Edward Ju (gundam@loop.com)
Tue, 26 Oct 1999 15:10:15 -0700


>what's the difference between bandai's "injection" kits and b-club's
>"resin" kits?

Another entry for the GML FAQ/Archives...

Plastic injection kits, such as the ones from Bandai, come off steel alloy
molds. Due to the mold's durability, the kit can be reprinted virtually
as much as demand exists, or until the mold is destroyed.

Resin kits, commonly referred to as garage kits, are often sculpted by
individual artists - the ones released by B Club are licensed ones, you will
often see unlicensed resin kits because it is easy for individuals to design
and create their own resin kits. Once an original is sculpted, it is then
used to create the original mold - often using silicon - and the original is
often destroyed in the process. The original mold is then used to create the
kits. Unfortunately, the mold eventually wears out with each production run
and this accounts for the reason that resin kits are pricy, go out of print
quick and supply is always low.

resin kits are closer to sculptures. Most injection kits are designed to have
movable joints so as to be posable. Resin kits often come with fixed pose,
but B Club has been busy cranking out full action kits that aim to offer
injection-kit-like articulations. One must note that due to the weight of
the parts, full-action resin kits can be hard to pose compared to plastic
injection kits - unlike injection kits, the limbs for resin full action
kits are solid resin.

Plastic injection kits are often molded in the correct colors, with resin
you are stuck to one color, where full-on painting is required (not to
mention priming the kit prior to painting). No snap-on assembly with resin
kits - you must superglue the parts together. You often have to do your own
detailing with resin kits too, since the crazy panel lines don't find their
way onto resin kits often, and people often carve their own panel lines
when building the resin kits.

There's also the concern of price. Recent B-Club kits run as high as about
$300 per kit, a far cry from a $30 or $40 MG kit. B Club mobile suit kits
have also been a good indicator of things to come on the MG front - several
MG kits arrived only a few months after a B Club version release. So if you
are planning to buy a new release from B Club, be sure you are okay with the
purchase even if Bandai releases the same design as a MG kit a few months
down the road.

If you are a beginner to model building, then I'd recommend staying away from
them until you get the basics of painting and gluing down. When you feel you
are ready to build resin kits, start with fixed-pose designs - preferably a
kit that comes with as few pieces as possible, it could be a figure, doesn't
has to be mecha. You might also want to start with recasts (pirated copies
made in Hong Kong, characterized by yellow resin and often lots of air bubbles)
simply because they are cheaper. When buying a recast, your biggest issue is
to examine the parts for air bubbles (these result from a bad casting
process where air is trapped inside the mold, causing the parts to have
imperfections known as air bubble) - the less the better, since they will add
to your wordload and time spent on prepping the part. You will need to putty
up the bubbles and resand the surface afterwards.

Besides resin kits, you also have soft vinyl kits, which is a subset of the
garage kit variety. Unlike resin, soft vinyl parts are not solid, but you
will spend enough time prepping the parts too (cutting out the excess, gluing
the parts together, priming and painting, etc.). The building process is
almost identical to building a resin kit, except the kit's price is slightly
cheaper and no full-action possibility - soft vinyl kits only come in fixed
pose.

Then there's the LM kits - Limited Model kits that appear identical to
plastic injection kits, but the molds are not made of steel alloy and thus
subject to destruction. The LM kits are now out of print, but were an
attractive alternative to expensive garage kits, because they serve as great
basis for fixed pose modification pieces.

Eddie

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