The Hong Li Effect: Good Uses for Bad Model Kits


The Hong-Li Effect: Good Uses for Bad Model Kits

With Bandai winning their IP lawsuit versus Hong Li, the flood of fake Gundam kits in the market may slow down to a trickle — it could be a good idea to grab a couple now while you still can.

Although the Hong Li kits are fake, there are still perfectly good uses for them — some of which would be sacrilege to use real Bandai kits for. Here are our three favorites:

Bases for mods and aides for scratch-building.

Many Gunpla collectors are also amateur modelers who spend a lot of time modifying existing kits or creating parts from scratch. Oftentimes this will involve cutting into the plastic material — an expensive proposition given that original Bandai kits retail at Php 500 and up. An easy and cheap alternative would be to use Hong Li kits as bases for major body mods. One caveat though: many modelers competitions only allow original Bandai kits to be used — so read the rules thoroughly before your enter your Hong Li kit in a contest.

Cannon fodder for Mobile Suit dioramas.

If you plan to do a full-scale diorama of the climax scene of Char’s Counterattack, you will need a lot of destroyed mobile suits to pepper the landscape. Cannon fodder of that scale can cost a nice chunk of change. Save your money for all the fiddly bits you’ll need like Tamiya paint and airbrush nibs, and instead buy a crap tonne of Hong Li fakes you can break into a million different pieces and decorate the landscape with.

Birthday presents for kids.

Let’s face it: if you were giving a snap-kit SD GUNDAM model to an eight-year-old as a birthday present, he wouldn’t care much if it were Bandai or Hong Li, as long as it was fun to make. Also — knowing how kids’ minds work, he will probably lose interest in it in a week or two and toss it away into his scrap toy box, instead of mounting in on a base and enclosing it in an acrylic box the way adult collectors do. Save your cash, buy him a Hong Li.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Among KOs, they come closest to the original Gundam plamo (so much that they’re considered “Class A” copies). Only thing I don’t like about them are the brittle rubber sockets.

    They’re perfect for practice (painting, weathering, panel lines, kitbashing) and you can use some parts as spares.


  2. Among KOs, they come closest to the original Gundam plamo (so much that they’re considered “Class A” copies).

    ditto on this one! they come very close to the measurements of genuine bandai kit parts, that they can be used as spare parts if you break or lose anything.


  3. kathleen says:

    I like the “Cannon fodder for Gundam dioramas” part.Hehehe, an alternative way to give justice to Bandai?XD
    Sheesh…yan pala yung brand na palagi kong nakikita sa mga cheap bookstores sa lugar namin.


    1. if the prices are going for less than half of BANDAI rates, chances are it’s HONG LI. the problem with some people is that they don’t care that tehy are buying fakes, as long as they are able to save a couple of bucks :/ anyway, their soul is paying for that difference — with interest :/


  4. jon says:

    My friends use Hong Li for spare parts and custom add ons for their Gunpla. It is a great gift for young nephews.


    1. ditto on the kids; they don’t quite get the difference between a PhP 2800 box of plastic parts, and a PhP 280 box of plastic parts~


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