Talented artist Pax112 gives us insight into how he builds his unique Gears of War characters
Community Spotlight: Glamazonian Rage
Welcome to the Gears of War Community Spotlight, our bi-weekly blog that dives into how some of the Gears community's most talented creators, fans and contributors craft their amazing work!
This week we're talking to Glamazonian Rage, a QA tester from Epic Games who also crafted some amazing Sam Byrne Cosplay, including her own custom created armor! Read on for tips and insight into creating such incredible cosplay.
Name: Stephanie Briles
Location: Cary, NC
Occupation: QA Tester at Epic Games
Started playing: Since the moment Gears 1 existed <3
Favorite Gears Game: Gears 1 for nostalgic reasons. It’s hard not to stick with what started it all.
Favorite character: Sam Byrne and Cole Train (I feel like I have to pick Sam because I cosplayed her, but...WHOOOO COLE TRAIN!!!!)
Favorite campaign: Gears 3 (Especially the last stage...beautiful)
Favorite MP Map: Gridlock
Favorite MP game mode: TDM and Execution
TC: Hi there Glamazonian! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your Gears of War background.
Stephanie: HAY GUYS!! I’m a 30 year old kid who never grew out of anime, games and cosplay (I’ll get old but I won't grow up). Movies, tv shows and cuddling with my other half and our 3 cats (crazy status?) are also among my favorite things to do, ever. Sinking into my couch with a beer and a movie while sending imgur links to my best friend, then having to rewind that part because I missed it...ahhhhhhh...that’s the life. I love frequenting the local barcades with friends some weekends, other weekends I am 100% introverted with my con family on skype while playing Heroes of the Storm or [insert game here].
I’ve played Gears since I was able to get my copy. I eventually became part of the team as a QA Tester and my love for the game and the community grew as I got to know everyone more and more. I poured my heart into the game for years, but alas, I’ve fallen out of touch with it. I’d really love to find the time to get back into it. Something tells me there is a certain game coming out soon that could pull me back into the universe ;P
TC: How do you begin crafting a cosplay costume? What are the first steps you take?
Stephanie: I begin my crafting regimen by ogling images/videos/games/concept art until I decide whatever they're wearing needs to be a part of my life. Next, I spend way too much money on supplies that I may or may not need, but I’m now pumped and ready to start!
Step 3. I pick the one part of the costume that terrifies me the least and start making patterns for it. Soon I’ve made patterns for all of the armor pieces and they’re ready to be cut out.
TC: The armor you made for your Sam Byrne cosplay is incredible! How did you go about building it?
Stephanie: Thank you so much! Sam was the first armor set I ever made, so there were many frustrating moments and even more tears to go along with making her, haha! I started by making patterns out of newsprint first because it was the easiest thing to start with. Patterns turned in to cut out pieces of EVA Foam, cut out pieces of EVA Foam started to form armor. I couldn’t believe it, it was actually starting to look like Gears armor!!
Don’t get me wrong, many mistakes were made during this whole process. I had to redo the check piece twice because it was flat and I did it wrong. I had to do the shoulder pieces again because I made them too big the first time. It was no easy experience, but I learned so much from just that one armor set. At one point I got excited about something working right on the first time and I accidentally set my hot knife on the piece of armor. I burned a hole about the size of a coin dollar in the armor…..after I finished crying, I decided it was battle damage. Out of all the times I wore it, no one even noticed it.
TC: Have you been to conventions in cosplay? How would you describe your experience?
Stephanie: I go to many conventions, from small local cons to the big ones like Pax East or Blizzcon, and I’m almost always in some sort of costume. I wouldn’t trade these experiences for the world. I’m a really shy person if I don’t know you, and through cosplaying I have met some of the best people in the world (I call them my con family). I’ve realized that cosplay helped me open up as a person and it really broadened my horizons in life.
TC: For other cosplayers, what advice would you give them on getting their creations seen by fans?
Stephanie: Create a page, create a Twitter, create an Instagram and never stop posting. You proud of that pattern that turned out perfectly symmetrical? Hell yeah, post it! Fans looking for your content will see it. I’m answering questions on this interview because I did just that! I was feeling very nostalgic for my beloved Sam the other day so I started a #ThrowBackThursday parade in her honor and it exploded!
Another great way (my favorite way) of getting your work seen is to wear it to conventions! It’s so easy to connect with people with your heart outside your chest like that. You’re pretty much wearing your own ice breaker! If someone comes up to you and knows who you are, you already have that in common!
TC: What inspired you to create cosplay in the Gears of War universe specifically?
Stephanie: I had started tinkering with the idea of making a set of armor with this “EVA Foam” I kept hearing about. I was thinking about doing armor from Gears because I love the game so much, and the thick COG Suits look like EVA would’ve been perfect for them. A few months before Gears 3 shipped, I got a job as a QA Tester at Epic and it was as if the Universe was telling me, “DO THE THING!”
TC: Is there a character in the Gears of War universe you would love to cosplay but haven’t as yet?
Stephanie: Definitely Myrrah <3
TC: What tips and tricks could you share with other cosplayers who want to improve their own creations?
Stephanie: Progress over perfection, I cannot stress this enough. I’m still struggling with wanting my art to be perfect, but when it’s all together and painted and it works you can’t even tell what isn’t 1:1.
- Jump in, have fun with it, and give yourself plenty of time to finish it before that next convention.
- Don’t forget to get good photographs of your work. My Sam armor was accidentally left in a car and it melted. I may not have the armor anymore, but the photos I took remind me of what I accomplished. (I think I just thought of my next tip)
- DON’T LEAVE YOUR ARMOR IN THE CAR!! Haha!
- I can be found at a number of conventions all along the east coast throughout the year, please stop by and say hello if you see me! I’m actually rather shy in person until you wind me up :)
TC: Thanks Stephanie for sharing your amazing cosplay with us and for your tips to help aspiring cosplayers (seriously, don't leave your armor in the car!). Are you an aspiring cosplayer? Be sure to check out our brand new Cosplay Guides for Delta Squad. We'll be adding to our Cosplay Hub over the months with more intricately detailed character guides, including for characters from the upcoming Gears of War 4!
KEEP IN TOUCH: