People new to building model kits might wonder how much experience they might need going into a project. Do you need any tools? Will glue or paint be involved? Is it something they can actually do? The Bandai Spirits line of kits are known for their welcoming nature, and the new Best Hit Chronicle Cup Noodle model kit is probably one of the best examples of a project with very little effort and experience required to make something absolutely enchanting.
This Cup Noodle model kit is a 1:1 reproduction of an actual Nissin cup of noodles. It was designed to be true to life, with the packaging identical down to the expiration date on the bottom of the cup and sticker to hold the lid shut. The goal was to offer people a chance to celebrate the item’s 50th anniversary in a special way and, well, it’s probably one of the most delightfully silly and simple kits I’ve ever put together. But while it isn’t any trouble, it also is quite a fun and satisfying build.
First, going into it you will need two very important tools. One is a pair of sprue cutters. These are the nippers that come with any model kit. There are some parts here that are rather intricate or require exact cuts to ensure they fit flush against one another, like the actual “Cup Noodle” logo. You also want a pair of tweezers. All of the accents involve stickers, and the ones that involve logos can be incredibly tiny.
This is also a kit where paying attention is a big deal. It isn’t a terribly difficult build and there are under 75 total parts here. But you do have to go exactly in order and pay attention. This is especially critical for the base and lip of the cup. In each case, it seems like you’re snapping rings into place. You are, but there is a specific order and you have to arrange them in a certain way so, again, everything fits together perfectly. Having a magnifying glass on hand could help, since there are small notches you have to keep an eye out for as you built to ensure everything lines up properly. The ideal finished model shouldn’t have any gaps or pieces jutting out, so you have to pay attention to the order indicated in the directions. (Fortunately, they are in English and Japanese, right down to the Nissin Cup Noodle trivia, which helps.)
The only thing Bandai didn’t mention in the instructions that I found was helpful was to apply stickers as you go. At the end of the manual, there’s a page that shows you exactly where each numbered sticker will go. I found it was a lot easier to properly place them, smooth them out to avoid air bubbles, and generally better gauge the application by putting them on the right parts as I went along. This was especially helpful for the square warning stickers and the Nissin logo. (Though, in the case of the smallest stickers that appear as accents on logos themselves, you will have to wait until those parts are placed properly on the cup to apply them.)
But really, what impressed me most is how good it ends up looking at the end. With a lot of kits, you can see promotional images where things look amazing. Once you start building it at home, you might realize you needed to paint pieces or put extra effort in to make it look the way it does on the box or in product listings. That doesn’t happen with the Cup Noodle model kit. What you see is what you get. As long as you’re careful when cutting out parts and applying stickers, it is going to look amazing at the end. There are only two things I would have liked. It would have been great if the Cup Noodle logo door, which can be removed, had involved a hinge of some sort. It can be a little difficult to remove it as-is. I also would have liked an additional sticker for holding the “lid” in positions, as I think that is eventually going to lose its stickiness and leave me with fewer display options.
The Cup Noodle model kit is a novelty. The good news is, it’s one where Bandai didn’t cut any corners. I’d say there’s a loving level of detail here, with every nuance of the cup captured in the kit. The stickers allow for increased accuracy with little extra effort on the part of someone who might be concerned with not perfectly painting the accents. The logos really pop against the model. The ramen and its extra ingredients, the shrimp especially, look amazing if you display it with the lid slightly open. It’s all handled so well and the best part is, anyone can build it and make it look good.
The Bandai Spirits Best Hit Chronicle Cup Noodle model kit is immediately available. If you can find it, it should be around $25.