When I started building Gundams, I was also quite confused as to whether painting them was necessary. It most certainly is not necessary, but it does help make your model look much better.
Painting your Gundam model is just a way to make it more unique or beautiful, depending on your personal preferences. So, if you’re happy with how your Gundam looks right out of the box, then you don’t need to bother painting it.
Are Gundam models pre-painted?
Almost every single Gundam kit comes unpainted right out of the box. Instead of painting these kits, Bandai uses a method known as color separation which involves creating the different parts of the kits in separate solid colors.
Color separation means that you can simply snap the parts together to get the best out of your kit’s color scheme. This color separation is not always perfect, but it can be corrected with decals or stickers, as well as by painting.
Gundam model kits do not come pre-painted. But the variety of colored parts is usually of a high quality so painting the kits becomes completely optional. The higher the grade, the better the color separation of the different parts as well as the overall look of the model.
You Don’t Need To Paint Gundam Models
The parts of the kit come colored so you do not need to paint your Gundam model. But, painting does give you the means to customize your model according to your preferences.
Although painting your Gundam model could make it look much better, Gundam models usually look great even without any painting.
Despite being unpainted, the parts are colored according to the mecha suits from the show.
Painting a Gundam model Will make it look unique
This is very relative, although my experience in Gundam modeling points to the fact that many modelers (including myself) like to paint Gundam models to give them a more personal and customized look.
Even though painting a Gundam is optional, there are certain cases where it’s the best option.
This is the case with many low-cost or ordinary Gundam kits, and it’s because higher-grade Gundam models usually have better color separation than the lower-grade ones.
So, if you do get a low-grade kit, you might want to paint it to make the colors more vivid.
Painting Gundam models can also be very helpful when removing stress marks, nubs, and scratches. A lot of experienced Gundam modelers love to experiment with their kits by painting, and it usually does the job of upgrading the model’s look.
The Stickers Help To Pop Up The Gunpla
For quite some time now, detailing stickers have come along with Gunpla kits. They are very easy to use and also quite cheap.
Master Grade and Perfect Grade kits usually come with stickers while High-Grade kits usually don’t come with any stickers. However, there are many third-party dealers where you can get stickers beside the sticker sets that come from Bandai.
The color separation process through which Gundam kits are made is not perfect, so some small parts might not be produced with the right color. The stickers included in the kit can correct most of these details.
Stickers can really spruce up your Gundam kit and they are definitely enough to give your model a befitting look.
Gundam Models Will Look Good Straight Out Of The Box
Most Gundam models come ready to display right out of the box.
High Grade kits look great without painting them, although some smaller details might benefit from painting. Master Grade kits usually do not need any painting, while Perfect Grade kits come with all parts perfectly detailed and ready to look awesome upon assembly.
These models do not actually need to be painted as they usually look good once assembled. You just need to be careful and prevent scratches or nubs when cutting the parts off the runners.
Gundam models usually look awesome without any painting, although enthusiasts like me tend to opt for a bit of customization that would require some painting (for example adding putty to make it look bigger or sanding a particular part to make it look smaller).
Panel lining a Gunpla Will Make It Look Even Better
Panel lining involves the application of paint or ink to the grooves of each piece of your kit to boost the detail and overall look of your Gundam model.
Panel lining is an essential skill for anyone that is a Gundam enthusiast and it is a very simple process that can have a great effect on your kit. It is an ideal way for you to improve your kit’s overall look without needing painting skills.
Panel lining is a great choice if you do not want to spray paint or hand paint your model but still want to give your kit a more detailed look.
All you need is a rubber pencil eraser and a panel lining marker.
Are the colors of a pre-painted Gunpla anime-accurate?
Most models are not colored perfectly according to the original unit. Some kits use stickers to help cover up the parts with missed colors, while some more modern kits have several different-colored parts to boost color separation and reduce the use of stickers.
To get Gundam models that are perfectly pre-painted, you should check out the Hi-Resolution Model line. All the parts of these kits are colored to perfectly model the original units.