Size chart guide - each notch is 4cm
Bandai produces several different kinds of Gundam model kits, which are classified into different Grades.
1/144 High Grade
HG Gundam kits (and also HGUC, for High Grade Universal Century) kits are 1/144 in scale, meaning that am 18 metre tall Gundam will stand approximately 12.5 (5 inches) centimetres tall. High Grade kits are moulded in the right colours, so they don't require any painting, and are all snap fit. You can always improve the appearance of your model by painting it though, and the kits come with detailing decals. Although they have a good range of movement, these kits aren't as poseable as their MG or RG counterparts. Transforming mobile suits can convert between their different forms, but will usually require removing and re-attaching parts. High Grade kits are a great start for anyone looking to start building Gundam models for the first time.
1/100 Master Grade
MG Gundam kits are the next step up from High Grade kits, both in terms of size and detail. These kits are 1/100 in scale, meaning the MG RX-78 Gundam will stand around 18 cm (7 1/2 inches) tall. MG kits have loads of detail and gimmicks that the smaller HG kits lack, such as functioning panels and hatches, and lots of inner detail. Some kits, such as the NT-1 Alex have features like pop-up gatling guns, or the GP03's forearm mounted graspers, and kits such as the Rick Dias have individually articulated finger joints (this is not present on all kits). Earlier MG kits could have some parts of their armour removed to display the inner machinery detail, and in later kits this has been extended to the entire model. These later kits have an inner frame, on top of which armour and external parts are layered. Inner-frame models are super-articulated, and designed so that armour parts slide over each other to allow the kit to assume almost any pose you care to think of, to allow you to recreate almost any scene from your favourite anime.
Master Grade kits are suitable for more advanced modellers. Each kit will take several enjoyable hours to build.
Like the High Grade kits, MG model kits are moulded in multiple colours and do not require painting or glue. The colouring is more extensive than HG models but the finished result will benefit from panel lining. They include detailing stickers and decal, including both wet and dry transfer decals.
1/144 Real Grade
The Real Grade, or RG Gundam kits are the latest addition to Bandai's lineup. These kits are the same scale as their High Grade counterparts, but are much more detailed and articulate. Like the latest Master Grade models, RG kits have an inner frame construction onto which you layer the armour and external parts. They're almost like mini Master Grade kits.
Real Grade kit parts are quite small and some require very fine trimming to get them to fit properly, so good quality tools are recommended. As with other modern kits, Real Grades are snap-fit and pre-coloured.
1/60 Perfect Grade
Perfect Grade, or PG Gundam kits are the absolute pinnacle of Bandai's model lineup. These kits usually stand around a foot tall, and include incredible levels of detail, with working hatches and panels all over the kit, metal parts, individually jointed fingers, etc. The inner detail is astounding, and like MG kits, the armour can be removed to show off the frame. There's absolutely no need to paint them either, as the parts all come in the right colours. The downside of these awesome models is their price. Because these kits appeal to very advanced model builders and are quite expensive, we do not stock them as regular items - please contact us if you want to place a special order for one.
Bandai still manufactures the earlier kits that were first issued in the 80s. These come in a variety of sizes, from 1/220 scale to 1/60, but they are all moulded in only one or two colours and need both glue (usually included) and painting to complete. Their proportions are rather different from today's kits and they lack detail - precision engineering has come a long way since then! We don't stock these kits but we can order them in specially.
Some 1/100 HG and gradeless kits exist, particularly from series such as Wing Gundam and Gundam Seed. These have since been superseded (no pun intended) by Master Grade and High Grade kits, but are still produced, Again, we do not stock these but can order them in if you want to get hold of them. Gradeless kits, depending on when they were issued, contain a decent level of detail and are moulded in multiple colours but need some work to look really good, and aren't as poseable as graded kits. Several other types of kits are also produced, such as the 1/48 Mega Size kits. Please contact us if you are interested in these kits.