Melissa’s first Bandai build

Last week we spoke about Sandra’s first little robot, this week it’s another newbie perspective! 

Keep reading for more about her experience. Also make sure you visit the YouTube link for part 1 of her model kit building journey. 


My name’s Melissa and I help Little Robot with some of their marketing. I was first introduced to this crazy sub-culture through Perry and was immediately intrigued. I had never heard of model kits, or Bandai or gundam. I knew a little about anime and manga from childhood and also from my travels to Japan, but that was the extent of my knowledge. It was a whole new world I was diving into and I couldn’t be more excited to learn something new.  

While I didn’t particularly want to become heavily involved, I was curious enough to enjoy the environment. Through my work with LR I have gradually learnt a little about it, and become more comfortable with some of the terms and products. When discussing the feature articles for our new website, I thought it might be cool to get some newbie perspectives as it might help attract newcomers to the scene, as well as remind some of the veterans what life was like pre-gunpla 

So I chose a Star Wars model kit featuring R2-D2 and R5-D4 - a given really considering I’ve always loved Star Wars – and R2-D2 is just the cutest!!!!! However, my build was not without its challenges, and a couple of times I worried I wouldn’t even make it through. I also needed to give myself a pep talk a few times, along the lines of, “come on, stop stressing – you can do this!” I had to rebuild the legs as I’d somehow stuffed them up, and let me tell you – pulling the pieces apart was much more difficult than putting them together. I have long fingernails which were constantly in the way, and the tweezers and I exchanged a few words on a couple of occasions. I also learnt that having a very clean bench space and preferably working away from carpet is ideal, because once those little parts decide to voyage into space there’s an unlimited amount of hours where you will be crawling on your hands and knees trying to find them! Very time consuming and deflating haha. Another obstacle was the instruction manual. I feel like there is a WAY easier way of putting it together which doesn’t make you feel like you need a special robot degree just to get through. I mean, some of it was clear but some of it wasn’t.  

Anyway, I managed to get through and I really did enjoy it for the most part. I even accidentally built both of them, which wasn’t intended. I had only intended to build R2-D2, but now I guess he won’t look so lonely next to the Bear Guy. 


This is part 1 of my story. I hope you enjoy this article and the clip – there will be more to come.