A Filipino hobbyist has taken the champion’s podium at an international Gundam plastic model building competition in Japan.
Mark Mediavillo became the world champion of the Open Course category for the Bandai-sponsored Gunpla Builders World Cup 2017. He bested entries from sixteen other countries, including Japan.
His entry “Enemy Spotted” saw Mediavillo combining four 1/100 scale plastic model kits to create what he calls “Gundam Barbatos: Ruh Hastasi Rex.”
Fellow hobbyists from the Facebook page Gundam Philippines congratulated him and shared their thoughts about Mediavillo’s creation.
One commenter noted how judges should consider the Gundam-ness of an entry as Mediavillo’s build “looks like something from Michael Bay transformers.” This sparked a long thread with other netizens who said that the commenter should just join the competition himself if he did not like the style of Mediavillo’s entry.
Mediavillo also represented the Philippines in last year’s competition through his entry “Graze Ein Custom: Balawis.”
He was beaten by last year’s champion, Japanese builder Yusuke Yokota with his entry “The Eternal Bond – Yoshitsune & Benkei, for the new country.”
Gundam plastic model kits or “Gunpla” feature robots from the Japanese “Gundam” anime and manga series. Kits vary in difficulty of assembly, and complexity ranges from beginner to master grade. All kits require some level of painting skills to fully bring out the represented robot’s character. Master grade kits often cost thousands of pesos but are heavily detailed and articulated. These advanced Gunpla kits usually require long hours of meticulous assembly.
Aside from building Gundam models as pictured on boxes, other hobbyists customize their creations. These custom builds take parts from other kits and are often assembled based on the builder’s artistic preferences.
Congratulations to Mark Mediavillo for representing the Philippine Gunpla community and winning the top prize at the world stage! JB