Gundam models are made of either thermoplastics, resin, or metal. Plastic Gundam kits may be the most popular, but other models that are made from resin and metals also exist.
The material used in making a Gundam kit may determine its price, structure, and complexity. And although the different kit grades may differ in build and scale, they are all made from the same basic materials listed above.
Materials used in making Gundam models
Gundam model kits can be made from several materials; and each is unique in hardness, luster, and texture. They include;
- Non Plastic materials
Very few Gundam models come in non-plastic materials such as:
- Polyurethane resin
Gundam Resin model kits are limited edition and very rare. These Resin models are more expensive, harder to assemble, and more detailed when compared to plastic kits.
What type of plastic are Gundam models made of?
Gundam models are primarily made using thermoplastics. This is a broad term that covers different types of plastics.
To be specific, the plastics used in the production of Gundams are:
- Polystyrene (General Purpose Polystyrene or High impact polystyrene), and
- Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).
Are all the Kit Grades Made from the Same Plastic?
Technically, all kit grades are made from the same plastic.
The difference however, in some grades, is that different types of plastics are layered on each other. For example, the inner frame of Real Grade models and hands of Perfect Grade models are made by layering two types of plastics – ABS & polypropylene.
Are All The Parts Made From The Same Plastic?
The same plastic is rarely used throughout a model. Different plastics are used to produce different parts of Gundams.
This helps to either:
- Enhance its appearance, or
- Increase its functionality.
Each type of plastic is unique in its own way. So, the plastics have to be used in different parts of the kit. For instance,
- GPPS (General Purpose PolyStyrene) is used for translucent to opaque parts of the kit.
- HIPS (High impact polystyrene) or polycarbonate is used to manufacture the transparent parts of the kit.
- ABS is used to create the inner framework of Perfect Grade models because it is harder than PE (Polyethylene) and PS (Polystyrene).
- Most armor parts are made out of Polystyrene. PS is relatively brittle.
- Polyethylene is usually used for models with polycaps.
That being said, you can tell that using the same plastic throughout the kit will only provide a boring and “non-detailed” look. Secondly and depending on the plastic used, the model may be too soft or too flexible, hence the need for variety.
What Are The Accessories Made of?
Gundams usually come with some accessories to add a little flair. Some of these include beam savers, bazookas, spacecraft, extra weapons, display stands, etc.
These accessories could be made with metal, plastic, or resin.
How Can You Tell What The Model is Made of?
You can tell what material your model is made of by checking the runner section in the manual. The materials present in your model will be stated there.
The name of each material will be abbreviated but note that :
- PS stands for Polystyrene,
- ABS stands for Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, and
- PE stands for Polyethylene.
If unfortunately, you are not with your manual, you can just search online to find out exactly what your model is made out of.