You may have seen some Gundam models, but I bet you’ve never seen one like this!

Gunpla, plastic models  based on the hit mecha anime series Mobile Suit Gundam, have a serious fan base. There are whole floors of hobby shops as well as specialty stores dedicated entirely to mobile suit model kits and their accessories! But a group of Japanese high school students might have casual Gunpla fans beat, thanks to their ridiculously realistic, large-scale Gundam model, made solely out of cardboard.

This cardboard model is of the Unicorn Gundam, a mobile suit that appeared in one of the more recent Mobile Suit Gundam installations, which is the same life-size Gundam also standing proudly in the courtyard of Odaiba’s Diver City in Tokyo. Twitter user Tosshi (@szli8sDrLNTShtR) took two years to make it with five other members of the modeling club at their school, finishing it in time for this year’s bunkasai.

The bunkasai, also called the “cultural festival,” is an annual event at Japanese schools where students hold various activities for their classmates and families to enjoy, like food stands, haunted houses, and displays of their artwork and club projects. While oftentimes the results are pretty tame, some kids go all-out and make ridiculously awesome things like a wooden roller coaster, a full-scale arcade, or in this case, an amazingly detailed cardboard replica of a giant fighting robot.

▼ The back of the model

Understandably, this particular cultural festival exhibit gained a lot of attention on Twitter, with almost 100,000 likes and retweets. For anyone who has made a plastic model Gunpla, you know how much time it takes to fit together all the small pieces, and then to paint and decorate the model to make it look real. Imagine how much work it must have taken to make a model that looks easily as tall as an average adult, and in a less durable material like cardboard as well!

▼ For reference, here is a photo of a similar, professionally-made statue of the Unicorn Gundam that was on display in Tokyo.

The attention to detail is really astounding, from the molding of the material to the painting and the positioning. According to Tosshi, they were all very particular about the painting and the design of the frame, which is probably why it came out looking so amazing. Japanese Twitter users also had nothing but praise for Tosshi and their classmates:

“The scale! The joints! Amazing!”
“That’s so awesome! You could be hired at Anaheim Electronics [a mobile suit manufacturing company in the Gundam universe]!”
“It’s hard to believe this is made of cardboard. The degree of perfection is outstanding!”
“What the heck! So perfect and cool! You definitely can’t tell it’s made of cardboard.”
“Is this really made of cardboard, and did you really make it in just two years? The quality is seriously amazing! (I have no other words to describe it.)”

Though the culture festival at Tosshi’s school is likely over already, their meticulously made Unicorn Gundam statue is, thankfully, not going to waste. Tosshi has assured their followers that it has been carefully disassembled and the parts placed in storage, to be rebuilt and put on display again at next year’s festival. And who knows, maybe next year there will be another to stand alongside it!

Source: Twitter/ szli8sDrLNTShtR via Kai-You
Featured image: Twitter/szli8sDrLNTShtR
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