them, but they were very clumsy and prone to rust. I will eventually want to work my way to sanding, removing seam lines, etc, but for now I plan to build fairly simple enough kits (SDs, HGs) so that can wait.

  2. I used to use spray paints back in the day, but I caught a nasty case of bronchitis a couple years back that left me with a somewhat decreased lung capacity and a sensitivity to aerosols. Especially with the COVID pandemic going on, I do not really want to go back to using spray paints and mess with my lungs, particularly because I will be building indoors for the most part. I play a lot of DnD and tabletop board games, so I have been looking into miniature painting for awhile now, and I was hoping that the hand-painting methods and such I have been researching for that would also work for Gunpla. Long Story Short, I was wondering if anyone had experience with Army Painter paints and brushes, as those were the line of paints I had most in mind to begin handpainting with, both my tabletop miniatures and my Gunpla. I also heard good things about Vallejo and Citadel paints, but again, this was mostly for tabletop miniatures painting. Ideally I would like paints I could use for both hobbies lol, but I will take any handpainting paint suggestions y’all might have.

Thanks ahead of time and nice to be back!


Hi there! I’m not sure I can give any recommendations - I’ve only got a small bare basics kit of tools - but welcome back! Glad to see more of the old users return~

Welcome back!

  1. Tools
    You’ll want some kind of cutter, I recommend 2. One for cutting parts from trees, and a sharper more delicate cutter for precision cuts to remove nubs.

Basic Nipper for cutting parts from sprue

Side cutter for cutting nubs from parts

Any hobby knife will work, depending on your hand size, I recommend something with a nice grip. You can also get scalpels from places like pretty cheap which work well for decals and masking.

Any self healing cutting mat will do the trick.

  1. I’ve never used army painter but I hear good things from people on Youtube.
    I have used Vallejo paints and recommend the Air Game series. They’re meant for airbrushing but they are nice and thin and work really well for brush work too. I have no experience with citadel paints.

I agree with the advice of the nippers, but its if you dont have a good knife, as it can take off remnants of the nub as well. I’ve bought dollar-store knives, and I will never do that again.

For sanding, I made my own. I bought sandpaper of different grains from 100 up to 2000, and put them on both on blocks of foam and on popsicle sticks for both precision and overall sanding. Piece preparation takes much more time, but I think its worth it. I end up usually using a cheap file for the last remnants of the nub, or if two peices don’t line up. Then I use 1k and 2k sandpaper.

I dont like aerosols, so even when I have a m92 mask, I made a DIY paint booth with a big cardboard box and a bathroom air fan. I can use spray paint in it with no problem.
There are plenty of youtube videos on handpainting gundam, and I think if you want to go that route, its worth taking.

For paints, I use The Army Painter, Tamiya, Scale75 and Citadel. Citadel’s paints work great, and their base paints generally don’t require primer to adhere to plastic (there are a few exceptions, like Averland Sunset). The Army Painter paints are great too, but they can have a few issues. If you’re going to use The Army Painter, this tutorial video is a must.
I’ve also never had any problems with using stainless steel ball bearings as agitators to get paint (TAP and Citadel) to mixed. I use 8mm BBs.