Sep 15
HLJ : Luke

Here is the video that many people have been asking for.  We’re going to show you how to get a decent paint job on your own gundam using only spray cans.  We created this video to explain the wheres, whens, and hows of using primer and paint.  We hope this video answers many of the questions we’ve received about painting.  Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

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Gundam models shown in this video :

– 1/100 MG  RX-77-2 Guncannon with Special Clear Armor Parts

1/100 MG MSN-06S Sinanju Ver. Ka

Tools used :

clips and more clips


  1. Thanks for the great tips since i will need to use spray painting form my next project, just wondering how many spray paint cans are required to paint ordinary 1/144 HG for instance, assuming the all of the parts are going to be painted.

  2. that’s very informative regarding spraying, though i did notice that 1 can of spray colour won’t be enough for a whole MG kit? or is it possible to do all the parts with just 1 can? how many spray did you use when you did your sinanju?

  3. Hey, cool! I’m very partial to painted builds, so it’s nice to see another video on finishing work.

    Working with an airbrush has a lot of benefits, but of course it costs a fair bit of money to get started with the airbrush, compressor, and so on. With the right techniques you can get a great finish with hand-painting or spray cans… So it’s a good way to start out the hobby right!

  4. Yami,

    Depending on color you should be able to paint an HG kit with just one can. This applies to MG kits as well. I’ve been able to paint an entire MG with just a couple of cans. The Sinanju, however, was a different story. I wanted a deep, rich yellow and I used about 6 cans of paint just on the yellow. Then there were the black, gold, and silver parts as well.

  5. Syd & Hobbylink, these videos are awesome, the tips you are providing are greatly appreciated not just by myself but I am sure by many who are just getting in to gunpla, so thank you for putting these on.

    Keep it up, I look forward to the real grade build.

  6. Hi Syd,

    Thanks for the great video. One question. After you top coat with gloss and then apply decals and panel lines will you top coat again with gloss?

    Thanks Dave.

  7. Do you only use spray cans or do you also airbrush? Do you ever use future for top coats?

  8. Hi David,

    After I apply decals I will top coat again with the final top-coat. The last top-coat is the one that determines the finish. If I want a matte finish I will top-coat it with Flat Top-coat or if I want it gloss I will top coat it again with gloss.

    Hi Evan,

    I only use spray cans. People have been nudging me to move to an airbrush and it’s definitely something I will attempt in the future however, I am quite satisfied with the results I am able to get using only cans for now. For sure, if I move to an airbrush I will use Future for top coats.

  9. Airbrushes have lots of benefits, of course – the kinds of control you can get, the ability to paint with more precision and to more easily do things like gradients and shading – but if you’re going to be doing a lot of models one of the simpler long-term benefits is cost… Bottled paint is a lot cheaper than spray cans. The start-up cost is higher, since you need at least an airbrush and compressor, but over the long term it’s cheaper than spray cans.

  10. Thanks for answering my question regarding Topcoat availability! Hopefully I’ll be able to find some alternative…

  11. If you are looking for alternative Topcoats items in the USA they sell testor topcoat at the craft shop Micheals or you can order topcoat from Hobbywave

  12. Hi Syd, thanks for another great and very useful videos of yours.

    Could you do a video on how you put on the gold paint on the your yellow Sinanju, please ? BTW… it looks very awesome in yellow 🙂

    Thanks in advance!

  13. Syd is that Sinanju the yellow bird that was entered in to the Bandai World Gunpla Competition?

  14. Hi Leon,

    The gold was applied by masking off the parts I wanted to keep black, then spraying gold. Well, actually I wanted the gold a little darker so I sprayed the pieces gloss black, then masked, then sprayed the gold. For some I sprayed gloss black, then gold, then masked and sprayed black again.
    There’s some info and pics in an old blog entry I wrote.

    Hi Sterling,
    I haven’t entered the Yellowbird into any competitions, although I thought about it at some point, so the one you saw must have been someone else’s.

  15. Hi Syd,

    Thanks again for sharing this information!


  16. Thanks Syd again for sharing the information 🙂 !

  17. Excellent video!
    2 questions tho. I’ve read that if you clear coat with Tamiya at the wrong time, it’ll lead to cracking, any tips to avoid that?
    And also, is it the clear coat beneath the decal or above it that makes silvering? Can you clearcoat with gloss to avoid silvering, then put matt on top of that?

    Great to see this can be done despite of winds tho, major concern here :p

  18. Hi Daniel,

    I have heard of some particularities when it comes to using Tamiya clear coat, such as damaging decals however I haven’t any experience with the Tamiya clear coat as I use Mr. Hobby and it works great.

    It is the surface underneath the decal that will determine whether there is any ‘silvering’. To avoid silvering it’s advisable to put a gloss clear coat on before you apply decals. As the final top coat determines your finish you can gloss coat then decal then do a matt coat over top for the final finish.

  19. I dont agree when you said you can get away with no primer you should always prime as it gives the colour some thing to grab on and also fills in any scratches.
    Also if you live in a crappy rainy place like the UK 🙁 you can get some good cheap spraybooths which are good for useing spray cans indoors.
    as HLJ cant send spray cans i find GAMES WORKSHOP Chaos black and skull white spray cans good for priming

  20. Priming does indeed help the paint grab onto the piece and can fill scratches (Mr. Surfacer works well for this, too.) however, this video proves that you can paint a Gundam kit without the need for priming.

  21. What is the silver effect?

  22. Traviss,

    ‘Silvering’ is what happens if your decal does not adhere completely to a flat surface. It will be reflective and look silver from certain angles. To avoid that you need to get the decal on the surface completely which is why gloss coat is recommended and mark setter and mark softer used regularly.

  23. There are a few shops that sell Tamiya and Gundam spraypaints where I live, but they usually cost about $5 a can. I’ve found them to be very forgiving even if you apply a little too much, and they even out pretty well. They also dry relatively quick.

    However, in recent years, I tend to use the BOSNY brand of paints (imported from London, I believe) – these cans are about three times the size of Tamiya cans and cost only $2 per can. They are meant for automotive painting, but I find they work well with plastics, though they don’t come in the same wide variety of colors, I still more or less find what I’m looking for in their selection. I normally use BOSNY for touch-ups, priming, and topcoating, anyways.

    I like to spray about a hand’s width from the parts when I want a nice, even coat. But to save on spraypaints, I usually tape the parts to a board with the part side that I don’t intend to paint FACE DOWN on the board (the sides that will be hidden from view once the kit is assembled) – this usually work for the outer armors of a kit. Stuff like the head, wings, or anything else that needs to be painted on multiple sides are usually mounted. Then I cover the drying parts with a large corrugated box to help keep dust from settling on my paint job. It takes about 24-48 hours for my paint to dry, and maybe 4 days to a week for it to cure.

  24. Hi Syd,
    What is the gloss coating after painting for?
    If I want a matte finish, can we skip this step and apply the decals then lastly the matte coat?
    Thanks heaps

  25. where can i find the base that you use for the RG in episode 7?

  26. where can i find the base that you use for the Real Grade in episode 7?

  27. Hi Syd,
    Does it matter if I use acrylic or non acrylic spray paints?

  28. Hi William,

    The gloss-coating after painting not only protects your paint but also prevents the ‘silvering’ effect when it comes to applying decals. If you want a matte finish you can spray the matte over top of the gloss-coat and still get your matte effect because it is the final coat that determines our finish. However if you don’t want to spray a gloss-coat before a flat coat, my advice would be to use the decal softer that we mentioned in a previous episode. This product helps prevent silvering as well. I have skipped the gloss-coat step a few times thanks to the decal softer.


    That base you see the RG on in episode seven came with the September issue of Dengeki Hobby magazine.

    We are sold out of that item but you may be able to find a few for sale on auction sites around the internet.


    Your choice of spray paints is up to you. I use lacquers because I can safely use acrylics or enamels over top when doing panel washes or adding damage, etc. However, if you use acrylics as a base coat, using enamels over top is iffy and using lacquers over top is a no-no.

  29. How long do you wait before you re-coat or top coat when using lacquer?

  30. Hi megasaki,

    As I use spray cans I can do a re-coat after only a few hours, but I tend to wait a day just to be on the safe side.

  31. If you’re building MG or PG Gunpla, do you need to paint every part and topcoat it before assembling? Do you paint the polycaps?

  32. I don’t like the idea of running out of paint in a rattle can right in the middle of a project, especially if the color & brand isn’t readily available in shops in my area. This is one major reason that I favor an airbrush over spray cans. While they can be easier to use and take up less space, as well as costing less for individual projects, if your like many modelers you have a huge stack of models built up waiting to be built and painted, which makes an airbrush a smart investment.

    Remember that an airbrush is also a multi-use tool. Without any liquid medium loaded in it, all its spraying is compressed air, which is perfect for cleaning model kits, delicate objects, and computers. Also, since your spraying 100% compressed air, you don’t have to worry about propellant like you get with cans of compressed air, which could possibly damage whatever your spraying, and in my honest opinion, is a pure waste of money. Your buying air. Really. Air.

  33. Hi Syd,

    I already did apply flat top coat in my gundam, but now I want to go back and put some decals on.. How should I do that without introducing the silvering effect?

    From your reply above, it seems that I can just use the mark softer.. is that right?


  34. Hey I know this question is a bit late, however I just got into gunpla and found theses tutorials. My question is in manuals, when they tell you what color to use there are multiple wither percentages next to them. What does this mean?

  35. Hi Syd,
    I’m new with painting and i just want to ask what is the type of spray paint you are using?
    I only have access to tamiya spray paint polycarbonate here in my place.
    Is it safe to use with gunpla? Thanks!

  36. Hi Syd how long u leave paint dry primer and paint and can u use cheap spray paint like u buy dollar store or dose gotta be model paint specifically case I’m gonna build Hguc jesta cannon and spray paint it. And can u use same clips paper ones u use for hg and wat time year be good paint with spray or dose depend on weather conditions.

  37. Hi Syd, I’m gonna use testors spray paint is it any good case I only have access to that right now so I’m gonna paint a gold gundam jesta full gold but gonna paint all the runners basically gold and some other colors with spray paint testors any tips for first timer. Thanks Syd

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  39. Hi Guys,

    I’m about to trying spraying for the first time…silly question.

    Do you assemble bits with the poly caps inside and then lightly coat? it makes sense to me now but may ruin things in the long run


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