Hey guys! I promised a tutorial so here’s a little one.
I’m just going to explain overall what I did and not go into anything too detailed. Feel free to throw me a question if something is left too unclear!
My wings are articulated and they’re not attached to my hands in any ways (Though I’m planning to change that by adding a string connected to my hand because my original way of pulling them up didn’t work, they’re too heavy with the feathers).
Here are some pictures of the base:
The idea of articulated wings is that the whole structure moves when you lift/move one part.
As you can see from the picture there are 3 longer and 2 shorter pieces. They’re made out of plywood but I’ve heard that balsa wood is a better option.
There are a total of 7 (14) joints at the points where the pieces of wood overlap. Each wing is attached to the back with a hinge so that I can fold them behind me (Useful in crowds and when walking through doors).
Then there are the feathers, aka the reason I never want to touch scissors again
I used 7m (23 feet) of white felt. I soaked the whole amount of fabric (in pieces) in a mixture made out of glue and water to harden them. It takes at least one or two days for them to dry completely. I forgot to flip some of them around at least once so they got stuck on the floor, dont do that. Cover your floors! I used some big trash bags I found lying around.
I also glued some sticks to the longest feathers after cutting them out to give them more support and to make them look more feathery–like. I made probably 400–500 feathers. I recommend getting your friends to help cutting them if you don’t want to lose your mind :’D
Getting the feathers attached was a tricky part. You can’t just glue them to the base or they’ll be sticking into odd directions when opening/closing the wings.
They need to move around freely so basically I just sticked a loop of wire to each feather. Then I put another piece of wire through it and secured it into place by twisting the two ends together. After that I glued the thing to the frames.
So beautiful! But hey, they aren’t supposed to show. Hot glue is gonna be your best friend at this point.
The biggest feathers are all attached to one big ”ring” made out of thicker wire. Big mess and the backside of the wings.
The feathers are in 3 layers, each layer overlapping the previous feathers:
The primaries and secondaries (1st layer) are painted from both front- and backside. The 2nd and 3rd layers cover the framework so you’re gonna need a lot of feathers over them. Note that wings don’t look the same from both sides!
I used the same technique for attaching the 2nd layer as for the 1st (wire-thingy) but I glued 3 feathers into each other to save time.
The 3rd layer is just glued to the top because will face the right way even if you do so.
When I had attached the feathers they were just hanging straight down (gotta love gravity). I had to do something to get them to lift up when I open the wings so I sewed them together. There goes a thread in the middle of each feather giving the wings also a maximum opening point (which is pretty big). I made some knots that the thread doesn’t slip away.
You won’t be able to do anything with these if you can’t get them on. I made a harness that you put on like a backbag through a hole in the shirt.
And woop, there it is! A pair of hella big articulated wings.
A picture of them closed
– This is kind of obvious but making wings like this is expensive and time consuming. I used probably around 100€ for the materials and the hours I’ve spent on this project are also close to a hundred (2 weeks of working from 10AM to 8PM or more, ugh)
– If you decide to do something like this please be careful not to strain yourself too much! I was crouching on the floor for many days in a row and my back and knees hurt like hell in the evenings. Also my right hand still hurts from bending all the wire although it’s been a week already.
– You’re gonna need space. No, not a small corner with a little table, I mean a huge amount of space. For the most of the time you need to work with the wings open (on a floor unless you have an enormous table), and mine are twice the size of me!
tho I’m a 16–year–old short girl The wingspan is around 4+ meters, so, yeah. Of course you could always make smaller ones which I really do recommend.
– Surprise, this is also really messy! Especially the feathers make a big mess and you’re gonna get little pieces of felt stuck everywhere.
– This requires some sort of knowledge of using different tools. And skill. Feel free to challenge yourself but this isn’t the easiest sort of thing to do. It was hard even for me although I’ve made a pair of (still) wings before.
– These were surprisingly easy to wear around the convention even though the place was small. They are pretty heavy but not too much to not be able to wear them for 2 days straight.
– I bet that there are a lot better ways to do some parts and I’m fixing them & updating this tutorial when I can figure out better alternatives. (Also if you can think of something before me, send me a message!)
I hope that this was at least somewhat useful although it’s not really detailed. If you do make something inspired by this I’d love to see the results. Also it would be great to put a link to this so that other people can also get help making a pair uvuEdit: Check out also my “davesprite cosplay” tag at my blog for more information!