Gunpla Terms and Acronyms by Admin Christian of GPH

Thanks to my friend Christian for compiling this document. Posting it here so people not members of the GundamPH Facebook Group can read it as well… Will be updating this one on a need only basis… Hope our friends starting out in Gunpla will find the TERMINOLOGIES and ACRONYMS posted here to be useful.


tamiya airbrush and colors

here’s a FYI Document of the most common and some advance Gunpla terms and Acros around and what they mean.


About Kits and Building

Kit: That would be what you are building, what will drain your wallet, what will make you’re Mom/GF/Wife angry at you (depends on the situation) and will ultimately make you happy.

Builder: That would be you if you build kits.

Part: The actual part of the kit used in the build.

Runners: The grid of plastic that holds the Parts of the kit.

Trees: Same a Runners

Sprues: Same ans Runner/Trees

Nubs: Whats leftover when the Part is cut from the Runner.

Nubmarks: A mark left after cleaning the Nubs.

Gates: The point where the Runner meets the Part of the kit.

Undegate: Gates located under the Part instead of on the side.


PlaMo: Stands for Plastic Models and refers to plastic model kits for different genres.

GunPla: Stands for Gundam Plastic and refers specifically to Gundam Plastic model kits.

Resin Kit: A kit made of Resin.

Resin Conversion: A type of Resin Kit that uses Resin pieces to convert an existing unit to either an upgraded one or a completely different unit.


OOTB: Stands for Out Of The Box. Building a kit as is with no modifications.

Straight Build: Same as OOTB.

OBB: Stands for Out of Box Build. Same as OOTB.

Kitbash: Combining parts of different kits to make one unique kit.

WIP: Stands for Work In Progress. This would be what a Builder is currently working on.


PVC: Stands for polyvinyl chloride. A type of plastic used in Gunpla kits.

PE: Stands for polyethylene. A type of plastic used in polycaps.

PS: Stands for polystyrene. A type of plastic used in Gunpla kits.

ABS: Stands for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. A type of plastic used in GunPla kits.

Resin: A type of material used on some non-plastic kits.



Airbrush: A paint application tool.

AB: Stands for Airbrush

Hand Paint: Applying paint by hand with brushes.

Hand Brush: Same as Hand Paint.

Spraycan: Canned paint that also serves as the applicator.

Rattlecan: Another term for Spraycans.


Primer: A chemical used to prepare a surface to be painted. Not to be confused as a type of Paint.

Primer is chemically different to paint

Can also mean the application of a coat of Primer

Paint: A chemical used on surfaces to give color.

Acrylic: A type of Paint. Weakest of the three main Paint types.

Enamel: A type of Paint. Middle ground when it comes to Paint types.

Lacquer: A Type of Paint or Thinner. Strongest among the three Paint types

Thinner: A chemical used for Thinning.

Thinning: Adding Thinner to Paint to make it more fluid.

Top Coat: A clear colorless type of Paint used to seal and protect Paint.

Flat: A type of Paint or Top Coat that does not shine.

Gloss: A type of Paint or Top Coat that shines.

Semi-Gloss: A type of Paint or Top Coat between Gloss and Flat.

Future: A type of glossy Acrylic Top Coat used for Hand Brushing or with an AB.

Base Coat: The first coat of paint. Applied after Primer if Primer is used.

Used to set the tone of the Color Coat.

Can be skipped by using the corresponding Primer color.

Color Coat: The coat of paint that the will be the surface’s final color.

Pooling: Paint collecting in a certain spot, usually from a very thick coat of paint, or from Runs.

Runs: Paint that is flowing on the surface, usually due a thick coat of paint and pulled by gravity and collects in Pools.

Brushstroke: The direction a paint brush is going. Can also mean the same as Brushmarks.

Brushmarks: Fine lines left by brushes after every stroke.

Autolevel: A Paint property where the Paint makes itself smooth and level on its own as it dries.

Leveling: A chemical added to paint to make paint level and smooth as it dries.

Retarder: A chemical added to paint to make paint dry slower.

Usually used on Acrylics and replaces Thinner.


Bottom-feed: A type of AB where the paint container is at the bottom.

Syphon-feed: Same as Bottom-Feed.

Gravity-feed: A type of AB where the paint container is at the top.

Side-feed: A type of AB where the paint container is at the side.

Dual-action: A type of AB trigger where two actions are done to start spraying.

First, press down on trigger to starts air then pull back on trigger to spray paint.

Single-Action: A type of AB trigger where pressing down on the trigger will release both air and paint.

Internal Mix: A type of AB where the mixing of paint and air in done internally.

External Mix: A type of AB where the mixing of paint and air in done externally.

Comp: Short for Compressor, a machine that provides air for ABs.

PSI: Stands for Pressure per Square Inch. the amount of pressure released by a Comp.

Working Pressure: The PSI a Comp is using while it is being used.




Side Cutter: A tool used to remove Parts from Runners.

Hobby Knife: A multipurpose pointed straight edge blade.

Markers: Pens used for Panel Lining.

Sandingboard: A tool that looks like a manicurist’s emery board used for sanding.

Sandingsticks: Same as Sandingboards.

Putty: Used in making repairs and filling.

Cement: A type of glue used in GunPla building.

Dremel: A multipurpose electric hand tool used for cutting, carving, sanding, grinding, and buffing.

Pin Vise: A hand tool used to hold micro drill bits and pins.

Grit: A unit of measure of how rough sandpaper is.



Decals: Detail markings on kits.

Waterslide: A type of Decals that needs water to apply.

Rub-On: A type of Decal that is rubbed-on the surface to apply.

Drytransfer: Same as Rub-On.

Panel Line: Lines and groves on the surface and lines where angles meet.

Panel Lining: Filling in Panel Lines with color.



Progressive Sanding – Technique used to remove nubs with sandpaper by increasing sandpaper grit gradually starting from coarse to fine.

Buffing: Process of rubbing cured paint to make it smooth and shiny.

Rubbing: Same as Buffing

Pre-shade: A type of shading technique where shading is added before the Color Coat is applied.

Post-shade: A type of shading technique where shading is added after the Color Coat is applied.

Wash: An advanced painting technique.

Can also be a very thinned mixture of paint and thinner used for various Washing purposes.

Panel Line Wash: A type of Wash technique used to paint Panel Lines.

Spot Wash: A type of Wash technique used in Weathering.

Reverse Wash: An painting technique similar to a Wash but in reverse.

Mod: Short for Modifications.

Weathering: Applying details and shades to a kit to give it a more realistic look.

Scribing: Adding Panel Lines to the surfaces of a kit.

Scribing Tool: A tool use for Scribing.

Scratchbuild: Completely building a Part for a kit from various material.

Plaplates: Sheets of plastic with varying thickness used in Scratchbuilding.

HIP: Stands for High Impact Plastic. Similar to Plaplates.

Drybrushing: A Weathering technique.

Battle Damage: Adding details on a kit to simulate the look of going through a battle.



Hiatus: Means to take a break from a certain activity or from work.

In GunPla Terms, “Pinipilit umiiwas sa tukso.”

PNP: Stands for “P**A nalaglag/nawawala part/polycap!”

Dibs: English slang. Usually means “Akin na yan ako una nakakita.”


5 thoughts on “Gunpla Terms and Acronyms by Admin Christian of GPH”

  1. Terms that confuse me are custom build, metal build, scratch build, etc. There’s a Gunpla lexicon that seems to presume the novice will understand. I assume I can figure out custom build but what exactly has been customized? Does the modeler physically change the appearance/shape of a part or parts? Thanks for any info.


    1. first and foremost, this is a very old post. To answer your question

      custom build & scratch build go hand in hand. It is a concept after all applicable to anything in the world.

      Custom build mainly states that you customized the original design of the kit either by adding parts or mashing up different set pieces coming from other kits. Of course along the way, you may or you may not build from scratch some parts (a.k.a scratch building) depends on your requirement.

      However, there are cases wherein a modeler decides to create the whole concept from scratch. Point is, he did not use existing products such as gunpla or related figures. In short there was no template (aka made from scratch)

      **note** – there is no right or wrong way to make a model kit. Model kit building is a subjective art. Very personal much like a painting. A form of expression.

      Metal build is just a product line, a brand name if I may say. They are ready to display figures compose of about 60% metal parts mostly the inner frame. It is not a concept at all.


  2. As one who’s just about to start his actual gunpla journey, I find this very helpful. I’ve steered clear of gunpla for a good 20 plus years due to the obvious and ruthless monetary demand that comes with it (I was a teenager then). Now in my early 40s it’s a fine time. It’s a good time to be alive 🙂


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