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Hello! Please introduce yourself


Hi Everyone! My name is Taz and I run the PlamoTherapist YouTube Channel! While I would love to make YouTube videos and content full-time, I have been working as an elementary school counselor for the past three years. Being a school counselor in the pandemic world has shown me how important it is to have a hobby that you can use to take your mind off of the stress of our daily lives. This is why my channel focuses on teaching people about how to build model kits and the science behind why we feel better when we do. Even if you only snap build, as long as you’re having fun and enjoying the process, you gain all the mental health benefits from this awesome hobby!


My start into gunpla began way back in March of 2000. Like many other fans in the United States, I was first introduced to Gundam when Gundam Wing was added to the line-up on Toonami. Around that time, my grandparents were hosting an exchange student from Japan. While not knowing the history and origin of Gundam, I asked if he knew what Gundam was. He gave me a small chuckle and said very coolly that he knew what Gundam was. After helping him practice his English during his stay, he sent me my first ever Gundam kit as a thank you. It was the 1996 Shenlong Gundam, and in less than an hour, I had broken all of the pieces off the runner (yes by hand) and snapped the kit up with nub marks and gates still attached to the pieces. It wasn’t perfect, but I didn't’ care because it was so cool to see the mobile suit from one of my favorite TV shows standing on my grandma’s kitchen counter.

For a few years after that I really got into collecting and building the 1/100 HG kits from Wing, but there were two kits that I never could find. The 1/100 HG HeavyArms, and the 1/100 HG Deathscythe. By high school, I had moved away from gunpla in favor of Airsoft. Another amazing hobby from Japan. Airsoft dominated a good portion of my free time between high-school and the pandemic. I even bought my first DSLR to try and get into photography as a second hobby with airsoft, not once looking back at gunpla.

After a 10-year break from the hobby, I was called back to building when I passed a local shop that had the two kits missing from my old collection. Needless to say, I went in and bought it immediately along with some tools to do the kits properly this time around. After another few years of on and off building while completing my Master’s Degree, I moved into my current home and finally had the space to set up a proper workstation and began building seriously during the lockdown.

Initially I didn’t care to paint my kits. I thought it was too much work and not worth the effort, but that feeling didn’t last long. I was driving home from work thinking about building and an idea that I’m sure many painters probably had sparked in my head, “Oh man, how cool would it be if I could change the color of a kit?!” With my new inspiration, I went out and bought a compressor, airbrush, a spray booth, and a Costco pack of 500 spoons to practice on. My very first painted kit; the RX 78-2 Ver. Ka.

After days of working on this kit, I finally completed my first ever painted gunpla. Seeing it stand there in all its painted glory was the moment I decided that I wanted to learn everything I could about building gunpla. Custom Painting, kitbashing, LEDs, weathering, dioramas, nothing was off the table if I could use it to better my gunpla.

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

My absolute favorite project was my work on the Real Grade Nu Gundam. The entire process from start to finish was an absolute dream. The build was satisfying, the details are amazing, and the painting process was nothing short of enjoyablee. The Nu Gundam color combination and design easily put it in my top 5 favorite Mobile Suit designs and I knew from the moment I bought the kit that I wanted to match the original color scheme and even picked up some waterslide decals.

The whole project took a little over a month as I was also working on other videos during the time on top of my regular job as a counselor. While I was able to build the kit in a few days, most of my time was spent waiting for paint to dry to avoid chipping even though I’m using lacquers. Better safe than sorry!

While most of my builds I try to push myself to do something new or work on something that I want to get better at, for this build I wanted to see where I was at in terms of my painting ability. I focused on just painting and worked on color separation and masking. Not worrying about other factors of the build really allowed me to spend more time on getting colors right. Once I had the colors selected, I broke the kit down into colors and painted it to match the original scheme and finished it with a matte/semi-gloss combination. Not only was I absolutely pleased with the results, but I managed not to chip anything!

The hardest project to date was my MG Kyrios. I knew that I wanted to paint him purple, but I wasn’t sure how purple and lavender were going to look together. I also needed to change the clear sections of the GN drives from Green to purple. Eventually, I learned how to cast and cure UV resin in order to match the color scheme, and ultimately was able to pull off the Purple and lavender combination. It was a stressful build for a tight deadline, but I am glad I got it completed in time for a showcase submission.

I find that I learn more from my failures than my successes. When things go well, it reinforces what we already know, but when we mess up, we are faced with having to find out WHY it didn’t work. If we humble ourselves for a minute and reflect on our errors, we can grow faster than ignoring our glaring shortcomings. The hardest part about growth is learning how to balance the concept of pushing our boundaries and enjoying our hobby for what it is. There’s nothing wrong with easy projects, but when the hobby grows boring, try something new and challenging to spice it back up!

Describe your process when starting a new project

My process for starting a project actually begins when I’m shopping. While I’m looking around, I look for things that inspire ideas. If I see a kit that I think looks cool, I pick it up and stare at it for a few minutes. If no ideas come to mind, or I don’t really feel excited with the original colors, I put it back. If I pick up a box and an exciting idea comes to mind, or the original colors inspire me to bring it to life, then I buy the model kit.

For example, from the moment I saw the promotional pics for the Real Grade Hi-Nu, I immediately knew I wanted to make it pink. Even before the kit was available, I knew that once it was available, I was going to buy it and paint it pink. I didn’t have an exact shade right away, but the idea was exciting enough to encourage me to reserve a box at my local store.

Once I’m ready to start the project, I begin by cleaning up my workspace. This process helps me finalize that the last project has come to a close, and that I am ready to begin the next project. At this point, I will usually switch out any worn sanding sponges, and replace my hobby knife blade as the final step before opening the box to begin. These rituals we form around our hobby helps our mind to shift away from our daily problems, and focus on what’s directly in front of us.

Who do you follow on social media?

From youtube, there are several people I want to mention. First is Justin from StudioG who not only brought cinematography to gunpla, but also took time out of his day to teach me how to properly use my camera. Second is Liam from Millennial Model Mayhem who through his iconic mayhem hand-painted style coupled with his comedic delivery makes for an absolutely enjoyable experience. Last, and definitely not least, is Saint-Ism who took the time to teach me about photography and posing. If you haven’t checked out his article, I highly recommend it!

From the Instagram Side, I have to mention @Iowa_Newtype, aka the Midwest Painting Madman who has taught me that the best way to understand what my paint can do is to push the boundaries with what they can do. Second, I have to mention @gunplabuilder_Dan who reminds me that there are still so many kind people in this community. Dan’s kindness exceeds even my own as a therapist! I also have to mention @gunpla_joey whose journey matches my own in terms of balancing work and a gunpla youtube channel!

Your next gunpla project? (or current)

As I write this, my current project sits next to me curing on my paint station. As mentioned above, when I work on a project, I pick one thing that I want to try to work on, and in this project it’s weathering. I wanted to do something that I knew no one was going to attempt (at least not as far as I know) and make a destroyed gundam diorama using the 1/48 RX-78F00 gundam bust model.

Initially when I bought this kit, I was going to make a clean build, but after watching some other scale modelers and diorama makers on Youtube, I had a new vision for the F00 kit and that was a destroyed gundam with a scale person and tank. Thankfully I found a 1/48 Tamiya Nashorn that came with a figure and got right to work. As it sits right now, the Nashorn is done with its initial paint, and the next step is hand painting the road wheels before assembly and weathering.

The F00 bust has gotten some battle damage but nothing too crazy as I wanted to preserve a lot of the detail in the kit. I added some wire and paracord to simulate exposed components for the arms, and even removed one arm completely. As it sits now, it’s dry and in a closed container waiting its turn to be painted. The kit is simple enough to not need separation for now since it’s getting its original color scheme back but just slightly muted and matte unlike the glossy finish of the original kit.


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