Inside Blizzard

Statues of Blizzard

Statues of Blizzard

While many people know about the Orc, this is just one of our many statues, including two other permanent displays. As both employees and fans of these statues, we wanted to share their origin stories with you.

Fun Facts

  • BlizzCon visitors have had a chance to see many of our statues when they visit the Anaheim Convention Center. 
  • A new trend is to also offer a smaller version of our large statues as a collectible!

Permanent Statues

Kerrigan, Queen of Blades
Kerrigan
Versailles, France. Created 2008.

A bronze version of this Kerrigan statue, built in 2008, stands outside of the Blizzard offices in Versailles, France. She stands 14 feet tall—appropriately intimidating for the queen of the Zerg.

Statue created by Steve Wang

Sculptors: Steve Wang, Tully Summers, Casey Love, Russ Lukich and Anthony Pina
Moldshop supervisor: Johnnie Saiko Espiritu
Mold Maker: Brian Goehring
Mechanical/light FX dept: Guy Himber and Terry Sandin
Lab techs/fabrication/seaming dept: Andy Chavez, Ricky Luevano, Darnell Isom, Alex Sanchez, Roberto Molina, Heather O'Boyle and Ken Rizzo Hair: Diana Yoo

Costuming: Vanessa Mi Kyung Lee
Costume aging: Nick Carpenter
Painting dept: Steve Wang, Casey Love, Ricky Luevano, Darnell Isom and Andy Chavez
Base created by: Mike McGee and staff of Alex in Wonderland
Base Armature: Mike McGee, Patrick Chitty and Tony GrowLight Fixtures: Mike McGee, Patrick Chitty and Tony Grow
Base Sculpture: Ross Tallent and Mike McGee
i thi Base painted and weathered by: Ross Tallent and Mike McGee


Arthas, The Lich King
Arthas
Taichung, Taiwan. Created 2016.

2016 marked the 25th anniversary of the founding of Blizzard Entertainment; and what better way to celebrate this epic milestone, than by casting one of the company’s most iconic characters in a 14 foot, 4,000 pound, truly one-of-a-kind statue. Located on the Calligraphy Greenway in Taichung, Taiwan, this bronze portrayal of the Lich King Arthas Menethil wasn’t created just to commemorate an anniversary, but also to recognize and celebrate the incredible Taiwanese gaming community..

We wanted to give the world the most iconic character in the Blizzard universe… it took an army comprising some of the most talented people in this industry to pull it off.


The Orc
Orc Statue
Irvine, California. Created 2007. Read more.

After over a year of intense work, the 12 foot tall, 2 ton bronze orc warrior now stands watch in the courtyard of Blizzard Entertainment’s Irvine campus. Read our in-depth article for more.

Life-sized Statues

Sylvanas, The Banshee Queen
Sylvanas
Created 2017
The Sylvanas figure and base stand 8 feet tall and weigh approximately 200 pounds. Sylvanas is primarily made of silicone (for her skin), polyester resin, and epoxy resin. Created by Alliance Studio, she marks the first time they created a statue for display with flowing hair.

Though we’ve heard the rumor that actual vertebrae were used for her statue’s bow, we’re sorry to disappoint—they’re just excellent facsimiles of the real thing.

CREW:

Steve Wang – co-founder Alliance Studio, Sculptor/Art Director
Eddie Yang – co-founder Alliance Studio
Mike Deak - Shop producer/coordinator
Cleve Gunderman - Construction Supervisor
Miyo Nakamura - Art Director/sculptor

Kevin Yan - Sculptor
Tristan Del Giudice - Sculptor


Albert Chen - Digital
Matt Rom - Digital
Xander Smith - Digital
Mauricio Ruiz - Digital
Julie Shah - Digital
Jason Wang - Digital

Erick De La Vega - Paint
Chris Zega - Paint
Thomas Floutz - Paint


David Genoshe - Shop
Yong Lee - Shop
Richard Arguijo - Shop
Kyle Marzigliano - Shop
Camille Smolucha - Shop/Eyes
Cindy Duong - Shop
Aina O’Kane - Fabrication/Wardrobe
Denise Baer - Hair
Brie Ford - Silicone Seaming

Alexis Iacono - Purchaser
Norma Preciado - Office
 

Colossal Tracer, Pharah, Genji.
Trace
Created 2016

Read more about assembling the giants and watch the video.

Steve Wang – co-founder Alliance Studio, Art Direction
Eddie Yang – co-founder Alliance Studio
Mike Deak - Shop producer/coordinator/Electronics
Cleve Gunderman - Construction Supervisor
Chad Waters - Project Coordinator

Albert Chen - Digital
Tim Min - Digital
Aimon Akhtar - Digital

Jon McPhalen - Electronic Programming

Tianna Atwood - Paint
Miyo Nakamura - Paint
Camille Smolucha - Paint

Amber Bleich - Shop
Cristina Himiob - Shop
Rodolfo Fajardo - Shop
David Genoshe - Shop
Louie Shirase - Shop
Yong Lee - Shop
Cameron Martin - Shop
Tristan Del Giudice - Shop

Nick Benson and the crew of e-gads! Las Vegas who created the oversized boxes.


Oversized Gorehowl
Grommash
Created 2015

The structure of the axe was made by creating a custom steel support frame that was embedded into a series of CNC foam carved panels. The foam was then coated in a hard coat polyurea material. The final finish was created using a combination of airbrushed and hand-painted techniques. The finished creation stands 15 feet tall and weighs just over 450 pounds.

As excitement mounted for the launch of Warlords of Draenor, we unleashed an epic spectacle in New York City’s Times Square on November 11 & 12, 2014. To herald the arrival of the Iron Horde, we slashed one of the city's iconic Yellow Cabs in half with a giant version of Grommash Hellscream’s battle axe, Gorehowl. The display caused quite a commotion, garnering coverage across the world.

Gorehowl Axe fabricated by Atomic Props
Environmental Base fabricated by Rebel Scenery


Life Size Tracer Statue
Trace
Created 2015

For her chronal accelerator chest feature, a special multi-layered projection screen and animation were created to emulate a hologram effect. A great deal of research and prototyping using new materials led to the printing of numerous 3D models to house all the different size mirrors and lens configurations. This effort corrected the projector’s short-throw keystone effect and resulted in an animated holographic feature of the proper brightness and clarity.

Tracer was built using urethane resin, fiberglass, steel, leather, PETG, spandex, shock cords, electrical wiring, LED lighting, dental acrylic, and magnets. She stands about 6’6”, and weighs just over 200 pounds.

Steve Wang – co-founder Alliance Studio, Art Direction
Eddie Yang – co-founder Alliance Studio
Mike Deak - Shop producer/coordinator/Electronics
Cleve Gunderman - Construction Supervisor

Albert Chen - Digital
Tim Min - Digital


Jon McPhalen - Electronic Programming

Tianna Atwood - Paint
Miyo Nakamura - Paint
Camille Smolucha - Paint/Eyes

Vanessa Lee - Costume

Jason Wang - Chrono Accelerator Multi Plane Video Projection

Amber Bleich - Shop
Cristina Himiob - Shop
Rodolfo Fajardo - Shop
David Genoshe - Shop
Yong Lee - Shop
Cameron Martin - Shop


Grommash Hellscream
Grommash
Created 2014

Statues are usually carved out of foam, but Grommash was fully sculpted from clay onto the base, making him the equivalent of two statues in size. His build team created him with fiberglass, silicone, aluminum, human and yak hair, clay, wood, plastics, resins, leather, paints, assorted electronics, and an industrial humidifier. Grommash stands 8’6” high and weighs 450 pounds.

  • Glowing blood was created with layers of translucent resins and internally lit.
  • Bubbles in the blood pools were handmade out of vacuform plastic spheres.
  • Authentic deer sinew was used for thread to sew Grommash's leather clothing. The plates sewn on his tasset and all other armor parts were forged out of real metal.

Steve Wang – co-founder Alliance Studio, Sculptor/Art Director
Eddie Yang – co-founder Alliance Studio
Mike Deak - Shop producer/coordinator/Electronics
Cleve Gunderman - Construction Supervisor

Joey Orosco - Sculptor
Matt Rose - Sculptor
Brian Wade - Sculptor
Miyo Nakamura - Sculptor

Albert Chen - Digital

Casey Love - Paint
Thomas Floutz - Paint

Jon McPhalen - Electronic Programming

Denise Baer - Hair
Kazu Okada - Hair styling

Aina O’Kane - Fabrication/Wardrobe
Jurgen Heimann - Engineering
Christina Himiob -welding tech
Mike Pack - Eyes

Jason Wang - Shop
David Genoshe - Shop
Spif Zaya - Shop
Noreen Mason - Shop
Cameron Martin - Shop
Tianna Atwood - Shop
Laura Palazzolo - Shop
Rola Chen - Shop
Heidi Mistic - Shop


Tyrael, Archangel of Justice
Tyrael
Created 2014

Tyrael was crafted from fiberglass, silicon, silk, urethane, aluminum, chainmail, heatshrink, lexan, wood, chromoly steel, carbon fiber, kevlar, glass, paint, electronics and lights. He stands 14 feet tall and weighs about 700 pounds.

  • Metal ornamentation on the base was made of aluminum plate and cut with water.
  • Approximately 14,400 LEDs were used to light Tyrael's wings
  • According to Steve Wang, Tyrael was by far the most complicated statue he’s created for Blizzard—and it was completed in six weeks.
  • The costume’s embroidery was made of superfine high-grade gold silk.
  • The lights in Tyrael’s wings are computer controlled to simulate random bursts of energy.

Statue created by Steve Wang

Sculptors: Steve Wang, Brian Wade, Otto Marlow, Dragan Radich
Moldshop Supervisor: Cleve Gunderman
Mold Makers: A.J. Venuto, David Booke, Tony Grow, Gary Pawlowski
Mechanical/light FX dept: Jon McPhaelen, Michael Deak
Lab techs: Heidi Mistic, Tianna Atwood, Jessie Fohrman, Aubriana Zurilgen, Mike Wang, Yong Lee
Costuming: Ina O'Kane, Desiree Soto-Vaughn
Painting dept: Erik De La Vega, Noreen Mason,
Base created by: Steve Wang and above crew


Jim Raynor
Jim Raynor
Created 2010

The Jim Raynor statue stands 8’6” tall and weighs about 400 pounds. Built using fiberglass, silicon, rubber hosing, steel, human hair, acrylic, paint, wood, plastics, steel armature, and bondo, this statue included a few steps that were out of the ordinary:

  • In order to sculpt Jim’s face accurately, his head was projected onto the raw materials using in-game graphics.
  • Jim’s hair is human hair, with each piece hand-punched and placed individually. His beard was also hand-punched, then shaved down to stubble.
  • The lights on his back thrusters were programmed to change color from blue to red, to simulate the thrusters getting hot.

  • Height - 8.5'
    Weight - 400 pounds

Statue created by Steve Wang

Sculptors: Steve Wang
Moldshop supervisor: Allan Holt
Mold Makers: Noreen Mason, Heidi Mistic, Johnnie Saiko Espirito, Tony Grow, Laura Palazzolo, Robin Yannoukos, Jaime Siska
Mechanical/light FX dept: Jon McPhaelen
Lab techs: Heidi Mistic, Tianna Atwood, Jessie Fohrman, Aubriana Zurilgen, Mike Wang, Yong Lee
Hair: Gnoc Mai Teng
Painting dept: Noreen Mason, Steve Wang, Tony Grow
Base created by: Mike McGee and staff of Alex in Wonderland


Kerrigan, Queen of Blades
Kerrigan
Created 2008

The original fiberglass Kerrigan statue was built in 2008, and was crafted with silicon, aluminum, acrylic, paint, wood, plastics, latex, and bondo. She stands 14 feet tall, and is exactly as imposing and terrifying as Kerrigan should be. She’s even accompanied by realistic creep effects.

Statue created by Steve Wang

Sculptors: Steve Wang, Tully Summers, Casey Love, Russ Lukich and Anthony Pina
Moldshop supervisor: Johnnie Saiko Espiritu
Mold Maker: Brian Goehring
Mechanical/light FX dept: Guy Himber and Terry Sandin
Lab techs/fabrication/seaming dept: Andy Chavez, Ricky Luevano, Darnell Isom, Alex Sanchez, Roberto Molina, Heather O'Boyle and Ken Rizzo Hair: Diana Yoo

Costuming: Vanessa Mi Kyung Lee
Costume aging: Nick Carpenter
Painting dept: Steve Wang, Casey Love, Ricky Luevano, Darnell Isom and Andy Chavez
Base created by: Mike McGee and staff of Alex in Wonderland
Base Armature: Mike McGee, Patrick Chitty and Tony GrowLight Fixtures: Mike McGee, Patrick Chitty and Tony Grow
Base Sculpture: Ross Tallent and Mike McGee
Base painted and weathered by: Ross Tallent and Mike McGee


Illidan, The Betrayer
Illidan
Created 2006

Illidan is crafted from fiberglass, silicon, aluminum, acrylic, paint, wood, plastics, latex, bondo. He is a bit shorter than Kerrigan, but stands at 12 feet tall and weighs about 400 pounds. In order to simulate his fel effects, Illidan’s body was painted with UV paint and illuminated by black light. His wings are made of layers of translucent material, making them appear more natural and lifelike.

Statue created by Steve Wang

Sculptors: Steve Wang, Tully Summers, Casey Love, Russ Lukich & Anthony Pina
Moldshop supervisor: Johnnie Saiko Espiritu
Mold Maker: Brian Goehring
Mechanical/light FX dept: Guy Himber &Terry Sandin
Lab techs/fabrication/seaming dept: Andy Chavez, Ricky Luevano, Darnell Isom, Alex Sanchez, Roberto Molina, Heather O'Boyle & Ken Rizzo
Hair: Diana Yoo
Costuming: Vanessa Mi Kyung Lee
Costume aging: Nick Carpenter
Painting dept: Steve Wang, Casey Love, Ricky Luevano, Darnell Isom & Andy Chavez
Base created by: Mike McGee & staff of Alex in Wonderland
Base Armature: Mike McGee, Patrick Chitty and Tony GrowLight Fixtures: Mike McGee, Patrick Chitty and Tony Grow
Base Sculpture: Ross Tallent and Mike McGee
Base painted and weathered by: Ross Tallent and Mike McGee

Nova
Nova
Created 2005. Photo by: JudgeHype

November "Nova" Terra was built in statue form in 2005. Built with fiberglass, silicon, aluminum, acrylic, paint, wood, plastics, latex, and bondo, she was put together by Steve Wang’s epic team. Height: '9.5

Statue created by Steve Wang

Sculptors: Steve Wang, Don Lanning
Moldshop supervisor: Johnnie Saiko Espiritu
Mold Maker: Hill Vinot
Lighting: Terry Sandin
Hair: Diana Yoo
Painting dept: Steve Wang
Base created by: Wyatt Weed


Dwarf
Nova
Created 2002

The Dwarf, created in 2002, was Blizzard’s first statue. Standing 9 feet tall, the dwarf was our first step into the world of statues. He’s made of latex, foam, and wood, and he—like Jim Raynor—has hand-punched hair for both his eyebrows and beard. His gun was custom-built by a toy manufacturer.

Created by Schell Sculpture Studio for E3 2002
Designed by Sam "Samwise" Didier


Moving the Statues

Many of our statues take a trip to BlizzCon each year or make moves between Blizzard buildings, which requires the talents of a professional logistics company for each move. Somewhere between 4-8 movers carefully disassemble each statue to safely transport them in large trucks, and then reassemble them at the new location. A small crew from Alliance Studio assists with the set up and teardown, including finishing repairs in case any minor damage occurs during transport.


Azeroth Choppers

Azeroth Choppers
Created 2014

Legendary custom motorcycle designer Paul Jr. assembled two handpicked teams of bike experts to bring to life a pair of asphalt-kicking chopper designs inspired by World of Warcraft's two warring faction. Read more.

Alliance Chopper
Alliance Chopper
Created 2014

ENGINE: S and S 113 Motor
TRANSMISSION: Baker RSD 6-Speed
PAINT: NUB Graphics
CHROME: Chrome Masters
WHEELS: PJD/Renegade

Materials used: Steel, Aluminum, Wood
Dimensions: ~ 11ft Long, rear wheel base 5ft wide
Weight: ~ 700 lbs

Created by Paul jr designs for the web series Azeroth Choppers

Dates of Construction: February 10th, 2014 – March 23, 2014
Original Design by: Paul Jr. Designs
Paul Jr Team Alliance: Joe Thompson, Brendon Thompson, Pete Spinning
Blizzard Team: Chris Metzen, Monte Krol, Terran Gregory

Horde Chopper
Horde Chopper
Created 2014

ENGINE: Crazy Horse V-Plus 100ci
TRANSMISSION: Baker RSD 6-Speed
PAINT: NUB Graphics
CHROME: Chrome Masters
WHEELS: PJD/Renegade

Materials used: Steel, Aluminum, Copper and leather
Dimensions: ~ 12ft Long, ~3’ wide at handlebars
Weight: ~ 700 lbs

Created by Paul jr designs for the web series Azeroth Choppers
Dates of Construction: February 10th, 2014 – March 23, 2014
Original Design by: Paul Jr. Designs Paul Jr
Team Horde: Dan Sterantino, Cody Conelly, Mel Stultz
Blizzard Team: Samwise Didier, Gary Platner and Jason Hutchins


Statue Interview: Brian Fay & Brianne Loftis

In our quest to learn more about Blizzard statues, we sat down for an interview with Brian Fay (Senior Sculptor) and Brianne Loftis (Creative Development Producer). They gave us more details about what goes into creating these masterpieces.

BF: I started at Blizzard in February 2012. I came out to California and saw that there was a lot of opportunity to expand our toys and statues program. At the time, we had an external company making our statues, and releasing one every 12-18 months. By bringing everything in-house, we got to control every aspect of production, including in-person reviews with our game teams, which streamlines the whole feedback process.
BF: I always have an ongoing sculpting project that takes up most of the day. I still get to work in wax a lot, which I really enjoy, so I jump to it first thing in the morning. We have factory samples to review and give feedback on throughout production—from overall casting quality, to paint, to packaging. The sculpting team also gives feedback to one another to keep everything moving along, we have a lot of work to handle. We help each other 3D print things for meetings, mold and cast parts [Editor’s note: a mold is a reversed impression of a sculpture which is used to cast replica sculptures; a cast produces copies of a sculpture], and clean up prototypes.
BF: I’ve been involved with Grommash, Arthas, Tracer, and Sylvanas since joining Blizzard. The life-size statues are created by Alliance Studio, led by Steve Wang and Eddie Yang. A team of artists bring the statues to life, with art direction from Blizzard—we make regular trips to their studio and stay in touch over email. Most of the statues are done with a combination of digital and traditional sculpting, incorporating real fabric, silicone and hair where needed. Since I’ve been here, we always supply Alliance Studio with a maquette [Ed. Note: a small, scale model or rough draft of an unfinished sculpture] as a guide for the artists to replicate on a larger scale. It’s usually a casting, but it can also be a digital model.

Grommash was modeled after a smaller statue I made here at Blizzard. Alliance Studio scanned the statue and built a steel armature [Ed. Note: a framework around which the sculpture is built] to work on top of. From there, they added a foam block out and started cutting out Grommash’s shape. Lastly, the sculptors added clay on top of the foam, which let them put in all the details that brought the sculpture to life.

I did an Arthas figure for the World of Warcraft action figure line, and that inspired the pose for the bronze Arthas. We supplied Alliance with a digital model as a guide to all the armor shape language, which also helped them create the steel armature. From there, they sculpted the entire statue from scratch, with every single detail painstakingly done by hand. It was awe-inspiring to watch. They cast the finished parts in wax, which is then molded in a special process as part of the lost-wax casting used to make bronze statues. Sculptors melt the wax out of the mold, leaving a void into which they cast molten bronze. After cooling, they chip off the molds, and cleanup and assembly begins.

Sylvanas was also created with a combination of digital and traditional sculpting. I worked off a digital model provided by Jason Huang on our cinematic team; we saved time by using the same model, but needed to adjust certain details for the life-size statue, which has a bigger palette to work with. The sculptors used real cloth, leather, silicone and hair to bring her to life. We especially wanted to make sure she had flowing hair, and Alliance found a way to pull it off flawlessly. It wasn’t an easy task. We started work on Tracer with a posed digital model that we 3D-printed and cleaned up. Then, we placed fabric and leather over the printed parts for a more realistic look—her leather jacket even has wear and tear! All those details are applied by hand at Alliance Studio with the Overwatch team giving feedback in person.
BF: I would really like to see us make a giant Deathwing statue. It would look so cool hanging on the edge of the main building on [our Irvine] campus, overlooking the land. Can you imagine real flames in his mouth and chest?! That would be an incredible project to be involved with.

I’d also like to help build a life-size Treasure Goblin from Diablo standing atop his heap of treasure. This one’s a bit more realistic to produce, and it’d be extremely fun to see.
BF: We have a very long wish list of things we’d like to do, and just pull names off that list. We’d also like to create more unusual or old-school characters, but we have to think about our bandwidth. There’s just a small team of us, and I work like a turtle. We’ve also got to consider space in our warehouse—we can’t pack it with statues that are slowly rolling out.
BL: The life-size statues can take over twenty weeks to create. If we try to rush it, it will show in the final product, so we like to give them time to really polish the work. But we treat every statue, from our life-sized ones to our collectibles to our Cute But Deadly collaborations with the same attention to detail.
Team leadership sometimes lobbies for certain statues in advance of moving to a new building or area. As teams are planning new spaces, they’ll also think about beautification in advance. If we’re creating a statue that is 8 feet tall, what does that mean for the lobby? Do they change the ceiling height? When we changed one lobby around, Grommash couldn’t fit in there anymore and had to move. The Vault, a group of specialists whose sole focus is the promotion and preservation of Blizzard art, manages that process. Since our team, Story and Franchise Development, made Sylvanas, we requested her for our building.

The Raynor statue has a circle around his head for fire clearance. The development team had to change their lobby to accommodate him.
BF: Each one of these statues takes a lot of time, including the smaller-scale stuff. We try to capture and in some cases up-rez detail from the games to make our players feel like the product just stepped right out of the game. It does feel extremely rewarding to hear people point out all the small details that you’ve spent so long making. It makes everything worthwhile.
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