Gundam tutorial 1 – How to remove nubs with polishing compound

When I first started out building gundams, nub removal was probably the first thing that bug me the most. No matter how carefully I try to shave out the nubs using art knifes, I still won’t get a clean cut and worse you’ll find the area looking different from the rest. Next step probably we might take is to sand nasty spot. Even after you go to grit 1000, that spot will still look different from the rest of the parts argh… won’t want my mech going to battle with nubs sticking out in the middle of the battle…the enemies will probably die laughing.

Well for this little experiment I’ll introduce you the tools of the trade

Materials

Materials

Cotton bulb, 3 yr old toothbrush, polishing compound,

test piece from 0 gundam (sry dude..) and spare spectacle cloth

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Price included...

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Sandpaper various grits 400, 600 and 1000. Bought from HAG at Sunshine Plaza

Experiment start!

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Use the toothbrush to dust away after each sanding, makes the sanding job easier as less dust will interfere

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Notice the sanded part still looks different from the other parts.

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Apply magic cream to part with cotton bulb!

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Notice the sanded part now looking similiar to the unsanded part

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Magic cream 2!

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After rubbing with fine compound

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Comparing with the other leg. Left : original leg. Right : Polished with compound

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A closer shot

Well the experiment was a success and I think it offers a nice way for people who just like their gunpla out of the box minus the nubs. It will be quite a nice alternative if you are just not in the mood to paint… hmm maybe can try on my MG Exia…

Till the next post!

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89 thoughts on “Gundam tutorial 1 – How to remove nubs with polishing compound

  1. Curious, do you buy the polishing cream from HAG as well? This is a great guide by the way, I don’t have money or space for painting and Gundam markers don’t always do the job well, so this is an awesome alternative. :) Thanks for sharing!!

    • Well actually I got this from kovan ^^ hobby point. If HAG doesn’t carry I am sure M Workshop will carry this. Glad that the guide help. Happy building!

    • Yep ^^. Actually I only use this method on areas that can be seen such as legs and shoulder armors. Best is you test it out and gauge from your own experience how much is needed. Cheers ^^

  2. OMG Thank you!!!! I do just like building em out the box!! I do wanna do the panels, I’ve got some markers on order, and I’m considering weathering stuff, but I don’t really wanna paint them, even if they are a bit shiney.

    I think that polishing compound is something like what I used in resmat(woodwork) in high school. Made sanded plastic oh-so shiney!!

    • Haha no prob^^. After the flat coat you won’t see the difference. You can look up on my MG exia wip 3. Dry brushing is a nice little technique that is you can try for weathering.

    • I got all these at hobby art gallery ^^. Its in sunshine plaza at bencoolen street first floor. Can’t miss it ^^. But price wise I am not too sure already. I bought these things some time back. You might want to check with them.

  3. I recently bought a polishing compound as well. But this one cost 12 bucks and there was no coarse or fine written on it. Does it work the same way? I bought this at HAG as well.

    • The one you bought was the finishing compound. Its actually used after using the coarse and fine compound. But I find it unnecessary to polish till finishing though for out of box builds.

  4. Ah… No wonder the results were not the same as urs… They did not have the coarse and fine in stock the other day, nvm, i will go check another day.

    • I am afraid this is as simple as it gets if you don’t want to paint ^^; if not you can sand all the way till 1500 and 2000 grit sand paper.

  5. I’m thinking of those nail files, it has the same sanding element, I’ll try it out, since I can’t afford much on the grit papers let alone buying the compound =.=’=

        • I can’t comment on that cos I never used a nail file before. Unless the nail file can polish to say 1500 to 2000 grit you can skip the compound if the scratches are not that deep ^^. Using the compound is just an alternative ;) I think the best way however to try it out and see for yourself which works best!

  6. oh and use them according to numbers, i used the nail file block up till number 3, because if you use up to 4, it’ll become shiny, like shiny nails

  7. Arrgh~!… Now only I know on how to remove the nubs properly… To think that using two grades of sandpaper is enough…

    Never knew those polishing compound existed.

    • Actually if you use sandpaper till a higher grit like 1500 to 2000 should also be good enough ^^. Nubs are not so visible on camera :P Originally these polishing compounds are used on painted surface to make it shine, but i read somewhere that it can also remove scratches so I tried it out and it works pretty nicely :D.

  8. hey~

    I just wanna ask you something, when you combine (L+R) parts, there’s always a seam that can be split right? how do you cover that? with a putty? or something else?

    • To remove the seam you will need to use a plastic cement/ tamiya cement to melt the seam together. After that sand it down and the seam will be gone ^^.

  9. Wow this guide is VERY helpful especially for those pesky nub marks on coloured foot. I always hated those nub marks…

    now to try and experiment this on my…PG!! LOL

  10. saw your tutorial and tried it. i only sanded the plastic with grit 400 and 600 and put the magic cream on, it worked pretty good actually. maybe i should try to sand with grit 1000.

    your tip really saves my gundam 00!

    thanks mate

    • Haha no problem. Its still better to sand to 1000, the difference is quite a lot! And thanks for your comment! Really happy to know my stuff helped you out :D

  11. Hi, had try myself the technique, but i’m not using the tamiya sand paper, i just use a normal sand paper, which is availble at any department store.

    Follow by 1000 > 1500 > 2000. after apply the compound it still look scratched on my part. any idea? i think i should try using the tamiya sand paper..

    (i can’t get the compound you show on the pic in brunei T_T)

    • JoJo, i found the compound cream at Guan Hock Lee (Tungku Link) you know? the shop that sells RC cars and also other tamiya products? the assistant there is not very helpful tho… =.=’

  12. @ Jojo I did use before those that you can get from hardware stores/dept stores. Generally I find sand paper that I bought from those places are too rough even though they are of similar grit to the hobby ones. (My poor Gundam virtue) Ever since I only use those from hobby shops!

    One tip to minimize scratches is to localized your sanding just around the nub area ^^. Don’t have to be like me and sand the whole piece (only for demo purpose)

    @ Syful Ah unfriendly staff! Not good for business… I remember there was this assistant at this particular hobby shop that I used to go to prior to HAG….always sulking like hes a zombie…

  13. Syful: Hi, you from brunei also? cool. yup i get my compound from Guan Hock Lee. but they don’t have coarse and fine type, just like Marzz mention in the previous comment.

    Chubbybots: I have no choice then, will get the tamiya sand paper and the compound like yours. Thanks man cheers =D

    • Actually Syful is meeting up with me in Singapore ^^. Maybe can ask him buy for you the compound and sandpaper :D

    • as for the tamiya sand paper, those things are the ones we dont have here in Brunei, no matter how hard you look into any hardware store around here, that abrasive paper is very rare… how much is it?

      you know what jojo? since gundam sales is booming in Brunei… why don’t we sell the equipment? LoL just an idea tho

  14. Been meaning to ask, but I kept forgetting ahaha. Do you think 2 tubes of each compound will be enough to last me through 1 HG, 2 MGs and 1 PG? Or should I get three just in case? Planning to take a long break from gunpla after 4 kits, so I don’t want to end up with too many leftover supplies. xD

    • Haha its okay ^^. Actually my personal opinion is one of each will do. I don’t use compound for all the parts. Only those that I find even after shaving with an art knife, the nub is too obvious then only will I use the compound. Plus the time it takes to polish every single nub mark, even for myself I won’t have the patience to do that :D

  15. chubbybots!!! one question! nobody ask.. so i ask.. haha. wad kind of cloth did you used to buff the kit?? ^^ im tempted to get these two tubes alr..

    • Haha just shoot ^^. I use the humble spectacle cloth :D Cheap and good (In fact this was from an old spectacle of my brothers just grab and use haha!!)

    • the compound itself contains rough particles which actually grinds the surface smooth. So the slight red that you see is due to the micro particles (Damn feels like teaching science!! lol) Gradually as you rub it will turn transparent :D (Now this I don’t know why!!)

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    • You can use a hobby knife and slowly trim away the nub. ^^ But have to be very careful not to gorge out the plastic!!

  17. can u get rid of seam lines using this method too?
    like sanding the seam line, then using the polishing compound, instead of painting,

    • Ah won’t work that way ^^. You need to sand it till at least 1000 girt. 240 grit will still be too rough for the compound to work!

  18. Hey, do you ever heard about Tamiya Polishing Compound Finish?
    Is it a must to use that 2 combo of compound if in the end i flat topcoat my kit? ’cause my budget is very limited >,<

    • Ah that finishing compound is used after using these 2 compounds at the last step. Its best to use these 2 compounds cos top coat doesn’t hide the scratches. you can still see them. Anyway I only use those on nubs which out in plain sight. I don’t use it for all the nubs. Will kill both my hands and my wallet if i were to do so ^^.

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