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Hello! Please introduce yourself

Hello! My name is Hugo and I am a gunpla modeler born in the tiny nation of Honduras but now I live in the United States. I currently work as a manager in a family owned construction company.

My story with gunpla began in the 90’s but not with actual Gundam kits. While living in Honduras, the father of a friend was sent to study in Japan. He would send my friend robot model kits and when I saw that I was blown away and wanted to build some. I do not know what show they were from but it was mecha and it was a model kit, I never managed to get a kit of my own during that time. Fast forward to the early 2000s and Gundam Wing kits started showing up in the United States. Those kits reminded me of the robot kits I had seen as a little kid and became addicted to Gunpla from that point on. I started painting kits around 2005 when I found an online video of “How to build Sword Calamity” that was included with the October 2004 issue of Hobby Japan.

I watched that video many times and learned from it even though I did not understand Japanese and it was not subtitled. After a few months I bought all the necessary supplies and was ready to paint. The first kit I painted was a NG 1/100 Strike Freedom Gundam. Gundam Seed Destiny was very popular at the time. I think the build went well for the first time painting, I did not remove any seam lines but tried to add additional details. Unfortunately I no longer have any images from that kit. The oldest pictures I can find are from the MG Strike Freedom I completed in 2008. I started out with Mr Hobby Acrylics since Mr Color was not readily available during that time in the USA.

I built and painted kits up until about 2010 and then stopped for many years. Around 2015 I decided to get back into Gunpla but I did not have a dedicated area to paint in my house so I just snap built, added decals, and sprayed top coat on the kits.

Around late 2017 I decided to enter a gunpla contest and knew that I would have to paint the kit to make it look good. I looked into pre-shading with black technique and during my research I learned about the highlighting techniques from builders like Saint-ism and Vegeta8259. My first shaded kit was the MG Jesta completed in early 2018. I did not win the contest but I am still very proud of this build.

Other hobbies that I am into are video gaming although I have turned into mostly casual because Gunpla takes most of my time. I also collect action figures like Soul of Chogokin, Figuarts, Saint Cloth Myth, and Metal Build. I wish I could take more pictures of the toys but Gunpla takes priority at this time.

My wife gifted me a mirrorless camera in August 2018 and started taking pictures of my kits after that. I am still learning and adjusting my lighting set up to improve my pictures. I find photography very hard but good pictures really help highlight your work.

Tell us about your favorite gundam project you have worked on so far?

I have 2 favorite Gundam projects that I have worked on so far. One of them is the group of the GAT-X stolen mobile suits from Gundam Seed. The MG Blitz, MG Aegis, MG Buster, and MG Duel Gundam. This project took over a year to complete starting with the MG Aegis in May 2020 and ending with the MG Duel in May 2021. As a big Gundam Seed fan I really want to have a complete collection of Gundam Seed kits on my shelf someday and this was a good starting point for me. I feel the Aegis was the most difficult to build because it has very similar parts for the arms and legs. I actually labeled the inside of every part to keep track of which parts went into the arms and which ones belonged to the legs. I needed to ensure the correct decals went on the correct parts as well.

My second favorite project is the MG Providence Gundam. I built this kit in 2021 and entered it into the USA Gunpla Builders Contest 2021 and it won 1st place. It was an honor to have Meijin Kawaguchi comment on my build and this is one of the happiest days of my life that I will never forget.

With the Providence Gundam I found the kit has many details that are unpainted and therefore you are presented with many opportunities to customize the kit with just paint.. It took a lot of time to mask and paint the details but in the end it was worth it. It took about 22 days for me to complete this particular kit.

Describe your process when starting a new project

The paint process starts with snapping the kit while watching TV with my wife. It’s the only part of the build that I can enjoy together with her. I will sand all of the nubs during this part of the build because I do not like sanding and want to get it out the way as early as possible. I will take note of any parts that will need seam removal at this point and set them apart for processing. Once I am ready to start the kit I will work on removing all of the seam lines, after that portion is complete I can move onto painting.

I usually stick with the standard colors so there is really no planning aside from purchasing the correct paints and identifying any additional details that will need masking and painting. Before painting I will usually wash the parts with dish detergent in an ultrasonic cleaner. Afterwards I will usually set them to dry overnight.

Painting includes priming, base coat, highlighting, and a gloss coat. I will paint all of the parts before I move onto panel lines. I work on the whole kit at once and do not go section by section. I learned that I can work much faster this way. I can complete a kit in 3 weeks using this method as opposed to a couple of months when I was working section by section. Decals will follow panel lining and then another coat of gloss. The last step will be to apply a clear coat and then final assembly. I normally plan my build session for the day while I am in the shower lol.

Who do you follow on social media?

Some of the builders I follow that have inspired my current paint style:

Mildcustom – @Mildcustoms
Saint-ism – @TheSaintISM
Henry – @vegeta8259


CRAFTA クラフタチャンネル –
Oganeko –
Nao –

Your next gunpla project? (or current)

Currently I am working on the MG Justice Gundam to finish out the group of the MG Providence, Freedom, and Justice. There is a lot of masking and detailing on this kit and it has taken me longer to complete than I expected. I am on week three of painting but I am hoping to be done by the end of July.

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