Focus On: Mr Hobby Products from Gunze Sangyo

Gunze Sangyo are the Japanese company behind the excellent Mr Hobby products, an essential range for any serious modeller.

In fact, modelling materials are really just a very small part of what they do; the company is part of a conglomerate doing everything from silk and textiles, to nanotechnology and industrial coatings. You can use Mr Hobby to paint an OO-scale train, or go to the parent company and repaint the real-world rolling stock of a whole country !

Mr Hobby products provide a range of high-tech solutions to specific modelling needs and problems. Key products in the range include;

Mr Surfacer

Probably their signature product, Mr Surfacer is designed to smooth out imperfections in a surface to be painted while not being so thick as to obscure detail. It comes in three thicknesses; Mr Surfacer 500, Mr Surfacer 1000 and Mr Surfacer 1200, with 500 being the heaviest duty, and 1200 being quite fine. It is also available as Mr Primer Surfacer 1000, which also acts as a primer, and Mr Finishing Surfacer (in black and grey) which is the finest grained version to give the smoothest finish.

Several of the Mr Surfacer products are also available in aerosol form, which we keep in stock in our Camberley shop, but can’t put on our website because aerosols are classified as hazardous goods and we haven’t yet found a legal way to send them in the post.

Mr Mark Softer and Mr Mark Setter

These are decal application fluids. Mr Mark Setter is the adhesive, while Mr Mark Softer softens the decal material to allow it to sink into the details of the surface for the most realistic effect possible. To use them, apply a small amount of Mr Mark Setter to the area on the model where the decal is to go, place the decal in place and adjust it while the solution is still wet, then remove any excess. You can then use Mr Mark Softer to soften the decal and make it conform to the surface.

Gundam Panel Line Markers

Compared to using a paint brush, Panel Line Markers make it easy to put permanent even-width lines onto a model.  They work best on painted, primed or keyed surfaces, rather than bare metal or plastic. The ink they use is opaque and pigment-dense, and don’t have the problem of ink spreading that some normal markers give you. When you’re using them, keep a soft eraser handy; any mistakes can be removed with one but only if you act fast !

Panel Line Markers are available both in multi-coloured sets, or as individual markers in the most popular colours (black, brown and grey).

Mr Masking Sol

Mr Masking Sol is a liquid masking solution which can be painted onto a surface to mask ready for the next layer of paint to be brushed or airbrushed on. It comes in two types, Mr Masking Sol Neo and Mr Masking Sol R. The main difference is that Mr Masking Sol Neo tends to be slightly easier to use and remove, while Mr Masking Sol R is ammonia-free to reduce the risk of leaving marks on the underlying paint layer.

Mr Color Levelling Thinner

Mr Color Levelling Thinner is designed as a high quality cellulose thinner for lacquer-based paints. But that isn’t what most modellers use it for !  It is most often mixed with Kneadatite (green stuff), turning it from a semi-solid sculpting putty into a slime which can be used for fine gap filling (for example around the arms of multi-part figures, or the gap between the wings and fuselage of model aircraft), and for filling air-bubble holes in resin parts.

Mr Metal Color

Mr Metal Color is one of my favourite Mr Hobby products ! This is a metallic paint which can be applied by brush or airbrush. It dries in about 10 minutes to a dull, matt finish. Then you you buff it with a soft cloth to bring out a realistic metallic shine. The more you buff it, the shinier it gets ! It’s great not just for large flat areas like US Century series jets, but can also create amazing effects for detailed figures, particularly late medieval knights where it gives a realistic depth to plate armour.