History of Gundam is a franchise of anime and manga series created in 1979 by Yoshiyuki Tomino. Since then, Gundam’s popularity has expanded worldwide, with multiple television shows, movies, video games, and more released over the years. The story initially focuses on a war between Earth forces and those from outer space. However, it eventually expands into an entire universe with different factions fighting for control, such as Celestial Being and Union Earthers. But what does any of this have to do with grades? Today, we’re going to be looking at all you need to know before picking out your first grade model kit!
How is a Gundam Graded?
Gundam grades are determined by the model’s level of detail and complexity, but not every grade is suitable for beginners. The S grade has limited articulation, so if you want a movement-heavy Gundam, this would be your best bet. If you’re looking for something that looks good on display or as part of an action figure collection, go with the A Grade! This also makes it easier because now all you need to do is look at which one suits your needs!
Gundam models can be divided into several different classes, each with increasing quality and complexity. High Grade is the most affordable class, where all kits are pre-painted, while Master Grade offers a more complex build that requires painting skills. On the other hand, Perfect Grade features an incredible level of detail and articulation from every possible angle!
|1||(HG) High Grade||1/144||12.7||5||Easy to build with many stickers, limited detail, and easy to assemble.|
|2||(RG) Real Grade||1/44||12.7||5||More pieces and details than HG.|
|3||(MG) Master Grade||1/100||19.05||7.5||Fewer stickers, more detail.|
|4||(PG) Perfect Grade||1/60||30.48||12||Many pieces, high detail, released less frequently.|
|5||(FG) First Grade||1/144||12.7||5||Simple re-makes of 1980s kits with few pieces and details.|
|6||(AG) Advanced Grade||1/144||12.7||5||No need for paint, lacks articulation compared to HG.|
|7||(MS) Mega Size||1/48||35.56||14||Large figures, not very detailed.|
|8||(SD) Super Deformed||–||4.5||2||A “chibi” counterpart to other models.|
|9||(RE100) Reborn 100||Table||19.05||7.5||The “No Grade” 1/100 series remade.|
|10||(No Grade) 1/100||1/100||19.05||7.5||Higher Grades lack the detail of Middle Grades.|
The chart above contains a list of the differences between each grade and which would be best for you; more detail about the information is listed in the chart above.
(HG) High Grade
The High Grade (HG) is the most affordable and popular among Gundam model builders. It’s easy to find excellent models in this category, featuring all your favorite mecha from the original Mobile Suit Gundam series at very reasonable prices. These are perfect for beginners who enjoy building kits but prefer something simpler than Master Grade (MG) or Perfect Grade (PG) offerings. They are also a good choice for those looking to complete their collection without spending too much money on a single kit.
(RG) Real Grade
The RG is the next level in terms of complexity and detail, focusing on realism. The size of these kits is similar to HG models but with more intricate details like MG offerings. This means you need to pay more attention to what goes into each kit so that it doesn’t overpower your display shelf! But if you have the space and ambition for something more challenging, this might be a good pick.
(MG) Master Grade
As a scale modeler, I’m well-acquainted with Master Grade (MG) kits. These models are renowned for their intricate inner frames, stunning exterior details, and – in many cases – movable joints that allow for incredibly dynamic posing. Despite their premium price tag, Master Grade kits are a standout choice for Gundam enthusiasts looking to take their collections to the next level without going over budget. The level of quality and attention to detail found in these models is unmatched and well worth the investment.
(PG) Perfect Grade
Perfect Grade kits are the most detailed and complex of any grade available. These models boast precise, high-quality materials that outshine other grades!
They often come with numerous parts and additional display pieces like stands or weapons, allowing them to be showcased on their own without requiring any extra work from you. If you’re looking for something exceptional, then this is likely your best pick. However, it also comes with the highest cost by far, due to its complexity.
(FG) First Grade
The First Grade is the first level of high-grade kits that offer perfect articulation and detail. They’re not as complex or costly as PG models, so if you want to get into higher quality but don’t have a lot of money to spend, then this might be the right option for you!
(AG) Advanced Grade
Advanced Grade kits are the epitome of high-scale models, offering an unparalleled balance between intricate details and fluid mobility. While they’re just a step below Perfect Grade in terms of difficulty, they lack the additional accessories such as stands or weapons, making it imperative to handle them with care when putting them on display without supporting props.
(MS) Mega Size
Mega Size kits are the largest available and offer a lot of detail for their size. The downside is that they’re often not as detailed or complex, so it might be difficult to use them without feeling like you’ve missed out on some important points. But if space isn’t an issue, this could still be a good choice because they offer something different from the other grades!
(SD) Super Deformed
Super Deformed (SD) kits are the tiniest available and offer a lot of detail for their size. The downside is that they’re often not as detailed or complex, so it might be difficult to use them without feeling like you’ve missed out on some important points. But if space isn’t an issue, this could still be a good choice because they offer something different from the other grades!
(RE100) Reborn 100
Reborn 100 is a new type of kit that offers PG’s detail and complexity but on a smaller scale. They’re not as high quality or detailed, which means they might be better for beginners who want to get into more complex models without risking too much money until they know whether they like it!
(No Grade) 1/100
Not all grades are listed here, but these options are suitable for individuals who want to venture into building more complex models. If you encounter a grade that is not included, it might be worth considering as well.
(EG) Entry Grade
Entry Grade kits are a good choice for beginners who want to get into more complex models without risking too much money until they know whether they like it!
(MSM) Mega Size Model
As a scale modeler, you may have come across the term “MSM” or “Mega Size Model.” These kits are the largest available in the market and boast of their impressive size, providing ample space for detailing. However, it’s important to note that their size often comes at the cost of fine details. This can be a hindrance for modelers who value intricate details in their builds.
Despite this, MSM kits offer a unique perspective for modelers who prioritize size over intricate details. If you have the space to accommodate a larger model and are looking for a different challenge, MSM kits may be the perfect fit for you.
UC Hardgraph is a groundbreaking new type of kit that offers the intricate detail and sophistication of Perfect Grade models on a smaller scale. While they may not be as high-quality or intricate as their larger counterparts, they present the perfect opportunity for aspiring modelers to dip their toes into more challenging builds without breaking the bank. Ideal for beginners who want to build their skills and discover their passion for this hobby, UC Hardgraph kits offer a unique blend of affordability and excitement.
Gunpla Model Grades
Next, let’s talk about scale. Gunpla kits generally come in several scales based on how the model would measure up to an actual Gundam. Many models defy this scale, but they’re few and far between! Here’s a list of some common sizes you’ll see when dealing with Gunplas:
- 1/144: The smallest size available for Gundam plastic models is 1/144. I was surprised when making my first model on this scale, as its face only measures the size of a thumbnail! It looked much larger on the box than it did to me. Keep in mind that not all small-scale Gundams are less detailed; Real Grade and High Grade versions exist at this level too.
- 1/100: I like to think about the next size up, and I have my eye on a few models that come in this scale. Master Grade models are made of this model as well as Reborn-One Hundreds.
- 1/60: You can display this figure in detail you desire. You could go with a less detailed High Grade or get it all down pat and snag yourself a Perfect Grade, but nobody will miss out on this big guy sitting proudly on your shelf.
- 1/48: Mega Size kits are like the rare trophy fish of gunpla. Available only in select stores and never seen too often, a Mega Size kit will make you feel as if your collection is complete.
- 1/12: These fascinating treasures are usually used for display at hobby shops. Now and then, one goes on the market to the tune of $3,400!
- 1/1: All right, you can’t actually make one of these, but you CAN see it in Japan!
Nonscale: Anything that doesn’t conform to our scaling standards. These are especially true when talking about SD Gunpla, which is why they’re usually banned from competition by many establishments and cons.
Gunpla Model Grades by Scale:
|1/144||Small||Some are highly detailed||Real Grade, High Grade|
|1/100||Medium||Many are highly detailed||Master Grade, Reborn-One Hundreds|
|1/60||Large||Can be highly detailed||Perfect Grade|
|1/48||Mega Size||Rare and highly sought-after||Mega Size kits|
|1/12||Large and expensive||Used for display purposes||N/A|
Recommended Gundam Models For Beginners
HG IBO 1/144 Astaroth Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Action Figure
Design and Detail
The design of the HG IBO 1/144 Astaroth Gundam is sleek and modern, with a unique appearance that sets it apart from other models in the series. The armor is intricately detailed with various textures and panel lines, giving it a more realistic and gritty feel. However, the paint job can be a bit simplistic, and the colors can feel a bit flat.
Articulation and Accessories
The HG IBO 1/144 Astaroth Gundam is highly posable, with plenty of articulation points in the limbs and torso. This allows for a wide range of dynamic poses, and it’s fun to experiment with different configurations. The model also comes with a variety of weapons and accessories, including a long-range rifle and a pair of pistols, which add to its overall value.
The assembly process is straightforward and easy to follow, even for beginners. However, some parts can be a bit fiddly to work with, particularly the smaller pieces like the hands and weapons. It’s important to take your time and handle them carefully to avoid any mishaps.
The overall build quality of the HG IBO 1/144 Astaroth Gundam is good, and it should hold up well to regular handling and posing. However, the joints can be a bit loose, particularly in the hips and ankles, which can make it difficult to hold certain poses without using a stand.
Overall, the HG IBO 1/144 Astaroth Gundam is a solid addition to any Gundam collection, particularly for fans of the Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans series. While the paint job and color scheme could use some improvement, the design and detail of the model are impressive. The high level of posability and variety of weapons and accessories also add to its overall value. Just be mindful of the loose joints during posing, and you’ll have a great model that should hold up well over time.
HG Orphans Gundam Barbatos Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Action Figure
He may not be royalty, but this Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans action figure is every bit a hero in disguise! This 5″ tall figure features articulated joints and comes with the giant mace he uses to fight for his freedom as well as the katana, which slays dragons. Runners are included to recreate epic scenes from your favorite anime series, while stickers allow you to customize them any way you like. Collect all six mechs available for combat today!
Design and Detail
One of the standout features of this action figure is the level of detail and accuracy in the design. The sculpting is excellent, and the paint job is crisp and clean. The proportions are also spot-on, giving the model a dynamic and imposing appearance. The mobile suit’s armor is intricately detailed with various textures and panel lines that make it stand out.
Articulation and Accessories
The HG Orphans Gundam Barbatos is also highly posable, with plenty of articulation points in the limbs and torso. This allows for a wide range of dynamic poses, and it’s fun to play around with different configurations. The model comes with a variety of accessories such as swords and guns, which add to its overall value.
Assembly is straightforward and easy to follow, even for beginners. It took me a little under an hour to complete the build, and I didn’t encounter any significant issues. However, there are some small parts that can be tricky to attach, so be sure to handle them carefully.
The overall build quality is solid, and the joints are tight enough to hold poses without being too stiff. I’ve had this action figure for a few months now, and it’s held up well to regular handling and posing. However, some parts, like the antennas on the head, are delicate, so be mindful when handling them.
Overall, the HG Orphans Gundam Barbatos is an excellent addition to any Gundam enthusiast’s collection. Its high level of detail, posability, and accessories make it a standout model. While there are some delicate parts to be mindful of, the overall build quality is solid and should hold up well to regular handling. I highly recommend this model to anyone looking to expand their Gundam collection.
The Age-FX is a great option for those who are new to building Gundam model kits or those who are looking for a more straightforward build. As someone who has built various Gundam models over the years, I was intrigued to see how this kit would stack up against other High Grade models.
Design and Detail
The design of the Age-FX is sleek and futuristic, with a streamlined appearance that makes it stand out from other Gundam models. While the overall level of detail is not as intricate as some of the other models in the series, the sculpting is clean and well-executed, and the paint job is precise. The model also comes with a wide range of optional parts, allowing for customization and creating different poses.
Articulation and Accessories
Despite its simplicity, the Age-FX is highly posable, with a range of articulation points in the limbs and torso. This allows for a good degree of flexibility and allows you to create a variety of poses. The model also comes with a variety of accessories, including a beam rifle and shield, which adds to its value.
The assembly process for the Age-FX is relatively straightforward and beginner-friendly. The instructions are easy to follow, and the parts are large enough to handle easily. However, the kit does not come with any stickers, so you’ll need to paint or apply your own decals for customization.
The overall build quality of the Age-FX is solid, and the joints are tight enough to hold poses without being too stiff. However, the plastic used for some of the parts can feel a bit flimsy, and there is a risk of accidentally breaking them during assembly or posing.
Overall, the Age-FX 1/144 High Grade is a solid option for those who are new to building Gundam models or those who prefer a simpler build. While the level of detail may not be as intricate as some other models in the series, the model is highly posable and comes with a variety of accessories. The assembly process is straightforward, and the end result is a well-built model that should hold up well to regular handling and posing. Just be mindful of the delicate parts, and you’ll have a great addition to your Gundam collection.
The BAN203222 RG 1/144 Wing Gundam Ver EW is an excellent model kit for those who are fans of the Gundam franchise. As someone who has built and collected various Gundam models over the years, I was excited to get my hands on this kit and see how it measured up to other models in the series.
Design and Detail
One of the most impressive aspects of this model kit is the level of detail in the design. The sculpting is incredibly accurate, and the paint job is clean and precise. The mobile suit’s armor is intricately detailed with various textures and panel lines that make it stand out. The proportions are also spot-on, giving the model a dynamic and imposing appearance.
Articulation and Accessories
The Wing Gundam is highly posable, with plenty of articulation points in the limbs and torso. This allows for a wide range of dynamic poses, and it’s fun to experiment with different configurations. The model also comes with a variety of weapons and accessories, including a beam saber, shield, and machine guns, which add to its overall value.
While the assembly process can be a bit daunting for beginners, the instructions are clear and easy to follow. However, the small parts can be a bit fiddly to work with, so it’s important to take your time and handle them carefully. Once complete, the model feels sturdy and well-built, with joints that are tight enough to hold poses without being too stiff.
The overall build quality of the Wing Gundam Ver EW is excellent, and it should hold up well to regular handling and posing. However, there are some delicate parts, like the wing fins, that can be prone to snapping if mishandled. It’s important to be mindful when handling these parts and avoid applying too much pressure.
Overall, the Wing Gundam is a fantastic model kit for those looking to expand their Gundam collection. Its high level of detail, posability, and accessories make it a standout model. While assembly can be challenging for beginners, the end result is well worth the effort. Just be mindful of the delicate parts during handling, and you’ll have a great addition to your collection that should stand the test of time.
What Tools Do I Need To Build A Gundam?
You need a few tools to construct your Gundam. You’ll require the following:
- A hobby knife or other sharp craft blade for cutting plastic sheeting and polystyrene blocks
- Glue (preferably superglue) for gluing parts together
- Fine grit sandpaper
- Acetone (nail polish remover), paint thinner, or lacquer thinners – these can be used as solvents to clean excess glue from joints between two pieces of polystyrene block.
- A modeling kit, which would include plastic pieces and polystyrene blocks. You can also get kits with clear parts to represent windows or lights.
- (Optional) Paint for painting detail on the finished model
- Clear glue – this is used when assembling models that have transparent components such as a cockpit window or eyes to give them an extra layer of protection from scratches and knocks
You’ll need some tools before you start building too:
- Scissors are needed to cut any plastic sheets/blocks yourself because hobby knives only cut straight lines. You may want to invest in high quality scissors too; they last longer than other types of scissors since these are used for cutting plastics.
- A ruler is helpful when measuring the best height and width of a model’s pieces and their general size.
- Tweezers are needed to hold small parts in place while you put glue on them or paint them – this prevents your fingers from getting stuck together with the part! They can also be used to pick up tiny screws that have been painted over so they won’t show through their holes anymore.
- The tweezers I use are these by Jiyuetang! These come in handy too, if you want to make sure certain parts don’t touch each other before gluing them down (like hands that need to stay straight)
- (Optional) A ruler and a pencil are needed if you want to draw on your models. The ruler is set up with straight lines, which can be used as guidelines for drawing, while the pen will help make things like windows, lights, or other small details stand out more! You could also use an erasable marker, but I find it’s not quite as accurate because they’re not always solid enough in color, so sometimes when you erase them, bits of ink still show through, making parts hard to see.
Navigating the vast array of Gundam model grades can be a daunting task, but fear not! This article has shed light on the intricate details and unique features of each grade, giving you a better understanding of what to expect and how it affects the cost.
It is important to note that as the level of detail increases, so does the price. However, when it comes to building and displaying your prized possession, investing in a high-grade model can be worth every penny. The added intricacies and refined design elements will take your collection to the next level and truly showcase your passion for the art of scale modeling.
What is the most complicated Gundam master grade?
The most complicated Gundam master grade is the MG, or Master Grade. This scale includes grades from MG to PG and G. If you want a really detailed model but doesn’t have too much time to dedicate to it; this might be for you! The next step down would be an RG which stands for Real Grade. These are about half as expensive and take less effort since they lack so many smaller details like panel lines that need painting to make them look realistic. RGs only go up to RP 06 now (which means there are no more released), but some of these models come with different weapons such as beam sabers or swords, depending on what type of mobile suit they represent in the anime Gundam series.
As the grades go up, it becomes more and more difficult to find an affordable model. This is because of their high detail- these models often take longer to assemble than other grade types, resulting in problems with painting. They are also much larger in size so that that storage may be an issue for some people! This might not be for you if you want a really detailed Gundam but don’t have too much space or time to dedicate.
What are Gundam resin kits?
Gundam resin kits are made up of many components that come together to make one final model. The most fundamental piece is the frame, which provides the structure for all other parts and determines how big your finished Gundam will be. Each kit includes an instruction manual so you can put it together easily! Next comes decals – these may include stickers or water slides (pieces with a transparent background) that go on top of any surface area not covered by paint or clear coating. Finally, there’s paint and glue to finish off everything and give your Gundam its signature color scheme. All in all, building a kit takes some time but has many benefits: even if you’re inexperienced at plastic modeling or painting, you’ll learn new techniques as you work!
What are Gundam heads?
Gundam heads are model kits of the robots from Mobile Suit Gundam. Japanese company Bandai originally designed them, but other companies have also created their own versions over time. The first models came out in 1979, and they quickly became a staple for both fans of the series and those interested in engineering or robotics.
Are Gundam models pre painted?
Wooden Gunpla models are usually pre-painted, meaning they’re made from laminated wood with the paint already applied to them. This is what gives them their smooth appearance and texture. The colors may vary depending on where you purchase your model, but these models come in earth tones like browns, blacks, or grays most of the time.
What is Gundam made from?
These are models made out of plastic and metal. Limbs can be removed so different modes are achievable by reconfiguring parts to any semblance of a robotic form one desires – whether it’s a walking automaton or an arm with an extendable hand for grasping objects with precision and strength.
Why is Gundam so expensive?
Kits Gundam are expensive because they are high quality and all materials are required to produce the kits. The construction of each kit is complex, as each kit employs more than 250 individual pieces. Even with a huge selection of these kits available in markets today, demand remains strong because collectors can’t get enough of them.
The other reason is that people just love Gundam!
Hey there! I’m Richard Baker, a miniature painter who’s been in the game for a solid decade now. I’ve been painting miniatures for ten years and I’ve got a ton of tips and tricks to share with you all. My website is a treasure trove of knowledge that I’ve gathered from both my own personal experiences and from reading all sorts of books.
Leave a Reply