Tutorial Tuesday: Wings

26 Jul

I haven’t seen more epic wings than this.

I appolize for getting this out so late.

Otakon has materialized and my cosplay isn’t done.

Enjoy!

By Etaru

The steps:
1.) Bend copper wire (preferably thicker wire, or hangers if you have none) into the desired shape (think bird-in-the-distance: -v-)

2.) Bend a box-like base at the bottom, where they’ll rest against your back when the wings are bent to extend away from your body.

3.) Cut chicken wire (or fence wire, whatever you feel is more structurally sturdy, but light) into either a rectangle or triangle shape. This will be “body” of the wings.

4.) Attach chicken wire to the wire base~~ Keep in mind, make the base at least 3-5 inches smaller than what you want the wings to be, because the length of the feathers should extend beyond it.

5.) Glue (white) batting onto the chicken wire, covering all wire. DO NOT USE FELT. I’ve seen it done and it’s not as attractive when light is passed through the wings, batting helps diffuse the light so there’s not a stark contrast between your feathers and the wire. Make as few folds/creases as possible, this will make laying the feathers that much simpler.

6.) Get a feel for how you want the feather to look (aka look into birds’ wings, or how the character’s wings are drawn) before laying feathers. Lay the feathers out to get an idea of they should look like.

7.) TRIM THE FEATHERS unless the artwork was fraying feathers. Compare picture #1 with #5. See the difference? YOU WILL TRIM. I KNOW you will trim.

8.) Start gluing feathers onto batting, starting at the bottom and working your way up in layers, NOT DOWN.

~~~~~~ 8.5) You can’t buy feathers as long as in #4 and #5, probably because there’s no birds out there with feathers 3 feet long. Combine several for the longer feathers, cutting off the “stems” where there’s the fluff for each except the bottom one. For the one in #5, there’s about 4 or 5 combined together. The longer the feathers, the larger your wings will appear to be.

9.) Be sure to cover both sides of each wing with feathers! Photo #6 is the back of the wing, see how it looks identical to the front? So lay feathers in the same direction/pattern.

10.) When you peel the feather layers apart on the bottom and side, you’ll be able to see the batting, so “plug” it up with leftover downs, or buy some smaller feathers specifically for that.

11.) Each feather on top the other will cover the stems, but not on the very top. Cover them with the fluffy small feathers called “downs” (not shown).

12.) When both wings are done, cover the center base with more batting and perhaps fluffy downs, so you don’t give it away that you’re not REALLY an angel ^_~

The feathers are one pound of white turkey hen rounds bought from RainbowFeather Co. [link] who’ll treat you real nice. The smaller fluff feathers were purchased from JoAnn’s, but I recommend getting 1/2 lb. of downs just so you won’t run out for a project. (Half a pound has lasted me over 2 years and through more than 4 pairs of wings lol).

KEEP IN MIND: There are many other ways that work just as well – if not better – so explore the options before starting, and have fun!
Refer here for final result: [link]
In the Alexiel wings [link] , the wire base was substituted with 1/2″ PVC pipe, which calls for a different type of harness.

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One Response to “Tutorial Tuesday: Wings”

  1. Brian Jeffrey July 28, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Nice job….very well done and informative.
    The Thermoman of Dazian

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