Holy shit. It’s been seven years since my last official update on my collection. Friends and followers have seen it change in leaps and bounds since then, but for whatever reason, none of that ever made it into a blog post here. The room, which started off with just four display cabinets against one wall, just ballooned in density. More cabinets along the sides. More cabinets in the center of the room. Custom displays on top of those cabinets to fit larger items. Then I was out of space. Not long after that I ended up moving and into house with an unfinished basement. That’s where this story beings.
Well, okay, technically it begins with moving hundreds of kits, some of which could be easily laid flat and surrounded with bubble wrap. Others were so big and fragile that they had to be transported in the same way they’re displayed (may car trips of open boxes, where the kits were placed in a room and the cycle repeated). Others were GMs, so no big deal there.
The basement of my new place is basically a straight up man cave. Computer. Laser cutter. Tons of art on the wall. Workspace just for building model kits. Another just for my shitty paint booth. And a room just for my model kit collection.
I thought about how to build a room for my collection for many, many years ahead of this. Sadly Ikea discontinued their deep cabinets and standard Billy bookcases just wouldn’t work. Plus the issue of properly lighting kits… just throwing LED strips into a display case looks great from afar in photos, but I wanted to maintain colour accuracy as much as possible.
So instead of building cabinets, I went with an open shelf concept. Around the outside are vertically mounted shelf brackets Knape & Vogt with custom ordered quarter-inch acrylic shelves. They’re placed evenly around the room and mounted into studs wherever possible. In the center I have some open display shelves made of metal and glass which were purchased online. I have two different sizes because the ones I got first are no longer in production. I learned my lesson and now have several, still in the box, for future growth.
To address lighting I did four separate track systems on the ceiling, allowing me to individually tweak brightness throughout the space. I still don’t get some of the lighting I want on lower shelves without blowing out the highlights on the top, but going back for directed lights is a project for another year. The bulbs themselves were specifically chosen for their consistent 3500k temperature.
The walls are flat black to highlight the kits, while the ceiling was kept white to allow more light to bounce around the room. The floor is, well, a basic beige carpet because it was cheap and beige is a fine enough colour if you ever drop and need to find a piece (which has already happened many times).
Since the room is closed off from the rest of the house, and doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic, it’s been largely dust free. At least I’ve 100x less dust in the room itself vs. what would settle in my old, enclosed, displays. There’s also a room filter in there running 24/7.
As inventoried my collection currently consists of over 840 items*, of that 695 are Gundam related. From a specific Gunpla scale perspective, there are 48 Perfect Grade kits, 337 Master Grade kits, 32 High Grade, 58 Real Grade, and so on. Of the Perfect Grade kits, 20 of them are Unicorns (including sister/variants Banshee and Phenex). I also have various Gundam/Macross/mech/etc LaserDiscs, manga, magazines, and books including works signed by Hajime Katoki, Harutoshi Fukui, Yas, Yuji Kaida, and Matoko Kobayashi. I even have a board signed by Tōru Furuya and Shūichi Ikeda. My current white whale is a Tomino signature to top things off.
*I have a giant spreadsheet where I keep track of everything I collect, whether it records, books, and specific to this, models and figures. The number above also includes things like Exceed and Converged figures. As of right now I’m going through a collection of “junk” items I won at auction, within which I found at least one more PG Unicorn, and I suspect there are two more waiting.
Other artwork includes Zaku pieces by Daniel Warren Johnson and another by James Harren. I also have three pieces by OZKai, namely the chibi Char and Amuro that accompanied the Layman’s Gunpla Guide and the original Glow of Youth which adorned the top of Gundam Guy’s blog for awhile.
My previous white whale, the 1/12 RX-78-2 HY2M model is in hand, and as impressive as ever. I have it wired up to the room so when I flip the switch the eyes light up and the kit makes the Gundam start-up sound. It has a fair amount of yellowing but beggers shouldn't be choosers. I thought about getting the 1/12 Zaku, and probably will some day, but don’t want to think about where I’ll put it.
I also want to call out that there’s not a single empty box in there. Every box you see is still a NIB kit. Some are collectibles, many others are part of my massive backlog. Okay, well, technically the chibi boxes from Kevin Lee just have magnets, not kits.
All my old glass-covered cabinets are in the adjacent room and are holding all my building/painting supplies alongside various WIP project boxes.
What’s on task for 2024?
You may have noticed that the center-room displays at either end are a bit empty. Still working on filling those out with the top level of one side being dedicated to Gundam Wing. I’ve been stalling a bit because the centerpiece is slated to be a damaged Wing Zero Custom hanging from the ceiling above the center. A kit I haven’t gotten around to painting yet.
At the other side of the room I need to do some rearranging of the Zeta and Sentinel kits. The plan is to have four or five MG Ex-S kits displayed in a row showing the stages of transformation between MS and G Cruiser modes. I also have various other bits of Gundam related art I need to hang up. I thought I would have more space, hence the picture rails all around the ceiling, but sooooo many kits.
1/24 RX-78-2 and down.
Hidolfr, MBT, PL-01, and Metal Gear Rex
F90, Victory, and X collection.
More PG Unicorns than I can fit in a photo...
See, told you they were okay!
Now I have to add 5 more MG Ex-S kits and another PG Zeta.
Shake hands with the 1/12 RX-78-2