Types of Gundam Model Kits

August 21, 2015
(Originally written on September 3, 2002)
By Jordan Connor


With the increasing popularity growing ever more with Japanese Mecha Robot kits, specifically Gundam kits, I wanted to share a brief introduction to the kits as a whole, for those of you who are interested.

(Background history on Gundam model kits)
The model kits that are produced by Bandai feature multiple colors, very little or no flash at all, no pin injection marks, sink holes or any other typical problem. From a building standpoint, they are as excellent as the molds. They snap together, creating an almost seamless fit, or eliminating it completely during the construction process (especially with the newer kits, e.g. Master Grade and Perfect Grade).

These kits are labeled as "no pain or glue necessary" but for some, that is SACRILEGE.....me included. ;-)

Still, the general "paint by numbers" or in this case "colors" is evident, because most all pieces are molded in the right color, and you simply have to paint them according to the molded color or color chart, given in Japanese of course.

Here is a quick breakdown of the more recent gundam scales and divisions.

HGUC, or rather "High Grade Universal Century"
This is a 1/144 representation of the Mecha from the animated series. Most of these newer kits (regular HG or "High Grade" kits) are the older kits, (some are in different scales). They have 75-175 pieces! Sometimes more, including their 'Poly caps' - Teflon like material that aids in the joint movement of these robots. (Some will have upwards of 50 or so Polycapís in them).

At this size (1/144), there will be some seams to clean up, but the detail is no less than any other "grade" here. They have recessed panel lines and other little "bells and whistles". Some, in this scale can also have upwards of 25+ points of articulation.

MG or "Master Grade"
This is just what is sounds like; these kits can range from 200-375+ parts in a 1/100 scale.

Panel lines will hide many of the seams. Some others are totally avoided.

With the MG's here, they have also included a new type of plastic. Along with the poly caps, we have the addition of ABS plastic. (Remember legos???? Yep, the same "wear resistant" material here).

There can be up to 50+ points of articulation.

Most all MG's from 1995-present feature parts making up partial internal frames (1995-2000), up to complete endoskeletons (see Perfect Grade); These have been seen in the recent "G-Gundam" series, now airing on Cartoon network.

PG or "Perfect Grade", Top o' the world Ma!
The word "Perfect" is the right word here. These kits have everything that the HGUC's have, everything the MG's have, and much more.

These are represented in 1/60 scale, about 12-13 inches when complete. In total, these kits can have up to 1,500 parts!!!!!!

Although they come with a wallet gouging price, they are worth it if you have the budget.

There are 6 so far, and feature Full endoskeleton, eyes and other parts that light up, fully articulated fingers, moveable/removable armor, and so much more! These generally can have up to about 100 or so points of articulation.

Ok, that's about it!

(Editorial's Note - August 21, 2015)
Since my friend Jordan originally wrote this article a number of years ago, Bandai has started producing several additional types, or "grades" of Gundams:

Real Grade
These newly created Gundam models are pretty recent releases, having been on the scene for only a couple of years now. They are basically the Larger-scaled, Perfect Grade Gundams, shrunk down into the smaller, 1/144 scale High Grade size.

With these small, diminutive versions of their LARGER, Perfect Grade "Big Brothers", much of the detail has still been captured. These Real Grades include full internal, endo-skeleton frames, outer panels which snap into place over the endo-skeleton, numerous opening hatches and other moving parts, along with more articulation in the hands, along with all of the other joints of the robots.

1/48 "Mega Size" Gundam
These LARGE Scale Gundams have been on the scene for quite a few years now - (longer than the Real Grades).

Created in 1/48 scale, they are LARGER than the previously released HUGE Perfect Grade Gundams, (which are smaller in scale, at 1/60).

However, they do not have nearly the same amount of detail their Perfect Grade "cousins" have. They have no internal endo-skeleton, along with fewer moving and opening parts, and fewer points of articulation for the joints.

In addition, the outer panel detail is also less than you what you find on the Perfect Grades.

However, with the lowering of the overall detail also comes a substantial lowering of their costs...These "Mega Size" Gundams are priced noticeably cheaper than the Perfect Grades.

For those looking for a less-expensive alternative to the P.G.'s, who may also not care quite as much about less detail found in these Gundams, but still desiring a LARGE scaled Gundam, these are the perfect choice!

Ok, I guess that's it.

As always....HAPPY BUILDING!

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Copyright © 2015 Anthony I. Wootson Sr. and Jordan Connor. No material may be reproduced without permission of Anthony I. Wootson Sr. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.