Getting into gunpla and starting this amazing journey, you should start with a grade that will be easy to build, and yet challenging.
There are four main gunpla grades:
- Real Grade (1/144 scale)
- High Grade (1/144 scale)
- Perfect Grade (1/100 scale)
- Master Grade (1/60 scale)
Gundam Model Grades Explained
RG is known for its high level of detailing and gimmicks, and is considered a step up from High Grade (HG) in terms of complexity.
It is 1/144 scale and has a more intricate inner frame, making it ideal for experienced builders.
- High level of detailing and gimmicks
- Suitable for experienced builders
- 1/144 scale, so accurate to the original design
- More expensive than other grades
- More complicated inner frame, which can make building more difficult
HG is the standard grade, with a 1/144 scale and limited gimmicks and poseability.
It is the easiest to build and appropriate for any skill level, but may not be suitable for builders with large hands.
- 1/144 scale, so accurate to the original design
- Easy to build and suitable for any skill level
- Often cheaper than other grades
- Limited gimmicks and poseability
- Lack of inner frame
- May not be suitable for builders with large hands
Master Grade (MG) is a 1/100 scale model with basic gimmicks and an inner frame.
It offers a balance of sophistication and size, making it a popular choice among builders with some experience.
- 1/100 scale, so accurate to the original design
- Ideal blend of sophistication and size
- Popular among builders with some experience
- More expensive than other grades
- More difficult and time-consuming to build than lower grades
- May not be as appealing to beginners
Perfect Grade (PG) is the most advanced and challenging grade, with the highest level of detailing, gimmicks, articulation, and difficulty.
It is a 1/60 scale model and is best suited for experienced builders looking for a challenge.
- Perfect in every way (details, gimmicks, articulation)
- 1/60 scale, so accurate to the original design
- Suitable for experienced builders and those looking for a challenge
- Most expensive and difficult grade to build
- Most complex inner frame
- May not be as appealing to beginners or less experienced builders
How to choose the best gunpla grade for you
The things that make a good entry grade is the fact that these kits have a low parts count, the parts are in a good size, they are not too complex to build, and they come at a good price for testing out if you like this kind of build.
Like with puzzles, you need a number of parts that won’t be too large, but still will be a challenge to build. a too large number of parts will make a beginner lost in the building process.
Part size is another thing to consider. Too small parts will be harder to fit in place and can cause a bit of frustration. You want your first gunpla builds to be easy on your hands so choose a part size that is suitable for you.
The complexity of the build is the most important part when choosing a good-grade kit to start with. Higher grades such as master grades or perfect grade have a complex build that is not suitable for beginners unless you are really technical and has a good experience with model kits.
Eventually, price. Since you are doing your first steps into the gunpla world its important to start with a kit that wouldn’t be heavy on your pocket.
A Good Gunpla Grade For Beginners Is The 1/144 HG (high grade)
The High Grade is part of the Gunpla kits which were produced and launched by Bandai.
It primarily has a scale of 1/144, consisting of the 1/100(legacy) and other scales used mainly for mobile armor and other vehicles of large sizes.
A high-grade kit is usually 1/144 in scale, equivalent to about 4 to 6 inches tall and it is a minor scale available.
The High-Grade Gunpla are the best for beginners as they are inexpensive to start with and they are quite easy for a beginner to build.
HG have fewer parts compared to the other grades. High-grade gunpla have 100-150 parts on average. A beginner can build a 1\144 HG gunpla completely in about 3 hours.
The HGUC RX-78-2 Gundam is probably the most popular gunpla kit and it costs $10-$15, an affordable price to see if you enjoy this kind of build.
Is a 1/144 HG Gunpla the easiest to build?
The scale of 1/144 is usually the easiest to build amongst all the Gunpla grades, but this scale can only be found in the High and Real Grades.
The 1/144 scale is more manageable in the High Grade because it is not complex, and there is no need for decorative works like gluing and painting as they already come colored and snapped together from the box.
likewise, they have great details and when done, they will look good on your shelf or desk.
The Real grade kit also has a scale of 1/144 and is a step up from the High-Grade kit with more complex parts;
Therefore, the best grade to start with is the High-Grade kit.
Make Sure You Read About
Do you need to paint a 1/144 Gunpla grade?
The scale of the 1/144 Gunpla grade can be found both in the High-Grade kit and in the Real Grade kit, and they come pre-colored.
All the current or modern Gunpla kits do not need to be painted.
They have different shades of accuracy when it comes to colors, which are often put right by stickers.
But even with that, the color accuracy of some kits won’t be 100%, the color apps won’t be complete, and there will be missing color apps.
Currently, the Real Grade kits are entirely color accurate, but the lower grade kits need a little touch-up and look great with the stickers provided.
Other good gunpla grades to start with
Entry Grade (EG)
The Entry Grade (EG) has a scale of 1/144, which is in line with the Gunpla kits and Mobile suits obtained from the series of the Gundam meta.
It was first announced in China in 2011 and it is similar to the first Grade or the 1/144 series in No grade Gunpla kits, which include no polyps and are only designed in three colors.
There is no need for a pair of nippers as each kit has a part separator. Joining is bound to ankles, shoulders, neck, and hips; limbs are designed in 1-3 pieces for each and are sunken on one side.
The early models are also cheap as they were sold for under $5.00 at stores.
The new line of Entry Grade has proportions, separation, and articulation equivalent to a couple of High-Grade kits. Nippers are not needed; in replacement of a parts separator, plate runners’ gates have been remodeled so that the parts can be removed by hand.
First Grade (FG)
The original was part of the 20th anniversary of the Gundam Big Bang project in 1999 as a refurbishment of the original 1/144 kits from 1980.
The kits are designed in only one color and do not have any polycaps but have the snap-fit assembly that the current kits have. The three Gunpla in this category use designs similar to their Perfect Grade kits.
They are bounded in articulation, while some parts require glue to be articulated and painted to give them a good look.
Super Deformed (SD) Gundam
SD Gundam is a unique type of Gunpla characterized by its highly stylized and exaggerated design, featuring a small and chubby body with a large head.
These models are non-scale, with limited articulation and minimal detailing, but are popular among collectors and builders due to their cute and playful appearance.
Can a beginner start with Master Grade Gundam?
The Grade of a Gunpla kit indicates its complexity and not its difficulty.
It should be expected that the master grade would have more parts that would take a longer time to build but not tricky parts to build.
The best Gunpla kit for any beginner in Gunpla is the High Grade or Master Grade because they are less difficult to make and have fewer stickers and decals.
It does not need to be painted. Therefore, someone new to it doesn’t need to worry about aesthetics.
Starting with the High Grade or with the Master’s Grade would be pretty easy for a beginner to build.
The size of the Master Grade is typically 1/100, which is about 7.5inches, while the size of the High Grade is 1/144.
The models of the MG have more details and are larger than the HG and RG kit models.
The MG kits make use of a smaller number of sticker sheets and have a better quality than the HG and RG. The MG kit is best for beginners who want to start with a challenge.
Ideal 1\144 Gunpla kits for beginners
The ten best Gunpla kit for beginners are listed as follows:
1. HGUC RX-78-2 Gundam Revive
This is the supporter suit from MOBILE SUIT Gundam IN 1979.
This was the first mecha that was ever changed into a Gunpla in 1980, and it has remained the mobile suit that has made many Gunpla kits just like it.
The recent version looks better when there is less cleaning work before articulation because it has the thinnest connections on its runners.
2. Hello Kitty x Haro
The unlikely partnership between the Gundam multiverse’s ultimate weapon and Saniro’s charming beribboned mascot resulted in this in early 2020.
The kit has different configurations. Therefore, there is more learning to build Gunpla for you.
3. SD Cross Silhouette Gundam Barbatos Lupus Rex
The kit has a feature of two internal skeletons, which gives you the choice of modeling your Lupus Rex with proportions that have been classic Super-Deformed.
You can also build internal frames and articulate your armor to one other to see which one you want.
4. Bandai Hobby Wing Gundam Zero Version EW 1/100 – Master Grade
This is one of the top recommendations for beginners as it has a very low difficulty for construction.
It snaps together, requires no glue, and is pre-colored, so there is no need to paint them unless you feel like it.
It has 16 runners, and it also comes with a marking sticker, one foil sticker, and a dry transfer sheet.
It has a scale of 1/100, meaning it’s pretty big and about 7 inches tall. The limbs are movable so that you can put them in any direction.
5. Bandai Gundam Barbatos Lupus HG IBO 1/144 Model Kit
This Gunpla is best for beginners who aren’t sure they want to dive fully into Gunpla. It has a scale of 1/144, which is less than the Bandai Hobby Wing Gundam Zero Version EW 1/100, and it is about 5 inches tall.
The duration to build it is about 1hr which is helpful for beginners who don’t want to start a big project. It uses several stickers for detailing, so there is no reason to paint.
6. Bandai Hobby HGUC RX-78-2 Gundam Revive Model Kit 1/144
This is a very good start for someone who is new to Gundam. It’s a very easy piece that brings satisfaction.
The color of the eyes is clear yellow which is a really nice touch in replacement of a typical sticker for the eye. It is also a pocket-friendly choice.
7. High Grade Gundam Barbatos
It is made up of well detailed designs which are simple and would leave one fulfilled.
The frames inside stand out well. The posing of the kit is always epic as it can be showcased with or without a stand.
8. Any Zaku from the HG Gundam The Origin
Every Zaku in this category is fantastic. They fit together very well and the posing of the kit is also nice.
It also has a battle axe which comes with an effective piece. It is ultimately a nice kit to showcase.
9. MG RX-78-2 Gundam Origin
This Master Grade kit comes with a yellow LED unit which is in it to light up the eyes in an amazing touch.
The joints move freely and can be remodeled to create a couple of poses.
10. HG Graze and Variants
This High-Grade kit has its joints secure and it’s another simple and satisfying build on this list. It’s also super friendly to the pocket.