Demi Trainer - gunpla

What Does a Gunpla’s Grade Mean?

Whether you have built a gunpla before, or you have seen the huge line of kits available at your local hobby store, one thing that stands out quite prominently on many of the boxes beyond the Bandai logo, the Gundam branding and artwork for the mecha itself is two letters.

These two letters, arguably more than anything else on the box, are possibly the clearest signifier of the type of building experience you can expect to have, especially if you are just starting in the hobby, as they represent a particular model’s Grade.

Whilst model makers more used to Airfix models might be familiar with the concept of scale, a kit’s Grade is not just its size but also its detail, complexity and in some respects difficulty to build.

There have been tons of kit Grades over the years, some of which have a tendency to overlap or appear intermittently but there are typically five that need to be considered.

Super Deformed (SD)


The simplest kits are the SD Grade line, which translates to Super Deformed and are typically distinguished by their big heads, relatively small-sized models and relatively simple construction.They are typically the cheapest alongside EG (Entry Grade) models and are designed specifically as a starting point for people interested in getting into model build. They are also the proportions seen in video games such as Super Robot Wars.

High Grade (HG)


High Grade (HG) kits strike a perfect balance between detail and ease of assembly, available in both 1/144 and 1/100 scales. These kits cater to general consumers, offering a vast array of designs spanning numerous Gundam series, from iconic main storylines to intriguing side stories. With improved articulation over Entry Grade, HG kits allow for more dynamic and expressive poses. The parts are color-separated, reducing the need for painting and enhancing the model's visual appeal. Additionally, HG kits come with stickers or decals to add those extra touches of detail. They are generally affordable, making them a popular choice for both beginners and experienced builders who appreciate a well-rounded and versatile model kit.

Real Grade (RG)


Real Grade (RG) kits are where detail and complexity start to shine, targeted at intermediate builders who crave a more challenging build. These 1/144 scale kits combine the compact size of HG with the intricate details and advanced articulation of Master Grade kits. RG kits are renowned for their detailed inner frames, which not only add structural integrity but also enhance articulation and poseability. The color separation is meticulous, often incorporating multiple shades to bring the model to life without needing paint. Assembly requires patience and precision, as the parts are smaller and more intricate. The result is a highly detailed, realistic model that is immensely satisfying to complete.

Master Grade (MG)


Master Grade (MG) kits, at a 1/100 scale, are designed for experienced builders who are ready to invest more time and effort into their Gunpla. These kits are renowned for their high level of detail, featuring intricate inner frames that allow for extensive articulation and realistic movement. MG kits often include a range of mechanical gimmicks, such as opening hatches, pilot figures, and sometimes even light-up features. The parts are color-separated and detailed, often accompanied by numerous decals for a polished finish. Building an MG kit is a rewarding process that requires significant time and attention to detail, culminating in a model that is both impressive and highly poseable.

Perfect Grade (MG)


Perfect Grade (PG) kits are the pinnacle of the Gunpla world, offering the highest level of detail and complexity at a 1/60 scale. These kits are designed for advanced modelers who are ready to tackle a serious challenge. PG kits feature exceptionally detailed inner frames, comprehensive articulation, and often include LED lighting systems and other electronic features. The assembly process is intricate and time-consuming, requiring a great deal of patience and skill. However, the end result is a stunningly detailed and highly realistic model that is the ultimate display piece for any Gundam enthusiast.

These are, in essence, the main grades you should know about when starting out on yor Gunpla journey, however beyond these you may come across other grades such as Master Grade Version Katoki (Ver Ka), Master Grade SD (MGSD), Full Mechanics (FM) and many others, which we'll cover in a future blog post.

Each Gundam grade offers a unique experience, catering to different skill levels and preferences, ensuring that there is something for every modeler in the world of Gunpla. Whether you're a beginner looking for a quick build or an experienced builder seeking a complex and rewarding challenge, the diverse range of grades guarantees that you'll find the perfect kit to suit your needs.

Why not check out our selection of kits or tag us on socials to showcase your favourite kits!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

1 of 3