World’s First Butterfly Cosplay – Part 3: Bringing Monarch Brightwing to Life

Back in 2014 when I was still a Community Manager, I worked on an official project relating to a character for the Blizzard  game Heroes of the Storm, and due to one thing or another, it took over a year for all the requested blogs relating to the project to finally be published on the official site, but at last in May of 2015, the final blog and photos were posted on, and I wanted to share the final results here for posterity as well :)

Originally I shared with you how this project began and the various stages required to sculpt the Monarch Brightwing sculpture that will serve as the base of what may very well be the world’s first butterfly cosplay!* In the second part of this blog series, I showed you the colorful and creative steps that followed, and in this blog, we’re putting it all together and bringing Monarch Brightwing to life with a live monarch butterfly from my home garden!

The in-game model is seen on the left, and my sculpture is seen on the right. All it needs now is a regal monarch!

Where We Left Off

When we last left off, Monarch Brightwing was all painted, sealed, and ready for her guests, and it was time for everything to come together to complete this unique take on cosplay!  Here are the final results:

Did You Know?

Monarch butterfly populations have plummeted so much in recent years that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now believes there might be reason to protect them under the Endangered Species Act.

You can learn more about how you can help raise monarchs and milkweed plants at

All monarch butterflies used in this project were hand-raised and released into the wild after photographing.


Things don’t always go as planned when you’re working with one (or more!) live subjects, so here are some of my favorite outtakes of Monarch Brightwing and her fluttery entourage.

I'd highly recommend checking out the original blogs which are posted directly on Blizzard's website because there are a lot more photos and details about the process there (and with much better formatting)!

World’s First Butterfly Cosplay – Part 1: Sculpting Monarch Brightwing

World’s First Butterfly Cosplay – Part 2: Painting Monarch Brightwing

World’s First Butterfly Cosplay – Part 3: Bringing Monarch Brightwing to Life

If you're interested in finding out more about Heroes of the Storm, you can learn more about this fun team brawler here on our official site. And if you work at Blizzard or manage to get a tour of campus, you can see this little guy currently on display at the Blizzard Museum!

Do you have any questions about painting materials, the creative process for this project, or raising monarchs? Let me know in the comments below!

As this project was done on-the-clock for work, all photos of Brightwing and my Brightwing sculpture are Copyright Blizzard Entertainment. All standalone monarch photos are copyright Kimberly LeCrone.

* - As far as we know!