An Amazing Gift From Alvaro Bravo

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Alvaro Stuardo Bravo has been impressing us for almost two years with his amazing sculptures. Since those first sculptures, his talent has continued to grow and he is quickly becoming a world class artist. Alvaro recently surprised us with a beautiful sculpture based on the Gears of War: Judgment Reaper. I carried it around the studio and people were so amazed at the detail. It will soon find it’s home hanging on the Epic walls.

Epic Gamer and artist Tim Fangon chats with Alvaro about sculpting and other mediums he enjoys.

966372_331802133613500_473553535_oTim F: How did you get started sculpting?

Alvaro B: I started sculpting 2 years ago with a lot of questions about materials and techniques, learning from YouTube and after all the research now I feel more confident about my sculptures.

I started after I saw “Inside the Wicked Workshop” on YouTube from Chris Perna, to me was very inspiring.

TF: Who is your favorite Gears of War Character to sculpt?

AB: Definitely Marcus Fenix, I believe Marcus is the most awesome Character in the game. 

TF: Could you describe the process for the sculpture?999059_10151843181449230_2052617188_n

AB: I start with an armature made of metal, then I cover the armature with aluminum foil. Then I start modeling the clay over the aluminum foil with rough shapes until I feel comfortable with the results. I bake the clay and the statue is ready for the paint job!

TF: What kind of clay do you use?

AB: I use Super Sculpey and Sculpey Firm which is a type of polymer clay that can be molded and put into a conventional oven to harden.

TF: How did you make it look like bronze?

AB: That was the paint job made it by my Girlfriend Carla, she painted several layers of different colors to get that finish and then she added some clear coats to bring some shine. 

964503_342751579185222_34180249_oTF: Did you know the sculpture will be on display at Epic Headquarters?

AB: That’s gonna be Fantastic! And makes me feel very happy because you guys likes what I do, to me is an honor.

TF: When did you start sketching?

AB: I been sketching all my life, I love to make drawings and When I saw Gears of War I knew that I wanted to keep improving my sketches. I loved to make drawings using just a regular ball pen and maybe some polychromes!

TF: How long have you been drawing?

AB: All my life! Since I was 4 years old.

TF: Do you create any art on PC?

AB: Yes. I make drawings using Photoshop and recently I started using Z-Brush which is pretty awesome. 

TF: Which do you like to do more, sketch or sculpt?

AB: I don’t know which is better but I try to do both things because one helps to improve the other and because both makes me happy.

Alvaro on deviantART
Epic Gamers on deviantART

Gears of War: Judgment Lesson Series – The Ticker

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island_sniperArCtyC and Skyllus are at it again – making fun informative tutorial videos to help the Gears of War community. In this video, Skyllus walks, er ticks us through some of the new Locust mechanics in the Gears of War: Judgment mode, OverRun. The Ticker is one of the most valuable classes in your attack against the COG’s defensive.

From ArCtyC: Welcome to the first episode of our Gears of War Judgment Lesson Series for Overun. I’m Skyllus and I’ll be going through all of the Locust classes for Overrun. This video features the Ticker and covers how to maximize points, deal with Engineers, eat grenades, and general gameplay tips.

Be sure to Follow Skyllus and ArCtyC on Twitter!

Epic Gamer of the Month: Mallock1327

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Epic Gamer and Forum Member mallock1327 aka Mike Staples has been sharing his amazing artwork with us for over a year. We first featured him on the Epic Games Community Site back in February, in THIS interview with Tim Fangon from Team Epic Gamers.

Mike sent us some of the sketches you see in the story and they have since been framed and are hanging on the wall in one of our offices, as you can see in the photo below. He has started a new Facebook page to showcase his work, be sure to give it a like! Recently, he tried his hand at wall sculptures made from Styrofoam and the results are amazing. You can read about these incredible pieces of art HERE and HERE.

Mike is a huge Gears of War fan and picked up the first game a few months after release and he says that he fell in love with the dark and gritty atmosphere. He and his girlfriend love to play Horde together, “It’s been nice to see the game progress through the series from the dark gritty streets of the first game to the towering columns and palm trees of Azura in the third.”

Mike is 38 years old and lives in Canada with his girlfriend. He moved there four years ago and he is from Boston, MA. He started drawing in grade school and continued to take art classes until attending the Art Institute and the School for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

As a thank you to Mike for his amazing contributions to the Gears of War Universe, we will be sending him an Epic Gamer t-shirt, a Gears of War 3 Epic Edition and a copy of “The Art of Gears of War 3” signed by Chris Perna.

If you would like to see your content posted on our community site, Facebook page and twitter, check out the Epic Gamers forum. Who knows, you could be our next Epic Gamer of the month! There you can post your tutorial videos, cosplays, fan art and fiction, anything you would like to share with the community. For more information, check out this welcome post. To see more artwork from Epic Gamers, be sure to catch the EpicGamers group on deviantART.

Gears of War: Judgment Statue by Alvaro Stuardo

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Some of the developers and artists behind Gears of War Judgment were treated to a first-hand look of the Baird statue sculpted by Chilean artist, Alvaro Stuardo. Alvaro sent us the statue a few weeks ago, and it arrived in a handmade Gears of War-themed box. We were stunned when we saw the statue in person.

As I carried the statue through the halls here at Epic headquarters, everyone stopped me to take a look. As talented as the artists are here at Epic, they were still blown away by Alvaro’s attention to detail. “Wow, he even textured the shoulder armor, this is amazing!” said Senior Environment Artist Bill Green.

Seeing their work come to life really put a smile on a lot of faces around here. We want to thank Alvaro for sharing his work with us. After everyone gets to take a look, the Baird statue will be put in a display case so people can enjoy it for years to come.

In addition to sculpting, Alvaro is also a very talented sketch artist and guitar player. “In matters of art, I’ve been drawing for a while; I love creating different characters with regular pen (not ink), and I also do airbrushing (I’m still learning). And I play electric guitar very often, for more than ten years now.”

Head on over to Alvaro’s deviantART page or the Epic Gamers forum to see more of his work. And remember, if you have awesome work to share, tell us! Head on over to the Epic Gamers forum, or let us know at the Epic Gamers group on deviantART.

Epic Gamer Fan Art: Gears of War Wall Sculpture #2

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We here at Epic Games are big fans of Epic Gamer Mallock1327. We have framed images of his work hanging in the Epic Games Studio and we have featured him in an Epic Gamer Artist Interview with Arukun14. He recently made an amazing Gears of War wall sculpture and has just completed a new sculpture with the Crimson Omen.

The skull is sculpted in Styrofoam and Aves Epoxy. Mallock added another piece of Styrofoam for the backing, beveled the edges of the COG and added some weathering effects to the foam.

He then added some ‘machinery’ and LED lights and starting the painting process, which Mallock would try to make look like old rusted metal. A black base coat was added, the the weathering effects were started.

The finished piece is fantastic! We’re always eager to see what our Epic Gamers are going to create next.

If you would like to see your content posted on our community site, Facebook page and twitter, check out the Epic Gamers forum. Who knows, you could be our next Epic Gamer of the month!

There you can post your tutorial videos, cosplays, fan art and fiction, anything you would like to share with the community. For more information, check out this welcome post.

Epic Gamer Fan Art: Gears of War Wall Sculpture

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Epic Gamer Mallock1327 has been creating Gears of War Fan Art for quite a while now. We have framed images of his work hanging in the Epic Games Studio and we have featured him in an Epic Gamer Artist Interview with Arukun14. He has been trying different mediums and decided to carve a Gears of War wall sculpture. The finished piece is fantastic!

He purchased a 2″ piece of Styrofoam insulation board, mapped out the carving and dug in. He then painted the finished sculpture to look like rock. It’s gorgeous! Mallock said he plans on creating another styled after the Crimson Omen.

If you would like to see his progress through the project, view the gallery below.

For more awesome artwork from the community, be sure to catch the EpicGamers group on deviantART.

Epic Gamer of the Month: Dot Stasny

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Hey guys, welcome to this week’s edition of “Epic Gamer Artists.” Tim here, sitting down with Dot from the Epic Gamers Community, who makes the awesome stuffed Tickers! They are quite the fan favorite, as well as the folks at Epic. Now let’s dive in on how she goes into creating them!

Tim: Tell us a little bit about yourself, and what you do.

Dot Stasny TickerbunDot: I live in a small town in Connecticut and I work for Microsoft doing inventory, as well as some freelance Production Assistant work for a TV/film/documentary production company. I went to school for live audio engineering for theater, but my main interest is in foley/voice over recording. Eventually, I hope to get into that field.

In my spare time (of which I don’t have much,) I’m pretty much a giant nerd – I’m a member of the 501st Legion, a Star Wars costuming group and I have my own Stormtrooper armor. I’m not as big a Star Wars fan anymore, so I’m looking to branch out in costuming – I really want to get a set of Gears COG armor going, as well as a set of Halo armor.

Other than that, I try to spend as much of my limited free time relaxing as possible, but that never happens! Usually I’m sketching patterns for new projects, drawing for my own enjoyment, reading or watching really bad horror/sci-fi movies.

T: Are you a gamer? Pretty sure you’ve played some Gears of War!

Dot Stasny TickerbunD: I’ve been a gamer pretty much as far back as I can remember! My grandparents had an Atari for us, so I spent a LOT of time playing Mouse Trap. When I was like 5, my cousins used to troll me by making me play E.T.- The Extraterrestrial, saying that ET needed my help. I spent hours sitting in the TV room while my cousins ran around outside playing and doing fun things and I was trying to float ET out of holes.

I’ve pretty much only been a console gamer – Atari, NES, Genesis, N64, PS1, PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS3. I really dig handhelds, but I can’t get into them as much, unless it’s Pokémon, really. I also have a Sega Game Gear, but after I lost the AC Adapter, my parents refused to mortgage the house to buy batteries for it.

Dot Stasny TickerbunI LOVE Gears! I actually got into Gears pretty late – I only had my 360 for a few months before Gears 2 came out, and picked up Gears 1 maybe a month or two before Gears 2, but after playing some co-op with a co-worker who eventually became one of my best friends (because we played so much Gears together,) I was totally hooked.

T: In terms of what kind of medium you use, what would you say it would be? I’ve noticed you enjoy working with sewing things up!

D: For making the plushies, I pretty much only use jersey knit material. When I first started, I just went to Wal-Mart and picked up a bunch of 4XL t-shirts and used them for ticker material, and for the most part, still do, because it’s less expensive and it’s easier to find the colors I need. I originally started making plushies out of t-shirts only because that’s what I had laying around the house, but I’ve been looking into trying flannel and fleece for future projects.

T: Your Tickers are quite the fan favorite. What gave you the inspiration to make these stuffed buddies? I think you’ve captured Flak’s and raczilla’s heart with their cuteness.

Dot Stasny TickerbunD: Thanks! It basically all stems from Twitter. Cliff Bleszinski tweeted about pet ticker costumes. Looking back, he probably wasn’t 100% serious, but I got bored and made a ticker costume for my rabbit, Blossom, mostly because my cat would have nothing to do with that. From “Tickerbun,” I met Stacey/iFlak and she was really cool, so as a “thank you” for all the support for my silly bunny costume, I made a Tickerbun plush for her and sent it down to Epic.

After I made plush Tickerbun, she forwarded a request from someone else at Epic requesting real tickers, so I was just like “I got this” and” that’s how I got into making the plush tickers.

T: I think I remembered you making a Lambent Wretch… I thought that was pretty awesome. Tell us a little bit about him.

Dot Stasny TickerbunD: Yep! I made a plush Lambent Wretch for Zilla when I met him at PAX East. I actually had made a regular Wretch for iFlak out of the leftover material from the ticker request and sent that down. When I found I was going to be meeting raczilla at PAX East, I was already making a ticker for someone else and didn’t really want to go down that route, I was nowhere near satisfied with any of the other ideas I was throwing around, and I didn’t want to send him a standard Wretch because I’d already done that, so I tweaked the original Wretch patterns to make it Lambent. It’s basically a palette swap, so I like to think of them as Smoke and Noob Saibot.

T: Have you drawn anything related to Gears?

D: Actually no, it never really occurred to me. I do draw, but usually it’s just animals or dinosaurs or cartoony, cutesy things. The closest thing I’ve ever done that was remotely close to fan art would probably be the holiday card I sent some of the folks at Epic this past Christmas, and that was primarily just “Photoshopping” pre-existing pictures into a holiday scene.

T: Before we end this, what do you want to say to your fellow Epic Gamers in the community?

D: Everyone in the Epic Gamers community is fantastic! The passion you guys have for all things Epic and for gaming in general is insanely awesome! I’m proud to be among the ranks of the Epic Gamers!

We have chosen Dot to be our Epic Gamer of the Month! Dot will receive an Epic Edition signed by Cliff Bleszinski and an Epic swag bag. Thank you Dot for being an Epic Gamer!

Epic Gamer Artist: Locascio Designs

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Welcome to this week’s edition of “Epic Gamer Artists,” where Epic Games showcases amazing work from artists in the community. Tim from the Team Epic Gamers here, to introduce to you a very special feature this week.

I sat down with Michael Locascio from New Jersey, a sculptor who had been working professionally for almost 14 years. Many of his projects have included figures for McFarlane Toys, Blizzard, Gentle Giant, and NECA. You may recognize some of the figures; in fact, the work he’s done ultimately became final proofs early in the Gears of War line of NECA figures.

Say hello to Michael!

A: Tell us about yourself and what you do.

M: I studied classical sculpture at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and the Newington Cropsey Foundation. Working with live models, skeletons, and annual cadaver dissections, I trained in anatomy and the bronze monument process there while studying at New York University. Since then I’ve worked as a fine artist in addition to building a prolific career sculpting action figures, toys, and collectible statues. I started with toys at the McFarlane Toys studio as an in house sculptor, and eventually went freelance working with other companies like NECA, DC Direct, Blizzard Entertainment, Diamond Select, Gentle Giant, and many others.

A: Are you a gamer? Do you play Gears of War?

M: I was a gamer for most of my life, growing up in the 80’s with arcades and the birth of console and computer games. Lately work and family has kept me from gaming, since it can really murder any free time I might have.

I played all the Warcraft incarnations since the early 90’s, but by the time I was sculpting action figures for them I had no time for playing. When I sculpted the Gears of War figures I played the game a bit to get the feel for the characters and the aesthetics of the game.

A: You’re a sculptor, and it’s pretty awesome to see what you come up with in your gallery. What materials do you usually work with?

M: Most of the toys I sculpt are in the 6″-12″ range, with a few smaller and some larger. I learned how to sculpt with castilene wax at McFarlane and I’ve stuck with that material for the most part. Sometimes harder or softer clays are used, such as hazbro wax or chavant respectively. Also, for fabrication of mechanical pieces I use plastics like styrene.

A: Do you work as a professional artist?

M: Yes, I’ve been a professional artist for about 14 years.

A: Now I’ve noticed that you have some Locust designs in your gallery. They also look familiar… were they prototypes for NECA? Feel free to tell us a little bit about your creations.

M: All the Gears of War pieces in my gallery were prototypes for NECA action figures. I sculpted them twice the scale of the toys and they were pantographed down in production. The game designers provided excellent reference and turn-around art for the characters, and I did my best to get every detail faithful.

A: Do you also work in 2D, like drawing, or illustrating on paper?

M: When I started getting serious about art, I spent most of my time drawing and painting. But once sculpting really became a profession for me I have neglected other forms of art. Occasionally I have to sketch something out for a design, and I go to life drawing classes when I can.

Oddly enough, if I am drawing something from my head, I find it easier to grab some clay and rough it out, then look at the clay sculpt for reference in drawing.

A: Anything to say to your fellow Epic Gamers?

M: Video game characters are some of the most fun and rewarding projects I have worked on, and it’s awesome to hear appreciation from the people who love the games.

You can also check out Michael’s amazing work on Etsy, where you’ll find his sculptures, jewelry and more.

Epic Gamers: Sam Byrne and Flame Grenadier

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Recently, in the Epic Gamers devianART group, we came across a photo of an amazing Gears of War cosplay. We contacted the artists and asked them a few questions.

Flak: What made you decide to do a Gears of War cosplay?

Billy: Well, my wife and I have been making costumes for a couple years. We started out doing costumes from other games and last year I was at Dragon*Con in another suit of armor I had made. I met someone from Epic Games (Preston Thorne) who was with the Nightmare Armor Studio guys. I told him I was thinking about doing a locust, kinda joking, but when I got home I told my wife that because I had not seen one at Dragon*Con I really want to make one. And so it all started from there. And of course, since I was going to do a locust I wanted my wife do a COG. I showed her all the females in the games up until now and she really loved the look of Sams armor details so we with that style when we built hers.

Heather: I immediately knew that I wanted to make a Sam costume. I didn’t want all the additional sewing that went with Anya, and I liked that Sam is a brunette.

F: How long have you been playing Gears of War?

B: To be honest I bought the first game right after it hit the shelves and have been a fan ever since.

F: What attracted you to the series?

B: I’m a massive fan of shooters of all kinds, as well as horror and sci-fi movies, so the game had everything I could dream of.

F: How long did it take to create the costumes?

B: The Sam costume really didn’t take that long to make, maybe three months of building and about a month’s work of painting and detailing.

H: I made the belt and packs, and the arms, and the pattern for the chest. I also made all the underarmor and padding. My husband built the boots, the backpack and chest. I did the paintwork.

B: Now the Flame Grenadier has taken some time. We started it about a week after last Dragon*Con and really are still tweaking it and trying to get things just right before Dragon*Con this year, so almost a year.

H: We worked on the bodysuit together, which took two full nights to apply the latex coat. Billy did ALL of the foam work on the locust, beside the codpiece and the packs. Again, I did the paintwork.

F: What materials did you use?

B: Most of the suits are made from EVA foam, like the floor mats at the hardware stores. The Flamer’s bodysuit is latex and cotton layered over a Captain America muscle suit and painted.

F: What was the hardest part about creating the costplays?

B: Really the hardest part of both suits has been trying to get all the little details most people would never see on the suits and the Flamer’s skin suit.

H: This is the first time I’ve really gone full out with making a costume instead of just relying on my husband to make it, so I had to get used to making the patterns and using a Dremel.

F: After Dragon*Con, where else do you plan on wearing the suits?

B: We’ve been asked by the local Gamestop manager to wear them at the midnight release of the new game.

F: Where can we see more of your work?

H: I will be working on a Locust Queen costume this year, so check out my deviantArt account if you’re interested at My husband also updates our costume progress regularly on his Facebook page.

Thank you Billy and Heather!






Tai Kaliso Sculpture by Epic Gamer Alvaro Stuardo

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It seems Alvaro “Sanyaca” Stuardo’s talent has no bounds. He wasn’t sure if he had the skill to paint his detailed sculpture he created of Tai Kaliso. He surprised himself and it came out amazing! It took him a little over two hours. Alvaro’s sculptures are made from a mixture of epoxy, Sculpey and Sculpey Firm.

Alvaro’s girlfriend Carla is also a talented painter, and painted Alvaro’s Marcus Fenix statue. It was Carla who found the tools Alvaro needs to sculpt, which are difficult to find in Chile where they live. Alvaro said, “I have an amazing girlfriend and she gave me lots of sculpting tools which are very difficult to get here. These tools help me to be able to do all the tiny details from each character. When making RAAM, I tried to be as close as possible to the original art concept. I always try to find lots of pictures of different angles to see all the details of the character I want to sculpt.”

Alvaro has surprisingly only been sculpting just over a year. Head on over to Alvaro’s deviantART page or the Epic Gamers forum to see more of his work. And remember, if you have awesome work to share, tell us! Head on over to the Epic Gamers forum, or let us know at the Epic Gamers group on deviantART.