As has become almost an annual tradition, Gundam has once again invaded SMASH! con in Sydney with the Gunpla model kit building competition taking the event by storm was a massive booth right in the centre of the main convention hall.
Many Gunpla fans turned out for a glimpse at the jaw-dropping booth and all the incredible Gundam figures and builders present. Like previous years a special edition Gunpla figure was available at the booth, this time a rare Neon Bear Guy was available.
Watching on from the side-lines I found myself utterly fascinated by the passion conveyed by builders and onlookers alike for the Gunpla kits. The level of intricacy and delicate detail that goes into building a kit is incredible and watching on as builders competed against one another to construct their kit was compelling to say the least. These people love Gunpla and that passion is evident simply from the look in their eyes as they connect one piece to the next.
Interesting to note was the Gunpla Builders World Championships taking place in Australia this year at SMASH! Con. The winner of the Australian branch of the global tournament would then go on to the final battleground of Japan for the ultimate build off in the Gunpla Builders World Championships Finals.
In attendance for this momentous event was the Head of Bandai’s Gunpla organization himself Master Katsumi Kawaguchi. The man known as ‘The Master of Gunpla’ was in attendance for judging of the competition and even delivered a workshop panel to teach the craft to those in attendance all the while educating them on some of his own special techniques that he has developed over years of Gunpla training and building. Watching this man in action it is no wonder why he is called ‘Master Kawaguchi’. He is a true master of the craft and his passion for the hobby was inspiring to behold.
When all was said and done the championships concluded and one lucky Gunpla builder is now on his way to the finals in Japan on the trip of a life time. So guess what Mum’s across Australia? Playing with Gundam toys can take you places! Congratulations to the winner and to everyone who was able to take part in this historic event.
All in all it was yet again an awe-inspiring outing into the heart of the Gunpla world that left me both amazed and excited to build my own Gunpla kit. If you are interested in the Gunpla hobby you can find more info at your local Hobbyco or at Gundam.info.