I started building models when I was young, like 8 or so. It started with aircraft, cars, and tanks. I think my first robot kit was one of those Revell Monogram renamed Dougram Roundfacer kits. It was a “Robotech” kit I think. It came with glue and it was poorly put together. A friend and I built the kit. I didn’t actually start into Gundam building for another couple of years when I was in 6th grade or Jr High – circa 1987 or so.
My very first gunpla kit was probably a Hyaku Shiki that my aunt had brought me from Hong Kong because she knew I liked building models. The local Pony Toy Hobby shop in Little Tokyo, Yaohan plaza building back in those days; carried gunpla kits. So even though I had not seen a single episode of Gundam, or even knew what they were, I picked up some kits. The 1/144 Kampfer, Hygog, 78-NT1, Nu, S-Gundam, F90, F91, etc. I started watching every Gundam show I could get my hands on, F91, CCA, 0080, etc.
I built and hand painted these guys with testors enamel paints. Some got spray cans and were not too bad looking, but I wasn’t all that savvy about sanding and seams. Snapped and painted was the extent. I sorta built a model or two every yeah through out high school, and stopped shortly after that.
During the mid 90’s the fist Master Grade kits were coming out. I checked them out at local hobby shops and picked up a few only to stockpile them. I occasionally built them, but nothing more than some quick sanding and spray paint jobs. The return to the hobby happened around 2001 or so. I joined some online forums and started to pick up techniques here and there. I got my first airbrush and started using it in combination with my spray can style of building. I learned how to fix seams, learned about panel line washes, decals, etc. And by 2003, I entered my first competition and started to meet other gunpla builders.
From 2003 on, I decided to push the gunpla genre, teach as many people to build through my website. The idea to grow the gunpla building community has resulted in participation at various conventions, presenting model building panels, hosting online contests, running the contest at Anime Expo, and hosting model build gatherings.
And this continues with the communal effort that is Those Gundam Guys.