The size, or scale, of a model shows how big it will be once it is built. Take a 1/144 model, which is said to be exactly 144 times smaller than the “real” mobile suit, if it existed. For example, the “life-size” Gundam model in Odaiba, Japan, is 1/1 scale. Since the 1990s, scale has been standardized, and you can usually choose between 1/144, 1/100, and 1/60.
There are five different sizes: 1/144, 1/100, 1/60, 1/48, and Super Deformed. Master Grade models are 1/100, Perfect Grade models are 1/60, and the Mega Size is 1/48. High Grade and Real Grade models are 1/144. A little bit different is Super Deformed (SD). It’s a different kind of model, so it has its own kind of grade.
How to Understand the Scales
On the corner of a Gunpla box, there is an abbreviation for the grade, like HG or MG, and a fraction. You will see the following parts:
If you haven’t read up on it, it might seem confusing at first, but it’s not hard to understand.
These fractions show how big the models are. In the Gundam anime, the mechs are not models; they are 18 meters (59 feet) tall.
Scale models are what you can make. The fact that it is 1/144 means that it is only 144th the size of the real big mech.
That means that the 1/100 models are a little bit bigger and the 1/48 models are a lot bigger.
Even though each model might be a little different, Gunpla are usually the following sizes:
Sizes and Grades
You might assume that finding what you’re looking for is difficult if there are various grades and sizes. Fortunately, it isn’t. Different sizes correspond to different grades.
- High Grade
- Real Grade
- Master Grade
- Perfect Grade
Other grades are more difficult to locate. These consist of:
- First Grade.
- Advanced Grade
- Reborn 100
- “No Grad”
- Mega Size.
- Super Deformed
The models are small and have little detail, making them ideal for beginner projects. High Grade and Real Grade are advised for beginners.
These grades are good if you want a quick project because they typically take an hour to construct.
However, Real Grade is a little more complicated than High Grade. They are considerably more mobile than the High Grade models and have more pieces and better coloring.
For those who want to start out a level above easy, Real Grade is ideal.
Avoid estimating their size too highly. They have a height of roughly 5 inches, or the same as a soda can.
There are some Gunpla models known as First Grade (FG) and Advanced Grade that are more difficult to locate (AG).
These are essentially less expensive iterations of High Grade models, which are harder to find because they are no longer produced. They aren’t nearly as detailed or as posable as HG models.
Since fewer models of the Master Grade are released each year, finding one is more difficult.
They have more pieces and are 2 to 3 inches larger than 1/144 scale Gunpla, but they are also more expensive than HG and RG Gunpla.
This grade’s coloring is superior, and there are fewer sticker sheets than on the HG models. The bigger parts are also easier to work with because of their size.
Reborn 100 (RE100), which are merely remakes of the “No Grade” Gunpla, and other 1/100 scale models known as “No Grade” are becoming more difficult to locate.
Both of these lines were essentially HG Gunpla that were more expensive and detailed than MG Gunpla.
Typically, only skilled Gunpla builders seek out this grade. The model itself is about 12 inches tall and has numerous parts; the price ranges up to $250.
They are more difficult to construct and require more patience, but they are well detailed and won’t need painting to fix any mistakes.
Painting is not required for the other sizes, but occasionally there may be some discolored areas that need to be fixed.
Only Mega Size (MS) Gunpla come in this size, which is hard to find. They stand a few inches higher than PG models.
You can’t do much posing with them because they are less detailed and less articulate than PG models, which makes them less expensive.
Since the large pieces are simpler to handle, they are marketed toward beginners.
Since there were only five more MS models released before the last one, which was released in 2017, they are now more difficult to find.
These are typically used for display at hobby stores and are 1/12 scale. Every once in a while, one costs around $3,400 and is for sale!
Okay, so you can’t really build one of these, but you can visit Japan to see it!
Anything that isn’t scaled in accordance with the requirements of the show. Almost always, SD Gunpla fell under this classification.
Super Deformed Gundam Models: What Are They?
You can see that the Super Deformed Gunpla doesn’t have a size assigned to it in the chart at the beginning of the article.
This is due to the fact that these SD models, as they are described on the box, are unique.
They have a unique shape and are not scale models; rather, they are merely fun-sized models that lack proportion accuracy.
SD Gunpla is distinguished by its large feet, large head, and small body. On SD Gunpla, the eyes are also noticeably bigger.
These models can also be referred to as “chibi,” a Japanese term for something that is compact.
Characters are exaggerated in the chibi style by being made small but with large heads and eyes.
HG Gunpla are typically more expensive than SD. Additionally, they are smaller, which renders them less detailed and posable.
These will give you less mobility than the other Gunpla.
You’ll be better prepared to shop for Gundam models online or in-person if you are aware of their sizes.
You will be able to tell which grade it is because sizes correspond to grades.
Keep in mind that smaller grades are typically simpler to construct than larger ones, which tend to be more intricate and detailed.
Of course, both the small and large models have a few exceptions.