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Getting Started Modeling Gunpla or Other Plamo

Updated on April 1, 2020

What are the true bare necessities to build a plamo?

You'll need to choose a model of any scale - 1/144 scale is great for starters.

A device to snip or cut the models out of the frame - wire cutters work great if you don't want to buy special cutters otherwise a hobby knife will suffice.

That's it! For the absolutely necessary at least.

But those wanting to make the most of their first model should also invest a black gundam marker to fill in creases and detail lines.

Tweezers will allow one to precisely add the decals included with the model.

A file to save down stubs and varying git sandpaper to erase the scratches left behind.

A rubber eraser for removing excess marker ink.

A hobby knife, pliers, file, and a few other tools can help a model shine.
A hobby knife, pliers, file, and a few other tools can help a model shine.

Before you get started...

Make sure you have a suitable place to build the model. A few things to consider are...

Will I lose anything if I drop it?

Is the surface stable?

Do I have enough space to lay out the instructions and frames.

Following the introduction booklet.

Starting off with the model:

Upon opening the box you will be greeted by the plastic model you've bought fit into several stacks of plastic frames or spruces. Before attempting to remove and organize the pieces yourself it should be noted that the model frames already do that. Looking at one of the corners of the frame will reveal a letter such as A or B and beside each piece is a number like 1 or 2 for each part. For example A2 would be the labeled as the second piece on frame A. D12 would be the twelfth on the D frame.

Building the model:

Once you feel comfortable being able to locate any piece on the frames you'll notice a small fold-out manual with the model's image placed most likely on the bottom of the box. Upon opening it up you may be startled by the lack of English words guiding you through each step. But fear not as there is no need to have a set language. The visual guides and numbering are universal instructions themselves.

Begin with the first step, the book will read left to right and have a numbered order so getting lost won't be a problem. Using the numbers and letters beside each piece on the booklet you can quickly assemble the pieces just as the picture does. However if this is your first model I have some small details you should take a minute to remember.

Advice for better models:

When cutting the pieces off their frame always leave a small stub of frame on the piece itself. Don't cut the piece off right on the end of the frame. This allows you to take the piece off and make a more exact cut. If needed you can simply file down the stub to.

If your marker turns out to big for the creases in the model a simple alternative is to run the marker over the crease letting it drip in while also marking the sides of the model. Then simply wipe off the excess ink with a paper towel or rubber eraser before it dries.

Take it slow. You don't have to be speed running for the fastest model build time. If needed, you can simply mark where you are in the building process and take a break. Modeling should be an enjoyable process of creating something with your own hands.

If you accidentally cut the wrong piece off that's okay. Put it back in the box or other safe location nearby with some identifier of what the number and letter was.

Don't feel pressured to do everything you've seen a professional do. There is no need to give your model a custom paint job or even to fill in the creases for the most part. Simply building the model from the instructions is fulfilling enough.


There is no reason to force parts or pieces together. Each model has cutouts that snap peacefully together if you have to apply a sizable amount of force than chances are something is wrong.

A mix of unwrapped frames from a Gunpla box.
A mix of unwrapped frames from a Gunpla box.


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