What is Gunpla?
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, Gunpla is a portmanteau of “Gundam” and “plastic model”; in daily use, the term “gunpla” refers both to the model kits and the hobby of assembling and painting these kits.
Gunpla and Me
My own journey for gunpla began 20 years ago. Back then, I was in school and could only buy the few kits that my allowances could afford. I built these kits straight out-of-the-box and my only tool was a pair of scissors and occasionally some glue. Those efforts are now quite cringeworthy, but I guess they will make do until I have time to revisit them.
Fast-forward to the present, gunpla for me is a hobby that allows me to recharge myself outside of work. The geeky part of me feeds off the mechanics of the gundam design as well as the engineering of the parts that fit together so nicely when assembling the model. Gunpla also allows me to direct my focus on completing the model and to feel that small sense of accomplishment on achieving that. I believe gunpla is a factor in keeping me sane these years. The wifey sometimes complain that I focus too much on the gunpla and that I missed what she was saying/doing; I’m glad she puts up with my moments of intense concentration and allows me to indulge in this hobby.
Learning from the hobby
Personally, I have learnt much from my time spent on gunpla, such as:
- Planning and design before the build starts.
- Do we change the design through kit-bashing, scratch-building, etc.
- Do we change the color scheme.
- Do we use custom decals.
- Different techniques to achieve the planned vision.
- This includes seam line removal, panel lining, weathering, etc.
- These had to be picked up along the way (I was never interested in arts and craft in school.. see how this hobby changed me.)
- Compromising and learning when to give up
- Due to changes in the plan or realising some part is impossible to achieve.
- This is a constant negotiation with myself
It is a good thing that this hobby and my work has some synergy in terms of the management techniques.
Too much Gunpla is not a bad thing
Since I started working, I have been buying kits that I like every now and then and that resulted a huge backlog of kits. The ones in the photo are stored below the bed and makes up half of the backlog. The rest are in the storeroom. The wifey also complains that I am actually just a box collector. 😛
It does not help that the P-Bandai SG store opened this year, allowing me to add to the backlog. (My first order from P-Bandai SG and I really look forward to building these kits!)
There will be posts on gunpla in the future. For now, I will leave you with a quote from my favourite character in Mobile Suit Gundam, Char Aznable:
To you, the glory of victory!