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Bandai 1/1 Cup Noodle, Bandai Spirits Best Hits Chronicle

If you’re hungry for something different, try a scale model of a quick-food classic
I am a beginner, so Bandai’s Cup Noodle kit offered a perfect opportunity for me to learn new skills while making a uniquely recognizable model. This 1/1 scale kit from the Bandai Spirits Best Hits Chronicle series re-creates the first commercially available cup ramen released on September 18, 1971. A favorite of sodium-craving people of all ages, the original Nissin Cup Noodle packs plenty of punch in a single cup. Noodles, egg, leeks, shrimp, and, as the kit instructions state, “mystery meat” in a foam cup; all you need is hot water and 3 minutes. The instructions include a warning that assembling the kit in 3 minutes may be difficult, however. 

The kit includes 61 plastic parts, a self-adhesive lid and lid-stopping tab, and stickers for fine details. All the components are molded in color for a paint-free project unless you are looking for additional detail — more on that later. Parts are easily identified and grouped into eight categories in the instructions. 

Assembly begins with the cup. I removed the parts from the tree with sprue cutters. Be sure to sand off the attachment points; the fits are tight and even small nubs will interfere. Small gold details on the cup fit together with zipper-like teeth, reproducing the detailed pattern. One of my favorite parts was the Cup Noodle logo re-created using white plastic letters nested inside a red border. 

It’s difficult to convey how much it looks like a printed Styrofoam cup once assembled, but it is truly remarkable. 

Larger stickers include the nutritional information, cooking instructions, and the barcode. There’s even expiration and batch information for the underside. Tweezers helped with some of the small stickers that add fine details to the plastic logos and text.   

The noodle block builds from ten pieces that snap together in layers. To enhance the contrast and realism of the monochromatic noodles, I flowed on a couple of washes of thin acrylic brown paint. 

The kit provides yellow egg chunks, pink shrimp, and cubes of brown mystery meat, all apparently designed from 3D-scanned bits for detail and accuracy. They certainly look the part.

Two scored wraparound stickers are supplied for each shrimp, but I found them challenging to apply. After "sort of" getting one shrimp decorated with them, I changed course and painted details and texture with contrasting colors.   

As an optional step — and a new skill learned — I dry-brushed the egg and meat pieces to enhance the texture. It may not have taken much mystery out of the self-described “mystery meat,” but the step makes them look more edible. A thin strip of flexible green plastic gets cut into sections to garnish the noodles with leeks.   
After detailing the various ingredients, I attached them to the top of the noodle block with tacky glue to prevent them from shifting or spilling.

For a final touch, I added the adhesive lid with its foil lining. It can be posed open with help from the “lid stopping sticker.” One of the kit’s neatest features is that the front panel can be removed to show the noodle cluster suspended inside the cup. This mimics the real thing where the void helps the noodle “cook” as it fills with hot water.  

Created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this food staple, the kit’s instructions are filled with facts, history, and humor. If you’re looking for a unique and fun model that you can enjoy building out of the box or take to the next level with additional painting, this is the kit for you. I had a blast and learned skills I’ll use on my next model!

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