Posted on by Metro Hobbies

Bandai HG Gundam GM Custom

We often get asked by customers who are just starting out with their first Gundam: What can I do to make it better?

Outside of learning how to paint and weather, or add detail parts or dioramas, there are many simple things you can do to give that basic build that little extra "oomph".

Let's take this HG GM Intercept Custom for an example. Its a pretty straightforward build, and it doesn't really have too many parts inside the box.

Upon completion, you can see how just adding an extra bit of love on the finish can make it stand out!

Before anything, here is the GM Intercept "before" shot:

Extra #1: Plastic Cement

Believe it or not, gluing parts together does make a difference. Keeping the connection seams on those articulation points not only makes the model stronger, but it does eliminate the gaps, stopping light from seeing through the finished model and making it look more refined.

We often construct first, then realise we could have used cement on a sub-assembly as an afterthought. With Tamiya Extra Thin or Gunze SP Thin Cement, you can just add the cement to a corner of the seam and allow the capillary action to run into the parts. Make sure you don't use too much, or touch the seam with your fingers. The plastic will initially be soft and you can leave fingerprints!

Extra #2: Small Detail Painting

Oftentimes a gundam instruction sheet will call out for a metallic sticker or decal to be placed at a certain part to enhance the appearance. Why not paint the part instead? It allows you to have a bit more coverage and flexibility, and eliminates the need to flatten off that sticker, all with a flick of a brush!

We usually have a bottle of Tamiya Silver Enamel paint or AK Metal Silver Enamel Wax close by; these oil-based paints can be applied directly on to the plastic and will dry quickly. In addition to the silver, a bit or red or metallic grey paint on small details like warning lights or exhaust nozzles makes it look like there had been more colours in the box!

Extra #3: Panel Line Washes or Gundam Markers

When building we always have bottle of black enamel wash from SMS or AK Interactive handy, as well as a fine .5 Gundam Marker. These go into the seam lines (always visible on most gundam) and enhances the depth, with impressive results.


You would apply it with a fine point brush sparingly, not too much as you don't really want to paint the entire gundam. Don't worry if you go past a line and make an error; with a bit of thinner and a soft cotton bud, you can wipe the excess wash or marker line easily!

Extra #4: A Flat Coat Varnish

Needless to say, this takes the build up a notch. A flat varnish at the end of the build will eliminate that "soapy plastic" look your gundam has. Flat varnishes can be applied by hand brushing, air brushing or via an aerosol can. Be careful though as you don't want to apply the varnish on anything you want to maintain a glossy finish on (like those silver exhaust ports) or clear parts. Doing a bit of preparation before applying a varnish is always worth a bit of extra time.

And there you have it- this GM Intercept Custom definitely has that edge! We'll leave you with a gallery of the finished GMs (the other one is an HG GM Guard) on display at our Box Hill store!