Saturday, May 25, 2013

 Hello all! ヽ(∀゜ )人( ゜∀)ノ

I'm back! This time I will be talking about the tools I use in building GUNPLA!
You don't really need tools when building GUNPLA. However, I want to share this which I believe will help you to create a better looking GUNPLA out of the box “ψ(`∇´)ψ.

1. Cutting Mat
Obviously, a cutting mat does not help in adding value in how your GUNPLA will look like. But it helps make the job a lot easier, safer and a lot less messier  ಥ‿ಥ.

Well for starters, a cutting mat is a mat used for cutting. Think of it as something like a chopping board. It's greatest advantage (in terms of cutting) is that it gives you a surface where you can exert all your strength in cutting an object without getting damaged.

A cutting mat usually looks like a graphing paper. You can use the lines provided in it as guides for cutting. It also gives you a surface where you won't be afraid to cut with all your effort which helps a lot when cutting thick plastic.

With this, you can now cut stuff on the cutting mat rather than holding the piece of plastic while cutting (coz you know if you don't have a cutting mat you cannot cut on floors and desks unless you don't care if you damage them

And, oh yeah, cutting mats are self healing so don't be afraid of scratching that amazing surface.

2. Cutter
For cutters, I strongly recommend you guys buy a cutter like this. 

Don't go buy cutters you use for school work because those are really dangerous for cutting hard items like GUNPLA.

Why are regular cutters dangerous? Because those things are made in a way where you can cut the blades away when it dulls right? That's dangerous when cutting harder substances since those blades can pop off suddenly when cutting hard objects and hit you (-_\).

A cutter like the one shown above is better because it is safer, sharper and easier to use. As you can see, the body is more ergonomically designed making it way easier to use than your regular cutter. As for it's sharpness, I think it's sharper, I don't know how to verify it but I find that this cuts stuff easier than the normal cutter (;´・`). so the sharpness thing is very opinionated... but I think it's true.

Cutters are important in removing nubs. Most especially if you are too busy and don't have time to sand and stuff. Using a cutter to cut away nubs slowly is the easiest way of removing nubs without leaving gigantic white marks all around your GUNPLA.

3. Hobby Knife / Precision Cutter

 Primarily used to cut along grooves and edges. Also pretty useful in making your own panel lines by scratching of the surface of the plastic. Don't use it to cut off chunks of plastic, use it only in scratching the plastic's surface.
4. Nipper / Sprue Cutter
 Used to cut off the parts from the sprue. I strongly recommend using this to cut from the gates and not on the plastic attached to the GUNPLA part since doing that will surely give you large nub marks all around your GUNPLA.

5. Dymo Tape

 Used to label the Gundam! (⌒▽⌒)

Nah... just kidding ✖‿✖. Used as guide in making your own panel lines. This helps a lot since it's a thick kind of tape so you can easily glide the blade on it's side. Also, I find that this kind of tape does not leave residues unlike scotch tapes.

6. Tweezers
 Used to hold stickers so you don't make the sticker lose it's sticking power
(ノ゚Д゚)八(゚Д゚ )ノ.

7. Scribing tool
 Used to scribe panel lines. Quite difficult to use but does the job really well (◑‿◐). Not really essential if you got a hobby knife but still really helpful if you have one.

8. Darn Good Quality Scissors

 A high quality scissor is very very important for me in building GUNPLA. Using a scissor to cut off nubs near edges will almost certainly cut of the nub without leaving gigantic white marks. 

Also, using a scissor's blade to cut of remaining nubs on flat surfaces is MUCH better than using a cutter in my honest opinion. Why? Because a scissor has a flat side. You can easily place the flat side on the flat surface and slide the scissor around, thus making the blade only cut any areas that are bulging from the flat surface. A cutter can't do that because it's edge is designed like this: > unlike a scissors blade which is like this: _\ .

9. Plastic Cement

 Used to cement plastic together so they stick.. FOREVER! Note that plastic cement sticks two plastic together by slightly melting the plastic and reforming them together making the plastic, technically, turn into just one piece. This is a very very very simplistic way to describe it but that is pretty much how it works. 

Take note that it does not work like mighty bond so it will not work on all substances, it will pretty much only work on plastic and other stuff that shares similarities with plastic. 
Also, do take note that it contains some harmful chemicals so make sure to use it in a well ventilated area and always keep the bottle closed when you are not using it. ( ゜ρ゜)ノ

10. Copic Marker/Panel Line marker

 Used to draw details on your GUNPLA
O(≧∇≦)O. Drawing details and tracing panel lines with the marker help improve the look of your GUNPLA a lot! Drawing Panel lines on your GUNPLA is the first baby step to becoming a GUNPLA modeler after all ≖‿≖.

Oh yeah, I strongly recommend you use COPIC markers for panel lining because its tip is the finest I ever found (0.03). And also, unlike technical pen (which some use since it has 0.05 tip variety), the ink of COPIC pens draws well on plastic and paint. It is also easily erased if used on a glossy surface.

Take note that it has some drying time so don't paint above it until it dries off a bit.

So there you have it!
These are the top 10 tools I use to build GUNPLA
I hope you learned some new stuff and info on some of the tools. (´▽`;)ゝ
I will also post the tools I use to paint GUNPLA so I hope you look forward to it!

For now, I bid you guys farewell! See you next time ヾ(@^▽^@)ノ


  1. Greetings...

    Where can you suggest to purchase those tools/materials and can you give idea on the price of each...

    Thank you!...

  2. Hi!

    I have no idea on the price this time but the following can be bought on these places.

    1. National Book Store or any other art shops
    2. Ace hardware or any other hardware shops
    3. National Book Store, LIL's Hobby Shop Megamall, or any other art/hobby shops
    4. LIL's Hobby Shop Megamall, or any other art/hobby shops
    5. National Book Store or any other art shops
    6. Watsons, LIL's Hobby Shop Megamall, or any other art/hobby shops
    7. LIL's Hobby Shop Megamall, or any other hobby shops
    8. National Book Store or any other art shops
    9. LIL's Hobby Shop Megamall, or any other hobby shops
    10. This one is difficult to find, Great Toys Online sometimes stock these. Try to contact them on which brand you can find these at the moment.

    1. What if you happen to live in Cavite? Or can you find stuff like Alabang festival mall?

  3. I have a question, if you don't mind...

    Before I started building Gunpla, I searched the net for basic tools people use that I will need. All of them gave me pretty much the same tools on this list. Except for the scribing tool and the plastic cement, I think those are for advanced builders.. As of the moment, I'm not yet ready for that.. (The plastic cement is the one that melts the plastic and is used for merging parts, right?)

    I bought a few of these tools and I think I have the same hobby knife to the one you've pictured above (X-ACTO knife?). Thing is, it was covered in rust just 3-5 days after I've opened it!

    Do you have some kind of method to make your hobby knife rust-free? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Jyuzou!

      I don't think that using cement is pretty advanced since it's only use is making plastics stick to each other permanently. Oh and also it's good to always have one so if you break any part of your Gundam you can fix it with the cement.

      As for the scribing tool. I guess it is a bit advanced :)

      Now for your question.

      Basically I just place it in a box far from sources of moisture. And I make sure to always wipe it dry after use.

      According to wikipedia.
      "Rust is formed by the reaction of iron and oxygen in the presence of water or air moisture"

      So basically, just make sure not to let any metal tool you have be exposed to moisture for a long period of time. Also make sure that your tools are always dry when stored :).

      Hope I answered your question well enough to help you :)