View Full Version : Anyone know how to make a Gundam Costume

07-24-2006, 07:18 PM
Does anyone know how to make a Gundam Costume? I am going to Oni-Con 3 and need to have a Gundam Costume. Here are the pictures


Winter Divinity
07-24-2006, 09:50 PM
Are you asking if someone can make one for you or for help/instructions to make it yourself?

07-25-2006, 06:44 AM
I'm not doing anything fancy, I'm just using craft foam and poster board and I was asking around for tips so I won't look completely bootleg. I am doing it myself though.

07-25-2006, 08:28 AM
As a fellow "giant-robot" cosplayer, I should tell you that making a giant-robot-like costume, like a Gundam, will be a serious time-dump of an undertaking. You definitely want to start quite some time ahead of your deadline to finish it on time. It depends, really, on how much detail, the amount of work, the durability, and the materials you want to put into your costume.

Using just cardboard, duct tape, and some paint will probably take the least amount of work. Cardboard is forgiving enough that you can just cut out some pieces and tape them together to make just about anything, but unless you're EXTREMELY gifted and talented with cardboard, you'll have tape lines, no fine details, brush strokes, and enough unsymmetry in a costume made with just cardboard and tape that some perfectionists probably wouldn't be happy with it.

It's a good start, though! That's how I started my armored costumes, in fact. I recommend using it first just to get an idea of what you want out of your costume, and to find out what you have the skill to produce in it. You can always refinish it's surface to improve it later on, if you like your finished product enough that you want to make it better.

Good luck on that.

07-25-2006, 10:23 AM

07-25-2006, 09:42 PM
Im doing mercurius for kumoricon and like Jersey13 said you want a lot of time to play around with it as its time consuming even if you know what youre doing.I started this about 2 weeks in to June and I only have the head and chest area finished(mostly due to work and other various things that have first priority).Oh and Im going with cardboard since its lightweight and will be resurfacing it with some plaster type stuff that I get from work.
Yay for GW cosplay!

07-25-2006, 10:14 PM
Thanks. I think I'm just gonna do cardboard and paint.

07-27-2006, 01:22 AM
If you make the "banana" Gundam suit, be sure to sing "Ring ring ring ring ring Bananaphone!" :)

07-27-2006, 11:18 AM
what are you talking about?

07-27-2006, 08:50 PM
You've never seen the "Banana Phone" videoes on the net? One with Osaka and the other with Badger Badgers. For shame, they're funny.

07-27-2006, 09:35 PM
I havn't.

07-30-2006, 07:43 PM
Cardboard - for sturdiness
Fun Foam - for soft cover, nice look if painted over
Cardboard tubes - for Heavy Arms' gattling guns

That's all that I can think of for now.
Good luck! :D

07-30-2006, 08:18 PM
I changed my mind. I'm now being gundam deathscythe.

08-01-2006, 09:13 AM
I'm curious - when and at what con do you plan to debut this costume? I would like to see it myself.

My own escaflowne costume isn't coming along as I'd like, personally. It's extremely difficult! I've already made the lower legs and most of the head and just need to add a few last touches, but I just can't seem to make the chest piece right. The dimensions just turned out all wrong on my first attempt, and I'm debating what I should try to do for the second attempt. Do you think it would be better to sacrifice some mobility to make it just 1 or 2 pieces that fit around the torso? I do have some leftover rigid styrofoam - do you think it would work for some for the V-shaped parts of the chest, to help it hold its shape? The biggest problem I've come up against so far is having enough room under the chest piece for my own chest. :)

ref pic: (on left) http://www.yale.edu/anime/imgarchive/escaflowne/escaflowne_versus.jpg

08-02-2006, 07:39 AM
I'm showing it at Oni-Con 3. That takes place I think October 22-24. For your costume I would just make 2 leg pieces. For the torso make two arms pieces and just a chest piece. This is my first time makiog a serious costume. The last convention I went to I was a bootleg team rocket grunt.

08-03-2006, 01:20 AM
While I am not a Gundam cosplayer I am a fellow giant robot cosplayer (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=679186) and cardboard usually is the best bet but if you are serious about doing this, make sure your 100% serious.

Robot costumes require UNGODLY amounts of time, patience, and difficulty. Depending on how you make your suit will probably involve difficulties in either sight or movements, I had a hard time walking in my suit, not to mention the embarassment I faced at ACEN 06 when i tried to go up a few steps.

08-03-2006, 08:30 AM
OMG, Creeper, after seeing that pic I can totally understand why you had so much trouble walking. :D That really reminds me of my first costume, made out of white duct tape and metal roof striping cut with tin snips. I suppose it wasn't too too bad for a first attempt, my friends got a couple pictures, but I thought it was a horrible first attempt. That's why I really do intend to go all out on this next one, with materials that would give me really good results. Long days and hard work is fine with me so long as it looks good.

I don't know if I'll be able to, but I would like to keep at least a tad of mobility while wearing my costume. I guess it just means I'll have to be very careful to design and make it to fit just right. I could probably make the torso into one piece, and I can probably just forget about most of the back of it since I plan to make a cape to cover it. I found it extremely difficult to put on the chest part of that first costume I made, and it was little more than just a box with holes for my arms made out of duct tape and large strips of metal. Maybe it would be possible to leave the back mostly open, with a support bar over the top of my back to hold the chest, shoulder pieces, and cape in place. Now that I've done most of the lower legs, the rest of the leg and arm pieces should be more trivial.

08-03-2006, 06:19 PM
Well the tricky thing with robots of any anime nature is that because they are metal, any attempt to make them look like the character will result in conflicting designs. Machinedramon isn't very mobile in the leg department because he's a machine so it wouldn't look like he had flexible legs to begin with.

This was my first robot attempt (and probably my last :crylaugh:) but I am glad I did it because I knew no one ever really would. My advice is that you work out ALL the movement kinks before you go to the con and decide what you want to be more important: accurate appearance or mobility.

HeavyArmsDan nearly passed out at ACEN 2007 in his suit, and I've seen him in those Gundam suits for 3 years now. It's a pain to get this kind of thing done, that's why I'm glad I'm sticking with straight up anime characters from now on. But at least I did leave a memorable moment behind in that robot suit...

even if it was an embarassing one, heh.

08-04-2006, 08:52 AM
I looked at HeavyArmsDan's gallery... Not too shabby. He's cute in his Peter Griffin costume. ;)

For my costume, I suppose I would choose accuracy over mobility, but even Escaflowne was pretty mobile. I can't imagine that unless the pieces cover over my joints it would impede my movement all that much. Escaflowne's arms have some leeway for open joints, and even the legs. All I need is to work that knee-cap cover onto the lower leg plate in order to hide the joint over the knee, I think. The part I'm worried about more, though, is: How long should I make the sword? I've already made a sword out of foam covered in epoxy, and with all the reinforcement I put in the blade to make it strong, it's gotten fairly blade-heavy. I'm afraid the handle would break if I made it too long.

08-07-2006, 10:36 AM
do you have any finished pictures of a robot costume thats gundam like anybody and what kinda foam are you using

08-07-2006, 11:05 AM
It's going to take me a looooooong time to finish mine, but you're welcome to look in my gallery, here (http://images.cosplay.com/gallery.php?member=46719&cat=500). I have a few templates I made there. I plan to glass those pieces, once I finish the full body suit.

I haven't used any foam yet - all you see there is white cardboard stuck together with duct tape, which doesn't react very well to epoxy BTW. It loses it's adhesivenes when exposed to epoxy. I am thinking I should use some of the leftover foam I bought a while ago toward the chest piece for some of the angled parts, since cardboard doesn't bend into those shapes very well. I coated the weaker parts, like the lower legs, in epoxy to help give it some initial strength, and I intend to glass over it when I find the time some weekend. This is all QUITE expensive at $115 or so a gallon plus about $5 a yard or so for some 6oz glass cloth, so I recommend just sticking with cardboard until you're really serious about wanting something stronger.

Lemme know how it turns out.

08-07-2006, 04:13 PM
nice work on escaflowne i take it those are the lower legs and of course the head thats awesome it really makes me think i can actually do this
also whats epoxy ive heard of it and how do you use it for a suit and what kind of foam should i use on the suit to make it oh wait is epoxy glue or something i think thats what it is but anyways back to foam what kind polyurethane you know really heavy duty packaging foam is that what i should use like the stuff that houses electronics

i think ill start with the head then the pauldrons or should i do the body after the head no matter what im doing the head first cause i want to dunk myself in with something small (compared to the rest of it) just so that im commited to finish cause usually with huge projects i get almost done then give up

wow too much useless information anyways my question is what kind of foam should i use oh and also what kind of cardboard like where should i go get it

08-08-2006, 10:36 AM
Epoxy is a form of plastic. It's sold in a liquid in the form of a resin and hardener combination. You mix them in a specific ratio (depending on manufacturer) and when it cures in a few hours, it becomes hard plastic. It's great with glass fabric for making fiberglass. Very strong.

It doesn't really matter where you start, but I would start with one of the bigger peices, like the chest, so you can make the other pieces like the legs and arms to fit, and in the same style.

Cardboard - just cut up some old boxes, or buy some sheets of posterboard.

Foam - polyurethan foam is expensive and usually only sold in small blocks in very few places, but is resistant to solvent-based resins like polyester. However, styrofoam is much cheaper. I bought a 4'x8'x2" sheet for under $30 at Lowes. You want to either seal the foam or coat it with something like epoxy, though, or else it will melt from any thing with a solvent in it, like polyester resins or spraypaint.

I've been procrastinating a lot on my costume, too. It's difficult to get started again. For some reason, whenever I'm at work thinking about it I get all excited. But then, when I get home, I dread going back to it. It doesn't make any sense to me.

08-08-2006, 05:47 PM
I've been procrastinating a lot on my costume, too. It's difficult to get started again. For some reason, whenever I'm at work thinking about it I get all excited. But then, when I get home, I dread going back to it. It doesn't make any sense to me.

I've experienced a little of that feeling before- it's usually when I'm in the middle of a very overwhelming, multi-stage project.

What usually works best for me is to completely finish one piece of the armor or costume, from rough mock-up all the way through to the painting and detailing. Usually, this will not only give me some sense of accomplishment, it will also serve as a learning experience so that I can find ways to speed up and shorten the creation stages of the rest of the armor, or alter my engineering processes somehow when I make the rest of the suit.

Sometimes switching off between different cosplay projects (or other hobbies altogether) helps as well- eventually, the excitement will win out over the dread. ^_^


08-09-2006, 06:56 PM
I started my costume today I started on the base of the ear pieces but gave up I think ill do what you say and do the chest but i just got to get the cardboard or poasterboard first

im using itty bitty scissors is there something better to use like a box cutter or those huge huge scissors my scissors are like paper scissors

08-10-2006, 08:04 AM
Base of the ear pieces? You mean, the helmet? Well, you're going to want to actually do it again eventually, aren't you? If you can't stand to finish it now, how will you do it later? I suggest you go right back to what you were doing and keep it up until you feel you've done it right. It's only going to frustrate you if you start another peice and yet again give up because it seems too hard.

Box cutters don't really cut very cleanly, so I would suggest heavy cutting shears. I made my first out of roofing sheetmetal, cut with tinsnips. Just make sure they're nice and heavy and sturdy in your hand.

My suggestion would be to draw the design on paper first, just to get an idea how you want it to be shaped. It doesn't have to be all 3D and intricate all at once, like FeatherWeight's awesome Gundam is.

If you want to start on the helmet first, I suggest making the general shape of the helmet, then cutting up and shaping peices of foam and gluing them on for the pointy ear pieces. It's really not as complicated as a Gundam head or maybe even my escaflowne project, and personally I think the chest part will be even MORE difficult than the head. Shape some foam with a wire cutter and sandpaper for the yellow protruding diamonds, cardboard for the flat parts, glue the diamonds on top of the cardboard once you've made it to fit you.

I would suggest you look at Featherweight's Gundam helmet in his gallery - he posted pics of exactly how he started that complicated thing, and what he's made is so friggin' awesome it's not even funny. I just started bending a piece of cardboard around my head to make my helmet (which isn't finished yet), and I'm considering redoing it, but I think I can salvage what you see in that pic with fiberglass and some padding inside to keep it stable.

Just keep trying and don't give up. Resuka gave some good advice up there, too, but I don't have all the glass, filler, and paint to actually finish anything yet.

08-10-2006, 11:27 AM
While I am not a Gundam cosplayer I am a fellow giant robot cosplayer (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=679186) and cardboard usually is the best bet but if you are serious about doing this, make sure your 100% serious.

Robot costumes require UNGODLY amounts of time, patience, and difficulty. Depending on how you make your suit will probably involve difficulties in either sight or movements, I had a hard time walking in my suit, not to mention the embarassment I faced at ACEN 06 when i tried to go up a few steps.

That WAS pretty amusing (I was front row left, saw the whole thing... it was classic).

Giant robot costumes are one reason why I'm somewhat jealous of women cosplayers, since MS-Girl and more generally Mecha-Girls are easier costumes to both make and wear.

08-10-2006, 12:57 PM
I don't understand. Why would female mecha costumes be easier to wear and create? Females are inherently curvier and smaller, which makes costumes curvier and smaller. How is that easier? Making symmetrical curves in cardboard to make armor out of is TOUGH. I have to admit, though, that a lot of mecha costumes are wider at the hips and chest, and so might be slightly less uncomfortable for women to wear, but even female mecha shoulders are usually quite wide, making it harder to make the arms look the proper size if we expect to be able to move them.

08-10-2006, 04:34 PM
Well the reason I gave up is cause i had completley shredded my cardboard and was all out but after i finished destroying the cardboard i had i started watching seinfeld and was thinking about the ear peices and realized i was cutting them the wrong way in order to get them to do what i want i also realized im goin to have to make four carbon copys of a certain peice of the base of the ear antenna(i guess thats what they are) but what i really want to do is the shoulder peices cause there so cool but in order to do that and not have to do it over im going to have to do the chest and the arms first right...right

oh i saw escaflowne the movie for the first time in a long time i forgot all the characters except van and escaflowne but now i wanna cosplay allan...hes so PwNsOmE does that word make sense

so any ways what my point is is that escaflowne and the gundams all have regular feat the tekno battle suit has like high heels for feet how am i gonna work that if you want a picture ask or just search it on yahoo youll get better results there than anywhere else

08-10-2006, 06:23 PM
Well, I suggest buying real heels and just building over top of them. If you're a guy it might be embarassing, but if you want it to be accurate, you gotta do what you gotta do. :D

09-21-2008, 09:54 PM
i hope i could help you...just go into my gallery and you can use my gundams as references...thanks