I am one of those who give beginners tips saying RG or Real Grade Gundams aren’t recommended to them because building these models requires experience and is hard to build. But why? What makes RG models hard to build?
Real Grade (RG) Gundam models are hard to build because they have more parts than regular High-Grade (HG) models. Furthermore, they also have smaller parts than Master Grade (MG) models. This is why RG models often take days or weeks to build, as it requires intense precision from the builder.
This blog post will discuss why RG Gundam models are hard to build. We will also answer if RG is the most challenging Gundam grade and what grade you should start with as a beginner in the Hobby.
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Is Real Grade Gundam hard?
RG or Real Grade Gundams are hard, especially for beginners. This is because RG Gundams have smaller parts compared to other grades. Furthermore, their models have more parts than ordinary HG or SD models.
But why do RG Gunpla models have smaller parts compared to other Grades?
First, let’s have a brief introduction to Grades.
Some beginners think that Gundam grades are equal to their scale. But that is only partly true.
This is because some grades have the same scale.
For example, in this case, RG Gundam models are 1/144 in scale. However, High Grade (HG) Gundam models are also on a 1/144 scale.
Thus, Grades aren’t a measurement of scale. Instead, it is a measurement of details.
But why am I explaining this?
The 1/144 scale is one of the smallest commercially available scales for Gundam models. Unfortunately, while there are smaller Gundam scales, they aren’t widely available compared to 1/144 models.
Although SD or Super Deformed grades are almost always smaller than RG, they aren’t made with realism and are considered Chibi Gundams.
Since RG models are considered one of the smallest commercially available Gundam models, their parts are also smaller than other grades.
For example, PG or perfect grade models are 1/60 scale, while MG or Master Grade models are 1/100 scale.
Since RG is 1/144, it is also true that their parts are smaller compared to other grades.
The problem here is since their parts are smaller, these models can be harder to build, especially for older modelers who have deteriorating eyesight.
Since Gundam models have been around since 1980, we can’t reject the fact that there is an increasing number of old modelers.
However, if you’re still young, part size is not an issue.
The problem if you’re still young is RG Gundam’s detail.
Basically, better-detailed models come with more parts. Unfortunately, this means you have to assemble and attach more pieces than lesser-grade models.
More parts mean a more challenging build. This is like giving a 1,000-piece puzzle to a beginner who has no experience building puzzles.
More parts mean a longer time to build a model. Furthermore, it takes more concentration than a less-detailed model.
For example, ordinary HG Gundam models could only take 3-10 hours to build, depending on the modeler’s experience. RG Gundam models can take 6-20 hours.
Recommended Read: I made a post discussing how long it would take to build Gunpla models in another post. I made a table indicating the average time to finish these models depending on the grade. You may read the post here: How Long Does It Take to Build a Gundam Model?
Longer building time also means more chances of making mistakes while building.
However, while RG models are pretty hard to build, it is not the most challenging Gundam grade. This grade is in the mid-tier difficulty. So what grade is the hardest, and what grade should a beginner start? Let’s discuss that next.
What Is the Hardest Grade of Gundam To Build?
The hardest Gunpla grade is PG or the Perfect Grade Gundam kits. This model isn’t only one of the largest commercially available kits; they also come with extreme details such as more decals, multi-phase assembly, and highly intricate frames.
What’s more, PG models are sometimes made with actual metallic parts instead of metallic-colored plastics.
Some PG models also come with LED lights which adds to the model’s aesthetic.
However, these models are the hardest ones to build. Not only is it larger, but it also has more parts than RG models.
Building a PG model often takes weeks. For example, it took me three weeks to finish this PG model below.
If you check the detail, PG models are highly detailed up to the smallest parts.
That’s why PG or Perfect Grade is considered the most challenging model to build.
Recommended Read: I created a post that discusses more information about PG models. You may read the post here: What is the Highest Gunpla Grade?
What Grade Should You Start With Gunpla?
It is advisable to start with HG or SD models as a beginner because these two grades are considered the easiest to build models. Furthermore, they are difficult enough for modelers to gain some experience in building these kits. Lastly, they are generally cheaper compared to more detailed Gundam kits.
When people ask me where to start, I usually tell them to begin with either High Grade (HG) or Super Deformed (SD).
Among these two, SD Gundam models are the easiest to build. This is because they have small parts and are also very cheap.
If you’re a fan of Chibi, you will enjoy SD Gundams.
However, if you ask me, I suggest you go with HG models.
HG models would give you more experience before starting with RG, MG, and PG.
Their build is almost identical to RG, and they are also 1/144 in size.
Furthermore, while HG can be more expensive than SD, there are HG models that cost the same as SD.
For example, you could start with HG Amatsu Mina or HG Gundam Bael.
But why? Why would I recommend HG? Well, HG models are almost the same as RG since they are on the same scale.
The only difference is RG models have more parts.
If you have already built an HG model, you can start trying to build RG models.
However, SD is different. They have fewer parts and are in the Chibi version, so you’ll have to adjust more if you jump from SD to RG.
So, if the price is your concern, try building cheap HG Gundams. They will give you more experience before trying RG.
If you’ve given yourself a challenge and want to try building RG models at the get-go, then here are some RG models that are good for beginners as they are more accessible than other RG models.
- RG Gundam Wing Zero
- Gundam Wing Astray
- RG Gundam Qan[T]
- RG Z’Gok
If you’re wondering, the photo at the start of this post is an RG Qan[T].
Recommended Read: How popular are Gundam models? Are they in decline? What is the future of these models? I created a post using data from Google while discussing that topic here: Is Gunpla still popular?