Ask Gunpla 101: Too young for Gunpla?


Ask Gunpla 101 is our advice column in which we take questions and share them for our readers. Do you have any questions for Gunpla 101? Be sure to contact us by using our form, visiting Lauren’s account, or emailing us at [email protected].

My little  sister who is six wants a Gundam. Should I get her one or wait until she is older?—Noah

Great question. We think your sister seems pretty young for Gunpla, but the fact that she has personally asked for one makes this a bit trickier to answer.

At six years old, kids are still developing their fine motor skills. We’re worried that she might try to build Gunpla and be unable to, and that will deter her from wanting to try again when she’s older and her skills are more developed.

We’re guessing she is interested in Gunpla because she sees that you enjoy them. So we would try to share the hobby with her in different ways. Perhaps while you build a model, you can give her some colored pencils and some black and white Gunpla drawings that she can color while you work. Fittingly, being able to color inside the lines is an excellent indicator of developed motor skills, so if she becomes proficient at that and is still clamoring to build, she could build one with your supervision. Of course, all kids are different, and you know your sister much better than we do!

I wanted to ask you about display stands and accessories. I want my latest Gunpla model to be instantly noticeable, and a focal point. With that in mind, I have seen LED stands which I think look nice, and also the Action Stands, which as I can tell are compatible with the LED bases. In your opinions, what do you think of the various options? Do you have a preference?—Simon

Personally speaking, John and I use a lot of different stands. I bought a couple of them in Japantown, San Francisco, and now that they’re assembled I don’t really know what they are. I also have a “GP Base” stand for my Beargguy. Most of our Master Grades came with their own stands in the box, which took out the guesswork. In our experience, just putting a Gunpla on any stand helps, because it allows you a wider range of good looking poses.

If you’re looking for fancier stands, it’s hard to miss a Gunpla that is standing on an LED stand. When it comes to those, we advocate for Bandai’s own Lightning Base Plate in red, blue, or green. If you’re looking for something cheaper but still unique, you could also try customizing your stand yourself. We love the way Falldog added imitation grass and a tiny cow to his Turn A Gundam display, pictured here.

I just started with this hobby. My first build was the Gundam Exia Dark Matter HG. I am starting a second one and I really want to do a Master Grade but I’m a little nervous. I don’t know if I should?—Tony

Only you can be sure if you’re ready to start a Master Grade. As usual, our advice is to start a new grade with a Gunpla you really love. Your passion will inspire you to work harder and improve at a faster rate than you ever expected. Good luck!

Between you [Lauren] and John ~ who’s the Gundam master?‎—Blake

John has been building a lot longer than I have, but I’m catching up and we both build Master Grades now. We plan to work on our Perfect Grade together, so wish us luck!

Gundam Exia photo by Luca Mascaro

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  • May I Make A suggestion what about a High Grade. They just snapped together, already painted and the decals are stickers. He would have to help her put it together anyway. High Grades are pretty awesome. Got quite a few myself. See that will let her build one while your building one. You can do detail on them or not either way they look great. All you need to build one is a knife, tweezers and maybe sandpaper to get rid of the plastic nubs.
    Plus it will keep her out of your Gunpla

    • Gabriel Court
      May 10, 2016 2:45 pm

      I agree, if you cut out the pieces and follow the steps with them it shouldn’t be too bad. I would check out other model kits beside gunpla as well. I know Polar Lights does this one which is a two kits in one. At the same time you could do two HG kits and work together. I know some kids at that age who could build an amazing kit and some who just could not.

“Gunpla is freedom.”

Gunpla is not about being perfect, it’s about building a model you love from a show you love with your own hands. Here at Gunpla 101, we provide resources for Gunpla builders of all skill levels.

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