Halloween Costume Feature: Yeongbok Lee


Ashley Kang

Left to right: Kevin Chen, Eric Lee, Yeongbok Lee, and Colin Rich, the four creators of the costume.

On October 31st, 2019, hundreds of students dressed up in sensational costumes for Halloween. Perhaps the most astonishing costume was that of senior Yeongbok Lee, who dressed up as a Gundam.
For reference, Gundam:

Credit to Amazon

Over the span of almost 150 total hours, Yeongbok Lee worked with junior Eric Lee, junior Kevin Chen, and sophomore Colin Rich to create his grand costume. Despite the fact that it took a significant amount of their time, their parents were okay with the project. Joked Yeongbok Lee on his friends’ intensive involvement in the process, “My mom said ‘You should pay [them] a little more.’”

Said Yeongbok Lee on his inspiration, “It’s my final year! Let’s go out with a bang. What’s the biggest, most grandiose thing we could try to create before Halloween? Gundam.”


The exposed TV logo on the Gundam foot.

Construction was an arduous task. Said Yeongbok Lee, “I started alone. I got the back done, and that started it off.”

Colin was the supply provider. Eric Lee stated that “he brought an entire TV box, it was 65 by 85 inches. You can still see the TV logo on the foot.”

They used hot glue and tape to connect the cardboard together. Said Yeongbok Lee, “If we didn’t put the aluminum on, you’d see tape everywhere.”

Said Eric Lee, “we used backpack straps to create straps to hold on to, we also created a belt out of velcro and gorilla tape. The location of the rest of the backpack is a mystery, as Yeongbok Lee warned: “we don’t ask about that here.”

Yeongbok takes off the costume to show the working parts.
Eric displays the back, including the backpack straps. The cardboard is drenched in sweat after a long day of wearing the costume.
Eric shows off the inside of the costume, including the belt at the bottom.


















The back of the costume displays signatures of appreciators of the costume.

Yeongbok Lee stated that they “ran out of time and forgot to paint [the costume],” leaving it with a still-impressive aluminum outside.

“Here is the back: it’s a list of creators plus a list of supporters,” said Yeongbok Lee.

The last step of the process was the creation of the feet. “For us, the feet are pretty small. Not for the Gundam! The feet are gargantuan, they’re as big as the calves,” said Yeongbok Lee. They built the feet with slippers stuck onto a cardboard base.“We have used copious amounts of solution, including acrylic to stabilize the feet,” said Yeongbok Lee.

“We took 12 hours on the feet,” specified Eric Lee.

The bottom of Gundan’s foot.

The building process was laced with obstacles. Said Yeongbok Lee “I accidentally left the calf part outside, which weakened the entire structural integrity of the [cardboard.]”

Said Yeongbok Lee, “We had a leafblower in a box and it fell over during heavy wind and squashed it… that’s why we have a [dent].”
He also stated “we made the back way too large, and that was not good. It led to way too big of a chest, and… we made an opening on one end to fix the arms.”

Building the hips was also a challenge. Said Eric Lee on their previous models, “we replaced all of them!”

The Gundam costume, which is primarily assembled out of cardboard, hot glue, duct tape, velcro, and aluminum foil, is a relatively delicate costume. Said Yeongbok Lee, “This requires careful handling or it breaks.” They periodically switched the feet throughout the day to account for the different weight distribution of the right and left foot.
Yeongbok Lee said “the total cost was about $85,” making it one of the more expensive but sensational DIY costumes out there.

A secret inside cubby of the chest piece.
The Gundam costume laid out on the ground.










Yeongbok in full costume.

The project doesn’t end with this Halloween. “This is just a prototype,” said Yeongbok Lee.

“We’re making four more,” said Eric Lee.

Said Yeongbok Lee, “This is the beta version, we’re keeping it for theta and problems we encounter… after college app season, I’m planning to measure out each inch of these members’ bodies, and how their muscles change in different poses and based on that I’m creating blueprints for different Gundams based on their own preferences.”

Said Yeongbok Lee, “We’re planning to wear it to the Crunchyroll Expo.”

“And the band banquet!” Eric Lee added.

While the process of construction may have been time-consuming, it was definitely fun as well. Said Eric Lee, “The best part of the process was the bonding experience.”

“The usable space was about 6 by 4 feet,” said Yeongbok Lee. “In that dinky little space, we created friendships.”

The four lean on each other in a human table.
The four pose behind the Gundam for a picture.