Gaijin Gunpla

Anyone who has built a Real Grade kit knows they come with a mountain of stickers. For example, just look at the Justice.

I’ve done RG sticker work quite a few times now and can get through it pretty quickly but that’s because I know how to approach them. While working on the Justice this weekend I thought I’d talk about it here on the site so you can see for yourself how I do it. So for this post you get half tutorial, half RG Justice WIP.

The thing I wanted to talk about most is how to get a sticker on (uh, Syd, duh!). With the RG stickers many are cut to to fit a specific area of the kit so things need to be lined up perfectly. I will use the side of the Justice’s legs as an example here.

If you look at stickers numbered 11 and 12 you will see they are a specific shape designed to fit on towards the back of the side of the leg.

Here’s where they are supposed to go.

Due to the size of the frame piece that extends from the back of the knee it is very difficult to put the sticker into place approaching from the back (the direction my knife is pointing).

Which means I have to come in front-to-back.

So I need to know how to take the sticker off of the sticker sheet. I need the tip of my knife to be under the area of the sticker which will be pushed down last. In order to do this I have to move the decal sheet around.

I can’t take the sticker off from the bottom but will need to take it from the side. Interesting that the sticker comes upside down on the sticker sheet.

Then I position the leg so I can hold it in place with the left hand while my right hand uses the knife to put the sticker in place.

In general, I am moving my right hand towards my left hand.

Line it up where you think it should go and hold it down with one of your fingers while you slide the knife out. Then it’s just a matter of using a Q-tip or toothpick (or both) to rub the sticker down so the edge is less noticeable.

Next up is putting a larger sticker over pieces that are more than one panel, in this case the front skirt. The skirt is molded in a way so it looks to be two panels. Well, if you were painting a logo onto two panels there would clearly be a line between the two which you couldn’t paint.

In this case, once I get the sticker in place I take my hobby knife and cut along the panel line, cutting the sticker.

After this I’ll push the decals into the crevice between the panels and may even take a panel line marker and draw the panel line again.

Okay, so now I get to talk a little about what I’ve done to the Justice in terms of stickers. The one thing I wanted to show was the side of the leg. The very same section I showed in the tutorial. According to the manual there is a specific sticker that goes there.

This 102 sticker can also be found on the left shoulder but you have the option of using the RG ZGMF-X09A sticker instead. And the same goes for the rear skirt.

On the skirt I opted for the ET sticker which would mean if I went with the 102 sticker on the leg it would be the only place on the entire kit that had that number. That didn’t seem consistent to me so I decided I would change things up a bit. Why not go with that ET sticker I didn’t use on the skirt?

The only problem is that it has that triangular section that is not necessary. Well, then…

I’ll just cut that off.

Looks good. However, I need a little circular sticker that is seen to the left of the 102.

Well, then…

Not bad.

With the suit stickered up I’ll next be turning my attention to that giant backpack and once that’s done I’ll be hitting it with a layer of topcoat. Gloss or flat?

Categories: Builds, Tutorials

24 Responses so far.

  1. Ben says:

    Hey Syd i just finnished the RG Justice with stickers it looks quite marvelous i must say !
    Im going for the flat topcoat so maybe you can go for the gloss one so we can compare ?

  2. Kikomachi_02 says:

    Applying stickers is my favorite part in RG. That’s the most exciting & challenging part for me.

  3. Ryan says:

    i loved doing the RG Freedoms Stickers, but i keep on avoiding my MG Epyons Stickers and Decals, some kits are more fun to detail than others.

  4. Jeff says:

    Never thought to topcoat the kits after applying the stickers. How would top coating work on, let’s say, the gold decals on MG Sinanju?

  5. Mike says:

    Well maybe you can help me I am doing the RG and my stickers are not sticking at all. It is the foil decals for the knee joint any help?

    • syd says:

      The foils can be tough as they are meant to go over a curved surface, but I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t be sticking at all. Did you paint the parts or anything like that?

      • Mike says:

        No just literally got the knife lifted the decal placed it on the joint. The decals wouldn’t stick to the blade, the figure, my finger, the table or to each other. So I was hoping for some advice, I mean but really how hard can it be, take sticker off place it on.

      • syd says:

        Hi Mike,

        Hmmm. Maybe when you tried to pull the sticker off the sheet you pulled some of the backing up as well. This has happened to me more than once. You have to be sure there isn’t any of the clear plastic backing on the still on the underside of the sticker.

    • Bocalt says:

      These RG stickers are usually good enough to be adjusted post placement, so it is indeed very strange, I usually apply them with either my knife or a crooked and thin tweezer, use a cotten bud to rub it on in place and then to be sure use my nails to rub it down…

  6. Steve says:

    Thank you so much. I am new to gunpla and this helped me alot. Thank you

  7. khmergod says:

    Awesome writeup. I dislike the decaling portion of the build. I love snap fitting, though.

  8. Daru says:

    hi Gaijin Gunpla this post is so old but i need to ask this anyway, about these RG stickers, is it okay if we put topcoat over it? i mean, decals are okay with topcoat over it, but what about these RG stickers?

    • syd says:

      Yes, you can put topcoat over them. In fact, I would advise to do so to prevent the corners from peeling.

  9. Ted says:

    For (waterslide) decals put a gloss top coat over them for blending them in, for a flat finish add a flat coat on top of the gloss coat. Right?
    But what and at what point to do with stickers (on terms of coating?)

  10. Ted says:

    (RG Quan here.. )
    What to do with the transparent green parts? They come with shiny, reflective stickers for underneath. But I want more! Not enough space even for the smallest LEDs. So, what about putting son thin phosphorizing plastic sheet underneath instead (and maybe coat that?)
    Opinions/experiences? Much appreciated..

  11. Hi guys. Do you know how to fix a realistic decal that won’t stick to a part?

    • Alberto from Italy says:

      Provided I am working on an armour piece with no ABS parts underneath (can you remove the piece from the built model, maybe?), I usually stick it in place by spraying a bit more topcoat on the piece.

      Be careful there aren’t at all leftovers from the sheet under the sticker itself, yet: otherwise it will look… I can’t even find a word to explain… dull, not to say clumsy, with totally different light reflections on it which wull the rogue sticker it stand up among all the others, and even ugly.

  12. Alberto from Italy says:

    Dear Mr Syd, I know I might look dull, but there’s a thing I haven’t understood at all. Well, let’s take the big ET on the back of the skirt as an example (96 or 97, black number on white circle). It seems to me you’re speaking of it as if it is no more than a standard sticker, whereas I’ve always believed the ones with the black number on the white circle were waterslide decals… Please, am I missing anything here around or are even those “standard stickers” just like the white-number-on-black-circle ones, and not waterslide decals?

    • S2 says:

      Hi Alberto, The Real Grade sticker sheets are divided into two types but both are still stickers. Black numbers on white background are stickers while white numbers in black circles are the stickers that have foil (Reflective) parts to them.

      • Alberto from Italy says:

        Thank you, Mr Syd.

        So I’ve always made a mistake when putting them in place…

        The funny thing in all this is that… the stickers worked well even when used as waterslide decals!!!! 😀

  13. Alberto from Italy says:

    Ehm… Well… D’oh… Uh… I tried an experiment with some old leftovers of the original 2006 MG F91 kit, leftovers which are undoubtedly and certanly waterslide decals. Well… If you remove them with care and by using your modelling knife, they can work as standard stickers.

    This is a real surprise to me, and I guess to anybody here. May I suggest trying and see what happens to all the readers of the site? If it does work, the task of putting those decals on will be actually easier.

    At the same time, there’s a remarkable downside: if you use them as stickers, you will NOT be able to reposition the sticker as you can do with waterslide decals before removing the water excess with a paper towel.

    However, I must say I’m really puzzled…

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