Beginner's Guide: Gundam Grades

In our previous article, we had discussed what the best grade is for beginners. We gave a generalized idea but didn't go into full detail about it. Continuing with our 40th Gunpla Anniversary celebration, we will examine different grades for Gunpla, and what each has to offer.

In the early history of Gunpla, kits were different than hobby kits we currently have available. One BIG and noticeable change is how kits were put together. Gunpla required glue to assemble, unlike the snap-on parts we utilize today. These Mobile Suit Gundam were not poseable either, which made them less "mobile" than their name suggests.

Moving forward to today, Gunpla kits have a wide variety of choices, such as from what series to what grade. What exactly do we mean when we say grade? The term grade means what the scale of the kit will be. There are five grades we'd like to inform you on, and what each one offers.

SD - Super Deformed

Super Deformed or SD kits as many know it, are the smallest in our list. Recognized by their big heads and deformed body proportions, SD kits are very beginner friendly and are recommended for children.

Though they are not as posable as the other grades, there is a charm to them. SD kits are very affordable, within the price range of $4-10, and they are great for a quick build.


HG - High Grade

High Grade (HG) are the most commonly built kits on this list. They're easy to build, their price point is affordable ($12-25), and there is a wide variety of HG kits to choose from. These kits can easily be spotted by the HG moniker found on the corner of the front box art. These kits have more articulation than SD units, which gives it more options for poses. They're 1/144 scale make them the perfect size for collecting and displaying.

In our previous blog, we mentioned that HG kits is our recommended grade for beginners. This is because they offer a great experience without having to break the bank. As you progress and become a better builder, HG kits become fantastic test subject to practice weathering and painting techniques.

RG - Real Grade

Real Grade kits or RG as the moniker on the box indicates, are fairly new to the Gunpla community. Introduced in 2010, in celebration of the 30th Anniversary, RG kits focus between the skeletal inner frame of Master Grade's, and the size of an HG (1/144). RG kits have more detail, like color separation, and articulation to give a more realistic approach; they also come with a hefty number of decals .

RG kits are great for builders who want to keep within the HG size but want more out of their kit. Within recent years, RG units like the Nu Gundam or the Sazabi have been noticed by the community and praised for their excellence.

MG - Master Grade

Master Grade (MG) are 1/100 scale kits with a price point between $30-50. Master Grade kits differ from HG with their size and detail. MG kits utilize the inner skeleton, which help its articulation and sturdiness. Of course, MG kits have more technical parts compared to HG kits, but all that detail pays off when the kit is finished.

Due to their size, detail, and pose-ability, MG kits are considered a favorite amongst Gunpla builders. There is one more grade on our list, and we're glad we saved it for last!

PG - Perfect Grade

Perfect Grade (PG) kits are one of the biggest kits available on the market (other than Mega Size), and their 1/60 scale definitely stands out amongst any Gundam collection. Perfect Grades are the most expensive kits, with prices above $120, but don't let that price stop you; you're getting your money's worth in this investment. Not only do you get a fantastic model kit, but the box they're packaged in are also beautifully designed (ex W-Gundam Zero Custom). PG's come with a number of parts, which make these Gunpla look extremely detailed - from finger movement to articulation; expect to spend a weekend or three building one of these kits.

Another defining feature for PG's is its ability to integrate a LED lighting system within the kit. These lighting systems increase the coolness factor several notches, but they are usually sold separately. Of course, this shouldn't deter you away from ever building a Perfect Grade. We highly welcome builders to try their hand at building one. We do HIGHLY recommend taking your time, because mistakes on these kits don't come cheap.

There are more grades out there, such as RE 1/100, No Grade, or Mega Size, but these five grades listed have a wide variety of choices that we feel every newcomer or beginner should be aware of when choosing their kits. 

If you're a newcomer, did this help you at all? If it did or didn't, let us know in the comment section below, so we can help you further.

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