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Greetings Gunpla-maniacs, I’m CanadianKamiPla here to serve you some knowledge, Now you may be asking yourself what's with all these Grades and Scales and which is best suited for you? Simply put it is the size and detail of the model and whichever kit you think looks awesome but let's dive in more down below! :)
There are 4 important main scales, No Scale, 1/144, 1/100, 1/60. While No Scale can represent many Grades what we’re referring to here is size and therefore assume they’re the smallest ,example an SD, The BIGGER the number the SMALLER the model. There are over 5 other scales, some being 1/72, 1/32, 1/24, 1/12, and are usually relegated to Busts or 3rd Party Kits and the legendary 1/1 can only be found in Japan!
Not having any real scale, the SD style features Chibi Styled models, the most noticeable features of which are their very large heads. SD kits are often very easy to build but offer very limited articulation and require paint and detailing. My most favourite line so far is the BB Senshi Line.
Due to the big parts,easy build process, and sometimes no need for nippers these are great starter kits for young kits or anyone just getting into the hobby! Now due to lack of articulation and hollow parts more mature builders may stray away from the SD lines but a Master Builder sees lots of work to show off their skills!
Here’s a link to a kit I’d Suggest; https://amzn.to/3pkCnTT
Coming in a variety of scales commonly 1/144 and 1/100 Scale NG originally where the First Line of Kits now known as First Grades and has since been used to classify kits with no Grade attachment and usually just a scale and are relatable to really early or big High Grade models. Examples being the 1/144 Wing Line or the 1/100 Seed Line.
Due to rarity or amount of work needed to be done to make a good looking model these kits are generally seen as collector items, newer NG like the 1/100 Akatasuki or just announced Calamity are some of the best NG I feel personally.
Here’s a link to a kit I’d Suggest; https://amzn.to/32BJa1p
The OG line of Gunpla , since the terms were not introduced until 1990. These kits are limited in articulation, some need glue to assemble, and they must be painted for that proper look. Bandai re-releases these designs with minimal updates as First Grade (FG).
Due to the build process of these kits they are generally meant for those looking to test their might by challenging the skills they have to make this kit pop, while being extremely cheap at usually $5.00 a kit the time and effort put into them makes them almost collector items similar to most of the No Grades.
2020 marked the worldwide release with the RX-78-2 Gundam as the starting kit, having articulations and proportions similar to the High Grade kits and advanced color separated parts.
This line is targeted at those who are new to Gunpla or those who are looking to get into customization with a cheap kit. The only complaint some may have is the 1/144 Scale which is why the Master Grade and higher lines are so popular because of the bigger parts.
One of my personal favourite Grades, The 1/144 Scale High Grade HG kits are generally between 6-8 inches and usually on the cheaper side of the hobby with some of the biggest selections to choose from. fully snap-fit assembly meaning the only tool you really need to get started is a pair of nippers.
This line is perfect for beginners and masters all the same being the biggest line with the most variety in kits there is many ways to build them from snapping them together to full out customization, due to the uniform scale and way some kits are made kitbashing or part swapping is easily done to make a more unique kit!
Again the only issue here is the size of the parts for those with bigger hands.
Here’s a link to a kit I’d Suggest; https://amzn.to/3kvIMI2
There’s not a lot to say about this Grade besides what the wiki says
Released in 2011 with the Mobile Suit Gundam AGE series.
It was a short ride for this Grade, maybe even just a gimmick for the series they seem to have just been HG’s in disguise.
Basically mini Perfect Grades in my eyes coming in the 1/144 Scale RG kits come with top notch detail I may even say more than some Master Grades and amazing articulation to boot with some builder complaints of “Early Real Grade Syndrome” due to tight or loose joints and small parts falling off most issues can be fixed with a touch of glue. These kits have also been redesigned to appear more "realistic" by adding additional surface detail, color separation and mechanical detail.
Because of the mass amount of detail and small size these kits are more so for your seasoned builder or someone looking for a challenge. Dive into this line if you’re short on space and want an extremely detailed model.
Here’s a link to a kit I’d Suggest; https://amzn.to/3eVvC6b
Designed to be made more detailed and articulate than most other models. These kits take much longer to construct and are often much more expensive than their lower-grade counterparts. A neat aspect is the included standing and seating miniature figures of the pilots of each gundam model in the majority of kits.The popularity of this line might be higher than HG popularity but lacks the mass variety but is still just as simple to build.
If you got big hands then this is the line for you! Being 1/100 scale the parts are generally twice the size or more of the average HG. While being more detailed and articulate Master Grades really are the way to show off your Master Skills ;)
There is even a special line amongst the Master Grades known as MG Ver Ka,
Altered and more detailed suits personally designed by one of Gundams best designers.
Here’s a link to a kit I’d Suggest; https://amzn.to/36t4Pu8
The name says it all this line is designed to be the Perfect version of the model kit. The first PG Gunpla kit was a RX 78-2 Gundam model released in 1998. Only a handful of kits have been released as 1/60 Perfect Grade since then. Features like metal joints, increased detail in plastic molding and plastic quality, as well as LED lighting kits are signatures of the PG line.
While still being somewhat simple snap builds this line is meant for those who are greatly experienced in the Gunpla Craft with all the bells and whistles it can be easy to lose, break or wreck a part. The massive size may also be a concern for some along with the huge price tag. If you are the type who's a true fan and collector and want to prove to yourself and others that you are a Master Builder then dive right into the Perfect Grade line.
Here’s a link to a kit I’d Suggest; https://amzn.to/2K3Sx3L
Bandai released the 1/48 Mega Size line in 2009 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Mobile Suit Gundam. Available in six models:
- RX-78-2 Gundam
- MS-06C Zaku II
- MS-06S Char's Zaku II
- Gundam AGE-1 Normal
- Unicorn Gundam Destroy Mode
- Gundam AGE-2
These kits are essentially larger versions of their 1/144 High Grade counterparts, but priced much lower than the Perfect Grade line. Bandai developed these kits with ease of build in mind as they require no tools to build. The build process can be even faster as the runners have been developed in a way so that you can attach them together and break off the individual pieces that way.
Since these kits are essentially massive High Grades they can be built by the most novice of builders. But due to their height they might be a little hard to display, on the other hand if you build this with your kids it should be sturdy enough for them to play around with “insert LOL emoji” , all jokes aside if you’re looking for a massive model with no care about detail or articulation this is the line for you and make a great shelf display piece.
Here’s a link to a kit I’d Suggest; https://amzn.to/3kpEVw7
Reborn-One Hundred (RE/100)
This 1/100 scale line consists of models that are too large, too obscure, or too costly to produce into the MG line. As such, the kits lack the detail level of MG, but offer articulation levels equal to or better than 1/144 Scale HG kits.
Here’s a link to a kit I’d Suggest; https://amzn.to/2K5iMqz
The most expensive line not being real model kits but a line of real robot action figures by Bandai. The line consists of mecha figures with extreme detail and articulation plus diecast metal parts.
Here’s a link to a kit I’d Suggest; https://amzn.to/32CBpbS
Haros and Bear/Petit Guys are basically Gundam/Gunpla’s mascots. Haros cute little robot balls that come in many colours some with cat ears, usually NG or 1/144 Scale with the Odd 1/1 Scale it’s always a fun time to build one of these little fellers. The Bear/Petit Guys are small robotic bear mecha with cute designs also usually NG and 1/144 Scale.
Due to ease of Build this is another great set of kits to get the youngins into, on the other hand the cuteness factor may be enough to bring your significant other with you to build also.
Here’s a link to a kit I’d Suggest; https://amzn.to/2GXo1r9
Other Unknown Lines or 3rd Party
Looking for a real challenge? Something not everyone has? Busts and Head Molds can be found in 1/32 , 1/24 and 1/12 Scale! Giving you that Victorian era feeling in your home but with a gunpla head.
Mega Size not big enough for you? Look for the mythical 1/12 Scale kit
famously seen around the world at conventions.
Maybe you find kits don’t have enough detail? 3rd Party Resin kits are add ons to make certain kits stand out and be more detailed some might even say elevated above PG status.
For any of these 3rd Party or Unknown Bandai Lines you’ll have to scour the interwebs for a hotdeal as majority of these are limited releases or non public in bandais case.
I hope you were all able to learn and understand the difference between the Grades and Scales a little more and are able to find something that suits you and what you seek out of building after reading and seeing this Blog and as always thanks for reading and come hangout live on Twitch!