Celebrating science fiction and the basics of Gundam models

Gundam is a celebrated science fiction franchise (films, tv, books, games, toys) that features giant robots or "mecha" in a militaristic setting. The hobby of assembling and painting Gundam plastic model kits is known as Gunpla.

These kits were introduced in Japan in the 1980s and spread to North America and Europe in the 1990s. Much of their popularity is based on ease of assembly. The parts are molded in coloured plastic and snap together, requiring no glue. Figures are articulated and can be displayed in action poses. Hobby and Toy Central stocks a wide range of Gundam kits from starter to advanced level.

 After mastering the basic assembly tasks, many modellers look for ways to make their creations more realistic. A couple of the easiest ways to improve the appearance of a kit are detailed painting and panel lining. Gundam Paint Markers are specifically designed for these tasks.

Gundam panel before and after

These images show a Gundam model built right out of the box beside one which has had some detailed painting and panel lining. The differences are stunning and may prompt you to try some Gundam Markers with your next project.


Gundam markersThe chisel tip markers come in a wide variety of colours and can be used to add definition to small areas of the model (e.g.: chest and helmet areas). For a more realistic appearance, you can also paint small parts rather than apply coloured stickers.

The fine tip markers are made specifically for panel lining. The kit may come with adjacent panels combined into a Single part.

By carefully detailing panel separations, the large sections of a single colour will look more like the ‘real’ mecha.

Some suggested combinations are:

  • brown marker for red and yellow panels,
  • gray marker for white and other light coloured panels,
  • and black marker for dark coloured panels.

Mistakes and/or excess ink can be removed using a rubber eraser, but make sure you do this right away as the ink becomes harder to remove once it has dried. As you can see from the pictures above a little extra effort with paint markers can make a huge difference.