Gunpla/Scale Model Dictionary

Scale modeling and Gunpla often have their own terminology compared to hobbies like Warhammer. Here’s a handy dandy glossary that’ll be updated as much as I possibly can

updated: 3/3/23 (Feel free to let me know if I missed anything)


Acrylic- Water (or sometimes solvent) based paint.

Action bases- Stands for gunpla. There are a variety of sizes and colors for different scales.

AG (Advanced Grade)- 1/144 scale. Basic kit. Limited features.

Airbrush- A tool often used with an air compressor to apply paint by spraying it onto a model.

Air compressor- A tool used to pressurize air for an airbrush.

Alclad- A brand of lacquer paint that’s popular for models such as cars.


Bandai- Large toy company that manufactures Gunpla as well.

Battle Damage- Realistic battle damage done on models.

Bootleg- A kit that is often unlicensed and not authorized by a company.

Bluefin- Distributor of Gunpla for the States.

Builder Parts-


CA Glue- also known as super glue.

Cement- A solvent that melts plastic through a chemical reaction to help adhere it to another part.

Clean Build-

Citadel- A popular brand of acrylic paint. Also known for being in little pots that like to tip over and ruin your day.

Conversion kit- Parts that help convert a previously existing kit into another. Could be plastic or resin.

Curing- The time it takes for resin, paint, or glues to fully cure before they can be messed with.


Decals- Similar to stickers that you may apply to kits to add a touch of realism or help to make your build look unique.

Diorama- Scenery or background that is scaled down to match your model.

Dry Rub Transfer- Decals that are applied by rubbing onto a part.


EG (Entry Grade)- 1/144 scale. The basics of basic kits.

Enamel- Typically an oil-based paint.

Epoxy- Glue or putties that are a two-part mixture.


Filter- A thin layer of paint/color to help reduce color contrast. Helps with weathering.

FG (First Grade)- Mostly 1/144 scale. Limited features.

Flash- Extra plastic from the molding process of making sprues.

Foil Stickers- Regular stickers but are shiny and belong in the trash.


Garage Kit- Typically homemade models (like one’s being made in someone’s garage). Typically made of resin.

Gate- The sprue part that attaches to a piece.

GBWC- A competition by Bandai that people can enter from all over the world.

Gunpla- Short for Gundam Plastic Model

Gundam Marker- A marker used for details such as panel lining.

Grades- Different scales and series of models (like HG, RG, and PG).


Hobby Japan- A trendy hobby magazine produced in Japan.

HG (High Grade)- Typically 1/144 scale (Not you, Nightingale). Typical features like articulation.

HY2M (Hyper Hybrid Model)- Not a specific range of scale. Some are mildly detailed. Some highly detailed

HGM (High-Grade Mechanics)- A line of kits that are reduced scale of larger suits.

HIRM (Hi-Resolution Model)- 1/100 scale. Kits are often heavily detailed and pricey.


Isopropyl Alcohol- An alcohol (not the drinking kind) solvent used to clean or strip plastics. Also used to dilute acrylic paints.


Kitbash- Slapping together parts to create a new model or customize an existing one.

Kotobukiya- Modeling company that sells modeling goods.


Lacquer- A type of solvent-based paint.

Lightbox- A box that is meant to diffuse and reflect light for photography.


Masking- Taping (or using other materials) to cover something. An example would be using masking tape to mask off a part to avoid painting.

MG (Master Grade)- 1/100 scale. Highly detailed with a full frame.

MGEX (Master Grade Extreme)- 1/100 scale. More details than normal MG.

Mega Size- 1/48 scale. Very large and limited features.

Mobile Suit- A mechanized, human-piloted weapon.

Mr.Color- A trendy line of paint.

Mr.Hobby- Widely known for paints and tools for scale modeling.

Mold line- Extra plastic from the molding process of making sprues


Nippers- A tool for snipping off plastic parts. There are a variety of nippers on the market.

Nubs- A small part of plastic left over after a piece gets snipped from the sprue.

Nub marks- A mark left from a nub that was snipped off or by stress.

NG (No Grade)- No grade or scale.


Out of Box (OOB)- A kit snapped or glues straight out of the box.


P-Bandai- Limited kits put out by Banda. Highly expensive and difficult to acquire. Often hell to buy.

Panel Lining- Done to make separation of parts pop. People often use panel lining fluid or gundam markers.

Plamo- A short name for plastic models.

Pla-Plate- Polystyrene plastic sheets used for custom building or adding details.

PG (Perfect Grade)- 1/60 scale. Large, full frame, and highly detailed.

Panel lining- Lines in a part that add detail to a kit. Can be lined using fluids or markers to highlight.

Primer- A protective first layer of paint. It helps further layers of paint to adhere. Often black, gray, or white. Sometimes

Putty- A substance used to fill gaps and sculpt shapes.


Resin- A medium that is used to make conversion kits and other parts. Respiration and PPE are needed when sanding and when handling when uncured.

Respirator- Safety equipment that covers the nose and mouth to help filter out toxic particles when painting or working with other harmful materials.

Runners- Plastic frames that hold kit parts.

RE/100 (Reborn/100)- 1/100 scale. Similar to HG but with the detail of MGs.


Sanding- Helps to smooth or prep a surface for painting or prepping.

SD (Super Deformed)- Smaller kits that aren’t scaled. Often small and cute with large heads.

SD (Ex-Standard)- Similar to normal SDs but with off portions. Uses a lot of stickers.

SD (Cross Silhouette)- A SD line that allows the builder to choose two frames. One in a traditional SD sty;e and one in a more typical height.

Speed Grade- 1/200 scale. Easy to put together and prepainted.

Seam Line- The space between two parts. They are often removed.

Scale- The size of the model.

Scratch Building- Building brand new parts from preexisting material.

Scribing- The process of carving lines and details into plastic.

Spray booth- A booth that filters and ventilates paint particles from airbrushing.

Sprue- The plastic left over when plastic is injected into the mold that did not go to parts.

Straight Build- A kit assembled out of the box without paint or using the box paint scheme.

Stress marks- Discoloration or markings from stress.

Stickers- Adds detail to a kit by sticking them on (or for tasty snacking)


Tamiya- A large hobby company for tools. paints, and kits.

Thinner- A fluid for thinning paint.

Top Coat- A top layer that comes in both glossy, satin, or matte. Protects the model and paint jobs. (Cal also



V-fin- The v-shaped antennae that adorns a Gundam’s head.

Ver.Ka- Detailed and excellent models designed by Hajime Katoki.


Weathering- mirroring real-life deterioration like wear and tear. Some examples could be rusting or paint chipping.

Wet Sanding- A technique of sanding with fluids (typically water).

Wash- A technique that highlights shadows by allowing fluids to flow into lines or crevices of a model.

Water slide decals- Decals that require water or other fluids to apply.

WIP- Work In Progresses, or a project that isn’t completed


Zeon- People who inhabit space (Colony Side 3).