I am currently building my first Gunpla kit (MG FULL ARMOR UNICORN GUNDAM) and I have some questions regarding the finishing touches.
Question #1: I’ve seen many people apply decals, panel lines, and topcoat in various different orders; I’ve heard things such as applying topcoat and then applying decals would make the decals easier to fall off and spraying topcoat over panel lines would better preserve them. The current application order I have in mind is panel lining–>decals–>topcoat, would that be correct?
Question #2: When topcoating, is itrecommended to just take apart certain ares of the gundam, or should take off all the armor and spray them individually like spraying paint.
Question #3: The MG FULL ARMOR UNICORN GUNDAM comes with two decal sheets. If I am correct, I think one is normal decals and the other is water applied ones. I am not clear on why there is a combination of water decals and dry-applied ones, why not just one type? I also noticed the water decal sheet have not been cut.
Sorry if some questions are obvious, however, this is my first gundam (expensive…) and I wouldn’t like to make mistakes.It would be nice if I could get some input 🙂
Hello there fellow Gunpla-er!
Question #1: Gloss coat, panel line, optional gloss coat to protect your panel lines, decals, and then finally your top coat (flat, gloss, or semi gloss).
Question #2: I would say to top coat parts individually like you were painting. Top coating a completed kit without separating parts can leave area’s without top coat. This is something that seems the most logical because the whole use of top coat is to protect your kit. Better to be thorough in my opinion.
Question #3: Water decals are more forgiving than dry transfers, but can leave an edge that can be seem if a person looks at the kit very closely. Dry transfers need to be applied perfectly in the first rub because you can’t move it once it has been rubbed into place, yet it gives the appearance that the decal was printed on the kit. Very clean results. You can always mix and match. Also, you have to cut both dry transfer decals and water slides yourself.
Hope this helps. I’ve learned a ton from the good people in the group. If you need more in-depth answers @teetee580 knows his stuff. He was one of the people that was enlightening me on this very subject of order of operations. Happy building!
ok for ur decals those are dry rub on not water thats the first version the second version is sticker decals so just use like a tweezer to apply those on as for the dry rub on carefully cut out a strip then tape it onto the kit where u want it too and take a pencil or something and rub it on as for the order u said panel line than decal than topcoat and for ur topcoating just leave the gundam in unicorn mode as u dont want the coating to flatten ur psycho frame so just take it apart in separate parts like spray the body then spray an arm and do this separately u dont need to take out the parts completely like taking out all the armor off the inner frame
actually go to this site called gunpla inoichi this guy z hes built a unicorn gundam/ topcoated it so you should check it out he builds gundams then coats it with a topcoats and writes a review i think but im not too sure he wrote up a tutorial on his way of topcoating so check it out
@Comisama Please take note of the answers of @iamMajesty.
If you would like to get a good result on an expensive kit like that and being your first Gundam, spray all the armor parts separate!
If you’d do it like @thebanshee13 suggests you run the risk of getting spray on the Psycho frame, even if you leave it in Unicorn-mode. The closed armor parts have seams in them where the clear coat will get in.
This is called overspray. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a gloss or matte coat. Sure enough, a matte clear coat on the Psycho-frame will ruin the shine, as a gloss will not. BUT if some parts get a gloss clear on them due to overspray and some don’t, the effect is also ruined.
An other advantage of having the armor part separate for this process is, putting the panel lines and decals on is much easier. Other parts won’t be in your way when putting on all those decals. Or else it could give you a headache or you’ll get annoyed.
An other big plus is, there are a lot of the same decals on the left side on an armor piece that is on the right side as well. In this way you can lie down the pieces next to each other and make sure the decals are on the exact same spot.
If you aren’t going to paint, it is not really required to use a clear coat before applying the panel lines. It could help in cleaning any blemishes you may make.
When applying the decals, being it water slides, dry transfers and especially stickers the surface is much more forgiving if you apply a gloss top coat first. As for decals falling off, if you let water slides dry enough, this won’t be a problem.
With stickers falling off, this is a much more frequent problem. This will happen when a sticker is applied to an surface which is not top coated and the sticker is peeled of a few times due the incorrect placing of it and trying to put it on the correct spot a few times. The adhesive on the back of the sticker will stay on the plastic because of being a somewhat rough surface. A gloss clear coat makes for a really smooth surface. The adhesive will stick on it really well, but will not stay on the gloss coat as much should you peal it off a few times and resulting a better sticking sticker even after a few times pealing it off.
As for placing the sticker on the surface, tweezers could be used, but personally I always use my hobby knife. Just the tip of it under the edge of a sticker. Making a contact surface of a millimeter or less between the both. Tweezers will come in handy when there is no adhesive on an object.
And I take it you are aware of washing the runners before starting the build…
Hope this gives you some more information and will help you in your build. Happy building and welcome to the world of Gunpla
IF you are planing to coat each part, make sure the joins are not coated as well as the sides between pieces also. Bandai are quite accurate at piece sizes. If you coated some joins, you will have problem moving or even putting them together if the coat is thick. Coat between two pieces (one coat on each make two) make the seam lines even bigger and pieces might becomes not perfect fits.
Thus, no matter which way you go for, you will need to do some masking.
NOTE: Make sure your panel lines are dry and just thin coat it on top. Let it dry then coat till your liking. I messed up on one of my SD Banshee’s horn by melting some panel line on the gold with heavy coating.
Also take note that this MG of yours is heavy and not easy to hold all positions (especially you have all weapons on)
The chance is that you won’t be switching unicorn/NT-D mode much, so do take pictures on both before putting it on display.