A Look at the Gunpla Community from an Outsider’s Perspective

A Look at the Gunpla Community from an Outsider’s Perspective

This blog post was originally written by Morgan “Lilith” Lefebvre.

Model building is usually a past time associated with the male population. From boats to cars, airplanes and the army scene, there is no amount of shortage for this hobby. Although the community I have delved into is of the fighting space robot variety; Gundam building, or Gunpla.

From an outsiders perspective this is a hobby for the stereotype geeks that rarely shower and still live in their mom’s basement. It could also be said that many of these males have probably never seen a girl. For a girl to enter the room all eyes would turn to her, uncomfortable stares met with the silence of a room.

This is far from the truth. In fact the female presence is alive and well in the Gunpla community to my surprise. Unlike some hobbies out there the Gunpla community bears no resemblance to this stereotype.  At least, the Gunpla Montreal group doesn’t.  From my personal experience, this is a community that accepts everyone and anyone. Even those who may not be into the shows and culture but more of the building aspect like myself.

There are many terms that comes with model building, and everyone seems to have various names for one object. The same goes for the kits. Two kits can look the exact same. Although they aren’t.  Kit A may have 200+ pieces while Kit B only has 50. Kit B can have limited movie and Kit A has all sorts of movement!

The gunpla maker Bandai seems to have noticed it’s female builders producing models like the Bearguy’s, and Super Fumina. Many kits are also brightly coloured and more attracting to a female eye like the Quebely Papillion  or the Farsia and the Nobell Gundam which looks like a Japanese school girl. Think Usaki from Sailor Moon.

The Nobell Gundam is one of my favorites. You can have her pose in various ways, and she even goes with the God Burning Gundam. Think of them like boyfriend and girlfriend, like husband and wife. The possibilities are endless!

While the majority of kits more aimed at the female populous seem to include more pink and feminine colours, there is a vast world of customization for those who wish to make their model uniquely theirs. So if you don’t like the colour pink, that’s not a problem for you. A little bit of nail polish or paint will fix that up for you.

How does one get into Gunpla when  they have no interest in space fighting Mechs? Well, one way to look at the hobby is it’s very similar to 3D puzzles! The only difference is that you have to take a little more time in removing and cleaning most of the pieces so that you end up with a beautiful finished product that does not contain any nubs or parts that have been cut incorrectly. The other is to wander into a Gunpla room at your local Anime Convention.

Gunpla is a hobby that everyone at any age can fall in love with and enjoy. From the smallest of kids to the oldest of adults. You can build a product to make as a gift for a family member or friend. The possibilities are endless.

Go try some Gunpla Building today!

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