The three easiest ways to improve your straight builds
If you ask someone for tips on improving your Gunpla, you're likely going to get an earful--whether you get told to just panel line and topcoat, or you get an entire lesson on which airbrushes and compressors to start with. We're here to give you the absolute most basic tips for how to elevate your completely straight builds to the next level with no effort!
1. Cut those front skirts!
We put this first because it's something you can easily do during the building process, using the same tools you're already using to build. In a vast majority of High Grade models, the front skirt armor is one piece that goes across both legs. This means that on a completely straight build, whichever leg is farther forward will dictate the position of the skirt armor.
All you have to do is cut this piece right down the middle to give individual articulation of those pieces! Just make sure that you cut down any excess plastic nubs that protrude from the ball joints after the cut.
2. Fine Line those face vents!
This is a must in every kit. Name a more iconic feature of the Gundam franchise than those face vents! They come molded onto almost every kit, but they're almost always in white and can get lost in the color of the plastic.
All you have to do is mark these up, wipe away the excess, and enjoy a much better-looking finished product with only 2 extra seconds of effort! Remember, since fine line and brush type Gundam markers are water based, you can really slather the fine line all over the face to make sure that the vents are full of enough ink to stay. Then just wipe away the excess with a cotton swab, paper towel, or even your finger!
3. Trim those V-Fins!
Bandai puts "safety" nubs on the V-Fins of most Gundam kits to prevent the plastic from coming to a point so sharp that they can actually hurt you. We say, get those out of here! By removing these little nubs, you'll create a completely clean and straight silhouette. Easy!
Once you make the initial cut to make the plastic a consistent shape, you'll need to do a little extra work to get it exactly right. Everyone has preferences for how to do this, but you can use sanding sticks, a file, a hobby knife, or even just good single-edge nippers to trim down all the excess and get that perfect silhouette.
Of course there are so many more ways you could improve your builds, from decals to top coat and weathering and beyond! These three are just the quickest and easiest for builders looking to improve their work with minimal extra effort or materials!