Gundam Assembly - a Daddy and Son Bonding Activity
How the world of Gundam robots can bring dad and son together
You know your kid’s getting older when he throws away teddy, spends more time with Optimus Prime, and lets go of Elmo for bricks of Lego. Yes, that’s right: your little boy is now your little man. But don’t fret; it’s only natural that his hands have their fingers fill a craving for crafting.
What better way to bridge this transition than to create something together? Gundam, a robot popularized by the Japanese cartoon of the same title, has toy model kits at any father-and-son tandem’s disposal. It’s the perfect coming-of-age activity with a mean-looking 6-inch mech-warrior Gundam as your end-product.
So where does one find a Gundam model kit? Click Next Page to find out!
To begin, purchase a beginner's level Gundam model. If you want the original toy, it would be best to go to shops that specialize in authentic anime, like comic, collector and novelty toy stores. Arguably, the mecca of Gundam toys in Manila is located atop the Greenhills Shopping Center, more specifically, Shoppesville Plus, where a variety of toy shops strangely yet harmoniously coexist and compete for every sale.
A beginner's level Gundam model would most probably be the one with the 1/144 scale, non-HG variant. The HG variant or “high-grade” one has more optional and movable parts for posing and embellishing the Gundam, but the downside to the HG is that it is more difficult to assemble. If you want to try your luck on the HG Gundam, take the challenge. Anyway, you’re a team!
To get the list of tools to build your Gundam, click Next Page.
You'll need the right tools for building your Gundam. These consist of:
- work table
- wide cutting mat (if you love your work table)
- pair of clippers (or a pair of pliers with non-overlapping blades)
- sandpaper or emery board
- wire brush
- modeling knife (which are sold as box-cutters)
- pair of tweezers
- brushes and paint, if you want to turn up the challenge
To start assembling, click Next Page.
There are several things that need to be done in making a Gundam model: there’s a lot of cutting, filing, assembling, sorting, sticking and painting. Here’s where the fun begins—assigning who does which task. Needless to say, the most important one is reading and understanding the instructions.
If you delegated your tasks and started working early in the morning, by noon you’d have a completed Gundam to marvel over lunch. The cutting task takes a lot of precision-handling, so I suggest that daddy do this. Cut only what is needed at certain points because if you remove all the parts from the sprue at once, you might end up losing or misplacing some parts.
After the needed pieces are cut, file the areas with excess plastic so that the Gundam could have an authentic finish. In between cutting and filing is putting the pieces together. There are many ways of doing this; just don’t veer away from the manual. Stick the stickers on their designated areas and paint the parts you wish to customize using acrylic paint, and voila! There you have it: a Gundam made by dad and son!
What do kids learn from building a Gundam model kit with dad? Find out by clicking to the Next Page.
Through this project, you can teach your child the value of organization, accuracy, and process. Patience and determination to complete a shared goal are also lessons he may learn. Best of all, the teamwork and communication fostered by this activity between father and son are worth more than solid gold.
If at any point in the construction of your robot, both of you realize your Gundam appears gunned down, then there’s always Lego, basketball or a guitar, which could very well elicit the same expected outcome. But while you haven’t started it, try it out and see how connecting Gundam parts together can connect both of you, too!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: JUSTIN POSADAS
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