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Gunpla Transformers models noob query

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This topic contains 23 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  lawnor 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #1722846

    lawnor
    25009xp
    Cult of Games Member

    A few years back Justin came on the weekender showing off his Gunpla kit (Did he ever finish that?), and talking about that hobby and it sounded kinda fun and got my interest a little.  I have no interest in Gundam or any history with the franchise so the models themselves hold no interest for me, so I mostly put this idea behind me.  Cycling in to work this morning I heard someone talking about their transformers models.  I assumed they meant modern action figures designed to sit on your shelf and look pretty.  Little more than funko pop level of decoration.  I slowly came to realise he might have meant kits he’d built himself.  Transformers gunpla.  This is something I could get behind.

    Does anyone know anything about any of this?  If I wanted to try it out, get a good experience, and not feel like I’m paying through the nose for something that’ll likely sit in its box for a year, and then I might get fed up with an hour in what should I buy and where from?  I’m UK based.  I’d be looking for pre-takara original series designs, although nothing wrong with slightly more heroic versions of them.  Probably Optimus Prime, or maybe Grimlock, Soundwave, Jazz, Bumblebee or Starscream?  One of the cool classic characters.  The point of this would be to enjoy the hobby.  I’m not one for putting ornaments on shelves, even if they are cool/nerdy.  I have never understood the appeal of display action figures or funko pops at all, but that’s a different conversation.

    Where are the good places to buy online in the UK?

    What ranges should I be looking for or avoiding, in particular on a budget for a first timer?

    What sort of price range should I expect to look at?

    How many hours/days of work/fun can I expect to get out of such an entry kit?

    Coming at this from wargame kit building, are there other things I should be aware of?  New skills or tools I might want?

    How easy is it for a first timer to accidentally buy a pre built “ornament”/toy, instead of a build it myself model kit when shopping online?

    If I’m not excited by a final product I can show off or play with, are they still worth it?

    Are they likely to actually transform?  Would this be something I’d need more expensive kits for?

    I’m doing google searches and I think i keep stumbling in to action figures, not model kits.  What keywords should I be using or avoiding?

     

    • This topic was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by  lawnor.
    • This topic was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by  lawnor.
    • This topic was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by  lawnor.
    • This topic was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by  lawnor.
    #1722855

    orinoco
    4704xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Not sure about Gunpla.  I know the Wizkids do slightly soft pvc Transformers in their deepcut range https://wizkids.com/transformers-deep-cuts-unpainted-miniatures/

    Botwar is also an alternative if you prefer wargame figures, although I don’t know what stocks are like https://www.beastsofwar.com/project/1700191/

    #1722858

    lawnor
    25009xp
    Cult of Games Member

    If I ever see those wizkids transformers for sale in person I’ll likely buy some to paint.  They’re cool for what they are.  Gunpla is more about the building though, and that’s what I’m curious to try.  Botwar looks cool, but I’m not buying in to a new game unless I know I’ll get some games in.  I’ve made that mistake far too many times.

    #1722884

    dawfydd
    10361xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I think the kits you have heard about are by Flametoys – they have been doing Gunpla-style licenced kits of various Transformers for a couple of years now, licenced by Hasbro and inspired by a mixture of IDW comics and movie designs. They are posable, and do not transform, but they do however look very nice (if being a tad fiddly at times) going off what friends who have brought in have told me. They are pricey though, £50 and up, but they are regarded as “premium” kits so you do get what you pay for in terms of colour seperation.
    As for Transformers themselves, the choice available right now is frankly staggering, and generally there are gems across all the ranges. Studio Series ’86 Grimlock and Earthrise/Kingdom Leader-class Optimus Prime are especially good.

    #1722885

    lawnor
    25009xp
    Cult of Games Member

    The moment I saw your name appear in my email I remembered your avatar and thought I should have tagged you to begin with!

    I’ve been on and of google all day and Flame Toys Furai Models line appears to be what I’m asking about.  I’ve no idea if there are alternatives.  G1 Optimus Prime is my current preferred starting point.  He goes for £38-£50 but appears to be out of stock everywhere google shows me, but I’m new to this market so I may be missing somewhere good?  Dunno if this is because of the past couple of years, or if these things are always limited print run, get it while it lasts type stuff?

    Is this price above the odds for a build it yourself kit?  Am I paying for the brand or the license, and an equivalent quality and scale gundam would be cheaper?

    I assume the 2 models you mention are pre-built action figures?  Google suggests so.

     

    #1722886

    dawfydd
    10361xp
    Cult of Games Member

    If you just want a taste of the kit building though, Gunpla is still the best way as even in the UK you can find good kits for under £30, and under £20 if you stick within the 1/144 scale. My personal recommendations are the Entry Grade RX-78 and Strike Gundam kits, as you can literally push parts off of the sprues and they need no deals or paint, and should be available for under £10 most places.

    Bandai do have plenty of licenced kits outside Gundam however, those based on the Full Metal Panic and 86s anime are particularly good, and they have their own generic mecha line known as 30 Minute Missions of modular mecha kits that can be outfitted with various equipment packs.

    If in doubt though I highly recommend checking out some reviewers on YouTube – a lot of them at some point or other have done a “Getting Started” video with tips & advise for starting in Gunpla building. Off the top of my head (here at work) there are Mecha Gaikotsu and Kakarot197. I can try and dig out some others when I get home tonight.

    #1722887

    lawnor
    25009xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Cheers.  I’ll give them a look.  Todays fire has been lit by Transformers, but it’s always a thought at the back of my head.  I do have my pile of shame to work through before I should start anything like this, but who of us really gets everything painted before buying the next project?

    I was on a bandai website earlier, and it was kinda hard to work out whats a model kit and whats an action figure.  Not sure I was on the right section of their site as it was full of tamagochi and dragonball figures.  I suspect model kits might have their own site?

    #1722888

    dawfydd
    10361xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Just saw your reply 😀

    That’s not a bad price for Prime, and yeah you are partly paying for the licence but honestly that’s a given with these things. As a rule kits like these can be limited runs but more often than not they just go on the re-print queue. Here in the UK there is an issue with Gunpla stock in general due to “waves hands at the last 2 years” and Bandai have been struggling to keep stock available in Japan, let alone shipping it, so prices have gone up as demand has increased (so much so that they are beginning to ban retailers from shipping to international customers to keep stock in the domestic market…).

    Let me know where you have looked for that Prime kit and I’ll see if I can work some Google-Fu when I get home this evening for you.

    #1722889

    lawnor
    25009xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I’m not even sure.  I just went to google with a bunch of search terms like “Flame Toys Furai Model Optimus Prime G1 Version”, or “where to buy Furai models” and clicked every link it offered me.  Best price is https://www.kapowtoys.co.uk/product/flame-toys-furai-model-optimus-prime-g1-version.html but everyone appears to be out of everything I recognise right now.  I figured the world being upside down was to blame, but I’m new to this market, so I thought it might be this way always.  Its gotta be a niche industry.

    If you have any UK shops you like for this sort of a thing a few links might be helpful.  I’m sure if I went googling for the minis I usually paint I wouldn’t always end up at the sites I would order them from.

    Have you Gunpla’d before?  What sort of build time would you expect from a £40ish kit like G1 Prime?  I saw the back of the box on a video and it looks like he might have similar, perhaps less sprues than a GW Start Collecting box.  I think they’re a day, perhaps two to build for me.

    #1722921

    dawfydd
    10361xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Funnily enough, I have a project thread here where I post some of my builds: Gunpla, Gunpla Everywhere . Now I’m a fairly chilled builder – I only recently began using any of the labels the kits come with, and still don’t really mess around with panel-lining and the like (but it’s all on my “to do” list!). Build time is all relative – some times I’ll just build a kit in a few sessions doing a certain set of body parts, other times I’ll just knuckle down and burn through it. I’d say a couple of days is a good ballpark for one of these TF kits though.

    Kapow is a good retailer, I use them a lot for my Transformers collecting. I know there are a few other UK retailers who have listed the Furai kits, I’ll post some links when I get home. And don’t discount wargaming shops. A lot of them are carrying Gunpla and the like nowadays. Firestorm has a range listed, and Forbidden Planet as well.

    #1722944

    lawnor
    25009xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I’ve checked a few of my wargaming sites already.  I know there’s overlap between the hobbies.  Thanks for your help today.

    #1722976

    sundancer
    39353xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Gundams are fun to build if you don’t get the horrendous expensive ones… those have so much details XD

    Still waiting on the the Wizkids Deep Cut “ready to paint” figures to come to Germany… a distributor has them announced for ages but not yet delivered….

    #1722984

    dawfydd
    10361xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Ok, so. Did a bit of searching and sadly a lot of the shops i normally purchase from either don;t carry Flame Toys or have the more recent kits but not Prime.

    https://www.comicsandcocktails.co.uk/store/Flame-Toys-Transformers-Furai-Rodimus-IDW-Ver-Model-Kit-p417682740

    Flame Toys

    https://japan-cool.uk/

    https://www.gunpla.co.uk/

    HOWEVER, the team over at Gundam Mad came through – 1 Flame Toys Optimus Prime kit https://www.gundammad.co.uk/product.php?productid=19291&cat=364&page=1

    Knew I’d find one somewhere 😉

     

     

    #1723013

    sundancer
    39353xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Oh that’s a nice one… 8)

    #1723064

    lawnor
    25009xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Well, it was a little more than I was hoping to pay, especially after postage, but it does appear to be the last one in the country.  I wasn’t going to buy just yet, but I tripped and fell on my mouse and keyboard a few dozen times and now Prime is on his way.

     

    Thanks for the help and the bad influence!  I’ll bookmark those shops and look through them next time I’m avoiding work, or once Prime is built and i want more.  is there anything I should be aware of that I won’t already know from building wargaming toys?  I know I’ve got to be more careful with cleaning up the sprues as I won’t be able to paint over any scratches or damage.  Fine grade sandpaper and care and attention are the order of the day, along with sharp clippers, I guess.

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