Master Grade Vs Real Grade | A Detailed Breakdown

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With so many Gunpla grade options available, it is not uncommon for Gunpla enthusiasts to find themselves comparing grades, especially when purchasing a new kit.

Master Grade (MG) and Real Grade (RG) are two of the most detailed kit grades available in the Gundam line, with comparable qualities and some impressive features.

Both grades are excellent in their own right, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

There are some differences and some similarities, which I’ll go over in detail later in this post, but first take a look at this table to get an idea of what to expect.

FeatureMaster GradeReal Grade
FrameInner frameAdvanced MS Joint 
Ease of BuildingNormalDifficult
Color SeparationGoodAdvanced
GimmicksModerateAdvanced
Scale1/1001/144
Size18cm13cm
VarietyWide VarietyLimited Variety
Shelf Space ConsumptionTakes More SpaceEconomical
Price Range$25-$30$30-$60

The Key Differences Between Real Grade And Master Grade

· The most obvious difference between an RG and an MG is their sizes. MG kits are significantly larger than RG kits.

· Another significant difference is their level of stability. RG kits are typically not as sturdy as MG kits and thus lack the level of stability that MG kits have.

Frame – Master Grade Vs Real Grade

RG and MG both use inner frames. Some MGs may have part frames in only a portion of the kit, such as the legs, while other kits use full frames.

· The MG frame is a typical Bandai Gunpla frame.
It lacks the qualities found in higher grades such as PG, but it provides good stability and supports a reasonable level of gimmicks.

· The RG inner frame is not the standard type.
It is a unique frame that employs the “Advanced MS Joint“, a Gunpla technology that is essentially a frame runner premolded with all of the necessary joints and system.

This frame is what gives RG great articulation, almost as good as MG’s. It is also the reason why RG kits can afford so many gimmicks despite their small size. 

Although the frame can be quite fragile and must be handled with caution.

Complexity – Which Is Easier To Build?

Both grades are equally complex, but I believe a MG kit is easier to assemble than an RG kit simply due to its larger size. 

Large kits have large parts, and assembling a Gunpla model is much easier when dealing with larger parts.

Real Grade kits have small parts and a high level of part separation, but attaching these parts to an equally small and fragile inner frame is usually difficult and not ideal for builders with large hands or beginners.

If you want to build an RG kit, I recommend that you first gain some Gundam-building experience with other grades.

Master Grade Exia

Looks – RG Will Look Much Better Than MG

In terms of appearance, RG outshines MG.

· RG is made of fine details, excellent color variation and separation, and advanced engineering to ensure that the kits are great showpieces despite their small size.
Real Grades looks fantastic right out of the box, and using it without any additional painting will be a breeze.

If you prefer to customize your kit, it usually comes with a plethora of beautifying accessories such as sticker decals, some of which are even reflective, that can be applied to various parts to beautify it.

· MG is no slacker either. Master Grade kits are highly detailed, well-crafted kits that look good whether customized or not and are among the best-looking Gunpla kits.

Real Grade Exia

Gimmicks – Real Grades take the lead

A kit with enough gimmicks has better poseability, and articulation, and it looks more realistic than one with a limited number of gimmicks.

The two grades have an incredible number of gimmicks.

· A typical MG has some good engineering and gimmicks that, while not found on HG kits, are no match for those found on RG kits.

Real Grades are well-known for their gimmicks. How Bandai has managed to fit so many gimmicks in a 1/144 scale kit is seen as a testament to the superb engineering work they have put into this line.

· Most RG kits include sliding panels, shifting armors, and other features. Some even have completely removable parts and complex, mechanical parts that look like they belong on a Perfect Grade.

Size and Scale – Master Grade is Bigger Than Real Grade, But Not By Much

The scale of a Gundam kit determines how big or small the kit will be when assembled. The larger the scale, the smaller the kit, and vice versa.

RGs are 1/144 scale, the same as HGs, whereas MGs are 1/100 scale. A typical RG kit will be around 13cm tall, or about 5 and a half inches. For MG, that figure is around 18cm (7 inches).

Master Grade Gundam kit is bigger than Real Grade. The kit is bigger, the parts are bigger, and the armors are bigger. 

An average MG kit will be nearly twice as big as an average RG kit.

Variety – Master Grade Vs Real Grade

Choosing a favorite grade of Gundam kits can be difficult, but once you do, most builders prefer to stick with it as their go-to grade. Some even go so far as to collect old releases of that grade to update their collection.

Doing so with RG will be difficult because it is limited to only the ‘lead’ Gundam and has a range of only 20 kits that are regularly released. Even so, they are rarer than MG kits.

· It is easier to find an MG Gundam model than an RG Gundam model.

The MG line has a much wider range of kits, with around 200 MG kits on the market. And, while MG does not have as many kits as HG (there are over 300), it does have more than RG. 

One of the few disadvantages of RG is its lack of variety.

RG Will Take (much) Less Shelf Space

If you’re like me and have limited space, you should avoid MG.

Every Gunpla builder wants to show off their collection, and Gundam kits look best when displayed together on a shelf. This is why, when deciding on a grade, you should consider your display space.

· Despite not having the size and sheer presence of PG, MG is still much larger than RG (and HG) and is not ideal for someone with limited shelf space.

· RG, on the other hand, is a compact line. It’s small and detailed enough to pass as a pocket toy.

If you want to build a large collection of Gundams or have all of the mechas in a specific series, RG or any other 1/144 kit is the way to go.

Details – Master Grade Vs Real Grade

When it comes to details, it’s difficult to choose a higher grade. Both grades have a ridiculously high level of detailing, but Real Grade just edges it out for me.

· RG is designed to be as realistic as possible. The details on RG kits are stunning; they are of the highest quality. Panel lining is fantastic, and seam lines are designed to blend in with panel lines.

RG builders rarely have to paint their kits after assembly because they are fantastic right out of the box. They usually come with plenty of sticker decals, such as metallic and text, to keep us builders happy.

· MG is also well-detailed and makes good use of stickers and decals. Some of them even use LED lights.

Which Has Better Color Separation?

Color separation and variation in a Gundam kit contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal of the kit.

· RG, despite its size, has better color separation than regular MG kits, except for the RX-78-2 3.0 Ver Ka. Colors are well combined and interfaced to give the kit its best look.

An RG kit is unlikely to miss any color mismatches. It also uses different shades of the same color on the parts to increase surface details and give the kit a more realistic appearance.

Regular MGs have excellent color separation, far superior to HG, but some MG kits still require the use of color-correcting stickers. Although it is superior to RG on special kits like the Ver. Ka subline.

One Of My Favourite RG Kits

Price – RG Is Cheaper Than MG?

The cost of a Gundam kit is determined by several factors.
The year of release, the size, grade, and rarity are all factors that can influence prices.

Although MG kits are not rare, they are quite expensive.

· An average MG kit costs between $30 and $60, with some special editions costing up to $100.

· RG is more affordable. While it is not as cheap as its 1/144 counterpart, HG, it is still cheap, with an average RG costing around $25.

So, if you want to get a kit but don’t want to spend too much money, an RG may be the better option.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the grade you choose will be determined by what you need at the time. Both grades provide different types of challenges and fun; regardless of which one you purchase, master grade or real grade, you will enjoy it.