Gaijin Gunpla

This second post explaining how I build my models hopefully will answer the questions posed to me about painting Gundams. Remember, this is how I go about doing things and other people will likely do things differently (and some even condemn me for doing it ‘incorrectly’) but remember, this is a hobby. If you enjoy what it is you do and are satisfied with the result, how can it be wrong?

A lot of the process when it comes to painting will overlap with what I wrote in the Out of the Box post, so bear with me.

Building a kit with the intention of painting calls for a little bit of a different approach than one just out of the box. You will be test building it knowing that it will be coming apart again. Because of this it’s important to assemble the kit in a way which allows you to disassemble it easily. The previously mentioned peg-cutting method is very important here. Another thing I tend to do is not use any stickers during the test build except for the eye sticker. I put the eye sticker on because I like to take pictures when the test build is complete, and occasionally do a review. If the eye sticker wasn’t there, it would look odd.

As well, if there is a part of the frame or armor that snaps into place strongly, with the loud noise, I will often leave that part out of the test build to eliminate the risk of breaking something when it comes time to disassemble.

Relevant Point#1: Pay attention to areas where you might be making any modifications such as seam lines, etc. When the test build is complete, you’ll want to know what you’re going to be doing when you disassemble and prepare for painting.

Relevant Point#2: When I’m painting a kit I will use sandpaper (usually 400 grit) to clean off any remaining gate marks. The primer and/or paint will cover up the scratch marks easily enough.

Before you can do any painting you need to look at…

If you don’t plan on modifying anything on the suit before painting you can skip this section, but if you are considering it, maybe I can help.

Seam Lines

Probably the most common modification is the removal of seam lines. For that, all you really need is some model cement and some sand paper. We’ve even done an episode of Gunpla TV showing the simple process.

If the seam line is still showing after this process you can use some putty and fill in the gaps. Remember the more you do it the better your results should become.

Relevant Point#3: If you are working on removing seam lines from areas such as the head, etc, you’ll need to come up with a method which will allow you to remove the line but still complete the final assembly.

Back when I was working on the Musha Mk-II I wrote about how I removed the seam line in the head, so rather than repeat myself, I’ll point you to the article. Click here.

Adding Plastic

Perhaps there is an area of the kit you feel is too plain and needs some more details. Or perhaps there are gaps or areas you want to cover over. One way to do these things is to add plastic. There are all kinds of plastics you can buy from sheets to rods. Tamiya makes them, as well as a company called Evergreen. I’ve used the Evergreen strips to good effect on the Musha Mk-II and have added it to other kits as well.


Putty is also another way to add shape or fill gaps in your kits. I won’t go into any real detail about the putty because I feel there are far better people and tutorials out there. If you want to try it yourself, you’re in good hands.

Panel Lines

Another very commonly used method to add detail to kits. For panel lining all you really need is a scriber and some Dymo Tape.

Here’s a video.

Relevant Point#4: If you are scribing a line that will change direction in the middle of the piece, it’s a good idea to take a very small pin vise or even a pin and make very shallow hole at the point the line changes. This way your scriber should start/stop at the correct spot.

Once you’re satisfied with your modifications, it’s time to paint, but before you lay down primer and/or paint you need to look at your paint scheme and…

What color will you be using? Will you be painting more than one color on the same piece, which means masking? Will different areas of your kit have a different finish in the end? Will the frame be painted?

These are questions you will need to ask yourself (and answer!) before picking up the paint cans.

I know a lot of people use lineart/photoshop to design/color their scheme before putting down paint. I don’t do that but I do follow a firm design in my head.

Let’s start with the basics.


Priming Gundam kits isn’t always a necessity (though some disagree on that point). I tend to follow a simple rule; If the color I am spraying is lighter than the color of the plastic piece I am spraying, use primer.

Painting black on a yellow piece; no problem. Painting yellow on a black piece; not so easy. Some lighter metal colors have no problem going on dark pieces, but in general, whites, yellows, oranges, light blues, some reds, will need primer if going on to darker colors.

There are two primers I use. Tamiya Gray and Tamiya White. I use the White often because it doesn’t affect the color of the paint going on over top. When painting yellow or white the white primer works well. Gray is fine for the dark colors if you want to prime before using them and I have also use Gray primer to influence the color of a white paint coat.

Dark over light. That’s the general rule I follow. It’s easier to do the dark over the light than to spray dark, then mask, then prime and finally paint a light coat.

I’ve done a lot of masking in my time and have my own system that works pretty well, though I’m sure there are better methods. For me how I mask depends on what I am masking. If I want to make a section silver, for example, I’ll spray the entire piece silver then cover the section with a length of masking tape, then take a tooth pick and press the masking down along all the edges of the section, and then take my design knife and cut away the excess from the edges.

If there is an area of the section I missed, I will cut a very small triangular shape of tape and cover it up. Keep in mind, that this method may lead to some knife marks in your plastic.

My other method spares you the knife marks but can be more time consuming. Using tiny triangles/squares/diamond shapes I cover the surface that is to be masked.

Once I’m satisfied with the masking, I spray the second color. More times than not both colors receive the same top-coat finish so I’ll spray that once I remove the masking. If the finish is to be different then I’ll spray the one finish before masking then the second after the second color is painted and before I remove the masking.

More or less, this is how I do it. (Actually, this is me doing it.)

Once all the painting is complete, which may require a few coats, I gloss top-coat using one of the two methods I detailed in the Out of the Box post.

Relevant Point#6: Gloss coat!!!!! This is very important. You’ll need that coat to not only protect the paint you just applied but also prepare for Panel Lining and Markings.

The panel line marker will work fine here but many experienced modelers will opt to use the Panel line wash method.

For this you’ll need some paint for the lines and some thinner to make it run more and to remove excess.

Relevant Point#7: If you use spray can and top coat can as I do chances are you’re using lacquers. If that is the case the best bet for panel lining is an enamel. Enamels don’t affect lacquer top-coats (unless you overdo it.) On the flip side, if you under do it, i.e. spray very lightly, you can use lacquers for panel lines over top of enamel or acrylic top coats. I don’t recommend it to beginners, though.

Once the panel line is cleaned up and dry you can gloss top coat it again to protect it before moving onto the markings or you can go straight to the markings.

Relevant Point#8: If you choose not to gloss coat after panel lining, there is a chance the water from the decal or any Mark Setter/Mark Softer you use can cause the panel line to run/smudge. I usually gloss-coat again before markings.

If I’ve gone through the trouble of painting a kit I want it to look great right down to the markings so this is where the water-slide decals come in. I explained the procedure in the Out of the Box Post so I won’t be redundant and repeat it again here.

Once the decals are on the final phase is…

The final top-coat determines your finish. I used to use Gloss or Semi-gloss extensively but I’ve moved more towards Flat recently.

Relevant Point #9: Flat top coat reacts more to moisture/humidity/overspray than the gloss so be careful when using it. Be sure to be about 30 centimeters away from the piece and spray lightly. Don’t do it on a damp day!

That’s all I can think of right now. If I missed anything be sure to leave a comment. There’s lots of experienced modelers around the net and I learn as much from them, if not more, than people learn from me.

Categories: Tutorials

116 Responses so far.

  1. Paulo951 says:

    NIce post I too use spray cans. I do have a question about the lacquer top coat, unfortunately where I live I can only buy car paints (which are expensive 🙁 ) as there are no hobby shops! For top coat, I can only get my hands on a can of clear lacquer, thats what it says on the label. I was just wondering if thats what you used to use because its got a semi-gloss finnish and also is a flat top coat just a flat/matte clear lacquer???

    • Sunny says:

      I think the ones Syd uses are the same as mine so i can answer as well.
      A flat top coat is indeed a matte clear lacquer so when light shines on it it won’t reflect any at all.
      As for a high gloss u can pretty much see the lightbulb on it and a semi is in between those two. I find it that you need to judge by yourself which one you prefer, as matte will get u a realistic kinda feel but semi gloss works also.

      • Paulo951 says:

        Thanks Sunny, that’s the answer I was looking for. I prefer the realistic look, just hope I can find some matte lacquer lol

  2. Alvin says:

    Hi, I’m planning to paint my next kit.
    Have you tried using industrial spray paints(e.g pylox)?
    Any big difference between tamiya spray paints and industrial ones?

  3. David says:

    I’m a little confused, is the gloss coat you used to prep for panel lining and markings the same coat you used for the final coat? (assuming you want a gloss finish)

  4. Duncan says:

    thanks for your informative post. i’m preparing to paint my SD kit for the 1st time and i have one lingering question.

    if i spray paint (lacquer based paint) most of the pieces … then use enamel paint to handpaint some areas wouldn’t i have problems once i spray the top coat (which is lacquer based as well i assume) ??

    i’ve been wondering the same for the panel lining too since in your demo you’re using enamel paint as well.

    • syd says:

      Hi Duncan,

      If you’re careful and first put a light ‘mist’ spray of lacquer topcoat on the enamel in should go on without affecting the enamel. This has been the way I approach it.

      • Duncan says:

        thanks for the tip syd. will give it a go and hopefully have some good results to show 🙂

        anyway just to confirm that i got it right, 1st i spray a light mist of top coat … let it dry a bit… then go for the wet coat ?

  5. r4inb0w says:

    @Duncan: you might notice that since the paint is laquer along with the top coat, you might get some running. so be careful with the wet coat.

  6. kingL says:

    hello, I’m wondering what is the best way of painting and drying a combined part, the reason for it is because I want to remove the seam lines before painting the parts, and most of them are hard to clip because the whole part must be covered with paint, anyone have idea?

    • syd says:

      You will probably have to use model cement and hold the pieces together with your hands until the glue is set enough that you can release your hold on them. Once it’s dry then you can sand down the glue and prepare to paint.

      • kingL says:

        Yes, but how about holding the parts when I’m painting, and by the way I will use spray paint so I wonder how to dry the part after spray painting because almost the whole part would be covered with paint and some parts does not have any hole or anything that I can put a stick and clip on it.

  7. syd says:

    To hold parts that don’t have a hole I use alligator clips or if those don’t work I use blu-tac to attach the part to the stick.

  8. kingL says:

    I see, I got the idea now, thank you very much.

  9. Mark says:

    Hi syd, if i use a gundam marker to panel line on an unpainted gunpla, then flat top coat it, will the ink smudge?

    • Hypnos says:

      Right now i´m not painting my kits, just some panel line, and when i apply the top coat the ink tends to smudge a little bit, i use to wait 24hrs for the ink to dry, maybe i need to wait more?

    • Mike says:

      From personal experience it tends to smudge a bit. Best bet is apply light coats of the top coat. I tried that and it didn’t smudge.

      • Mark says:

        Well, then is there any way or spraying technique to get the topcoat evenly on all parts of the kit?

  10. Mike says:

    Syd made an episode of Gunpla TV ( Episode 12 above ) were he shows how to set up parts for spray painting on a foam piece were the pieces are on top of a barbeque stick held by tape or alligator clips.

    This takes time but doing it with all piece appart allows you to cover them more evenly than you might do from spraying the kit as a whole.

  11. Alvin says:

    When you sand the piece, do you deepen the panel lines first?

    • syd says:

      No, I don’t. I usually don’t do much to anything to panel lines unless I’m scribing them myself.

      • Alvin says:

        Thanks, I asked coz’ i’m planning to paint a kit, but it has some shallow panel lines so i’m afraid it will get sanded off

  12. Dan says:

    Hello SYD, I’m just starting out in gunpla. My first kit which is on ordered is the MG Exia. For my first kit I want try it and see how I like gunpla. But also want to just make it look less plactic.

    Panel line wash. you recommend to spray the model is gloss clear before doing a panel line wash. Now after I do that and finish the panel line wash, can I respray the model in flat clear???

    Any help would be great.

    • syd says:

      Hi Dan,

      Welcome to the wide world of Gunpla. Fasten your seatbelt because it:s a wild ride. Yes, you can respray a final coat of flat clear (or gloss again) for the final topcoat.

      Good luck!

  13. Dan says:

    Thanks for the fast reply Syd. If my first kit comes out good I’ll enter it the the contest and see how I do. I am a long long time anime fan and almost everything Japanese. Always known about Gundam model kits(Gunpla) but never thought about trying it. But here I am and it’s never to late to try something new. Thanks again for the tip.

  14. Zee says:

    Hi Syd and everyone…..been about 6 month since I start gunpla.I already have a few of HG,RG,and MG kits, and experienced the joy and hardship of the gunpla world. Actually I started to want to paint my kit since the second time I bought it, but it’s only lately I finally have the courage to do it. I want to paint My soon to come MG GN-X into some metalic color, but I really confused about how to paint the inner frame. I plan to use a spray can since I don’t have an airbrush, but recently my friend said that spray can produce a thicker layer of paint than airbrush is that true? I mean…. the problem in painting the inner frame is because of the joints right? so…if I was about to put layers of primer and paint to the parts, is it really going to hinder the joints and make the parts harder to reassemble? and then what’s the best way to paint the inner frame with spray can? any opinion would be helpfull to me… thanks……..

    • syd says:

      Hi Zee,

      I paint the frame all the time using spray cans. If you assemble the joint first and then spray it you won’t have to worry about reassembling it and it should work fine.

      good luck!

  15. truefaith4711 says:

    I plan on ordering MG Wing Gundam but the center jewel is a clear part rather than a clear green part and I looked online to find a online U.S seller that sells clear green Tamiya enamel paint and I had no luck. so I was wondering if clear green Mr. Hobby paint can leave an identical effect as the Tamiya clear green.

  16. Arcee says:

    Can I spray clear flat lacquer on acrylic paint?
    Can I spray clear flat lacquer on enamel paint?

  17. Arcee says:

    Hey Guys! Need help here!
    Can I spray clear flat lacquer on acrylic & enamel paints?
    Can someone please shed some light here!

    • syd says:

      Hi Arcee,

      Lacquer can be damaging to acrylic and enamel paints so if you are going to use it you must be careful. I found this chart helpful.

      • Ryan says:

        I agree Syd, i had a accident with my HG Tallgeese kit a few years back and the shield became brittle and softened the plastic, i was able to save the shield, but barely, ive avoided them all since.

      • Arcee says:

        Thanks for the info! More tutorials! Make a diorama, Gundams smashing the falcon! hehehe! Just kidding! More shows dear Sirs! More shows!

  18. Mike says:

    So what can one use to top coat over Gundam marker made panel lines ? I’m in Canada and the only spray paints I can find are Lacquer based.

    I have access Tamiya and Testor.
    I can always buy acrylic clear coat bottles and thin them before spray painting.

    I’d prefer to avoid the “mist” layer of lacquer if at all possible.

    Anyone have any experience with anything else in Canada ?

  19. Kevin says:

    Hi, do you ever airbrush your kits or always use spray cans?

  20. Kevin says:

    Thanks for replying Syd. I watch Gunpla TV alot and I was wondering if you and Ryan can make another painting tutorial. I know you made one about spray cans in episode 12, but I was hoping if you can make another one that is more detailed and explains how to use top coats, masking etc. Thanks!

  21. Mike says:


    Just tried thinned Acrylic clear. Does the same thing as Lacquer paints on gundam markers.
    These lines have dried for about 2 weeks.

    Starting to loose faith on these gundam markers for panel lines.

  22. ClayCannonII says:

    Hey syd-sensei, I just had something weird happen. I was panel lining the frame of my MG Wing Zero EW and the knee and part of the lower leg just crumbled to pieces. Has the ever happened to you (or anyone readingthis), and how do I avoid this from happening again

    • Mike says:

      Couple of question to ask here.
      Did you paint the frame with anything before ?
      Do you mean crumbled as in simply falling appart or did the pieces litteraly fell into bits of plastics ?

      Whats are you using to panel line ?

      • ClayCannonII says:

        1. Mr. Top Coat, 2. Literally crumbled into tiny pieces, 3. Mr. color black and Mr. Level Thinner

  23. ClayCannonII says:

    This is one reason why I think bandai needs to make it so people from other countries can reorder parts, cuz now the $50 model I bought is useless

    • Mike says:

      From what you wrote you didn’t do anything to it to cause it to crumble unless it has been in constant direct sunlight exposure but I think you just go a bad part :/

      HLJ use to do it but I just noticed the service is temporarely suspended. Keep an eye on it in their help section.

  24. ClayCannonII says:

    Ok new question. When sanding down the cement and putty, what is the best grit to use or at least start with

    • syd says:

      Start with the larger grits and work down. I usually use a 400 for most everything I do and then go to 1000, 1200, etc depending on how smooth I want the finished result to be.

  25. ClayCannonII says:

    When it comes to going by the colour guides in the manuals, do they apply to a certain painting technique (ie hand paint, air brushing, spraying), or can one get the correct proportions with just spray

    • syd says:

      the color guides in the manual what percentage of what color you need to mix together. It won’t work with spray, but the fun part is trying. 😉

  26. Todd says:

    Question… In the past I have just hand painted my gundams with some acrylic paints but I’ve recently ordered a pg astray red frame and as its my first pg model I’d really like to put in more time and really make it look nice. I’ve been looking at either getting some spray cans or borrowing a friends air brush. I had the idea the other day though to paint all of the red pieces the same color as my car and was curious if I could use actual auto paints on a gundam model. I drive a Mazda 3 and it is the copper red mica color. I figured if the paint itself would work that I could get some made up and air brush it on. Any thoughts? Also, if this would work would I have to prime first? Alternatively, if this idea is no good, do you know where i could find a list of the colors i would need if i use hobby paints? Ive looked online but have only found colors if i mix them myself not straight spray can colors though. Thanks.

  27. Ngan says:

    Nice tutorial. I was wondering though. If you were hand painting a piece with testors enamel paint using multiple coats, what do you do with the paint while you wait for each coat to dry? Also, how would you discard of the paint after using it? Thanks

  28. Tabris says:

    Do you spray the topcoat on using the same technique as you spraypaint?

  29. Jay says:

    Hi, I got a question, I mean questions…

    1) Do you sand down the pieces after priming or not?

    2) How many hours do you wait to apply another coat of paint to get the color you want?

    3) Do you top coat your pieces first before applying markings such as decals and panel lines or do you apply it at the painted pieces?

    Sorry for asking too much questions since I am new at painting GunPlas but been building from a long time ago…

    • syd says:

      Hi Jay,

      1) I don’t sand the pieces after priming.

      2) I usually wait half a day or so. More if the weather deteriorates.

      3) I top coat by pieces before applying the decals and panel lines and then I top coat again once I’m done.

      • Jay says:

        Thank you for the answers. Helped me a lot. Now, time to prep my materials for painting. Wish me luck on my first try with my MG Deathscythe Hell EW! Opting for a blue, black and gun metal/silver theme!

  30. Kyle Engebretson says:

    Hi Syd

    I have a quick question for you. What are your thoughts on using Testors enamel spray cans on a gundam model, is this a good idea, or should I stick with an acrylic or lacquer spray? Also I guess I have another question, since the selection of spray cans where I live is pretty small, could I used spray paints that are not specifically for models, but still are ok for plastic? Thanks for your time Syd.

    • syd says:

      Hi Kyle,

      I don’t have any experience with Testors enamel sprays. My advice would be to look on modeling forums such as fichten foo and ask people there. Chances are people in America, or at least outside of Japan, will be far more knowledgable than myself.

      • Kyle says:

        Thanks for the reply Syd.

        I found that people were split on using enamels to spray a gundam. Most seemed to go with either a lacquer or acrylic spray, so I decided to go with and acrylic. Wish me luck, I am painting my first kit. I am building a MG The O and am going to be slightly changing the color scheme.

      • syd says:

        Hi Kyle,

        Sounds interesting. Keep me updated on your progress

  31. Cordicon says:

    Whats up Syd! Didnt even know this was your blog until I started reading! Love your work an Gunpla TV thx for all the tips man! If your on FB an would like to join my Gundam MS Group, all things Gunpla thatd be dope either way take care dude!

  32. Hangman263 says:

    Hi Syd, just wanna know can we spray paint the model on a cloudy day?
    Or is it advisable to do it during sunny day? How long do we need to wait for it to dry?
    A single layer of paint should be just fine or do i need to layer it a few?
    Thx for the advise.

    • syd says:

      It’s always best to do it on a dry day but you can paint on a cloudy day if the humidity is low. Paint like a tamiya will dry quickly but you should play it safe and give it time, half a day or more, before touching the piece again. The amount of layers depends in the color. Dark colors, like black, often need only one coat but lighter colors may need more.

  33. lee says:

    hi, Im all new to this World Of Gunpla. Just bought myself a RG Aile Strike but kinda messed up alot on sanding the nubs so intend to paint back the kit. so shall i build up the whole kit 1st and decals it than break it down for painting and than rebuild it back or paint it as i build?

    • syd says:

      RGs are kind if tough. They are small and the fit is so precise that it can be hard to disassemble afterwards. If you know what paint scheme you will do its probably easiest to paint before assembly, but remember decals always come after the painting. Good luck!

  34. Selavii says:

    Great guide here. I have a question for panel line wash. I don’t paint my kits. Can i directly use panel line wash using enamel paints then spray Lacquer top coat(Mr. Super Clear(Flat))?

    • syd says:

      Yes, you can do a panel wash onto plastic and the best part is you don’t have to be careful about ruining a paint job.

  35. Selavii says:

    Oh nice. Thak you for the fast reply, Syd. Imma order some enamels now. XD

    • Darth Mingus says:

      Hi, I don’t want to step on Syd’s toes (especially on his great site) but I wanted to mention that you should let the enamels cure completely before spraying. If you do not, the lacquer topcoat can lift the panel lines and make a mess.

  36. Kikomachi says:

    Hi Syd,

    Do you have a tutorial episode in gunplaTV on how to use putty? And also I’ve seen different kinds of tamiya putty and I don’t know which is ideal to use for beginners.


  37. Johnathan Li says:

    I still use Gundam Markers (due to severe budget constraints as well as work space limitations) but after painting some colors, they seem to smudge, especially the white-painted ones as part of the re-touchup process. Smudges I mean refer to other color paints being seen on the white-painted painted parts and I need to urgently prevent this. I followed the advice of the Hobby Shops to get the Mr. Hobby Top Coat, but there’s a problem: When painting on dark-colored paints (such as black or red marker paint), the color tends to lighten and worse still, not being able to protect the paint from smudging. Proves that top coat may not be suitable after all, any suggestions on alternatives, preferably painting on the final coating to prevent such occurrences from repeating? Urgent help needed on this, thank you.

    • Mike says:

      There is a quick work around to that depending on which type of markers you have : get some of the paint out on a disposable plate or something you don’t mind having paint on and use a paint brush to apply the paint.

      Just be sure to clean the paint brush ASAP afterwards.

    • Mike says:


      Leave plenty of time for the paint from the markers to dry properly.

  38. Zack says:

    Hi.Dumb Question do you add stickers to the kid too or just the decals?Another question:Do you fix the kit first then prime,paint,top coat or do you just prime,paint,top coat on the runners instead.Which do you think would be btr?

  39. Brian says:

    Hey Syd, I’m in Korea and have access to an official Tamiya store.

    I’m working on a reverse wash for Kshatriya’s sleeves. I’ve hand painted the pieces acrylic white and plan to go over it with Tamiya TS-79 and then hand paint over that with Tamiya Enamel black. After, I plan to clean up the white trim with some Zippo lighter fluid. Once all is done, go over with either TS-79 or TS-80.

    Is there any conflict here with the paints? Would I be good to go following these steps or is there risk of the layers interfering with one another?

    • syd says:

      Hi Brian,

      If you’re using the enamel over a lacquer your should be fine, though if you use a lot of enamel thinner to clean up it could react with your first layer of paint. Chemicals do strange things.

  40. Jhed says:

    Hey. Hi. I’m planning to paint a kit someday and i have this question. You see I want to hand paint kits rather than buying spray cans (insufficient funds either for airbrush) I mostly use enamel for painting. Is it possible to paint the part (multiple layers until its fully painted), then lacquer topcoat it (which is better? gloss or flat?), then panel wash it?

    And another question. Does anybody tried hand painting using clear/flat acrylic or enamel to make a topcoat effect?

  41. Sydney says:

    I hope you are wearing a respirator when you use Mr Super Clear. That stuff is VERY TOXIC!
    Quite a few people in my hobby where almost everyone who do face ups on ball jointed dolls have become very sick and it’s irreversible. This is a forum for this kind of doll but if you google this: What you need to know about respiratory protection!
    You will find out what you need to know. I am being an alarmist because it’s very serious.

  42. chris m says:

    Hello, I am new to the gunpla world and I recently got the Nu Gundam ver.ka. and I dont like the blue I wanted to spray paint it black. Now my question is when should I do mt top coat(matte)? I will also be doing panel lines, so should I do the top coat before? It will just be on the regular parts (ie. The white parts like the leg).

    • syd says:

      Hi Chris, that kit comes with waterslide decals too so my advice would be to gloss coat it before you do the decals and panel lines. Then when all that is done you can do the matte top coat to finish.

      • Chris M says:

        Thanks Syd!!!

        I do have another question, I am sanding down all my nubs but i have come across with a problem with the nubs. How do i clean off nubs of a clear part?? i looked on GunplaTv but didnt see anything or what not.

  43. kristian says:

    Hello syd,

    Im planning to repaint my RG strike freedom inner frame to a much vibrant shade of gold. Can i paint the whole frame itself or should i disassemble then paint? Im just afraid that the paint might ruin the fitting and its joints might not move the way its used to.


  44. Jon says:

    Hey Syd,
    I’ve been building gunplas for awhile and I’ve just started out painting, but not with the spray cans. I’ve picked up the Gundam paint markers, and was wondering if I should still do the Priming or masking? Also.. for panel lining, would that go after all the painting is done? Because I’ve been painting and once the paint dries, then apply the panel lining.

    Current project is the SD Wing Zero Custom.

    Also I appreciate these vids!

  45. Shane says:

    Hey Syd,
    How do you handle ball joints and hinges when painting? I tried painting up my sengoku astray with tamiya spray, but it ended up causing the cockpit hinge to break, part of the back piece that holds on the swivel piece the back “arm” connects to, and had a balljoint twist off at it stem when I was testing the friction. Not sure what I did wrong

    • syd says:

      Hi Shane,

      Usually I use the joint or connection part as the area I use to hold the piece on clip when I paint so that area actually doesn’t receive the paint and because it’s the joint it isn’t seen really afterwards when the kit is together. However the Astray, showing a lot more frame, it will be more noticeable if you go this method. I think your options are to paint the cockpit as a section meaning with the pieces together or each part separately and then reassemble. Some Tamiya paints can be harder on plastic than others. In this case maybe the option is to paint it with a Mr. Hobby topcoat before putting the Tamiya paint on. Good luck!

  46. Bigfudge says:


    It’s my first time painting my kit.

    Can I use a clear lacquer as both primer and top coat.


  47. shae says:

    Hi syd, im basically new to painting gundams. All my gunpla are unpainted and i wish to go a step forward and start painting all my new gunplas. I dcided to use acrylic paints instead of lacquer as acrylic is easier to handle and posses least heath hazard compared to lacquer. However i do know that acrylic tends to scratch easily. My question is, will spraying Mr hobby water based top coat protects my paintjob from scratching? Thanks for all replies.

    • syd says:

      The Mr Hobby topcoat will go over enamel and should protect your paint providing you’re not too rough when handling the kit.

  48. RSioson says:

    These were some great tips. I was wondering if you had any tips on recoloring tinted/clear pieces. For example, if I wanted to paint a zoid with a clear cockpit that is tinted orange. How would I make this orange piece blue tinted? Thank you!

  49. Julian Gabriel says:

    Hi syd,
    I wanna know if its possible to tint a gunpla’s clear parts.. if it’s OK, will you give me some tips? I’m having troubles with my build burning since I wanna paint it with denial gundam colors

    • syd says:

      The easiest way would be to find a can of clear spray. I think you can find clear in red, blue, green, orange, and yellow, and probably more.

  50. That Guy says:

    Hi Syd,
    I just started painting Gunpla and I’m gonna need sone pointers. First Question Can I use Scotch Tape to mask the pieces when I’m painting. Secondly : If Iuse a flat topcoat, will the gunpla lose the metallic effects of Tamiya Metallic Spray and lastly :When Spraying a Real Grade how should you work with the Inner Frame?

    • syd says:

      I wouldn’t use Scotch tape as likely it will leave some residue behind when you pull it off. The best is proper modelling masking tape. The flat coat won’t really make you lose the metallic effect but that metal look won’t be as shiny. If you want to paint the inner frame It’s best to paint each piece of that frame once, then bend the limbs and paint it again. Keep in mind that the fit on those kits is pretty tight so some of that paint could come off when you move the limbs around.

  51. Jeff says:

    Hey Syd

    First of all, thanks for this, really appreciate the effort you put in making this blog and how youre helping out gunpla modellers, specially us beginners.

    Got a couple of questions:

    1. When you spray several layers (primer > pre shade > post shade > top coat) does the type of “paint” you use matter? (lacquer primer > acrylic pre and post shade > lacquer top coat)?

    2. Whats the best top coat to use on gunpla kits when using an airbrush? Been reading about using tamiya x22 and x21 (clear coat and flat base) but will experiment first on the proper ratio so I dont end up destroying my kit :p

    3. Got too excited and ended up buying Mr Hobby Weathering colors (was also advised to get Mr Hobby Solvent 101 to thin them) – wondering if these can be used in an airbrush?

    4. When thinning paints, what ratio do you recommend on
    a. Primer (Mr Surfacer 1000)
    b. Pre/ Post Shade Colors (Tamiya Acrylics)
    c. Top Coat (x21 and x22) + Thinner


  52. Jeff says:

    Oops, sorry, follow up question

    I have an MG Sinanju Ver Ka that I kinda messed up, I want to start a restoration project to rebuild it properly this time around (before I work on a fresh ver ka kit I have as well)

    How do you address repainting kits that have already been topcoated?

    Do we just sand it all away, or just paint over it?

    Or is there a “secret formula” to remove the paint already applied to it?



  53. bobby says:

    hello syd, i kinda intend to paint my MG destiny later on, well it’s not builded yet. is it good to paint it directly with oil based paint with brush for the parts? or is it better using the spray cans that you using? coz i want to make the destiny all white (kind of). and one more, currently for panel lining i use 0.1 ink based pen and it’s bubbling when i draw a line on it, is it because i didn’t wash it like you did or what?
    thanks before

  54. Jet says:

    Hi, would like to ask a silly question here, my gunpla is finished only with panel lining, what if I directly spray matte finish to my gunpla? Cause I really want it to have matte look, and I want it so badly. Ha.. Hope you can shed some light on this. Thanks.

    • S2 says:

      You can do that. I would suggest taking it apart by sections (arms, torso, legs, feet, etc) and then spray the sections but you can add a top-coat now. Just don’t spray a matte flat coat in damp or moist conditions.

  55. kiminothing says:

    hi syd and other who read this,im a newbie that started the gunpla journey,i have done some gunpla like hg freedom and rg zeta and i buy a new hguc unicorn gundam,my question is that i want to spray the frame candy green do i have to sanding the frame before paint or have to wash first ?.and thank in advance to those who help me

    • S2 says:

      If you want to sand the part usually it is around the gate mark to smooth it down. You probably do not need to wash the part either but it does not hurt at all.

    • zed says:

      Many modellers wash the frames before building. The logic is this removes any oil which may have been added to prevent the sprue sticking to the metal mold. I know this is often recommended for resin parts, not sure if makes any difference on plastic.

  56. Monmon says:

    Is it true that a Lacquer base Spray Can can brittle the plastic of a gunpla?

    And is there an alternative brand for a top coat? Besides from Mr. Hobby and Tamiya?

    What kind of gold paint did you use for your PG STRIKE FREEDOM???

  57. Roro says:

    Hey there,
    I did a gloss black on a part and I wanted to paint a flat red or blue over it, is it possible or will the smoothness of the gloss gives me a problem, if you can give me some tips hor to paint on a glossy paint will be much appreciated tnx

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