Animu,  Life

Operation Virtue: START


So Anime Expo is coming up soon, and as I was asking a colleague of mine what he would be cosplaying as for the event, a brilliant idea struck my little mind. He said he wasn’t planning on dressing up, but I thought: Hey, we’re both into Gundam, and I’m already going as Zero (Code Geass) so somebody’s gotta take up the v-fin mantle. And so, through stupid, rash ideas and impulsive decision-making, we decided to dress him up as a Gundam. The RX-78-2 Gundam.


The project has been officially filed under the codename Operation: Virtue because we’re building a fairly bulky Gundam armor for my skinny Asian friend. And because we’ve watched too much 00 recently.


So we went into this project with something like this in mind…


Though more than likely this will be the extent of what we’ll be able to pull off. Neither of us have ever worked with making a full-blown cardboard costume from scratch before. Add in the fact that we’re meek high school students with a limited budget, resources become increasingly difficult to find.


We’ve made generally good progress thus far; neither of us actually thought we would be able to pull this off at all, but when the torso finally started taking shape, it was…for lack of a better word, exciting…


Had some fitment issues with the arm areas, which is why the sockets are so wide. Had to allow for a nice full range of moment.

The neck slot is eerily reminiscent of a guillotine. The two halves clamp onto the torso and around the neck.


Not gonna lie, since we built this from scratch, both of us faced some design challenges together along the way. How pieces fitted together, cutting them out of the cardboard, how they would fit onto the body and stay, etc. A very tricky process.

Also, don’t be fooled by how clean the workspace looks in the photos. This is after clean-up and we’ve called it a day. We worked on this thus far all in my garage, and it was a legitimate battlefield. Used duct tape rolls and cardboard strewn about, knives and scissors littering the floor.


Had to have some fun with some of the pieces…kind of hard to tell which is which when they’re just indiscriminate cardboard rectangles laying around.


A pretty incredible part of this project so far is the fact that mathematics actually played a key role in allowing us to do what we were able to do. My colleague is a walking, talking calculator and math whiz; guess the Trigonometry he took this past year really sank in.

The amount of calculations and trial and error that went into simply planning the stuff out is pretty incredible. Didn’t think it really mattered before.


I ended up letting him take the helm in conceptualizing the pieces and their sizes, where I did most of the manual labor and working with the physical pieces. I never imagined I’d have to work with cosigns and tangents and find the circumference of a circle in actual life work. (Okay to be fair, I didn’t work with ’em, my colleague did, but hey..)


All in all this is just a (very) small work in progress thus far. Only managed to get some of the torso done on the first day, though it’s good progress. Painting will be a slight issue, since my experience hasn’t yielded spray paints delivering the best results.

Forgive the lack of actual reviews lately. With Anime Expo coming up in less than a month and school finally drawing to a close, this project will be one of my main focuses for now. I think it’s coming along quite well…

Read on the rest of the build:

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

Phase 5

Phase 6

Phase 7

Phase 8

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