Realistic Wing Tutorial - P.0

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Realistic Wing Tutorial part 0: MATERIALS

Ok, I KNOW this isn't the next update you were expecting (or the one I thought I'd post) but I've gotten these sort of questions so many times that I'm finding it easier to do all the work now and point to it later instead of answering each one individually. They vary in format but what it boils down to is:

"HOW MUCH OF [_insert material here_] DO I NEED TO MAKE THESE WINGS?"

...a fair question, and one I've avoided answering since I honestly didn't know - UNTIL NOW.


So without further ado, here is everything you need to collect in advance for this tutorial and their estimated amounts:

*NOTE: all amounts with a star '*' next to them will vary according to your style of wing, and in THIS list are specific to the Peregrine-style, which have short secondaries and long, thin primaries*

- CARDBOARD*: a single appliance box (like a refrigerator - hardware stores may set one aside for you, if you ask - you can honestly say its for an art or costume project) should provide enough for all the wing feather patterns, though amount depends on your wing-style

- POSTERBOARD: One sheet for the covert patterns.

- FABRIC* (for both Primaries/Secondaries/Coverts) 11-12 yards of 34"-36" wide fabric, this should be enough for both wings, broadcloth-thickness recommended.

- METAL HANGERS / 12 GAUGE WIRE: Either 48 metal hangers or one 100 foot roll of 12 gauge wire is enough for 23-24 large feathers & two pivot points.

- WIRE: 20-24 gauge iron or copper (at least 1 ft of copper wire was used in my tutorial, but only because it was easier to bend & I had it on hand), 4-5 yards should be plenty.

- PAINT: one gallon in a color as close to your fabric as possible, cheap matte style from Walmart works.

- ALLIGATOR CLIPS: for each secondary feather (I needed 22 of them) and wing-threading ends, the medium-to-heavy-duty hardware store variety.

- GLUE: I used a bottle of gorilla glue, but anything to keep the alligator clip on the secondary feathers hanger wire shafts.

- ELASTIC: I needed 5-6 feet of 1-inch wide elastic, this depends on the length of your arm.

- STRAP-MATERIAL: I used 6 yards of polypropylene webbing from the craft store.

- LATEX HOSE/TUBE: 2 feet, for the stretchy part of the harness.

- PARACHUTE BUCKLES: 4, 1-inch size

- TAPE: cover the strap-material with it whenever cutting it, so the ends of the straps don't fray horribly before you melt them closed - brown packing tape works well.

- METAL D-RINGS: 4, 1-inch size

- SEWING NEEDLE: leather needles punch through the webbing very well.

- THREAD/FISHING LINE: basic thread from craft store, I used 12lb Trilene for fishing line but as long as it fits in your need but is strong it should work.

- PAIR OF GLOVES: I found it MUCH easier to just buy a pair of gloves instead of the fingerless one I used in part 3 of the tutorial (gotta remember to update that...) and the fingers help keep the glove/pivot point from sliding around. A pair with a velcro wrist (think baseball batting gloves) is recommended for easy donning/shedding of costume but still secure enough to stay while in use.

- TWO 1/4 " HEX BOLTS: Two, about 2.5 inches long, one for each pivot point.

- TWO WING NUTS: 1/4" wing nuts work well.

- WASHERS: Eight, should fit over the 1/4" bolts.

- RIBBON: one spool, or 3-4 yards is plenty, used to thread the wings.

- COFFEE STIRRING STRAWS: I used this for the shafts of my covert feathers, but anything this size & general shape will do.

- STAPLER: For attaching your coverts to your primary feathers.

*The amount of cardboard/fabric needed depends on the style of wing you are attempting, these measurements are from my friends Peregrine-style set, so any larger styles will need more material.

Now the amounts of the next few items are still flexible, but they're what I've bought to finish my arm-cover, I'll update this section as soon as I know for sure!

- HOT GLUE GUN & GLUE STICKS: 'Nuff said, will keep track of how many I use and what size so you don't run out during construction. High temp glue gun seems to work fastest/the best, though you have a higher risk of burning your fingers...

- PLASTIC MESH: two 2ft-by-1ft sheets of plastic mesh (makes 4 panels, one for each forearm and upper-arm).

- FELT: 4 yards of felt in your wings color.

Since pricing varies from store to store I haven't included them here (that's ANOTHER list I've been avoiding...) and I highly encourage scrounging, using/modifying what you have on hand, and recycling materials. I WILL however list an "average total" once I know what it is, to help those who need to make the decision of "do-it-yourself" or "commission".

Well, that's all for now. Tune in next time to see the long-awaited FINAL INSTALLMENT (before the updates/redos begin. MAN have I learned a lot of do's/don'ts and tips in the last few years I want to share...)
A text version of my Realistic Wing Tutorial - part 0: Materials List, post any questions below.
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