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Topic: Clover: Oruha & Suu ~ Wings help ?!  (Read 8446 times)
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« on: February 19, 2009 06:22:36 AM »

The wings I'm trying to recreate are the ones shown here:

This was my first attempt to make them back in 2006 and I ran into MANY problems T^T

I'm sure it would've been easier if we made the wings a more "reasonable" size, but when have cosplayers every been reasonable? Anyway, besides the size I couldn't figure out how to keep them on our backs! For the Suu costume the wings were attached to a corset she wore under the top but the weight of the wings kept pulling it up and Oruha's had no support (unless you count the guy at the back holding them up 6_6U)

So my first question is for people with experience making wings, what is the best way to wear and support them?

Secondly, they were SO HEAVY that they were just the most uncomfortable things EVER!! I made them out of corplast which I figured would be light and durable but it didn't work out too well, I usually use paper mache but that'll probably be way heavier. My NEXT idea is to use either foam or wonderflex over a wire armature. And instead of using cardboard for the "feathers" I'm going to use vellum...

What do you think? Any suggestions, tips or ideas?

« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2009 06:44:31 AM »

I don't have any advise, i just wanted to say your first try at these wings looked incredible, and vellum 'feathers' will be stunning in the light. Hope you can figure out the structure problems.
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2009 04:58:10 PM »

perhaps you can make the armature out of some sort of foam. if you make a mold, you can make use that spray expanding foam (used for insulation i think) and use a light weight silk or cotton for the feathers (my fear would be velum ripping!)


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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2009 03:52:01 PM »

You did a truly outstanding job the first time around!  Fantastic!

I think foam is going to be your best bet, for a lighter frame.  Definitely sculpt it around a wire base.  I'd probably use floral foam, as it's light, and easy to seal and paint.  I've been saying this a lot, lately, but gesso is fantastic for sealing slightly porous things like foam, for painting.  It makes a very smooth, solid surface, and you can sand and layer it, too.  I do like the idea of using fabric for the white parts (I, too, would be deathly afraid that vellum would rip).  Mylar is a bit sturdier than vellum, and white vinyl is sturdier again, than both, but it'd be a lot heavier than a tightly fitted silk, cotton, or rayon sheath.  If you go with fabric, I'd starch it, and if you go with paper, maybe consider coating it in resin to give it a little more firmness?  Good luck, and definitely post your results!

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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2009 04:21:06 AM »

@acquiescent, redstar13, Aislynn Thanks for your comments and advice (:

I originally wanted the feathers to be vellum and cut the cardboard as stencils but then ended up using those in the actual costume. Now I have a giant roll of vellum (enough for all those feathers!) and nothing to do with it lol

The foam idea is sounding better and better though my concern would be its durability i.e. getting crushed if something bumped into/fell on it. I really like the idea of using cotton or silk as well for the feathers but I've never starched anything, how stiff does the fabric get? would it be able to hold its shape with only one side supported? What do you think about the feathers having a wire frame border and then a light sheer-ish fabric stretched across it (think Danielle's wings in Ever After)?!

I'll definitely post pictures once I start working on this. I'm not going to be redoing this one for 2009 though, I'm hoping to have it done for 2010 cons giving myself plenty of time for trial and error!!!   

« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2009 05:58:19 PM »

Plaster gauze? The stuff they used to make casts out of & still available in craft stores (but if you want a lot find a medical supplier, the folks who do prosthetics still use it to make custom molds for amputees). You could make a modeling clay mold & then do a single layer. After it's set & dry, glue your wire armature in & shellac it with spray varnish/ Krylon. This will give you a hollow but rigid wing frame.

The advantage I see to doing this instead of foam is if it get bent or crushed it won't actually fall apart, just have a weak/ floppy spot and can be repaired with several coats of clear nail polish.

Both will need test runs & practice with the materials before you decide exactly what is going to work best for you.
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2009 07:48:32 PM »

@SpottedFrog Thanks for the suggestion! I've used it before for mask making but I didn't think about it for this. Only question, how sturdy would just a single layer be?

« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2009 07:56:12 AM »

By itself, not very strong. With a wire backbone & several coats of shellac or varnish it should be pretty substantial. I'm assuming you are driving to said Con & not having to ship these or take them on a bus or something too.
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2009 06:08:17 AM »

Ah okay, thanks for the information. I do want to wear them to different cons so this might not be the best option. But you've given me ideas on how to make stuff for other cosplay!!  (:

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