Are High Grade (HG) Gunpla Worth It? Where are HG Gundam Models Good at?

One thing people always ask when trying to start Gundam modeling is if HG models are worth it. I can’t blame them for wondering this since while HG models are cheaper and more widely available than others, they can still cost around $20-$40. Thus, I decided to write this post to summarize when to choose HG over other grades.

High Grade (HG) models are worth it if the modeler is a beginner because they are not only cheap but also easy to build. Furthermore, these models are great for practicing advanced techniques such as painting and kitbashing. For these reasons, HG Gundams are preferred over other grades.

This blog post will discuss if HG models are worth it. Furthermore, we will talk about where specifically these models are good at. Lastly, we will conclude with what you would choose based on your preference.

HGUC Gundam Neozeong

Are high-grade (HG) Gunpla worth it?

The Diecast Model Welcome Video
The Diecast Model Welcome Video

High-grade (HG) Gundams are good for beginner modelers because they are cheap and easy to build. Generally, these models can only cost about $20-$40 and have fewer parts than other grades. This is why most modelers would practice on HG models before going for more difficult grades.

Almost all hobby stores would have an HG model for sale. This is because HG Gundams are cheap and perfect for beginners.

Beginners should always start with High Grade (HG) Gunpla models because they give the necessary skills before trying harder grades such as RG, MG, and PG. However, beginners who would like to have some challenges could start with RG or MG.

But for most modelers, HG is the best start.

However, HG Gundams aren’t only for beginners as they have numerous advantages over other more expensive models.

Let’s talk about these advantages below.

HG Gundam Deathsycthe Hell

1. HG Gundams are Good for Beginners

As discussed, HG Gundams are perfect for beginners since they are cheap and easy to build.

Compared to other grades, HG has fewer parts, making them easier for beginners.

A beginner modeler can finish a High-Grade model in only 3 hours.

Experienced modelers might take 10 hours if they are meticulous in other advanced techniques such as painting.

For example, at the start of this post, the High-Grade Neo Zeong photo took some time to build because it involved painting.

Recommended Read: If you are interested in finding out the average time to build each model grade, please check this post: How long does it take to build a Gundam Model?

The most important thing here is building HG Gundams would give the necessary skills to build more challenging grades in the future.

However, HG isn’t the easiest to build.

SD Gundams are generally easier to build than HG, but these models are considered the “Chibi” Gundam.

This means SD or Super Deformed Gundams aren’t as realistic as an HG. Thus, most people would still prefer HG Gundams for beginners.

SD Unicorn Gundam

2. HG Gundams are Good for Price Sensitive Modelers

One thing you’ll notice with HG Gundams as they are generally cheaper than other grades. Most HG Gundams would only cost $20-$40, depending on their type.

While there are certainly more expensive HG models, such as the Limited editions and the HGUC Neo Zeong cost about $300, most would only be less than $40.

That’s why they are perfect for price-sensitive modelers.

HG models have lower prices than other grades for two reasons.

One is that HG models are small. These are only 1/144 scale.

To compare, PG and MG models are 1/60 and 1/100, respectively.

To make it easier to understand, you need to stack 144 HG models to reach their actual height, while it will only take 60 PG models to do the same.

This means Bandai used fewer materials in its production. Fewer materials mean cheaper products.

Another reason for its lower price is the detail. Unfortunately, HG Gundams often use cheap plastics leading to lesser color quality.

HG Gundam’s plastics often feel and look cheap. This is why most modelers prefer painting their kits.

Furthermore, fewer details mean fewer parts. Fewer parts mean cheaper production costs.

Bandai made HG models cheaper to make it easier for beginners to try the hobby. As a result, almost all Gundam modelers started with an HG kit.

3. HG Gundams are Good for Practicing

HG Gundams are good for practicing since it gives the necessary skills to build a more challenging grade.

For example, a Gundam modeler should always learn how to properly remove the parts from the sprues or snap-fit the parts.

Tip: Always use a model nipper and sandpaper when removing parts from the sprues. It is also advisable to have a hobby marker with the same color as the sprue to remove those “cut marks.”

These basic skills can be attained by practicing with an HG model.

Since these models don’t have the best color quality, painting is an additional skill that you can improve in building your kits. You can use this advanced skill on more difficult and expensive models such as PG.

HG Neo Zeong White

4. HG is Great for Large Gundams

There is a massive variety of Gundams, and some are larger than others.

For example, the typical RX-78-2 Gundam is 18 meters (59 ft) tall, Gundam Unicorn is about 20 meters (66 ft) tall, and Gundam Kshatriya is about 22 meters (72 ft).

While these aren’t an issue for, let’s say, a 1/60 PG model, some Gundams that are extremely large can’t be made into a PG.

For example, we have Neo Zeong, about 116 meters (380 feet) tall. The HG Neo Zeong is already 0.8 meters (2.6 feet).

If we convert a Neo Zeong to a PG model, that’s a 2 meters (6.3 ft) tall model.

For a typical modeler, that’s huge. That’s why this type of Gundam is only viable for HG models.

For huge models, HG is better since they would be huge if converted to MG or PG models.

5. HG Gundams have a Wide Variety of Models

If you check a hobby store, you will see that most of the models for sale are HG models.

This is on purpose as HG models tend to have a wider variety of models than other kits.

Furthermore, more HG Gundams are sold than other grades since they are cheaper.

There are many options in the HG line that modelers prefer this grade as they have numerous options.

This is also why HG Gundams are preferred for kitbashing, which we will discuss next.

6. HG Gundams are great for Kitbashing

HG Gundams are perfect for kitbashing because they have a wide variety of Gundam options, cheaper than other grades, and are generally compatible with one another.

One thing you’ll notice with higher grade Gundams is that they have a so-called individuality. This means it is pretty hard to kitbash different Gundams.

But what is Kitbashing? Kitbashing is a term used when we combine two Gundam models. This is where we can see a modeler’s creativity as they combine two Gundams to build something unique.

For example, I’ve seen an HG Gundam Unicorn with Wings from HG Wing Zero.

People do this by Kitbashing.

However, doing this on other grades is hard.

Higher grades are more expensive, and you always need to buy two kits to do this.

Furthermore, the variety and availability of HG kits help a lot to do kitbashing.

Lastly, these models tend to be more compatible with one another. You can easily place another part from other Gundams as long as you have the necessary tools such as a plastic cement.

Recommended Tools: There are two types of plastic cement. The Regular and the Extra thin. Which should you use? When to use the one over the other, I discussed that topic here: Tamiya Regular Cement vs. Extra Thin Cement.

Kitbashing is an advanced technique for modelers, and they prefer HG kits when doing it.

Conclusion

Whether HG is better than other grades depends on the modeler’s preference. However, there are advantages and disadvantages of using HG compared to other Grade models.

If you’re concerned about other factors, such as liking chibi models, then SD is better.

If the reasons specified above suit your preference, then HG models are a great choice, and you wouldn’t regret buying them.

However, if you want a more detailed model, then RG will be your choice.

Lastly, MG or PG is your choice if you want a larger and more detailed model.

Recommended Read: I always said that HG models are cheaper than other grades. But how much are the average price for PG, MG, RG, and SD models? I talked about those in this post: How much are Gunpla Models?

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