The term Gunpla is an amalgamation of the words “Gundam” and “Plastic Model”, and is the hobby of assembling and painting Gundam model kits typically produced by Bandai Entertainment.
Gundam model kits are based on the mechs from the successful and long-running Japanese anime series, Mobile Suit Gundam.
Gundam model kits typically come in five grades varying in complexity, detail and cost. The five grades are: Super Deformed (SD), High Grade (HG), Real Grade (RG) Master Grade (MG), and Perfect Grade (PG).
High Grade (also known as HG) are the most affordable due to having low complexity and small sizing (1/144 scale). They have less detail and parts compared their respective higher grades, and most notably they don’t have inner frames.
Real Grade (also known as RG) is a relatively new product grade which Bandai has released with their Gundam 30th Anniversary commemoration project. The aim of RG is to provide the latest Gunpla technology at an affordable price point. RGs are the same size as HGs (1/144 scale), the inner frame of the RGs are based on MGs, and the part count is based on the PGs. So you get the best of the three worlds.
Master Grade (also known as MG) are bigger than HGs and RGs being 1/100 in scale. MG models come with inner frames, and have greater detail and more parts than the HG. Due to this higher complexity, they usually cost more however they’re a good model for hobbyists who can’t afford the PG price point.
Perfect Grade (also known as PG) is the cream of the crop for Gunpla. They are the best kits you can buy, unfortunately they are also super expensive. They are much larger than the previous grades coming in at 1/60 scale. The large size also provides a good base for customisation. PGs have the highest detail, complexity and the most parts by far.
Super Deformed (also known as SD) is a bit left-field in that they are Gundam models that have been made in “chibi” style, that is characterised by small bodies but large arms, legs and head. They are easy to collect due to their affordable pricing and very easy to assemble.
Instagram accounts like @gundamstagram beautifully showcase the best and latest Gunpla models from around the world. Its also by far the most followed Gunpla-related Instagram account in the world. It’s hard not to resist the temptation to get into Gunpla once you have a look.