What is "Gunpla"?
Gunpla [ガンプラ, Ganpura] (short for Gundam Plastic) is a term used to describe Bandai's line of Plamo [プラモ, Puramo] (short for Plastic Model) kits based on the "Mobile Suit Gundam" franchise. Building Gunpla has been a staple hobby in Japan since the 1980s, and has found its way into the hearts of builders all around the world! It's not uncommon to walk into a Japanese department store and find an entire floor devoted just to Gundam models. Anime fans in America have been building them for years, and more recently they've become more prevalent and easier to obtain.
One very compelling aspect of Gundam models is not only building them, but painting and even customizing them as well! These models can be simply admired by the builder or taken to model competitions to be compared with their peers. Bandai even holds an annual international contest, the Gunpla Builders World Cup, in at least 16 countries. One wouldn't have to look far to find all sorts of amazing customizations on Instagram, Pinterest, and even TikTok!
What is the "Gunpla Lounge"?
The Gunpla Lounge is a place to hang out and build Gundam models, but other sci-fi and anime models are welcome, as well! Beginners and experts alike are encouraged to stop by and talk shop about models, compare techniques, or just sit down and build while we chit-chat. We'll also be hosting build-&-take events for beginners, and a model showcase! We'll have tools you can use, award-winning Gunpla professionals you can consult for tips, and possibly some witty mecha banter, available all weekend. Bring a model from your backlog, or one you picked up from a vendor, and relax at our Gunpla Lounge!
Gundam Model Showcase
Bring your best model(s) and compete for prizes, or come by and check out these masterpieces and vote for people's choice! Models will be graded for paint job, overall creativity, and technical mastery, as well as people's choice awards voted for by any attendee who wants to participate.
Gunpla is an artform, and as such, shouldn't be bound too heavily by rules or expectations. After all, Gunpla is freedom! These giant anime robots already don't bend to the laws of physics or tactical logic, so why should your entry? Express yourself with your piece. Is yours a gritty, realistic machine for war? Maybe it's painted up like a shiny new car? Is yours wearing a cloak? Break out the bedazzler if you want; as long as the model looks good, we don't care what look you're going for.
- The model must be an official Bandai Gundam model. No knockoffs or other anime models here, folks! Kitbashing with multiple models is perfectly welcome and even encouraged, as well as dioramas, but overall, it should be a Bandai Gundam model we're looking at. As long as your model is from the Gundam universe, and is an official Bandai model kit, you're good to go!
- Your entry cannot be offensive or inappropriate! Your model must conform with the code of conduct for the convention, including the rule against displaying costumes, props, or items of clothing which are vulgar, obscene, graphic, or sexually themed. If you are unsure if your piece would violate this policy, please ask.
There will be 3 categories for judging, based partially on scale as well as content:
Standard Gundam Models: High Grade, Master Grade, Real Grade, Perfect Grade, and more! Gundam models regardless of scale or grade belong to this category.
Super Deformed, Mascot, and Non-Mecha: A category all to themselves, here is the place for Haropla, SD (Super Deformed) Gundams of all flavors, Petit'gguys and their friends, as well as the humanoid Figure-Rise Standard models from the Gundam Universe such as Super Fumina, Diver Nami, and so on.
Diorama: Gundams displayed in a diorama will be judged in their own category. These will generally be models with elaborate bases, sometimes depicting a scene. Any number of models are OK to include in this category. As long it's deemed a diorama, it's fair game for judging as such.
Questions? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gundam and Plamo Open Build Area
Bring a model and build it in a chill atmosphere with fellow builders! There'll be open build space all weekend long, so come and go at your leisure. Plus, there'll be experienced builders hosting the room, as well, if you'd like tips, have any questions, or just want to chat about model building.
Gundam/Plastic Model Build-&-Take (Short & Sweet)—$10
The Gundam/Plastic Model Build-&-Take: Short & Sweet Course—Cute Pokémon and friends! This class costs $10 to cover materials, and you get to keep your model!
Great for kids and people who want to build something simple in a short amount of time! Come learn how to build plastic models (sometimes known as Plamo or Gunpla)! Tools and customization materials will be provided. Models are yours to keep! A selection of models (from anime such as Gundam and Pokémon!) will be provided, for $10 per person, or bring your own model and participate for free! Model selection subject to change, supplies and available seats are limited, one model per person.
Gundam/Plastic Model Build-&-Take (Full Armor)—$10–$15
Gundam/Plastic Model Build-&-Take: The Full Armor Course—costs $10–$15 to cover materials, depending on how complicated of a model you want, and you get to keep your model!
More complicated models than those offered during the Short & Sweet course! Come learn how to build plastic models (sometimes known as Plamo or Gunpla)! Tools and customization materials will be provided. Models are yours to keep! A selection of models (from anime such as Gundam and Pokémon!) will be provided, for $10 (or $15 for more complicated models) per person, or bring your own model and participate for free! Model selection subject to change, supplies and available seats are limited, one model per person.
Hands-On Dry Brushing Tutorial: For Models, Minis, and Cosplay
Learn and even try out the technique known as dry brushing, great for model kits, miniatures, and even cosplay armor.
This simple modeling technique works on painted or unpainted models, and quickly adds a whole dimension of weathering to your models! We'll provide materials and expertise so you can learn how to make your Gundams look a little battle damaged. No robots will be harmed during this tutorial! Also, it's a great technique to know for cosplay armor and weapons!
All About Gundam Markers—A Hands-On Q&A / Demonstration
Learn all about the various Gundam model paint markers, with examples and live demonstrations.
Are you a mark for markers? Looking to become a smart mark for markers? We can help! We'll have a multitude of different Gundam Markers on hand for demonstration and hands-on testing, plus some handy printed material to study. Which markers do what? How can you use them? What effects can you create? Be aware: many of these markers are paint markers, and can be quite messy or smelly.