Gundam In Progress

Bandai’s 1/100 RGM-79C GM Type C: Putting On The Decals

I’d hoped to get the weathering and the decals finished on this Gunpla build over the weekend, but alas, I was “distracted” by a Bandai A-Wing Fighter and a Citadel Chimera for part of the time. More about those later in the week…

For this kit, I used a variety of decals, all aftermarket sets, from Bandai, and two third-party decal makers.

Now, if you’re not familiar with Bandai’s Gundam kits, you may be wondering why I used aftermarket decals. If you’re an aircraft builder, you may simply think “oh, you found some better markings than those that come with the kit.” A logical thought. However, you’d be wrong. Why?

Because Bandai doesn’t include waterslide decals with most of their Gunpla.

{heavy sigh}

The engineering? Impeccable. The fit? Almost unapproachable. The fun? Just about off the scale!

The decals?

{sounds of crickets}

It’s not that Bandai doesn’t know how to do decals. A few of their kits do come with them. mostly special editions, like the Var. Ka issues. And they sell aftermarket sets designed specifically for their kits. And their decals are quite good. Almost Cartograph standard, in my opinion.

Yet for some reason, they don’t include them in the box. Instead, you generally get stickers.


Now- I get that a huge portion of their target market builds Gunpla right out of the box. Just snap them up, add the stickers, and get to playing. As I’ve moved into the Gundam world over the last 6 months, I’ve seen that the target market is very different than what I was used to in traditional models. In fact, on more than a few Facebook groups, it seems that waterslide decals are viewed as some mysterious black arts of modeling. And I suppose if you’ve never tried them, they can be a bt intimidating at first.

But it would be nice to get a few in the box. Even just the bigger markings, without all of the stencils. (Like Eduard’s Weekend Edition kits.)

Oh well… on with this build.

I carefuly and thoughtfully painted the pilot. See him? In there… in the giant block hole of a cockpit. 🙂

The Bandai decals worked very nicely, no complaints there. Most of the larger markings are from various sheets Bandai has released for specific kits, but I just pick and choose and apply where I like them. They worked very well with Solvaset, and adhered to the glossed surface of the model nicely.

Of the other two sets, one worked well, the other went in the trash bin after a few applications of decals. And I wish I could tell you who the manufacturer of these sets were. Both are labeled completely in what I think is Chinese, so I’m not sure. I can say the one that went into the bin was a set for the GP04 Gerbera. While they looked nice, getting them off the backing paper was a nightmare, and they seemed to stretch and twist awfully.

Happily, the other set worked much nicer. They were printed with the decal film fully covering the sheet, but that was no problem. A little trick I’ve started doing is instead of trying to cut the paper really close to the decal, I leave plenty of room for the tweezers to grip the paper. Then I just lightly score around the decal itself with my xacto blade, which slices through the decal’s film, but allows plenty of room to handle things.

I probably could have placed many, many more stencils across the mobile suit, but I just don’t have the patience. And while it’s all made up nonsense anyway, I do wonder how readable stencils would actually be in this scale. It seems like they’d either be tiny, for humans to read up close (“push here to annoy pilot”), or in giant letters to really give warning at a distance. You know, “STAND BACK YOU IDIOT THIS IS A GIANT STOMPING ROBOT-MAN-THINGY WITH LASERS CANNONS AND LIGHT SABERS WE DON’T ACTUALLY CALL LIGHT SABERS.” Subtle warnings, like that… 🙂

But anyway… the decals are on. I’m happy with the way they look. Up next is the weathering. And I must say I am really enjoying this kit.

By the way… there is an “easter egg” hidden in one of the photos. See if you spot it… 😉 (Answer below the photos…)


The “easter egg”: I wanted to poke a little fun at the similarity between Bandai’s “beam sabers” and the “lightsabers” in Star Wars movies. So using some leftover decals from my Bandai Snowspeeder kit, I placed a nice little Star Wars Rebel Alliance symbol on the handle of each Gundam beam saber. 🙂

So there you have it! A little bit of “cross universe” fun! Thanks to everyone for stopping by and having a look.

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