Edward Ju (gundam@loop.com)
Sun, 24 Oct 1999 15:11:35 -0700


>hello, i just joined the >hello, i just joined the m@illist...

Hey man, welcome!

>if i may, i'd like to tell just a wee bit about meself... before asking
>questions...
>i've known about gundam since its very first day in the 80's...
>i lived in south korea...
>i've never watched a television, or video, or movie of gundam, but have
>always been fascinated with the models...
>when i was much younger, i haphazardly bought a few gundam models, and
>built them instensely...
>and, when i moved to u.s.a. about a decade ago, i thought my days with
>gundam was over for good...
>then, about a couple of years ago, i found out that there exist import
>stores carrying gundam models...
>well, i bought a few to rekindle my gundam model memories...

That's funny... we walked down almost the same path, except I did watch
the series after the model kits piqued my interest.

>now...
>although i have built/assembled a few tens of gundam models, i have never
>painted the models whatsoever...
>and...
>i wish to keep a rigid collection of gundam models... i've never really
>kept the models i had built... (what a waste!)

Dude, what did you do with them - gave them away? That's pretty generous
of you.

>what i mean is that...
>i want to learn to paint the gundam models... and, become a true model
>maker/collector...
>what do i need? where do i learn?

Best way to learn is to find a fellow model builder in your area who can
show you the ropes. He or she will tell you about the tools you need.
The downside is that your approach will be limited to that person's
knowledge, but it gets you there faster than trying to figure things out
yourself.

>please keep in mind that i really do not know anything about model
>painting...
>i have a vague notion of airbrush... only that airbrush is the most
>optimal tool for model painting...
>and, that one still needs small brushes for detailing...

Gunze Sangyo, now a subsidiary of the Bandai conglomerate, sells paint
and "Gundam Markers" with the right colors for Gundam models so you don't
have to mix your own colors like with Tamiya or other brands. Their
Gundam Makers come in two varieties - the thin ones are for panel line
detailing, and the thicker ones are for painting over a wider surface.
Both are substitutes for brush and paint.

Air brush offers you the ability to achieve effects you would not otherwise
be able to achieve with conventional paint and brush. However, it is a big
investment if you want to get the proper equipment, and is not recommended
unless you want to get really serious about it. We had a discussion on
air brush a few months ago back in the summer, you might want to check out
the archives at http://gundam.aeug.org/ for more on this subject. Basically
you will need the air brush itself, a paint container (usually comes with the
air brush), and either an air compressor or cans of compressed air. A double
action air brush with cans of compressed air are recommended if you are just
starting out, once you feel this is the only way to go for you, upgrade to an
air compressor.

Besides the paint issue, you should also have the following:

- parts clipper (Tamiya sells them, but many use nail clipper just fine)
- hobby knife
- sandpaper (fine and extra fine grains, used to smooth the surface)
- super glue

>but, i don't know what kinds of paints to use... or where to buy them...
>i don't know what it means to "prime" the models...

Acrylic paint is good because if you mess up, you can wash it off with
water before it dries up. That's why I use Tamiya, but if you don't want to
bother with mixing for the right colors, Gunze Sangyo is the best brand to go
with for Gundam models.

Priming a kit - sometimes a kit comes pre-molded in a dark/deep color and you
need to paint a lighter layer over it. For example, the horrible 1/144 scale
GP-02A Gundam was molded in dark grey and black, but you need to paint white
or light grey on these parts. The part's dark color can show through your
layer of light colored paint, and the solution is to prime the kit before you
start painting - basically applying a layer of white primer over the kit so
as to cover up the dark colored parts so you can paint whatever color you like
over it without worry about the part's natural color showing through and
changing the color of your paint. This is not required most of the time but
in extreme cases like the 1/144 GP-02A, it is a must.

>i have never used airbrush... where do i learn the techniques?

I think there's a Korean translation of the two modeling technique books
by Max Watanabe, published by Hobby Japan. You should ask Sun or Danny
about these books.

>i don't know if one should paint before assembly or after assembly...
>in general... i want to learn to paint my gundam models...

The earlier kits show you a picture of the parts pre-painted before they
come off the sprue tree. I think people rarely do that now because some
painting is still required after you take the parts off the tree, especially
if you paint over the entire kit, not just the area that wasn't molded in the
right color, in order to hide the seam lines. So if you want to do a full-on
job, painting after assembly is the only way to go.

>oh, and is hobbylink japan that only real good source for model
>purchasing?

Depends. Their main competitor is Rainbow Ten. HLJ ships all U.S. orders
by UPS, so if you like to get your stuff (relatively) fast and don't mind
paying extra for shipping (which can come to cost MORE than the stuff you
actually ordered) then by all means order from them. However, if you don't
mind waiting up to 6 weeks to get your order, Rainbow Ten does offer cheaper
shipping (but you can also have your order shipped by EMS at a higher cost).
Legends Toys and Hobbies is the retail front for the sole remaining U.S.
distributor of new Gundam kits, and they have an online presence as well.
Their price is competitive because shipping from the U.S. is cheaper, but
the owner told me about 2 weeks ago that he was planning to raise the price
on kits. If you just want Wing kits, you can now get 1/144 kits for $7.99
and 1/100 kits for $19.99 at Toys R Us.

RAINBOW TEN
  Order system e-mail adress:order@mail.wbs.ne.jp
  Question,inquiry and etc. :wbs01077@mail.wbs.ne.jp
        http://www.wbs.ne.jp/bt/models/english/index.html

Legends
        http://www.legendshobbies.com/

>and is www.animevillage.com the only place to purchase gundam video from?

Pioneer is handling the retail distribution of Gundam video now, I've seen
them in hobby stores and Japanese bookstores. No such luck at mass chains
like Best Buy, though.

Eddie

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