Here’s a page to help newer Gundam/Mecha model builders get oriented and find out about kits, where to buy them, how to build them, and find people like themselves…
There’s a lot of information out there, so here’s a gateway for getting started.
Places to learn about mecha model kits:
Dalong Gunpla Kit Review-
Has reviews of Gundam, Macross Frontier, Armored Core, ZOIDS, SRW and a lot more from Bandai and Kotobukiya. Reviews show built kits (he builds them simply with a minimal amount of paint), as well as level of detail and mobility (poseability) and in the information portion, box contents and scans of instruction manuals.
This is a Japanese online hobby shop but they generally have extensive photos of the built kits from box/catalog photos, box contents and instruction manuals. They have military models as well.
Places to Buy Models:
Online Japanese Shops
Online US Shops:
Gundam Store and More
Local Southern California Shops that carry Gundam/Mecha kits:
Frank & Sons Collectible Show (open Saturdays and Wednesdays only, and only a couple booths sell kits, but their prices are very good)
Anime Expo – Itâ€™s only once a year and you have to register and pay to get in, but the Exhibitor Hall has some very good deals on everything anime related and thereâ€™s a model contest and several model building workshops.
Most Gundam/Mecha kits do not come with waterslide decals that most other modelers are used to (if they do have markings, they are typically peel-and-stick stickers and rub-on dry transfers). Bandai makes waterslide decals for some of their kits that you can buy separately on the listed websites, but Samuel Decal is a respected decal vendor from Hong Kong with a very large variety of designs. He can also print your own designs for you.
Gundam/Mecha model Community Forums:
GameraBaenreâ€™s Model Building Community Forum:
Fichtenfoo Model Building Community Forum (FFF):
Hobby Fanatics Model Building Community Forum:
Useful Tutorials and Forum Help Sections:
Fichtenfooâ€™s â€œHow to Build Master Grade Gundamsâ€:
GB Forum Techniques and Technologies section:
FFF Model Help section:
Funakatown’s Tips and Advice:
You can always look at WIP (Work In Progress Reports) for ideas, techniques and inspirations. The forums above all have WIP sections and here are some good ones from a few prominent mecha model builders:
An excellent super-detailer-
Three talented modelers, some of their excellent kits have WIP reports.
I’m a fanatical documenter of my work so you can see every thought I’ve ever had…