I received my Kshatriya (meaning ‘warrior’ in Hinduism) on Monday and started building it right away. However, I’ve decided to write a blog on how to build this kit. This blog only covers the elementary steps of building a Bandai HGUC kit; glue and paint are not needed.
Open the box
This 4500-yen Bandai kit has 14 runners with more than 270 parts. It is a good idea to place these runners in alphabetical order on a table, this will save time when you try to find a particular runner from an unordered pile. It is also a good idea to leave the transparent parts and decals (if any) in their bags.Plastic
Bandai might not be your most favourite model manufacturer but it is definitely one of the most advanced manufacturers in the industry. In this typical HGUC product, you will find four different kinds of plastic material. The parts are made in ordinary polystyrene (PS) plastic (e.g. runner A), soft transparent plastic (runner SB1), ABS plastic (runner H) and PE plastic (runner PC-116.) They are used for various reasons (mostly material strength and flexibility) but as a modeller, you should know some of their properties. First of all, ordinary model glue only works on the PS plastic. Fortunately, elementary construction of all Bandai’s HG, HGUC, MG and PG kits does not require any glue! Secondly, paint does not stick well on PE plastic. However, new HGUC kits no longer require any painting on it. There are other differences but they are more subtle for the beginners.
Rule number one: Never remove any parts without using any tool. Cutting tool is a must in order to reduce damages to the parts. In most cases, a hobby cutter does the job. If you don’t have one, a nail clipper is a handy alternative. Once in a while, a hobby saw is needed but Bandai’s kits usually do not require such an extreme measure.
Files and sandpaper are recommended to younger modellers to remove the sprue marks on the parts. As was mentioned before, since all HGUC kits feature snap-fit assembly, no glue is needed for elementary construction.
One last word: sandpaper (or in form of sanding sticks) comes with a number called grit size. High grit size will give fine surface after sanding. As a result, one should work with low grit sandpaper first. For Gundam models, 400-sandpaper is a good starting point. Where to stop depends upon what effect you want to achieve at the end but going beyond 1000-grit is rare for GunPla.
1) Remove a few parts using, say a cutter, from the runners according to the instruction. Leaving a little bit of sprues on the parts is recommended.
2) Trim the raised sprues using a cutting tool or a file. Never damage the surfaces of the parts.
3) Sand the reminant of the sprues with sandpaper until the bump is gone.
4) Use higher grit sandpaper or sanding sticks as required.
5) Assemble the prepared parts together as is indicated on the instruction.
After more than seven hours, here is my Kshatriya!