In the interview, Manson Ng speaks about the main points of his models, while giving us a passionate, in-depth look into the creation of his works as well as the story behind his first encounter with GUNPLA. Let’s get into the article!
Incidentally, this year’s GBWC was the first competition held in three years, and is the competition’s tenth tournament. Amongst a large number of entries from creators from over fifteen countries all over the world, Manson Ng’s “Fragments of a Star” of the OVER-21 course, FengZheKai’s “-THE LAST ZEON-” of the U-20 course, and Liu HaoWen’s “Trails of New Type” of the U-14 course all stood out from the pack.
Interview with OVER-21 Course winner Manson Ng
A: I created this piece with the question of “how can I incorporate a theme of love into a model?” in mind. Another theme was that I wanted to use Char’s Gelgoog. When thinking of how I could possibly fuse these two things, I was reminded of the scene in Mobile Suit Gundam when Lalah Sune sacrifices herself to save Char Aznable. By recreating this scene with my models, I was able to portray an intense sense of love being lost for love.
Q: Please tell us the main point of the Gelgoog used in your winning piece.
A: The GUNPLA I chose this time around was the 1/60 scale Gelgoog from the 1980s. I chose this one because of its large size and its ability to make my creation as a whole look larger. Whether or not I was going to be able to properly combine the technology of a kit from the 80s with modern ones, what kind of effect it could bring to the table, and if I would be able to create the same Perfect Grade-level of quality as the modern kits was a big topic during the creation phase.
Furthermore, I was able to add more detail to Elmeth by using plastic sheets and putty.
Q: How much time did you alot for the conceptualization and creation of your piece?
A: Initially, I was planning on entering the 2020 GBWC, so I started thinking of the concept in late 2019. However, since the 2020 and 2021 tournaments were postponed, it took almost three years for the GBWC 10th Tournament to be announced.
During it all, I took breaks alongside spending time working on other things. However, for the three months leading up to the tournament, I spent my time working exclusively on this project. It took about four years to finally complete this piece.
Q: Have you ever participated in any past GBWC tournaments?
A: As of now, I’ve participated in four GBWC tournaments. I participated in the 2016, 2017, 2018, and this year’s competition. When I participated for the first time in 2016, I won second place in the Hong Kong division. Then, when I participated in 2018 I won first place in the Hong Kong division with my “Origin of Char” piece. I also won The Gundam Base Award at the world championship.
Q: Please tell us why you decided to participate in this year's competition.
A: I’m sure most GUNPLA builders feel the same way, but when you join a competition, you need to create something better than your previous works. This leads us towards personal growth, as well as a chance to create something of better quality. These are the reasons why I joined.
Q: This year's tournament was held online. In what ways do you feel that online tournaments differ from in-person tournaments?
A: The biggest difference between online and in-person tournaments is whether you can view the piece in person or not. With photos, the scale of your work is restricted by the size of your photograph, but in-person, you’re able to feel a sense of impactfulness that you can’t get from only photos. So, I personally enjoy in-person tournaments more.
Q: Please tell us what you thought about the other pieces in the world tournament.
A: All of them were amazing. Personally, I create my pieces with a 360 degree view in mind. However, in this tournament, there were pieces that were created with the photo screening process in mind that were placed against walls and created to be viewed from the front. I thought that this was a kind of specialty creation that you can only find in online competitions.
Q: Now that you’ve received many awards from the GBWC alongside becoming world champion, please tell us how it feels and how you felt when you claimed your prize.
A: I was really shocked when I heard the announcement. I didn’t think that I would win against all of the talented GUNPLA builders of the world.
I’ve been having a hard time getting used to this modern age of everything being online, so when the announcement was made, I couldn’t really believe it. It felt like I was floating.
But when I finally received the trophy, it hit me that I really won! I was finally able to feel the reality of it all and start to calm down.
A: I first saw a Gundam plastic model on the street. It was a 1/144 scale model. At the time, I didn’t even know what I was looking at, but it had a very special feeling to it.
After that, I saw Mobile Suit Gundam on television. In the beginning, I couldn’t really understand the series well, but after a while I started to find it interesting. Once I finished watching the anime, I immediately started saving my allowance to start buying GUNPLA.
The first one that I bought was Zaku, and the second was Gundam. I remember it like it was yesterday. There were times when I took breaks from creating GUNPLA, but I’ve been doing it since I was a little kid.
Q: Please tell us about when you started taking GUNPLA creation seriously.
A: After watching Mobile Suit Gundam and Mobile Suit Z Gundam, once I became an adult there was about a ten year period in which I wasn’t involved with Gundam. Then, one day my friend randomly brought to me a video of Gudam and a GUNPLA, saying “This anime is awesome! The GUNPLA are cool, too. I’ll give it to you.”
Even after that, I didn’t get into making GUNPLA, but after watching the first episode of the anime, I thought “Wow! I absolutely need to watch this!” I ended up putting together the GUNPLA that my friend gave me before I even started the next episode. From then on, and even now, I feel very passionate about GUNPLA.
Even now, I continue to go back and recreate the Freedom Gundam every time I get a new idea of how to put it together.
Q: What does GUNPLA mean to you?
A: For me, GUNPLA is a symbol of freedom. Depending on the creator, even the same GUNPLA can be made with a variety of meanings and outcomes. Even with the same GUNPLA, as long as you put your heart and time into it, you can create something amazing. I believe that being able to create what you like without any hindrance is the ultimate freedom.
Q: Now that you’re the best in the world, I’m sure that other GUNPLA builders will start to admire you. What would you say to aspiring GBWC tournament participants?
A: People really don’t need to admire me. All I did was put my heart and time into creating GUNPLA. If everyone were to put the same passion and time into their creations, I’m positive that they will have the outcome as me. GUNPLA is freedom. As long as you have ideas and an imagination, as well as a certain amount of skill, I believe that anyone can become a champion.
Q: Lastly, please give a message to the GUNPLA fans all over the world.
A: GUNPLA is freedom. After gaining a certain level of skill, I want you to think about how you can make people happy with your creations. Once you’ve gained skill, people tend to pursue more detail and density in their creations. However, there are a lot of other builders who have that same skill, so it’s important to use an original idea, and to try and create a never-before-seen creation that leaves a deep impression.
It isn’t easy, but I want you to think of how to add originality to your work while making it a goal to create something that people will never be able to forget.
It doesn’t matter if you succeed or not. As long as you can use this kind of thinking to walk down your own path, I believe that you’ll be able to create an amazing piece of art that will leave an impression on many people. Give it your all, everyone!
OVER-21 Course Winning Entry "Fragments of a Star"
Builder name: manson ng
Area: Hong Kong
Although the Gelgoog is the main feature in this piece, parts of Elmeth’s armor are left behind like wreckage. The world that emanates from the entire piece comes across extremely well. The word “mesmerizing” is appropriate.
GBWC11th to be held!
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