Those who are familiar with Chinese history should be familiar with Romance of the Three Kingdoms, an epic that is now considered one of the greatest literary classics in China. Detailing legendary tales from the warring era of the Three Kingdoms, the book itself is full of stories of love, friendship and loyalty.
Fast forward to modern times, where we find three ardent robot fans in China with the spirit of the Three Kingdoms coursing through their veins who came together to create an amazing gigantic Gundam-like statue based on one of the best known characters in the epic – Guan Yu.
Known as a loyal and ferocious warrior, Guan Yu formed a brotherhood with Liu Bei and Zhang Fei early in his career, and it is this deep bond and friendship among them that we remember best today. In fact, Guan Yu is such a symbol of loyalty and bravery that today there are many temples around Chinese-speaking regions that worship him.
Enter ZhouZe Fu, a novice welder and artist, ShenXin Xing, an expert welder, and Wong Rong, a robot maker. The three men came to know one another when Zhou learned that Wong had built and donated several robots. Zhou, a fan of gigantic robot statues himself, had always wanted to join forces with other robot builders, but Wong was the first he had met who was willing to donate his works for free. Just like how LiuBei had approached Guan Yu and Zhang Fei in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Zhou gathered Wong and Shen, and his dream is finally becoming a reality.
Zhou drew up the designs and drafted the model, Shen welded the parts together, and Wong was out in charge of planning the parts and making sure everything went smoothly. Zhou said, “We are just like the three brothers working towards the same dream.” Because of that, they decided to bring Guan Yu, the Chinese symbol of loyalty and friendship, to life in this robot. On top of that, they also kept the statue ‘green’ by using 100-percent recycled parts. Wong donated old car parts from his shop, while the three would journey to recycling shops in nearby villages on their numerous “treasure hunts” to find other pieces they could use.
The three plan to finish the statue by Chinese New Year, and the completed Guan Yu is estimated to be at least 10 metres (32 ft) tall and weigh at least 10 tonnes. Wong added that just the sword that Guan Yu wields would weigh at least 250 kg (approx. 550 lbs). We’ll certainly be watching out for the completion of this majestic robot!