Even Q-Tips Matter in Gunpla…

“Wait…wut? I thought cotton buds are just cotton buds!”… No no… not to me at least. I use cotton buds to clean the excess ink off my panel lines, wipe off excess paint, and apply waterslide decals; cotton buds/swabs/q-tips are very handy. It is only natural I’d choose use ones that are a bit higher quality than cheapo ones. For example, you can easily buy a pack of 500 q-tips for around $1 but I’ve recently bought a canister of 200 for almost $3… and it was the best $3 I’ve ever spent on Gunpla supplies.

The one on the right is the “cheapo” one (500 for $1) which I’ve found in the bathroom drawer that I’ve been using for most of my models. The one on the right is from the new pack I bought… see how tightly packed the cotton is? You can’t see any fluff or fuzzy stuff like the former.

Sometimes the cheap stuff are inconsistent… with some more fluffed out than others. Why I like the cotton tightly packed (the tip is quite solid) is that I can see almost exactly where I am cleaning and I have a little better fine control of how much the bud is taking off so I can thin the panel lines to my liking. It is also helpful in wiping excess paint on the edge of parts since you can see that you are not wiping into the painted area you don’t want to touch.

Lastly, the most important thing about a higher quality bud is that it lasts longer. The one you see out of shape had only been used for the HG Arios’ body and one arm… it looks like that on both side. The newer cotton bud? I’ve only used just that one end for the rest of the model. I used to go through maybe 6-15  of the cheap cotton buds for one MG project but now I think I might be able to get through with just 1-3 of the new buds. Since the bud stays relatively in shape, this will also make applying waterslides a bit easier as well. My point? Sure I paid a couple of bucks more for less… but the quality, results, and durability I get is at least that much better than what I’ve been using. Quality>>>Quantity. Just my 2cents.

Argh… school starts tomorrow and I haven’t even packed a single thing yet… >_<

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16 thoughts on “Even Q-Tips Matter in Gunpla…

  1. typical guy. leaving packing until the last minute! haha totally with you on the cotton swabs. but for me the looser cotton ones are more expensive! i can buy a pack of the tight ones for a dollar! im using them a lot these days.

    1. ahh… maybe “looser” is more “softer” on the skin for hygiene purposes? Admittedly, the new buds aren’t as comfortable as the loose ones ^^;.

      1. loose ones have more messy finish, I find that they always leave some lint or some small black lines that doesn’t dry up much from previous areas of my panel lining

  2. ahhh.. great advices.. i’m using some cosmetic grade q-tips now, got it while tako is doing her shopping. lolx. i do feel tt they are slightly better den than the normal cheap q-tips. maybe i’ll give hobby grade ones a try.. its freaking ex in singapore. i’ll hafta order online together with some model kits.. ^^.

  3. If you are really picky, there are also cotton buds specially for hobby modelling. They are more pointed / tapered than the usual oval shape of ordinary ones. Not sure if they are available overseas though.

    Cheap cotton buds that tend to fluff out easily has one good thing – they are excellent for moping up dusts of my military miniatures and my 1/144 gunpla!

  4. Ah, the all-purpose cotton swabs. I’ve yet to find a brand that has consistently tight cotton buds, but I usually get mine for 50 cents to a buck for 200 pieces. And those are the relatively small ones used for babies – not the full-sized regular ones.

    Normally, I would just SCRAPE the excess paint off with a hobby knife, but cotton buds are invaluable when cleaning off parts that have already been coated or painted on.

  5. cool, i use q-tips a lot but never thought about getting better quality ones. i do hate it when they get all fluffy real fast, makes me go through a large amount quickly. although in general i like my builds to look very dirty lol

  6. It’s not really about being cheap, it depends on the bud type. I had a pack of Johnson’s high quality buds for about $8 for 500 pack and it was nice an all for cleaning ears, but didn’t respond well to thinner. Then I went to get a pack with a random name from the dollar store. The thread is much less and held it’s shape better. So it’s not about quality or pricing.

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