What Is Gunpla?

Well simply put, Gunpla is transformers….

Okay I am completely kidding. The community would destroy me if I went with that answer.

Gunpla which stands for “Gundam Plastic Model,” is kit building hobby produced by Bandai and is based off the various Japanese anime Gundam shows.

oh and don’t ask me why Gunpla which does not contain an M has the word model in it. I really have no idea. Maybe someone will inform us in the comments.

Okay so back to Gunpla.

These model kits like any other model are produced in scale based off the “real thing,” common scales for Gunpla are 1/144 for a High Grade kit, 1/100 for a Master Grade, and 1/60 for a Perfect Grade.

We will get to what High Grade, and Master Grade are here in a minute.

What makes Gunpla stand out from other models is that almost anyone, and I mean anyone can build them without being a model kit expert. We have 8 year olds that come to our build days (Pre-Covid 19) and build these kits.

So you may ask yourself why would I want to build something that an 8 year old can build. The answer is, while yes an 8 year old can build Gundam kits, there is actually no limit to what you can accomplish.

Gundam kits out of the box come looking just like the image hanging out near this paragraph. No joke. Out of the box it is pre-painted. Even better you never have to deal with glue!!! These kits snap together and are fully posable. Hence why anyone can build them.

That said however, The kits do come in different levels of difficulty. The easiest in my opinion and is usually what we have young children start on, are the SD size models. SD which stands for super deformed are kits that sit about 2-3 inches tall.

SD EX Standard Sazabi Pose 3
Super Deformed

Size Comparison

The last thing I want to go over is just how far you can go with these kits. Most builders will build the kits as is out of the box and have a blast. There are some that want more though.

The easiest way to make a kit look remarkably better is to panel line them. Panel lining is simply adding color to all the nooks and crannies of the kit using a specialized pen.

Instead of writing about it, here is a video showing how to panel line. Should give you a good idea of what it does to a kit.

Before and After Panel Lining
Custom Paint Gundam
Custom Paint

High Grade RX-78-3 Full Armor Gundam 7th Pose 3
High Grade Model

The next level is a High Grade kit. These guys are roughly 5-6 inches tall. This kit is the recommended starting level for adults.

They provide a good challenge to new builders without overwhelming them with a crazy amount of detail. In the end it still produces a good looking kit.

After High Grade we have the Master Grade.

A Master Grade kit sits roughly 7-9 inches tall and can be quite challenging to newer builders because of the higher level of detail in the kit. Master Grade models have a lot of pieces, tend to be more posable, and most have a frame built under the armor pieces.

Master Grade Gunner Zaku Warrior (Lunamaria Hawke Custom) Pose 3
Master Grade

As of writing this, the highest detailed kit is called a Perfect Grade. These kits are monsters. I have yet to actually build one even though I have one in my backlog.

They stand a whopping 12 inches tall! and are made up of roughly 700-825 separate pieces.

These kits are usually reserved to the most dedicated of enthusiasts.

For real last thing here are some images of Gunpla enthusiasts who do full paint jobs and even add LED lights to there kits.