Ask Gunpla 101: Don’t touch that dial!

Ask Gunpla 101 is our advice column in which we take questions and share them with our readers. Do you have any questions for Gunpla 101? Be sure to contact us by email at

For years, these dials on Gunpla runners have perplexed me, any idea what their purpose serves? —Michael

For the first time in a while, your question stumped us, too! We’ve all seen these two dials with numbers on them on Gunpla runners, but we weren’t sure what they are for.

We took it to our Twitter account to ask our followers and @LimChubby was the first to know the answer: “First wheel (Left of screen) denotes month of production, right wheel is year, with 10 (as in 201x). This case, it’s November 2017 production.”

So there you have it! Read the dials on Gunpla runners to determine when your kit was manufactured. This is useful in further describing your kit to the seller in case of an issue, or simply in determining whether your kit is a re-release of something older.

1. What type of paint is used in Gundam markers? 2. Do I have to use paint thinner with Gundam markers? —JC

This is actually kind of tricky. The very thin Gundam markers used for panel lining are oil-based. However, the thick Gundam markers for painting are a bunch of things. Real Touch Gundam markers are acrylic, but metallic Gunpla markers are alcohol-based. The best way to find out is by checking the marker yourself, even though it’ll be written in Japanese:

油性 means oil-based, so a marker with this written on it is oil paint.

水性 means water-based, so a marker with this written on it is acrylic paint.

アルコール系 means alcohol-type, so a marker with this written on it is alcohol-based paint.

However, you don’t need to use paint thinner with any type of Gundam marker. They’re all designed to be used immediately via the tip of the pen.

I’m still very new to the hobby. Today at a local store I picked up one of the Petitgguy little bear dudes and I fell in love! My question is if there are any models you know of that are kind of simple and cute. I’m really not sure where to start looking! Thanks for being such a great resource! — @squidbonesss

I love cute Gunpla! The Petitgguy series is always a good cute pick, but you’re familiar with it already, I see. There are also bigger Beargguy models, like this angelic Beargguy P with wings.

When it comes to cute and girly, Nobel Gundam is a classic—she looks like Sailor Moon.

There are also chibi super-deformed versions of almost every Gundam franchise mech you can imagine. Pick out one from your favorite show.


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