Gunpla (Gundam Plastic Models) is a hobby that's relatively easy to get into. The best way to get started is to grab a low cost model and give it a go. All you need to build one is a cutting mat, and a hobby nipper (literally). As you get more into the hobby you can get markers, weathering master kits, spray paints, finishes etc. to customize your Gundam and make it your own.
Types of Model Kits
There are different levels to the Gunpla kits; these levels are called grades. The grade of the Gunpla kit lets you know the skill required to build it. Gunpla models of higher grades will be more accurate in terms of the mechanics and inner frames, but are more difficult to assemble. I have listed a summary of the common grades below:
1.) Super Deformed (SD) - these models are stumpier than the regular model kits. They have the fewest parts and are the smallest of all the models.
2.) High Grade - simple model kit, great for a beginner and not very expensive
3.) Master Grade - more complex then High grade kits, better quality, more posable and still quite affordable
4.) Perfect Grade - most accurate of all the grades, most expensive, contain the largest models, and have more options in terms of weapons, hydraulics, etc. These models take a much longer time to assemble then the High grade or Master grade models.
5.) Real Grade - it shares elements with the High, Master and Perfect grades. They are in the same skill level as High grade models.
Gunpla kits come in various scales, and these scales are based on how the models measure up to an actual Gundam. The most common scales you will see are below:
1.) Nonscale - models not scaled in relation to Gundams in the anime series. An example of this would be the SD Gunpla kits
2.) 1/144 - smallest scale model available
3.) 1/100 - mid size, sits between 1/144 and 1/60
4.) 1/60 - detail will increase as go you from high grade to perfect grade
If your a beginner, it would be best to start off with a High grade model, than move onto more difficult grades as you get more experience.
Building a Gundam
Please watch the video below for a quick introduction to how to put together a Gundam Model (in this case the Wing Gundam Ver.Ka MG).
Special thanks to Gio San Pedro for the video.