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Realistic Wing Tutorial - P.2

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By Sunnybrook1   |   Watch
Published: August 16, 2010
Please let me know if you need this transcribed, and I will do so... :nod:

dollar sign 9/21/16: If alligator clips are too pricey and/or you won't need to adjust the feathers much after you've placed them, just leave on 2.5" - 3.5" inches of extra wire to bend around the elastic. It's not as pretty or easy to adjust, but it's cheap & it works!

Also, some pro-tips from Imagi-Nethat :
    • Old bedsheets are a much cheaper alternative if you don't want to buy fabric off the roll.

    • While using fusable web instead of paint seems like a good idea, I do NOT recommend it.  The web doesn't stick to the wire and you end up having to go through extra steps to correct it.

    • For the wire, I cut it to the length of the feather and then folded and squashed one end down about an inch.  It keeps the fabric on well.

    • If you live in America, Menards had reasonably priced alligator clips.  It cost about $9 for two people's (36) clips.

    • While it's entirely possible to spray paint your feathers after the fabric has stuck together, be careful about it, as it can leave a mottled look if you don't spray evenly.

I Heart Wings by Sunnybrook1 

youtube Icon 3/22/10: My first video showing wing-movement.
youtube Icon 12/3/13: My second video with two wings~
 youtube Icon 8/5/17: Disney animator describes the Mechanics of Bird Flight - watch for the useful description of how wings are built from 8:40 - 11:31.

New3/6/2018: Correct #1 Primary feather wrapping example
First Primary Feather - Wire Wrapping by Sunnybrook1

Part 0 - MATERIALS
Part 0.5 - TOOLS
Part 1 - CONCEPT
Part 2 - FEATHERS :pointl: YOU ARE HERE
Part 3 - HARNESS
Part 4 - ASSEMBLY
Part 5 - COVERTS
Part 6 - ARM-COVER WIP
EXTRA -  RESULTS: See what OTHER people have made following this tutorial~ :la:

The Feather Atlas
Slater Museum of Natural History

Already finished your wings? Please fill out this questionnaire, I'd love to hear about it!


Wing Design/Tutorial © Sunnybrook1
Image size
1000x7787px 6.02 MB
Comments262
anonymous's avatar
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GriffinMM's avatar
GriffinMMHobbyist Digital Artist

Why paint btw ? That part confuses me a bit, could i just use some glue and fabric? Also, would cheap shirts work?.. lol im at a michael’s looking for fabric and i found shirts with the exact colors i need

e// Ended up buying two 3XL men’s white shirts, more than enough and cheap enough too

Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter

Paint, cause it was cheaper than the same amount of glue and worked for me with my fabric - And sure, T-shirt fabric could work, surprised to hear it was cheaper than just buying the fabric, but lucky find~

luhrayuh's avatar
Hello! Thanks for the awesome tutorial! I am attempting to make a set for myself but have been unable to find the right gauge wire at my local hardware stores. They only seem to have 8 gauge and up or 16 and below :P  And I can't seem to find the right kind online either. Does anyone have any links to some on Amazon or anything? I'm in the US by the way. Greatly appreciated!
Arc-En-Ciela's avatar
Arc-En-CielaHobbyist General Artist
Hi, thank you for all you super nice tutorials. Sorry if my question already has been asked, I was not able to find the answer in the picture or text on the material, and I am not able to charge the comments at the moment...

What kind of Gorilla glue do you use ? (my store has like 10 differents kind of Gorilla Glue :'D) Thank you!
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter

No problem, the picture that's there is really small - just the basic stuff, that bonds "Wood, Stone, Metal, Ceramics, Foam, Glass & More!"

Gorilla Glue
Arc-En-Ciela's avatar
Arc-En-CielaHobbyist General Artist
Thank you for your answer!

By the time, I re-read the tutorial and read the comments (with a good wifi connection lol), and then I realized you used paint as glue. It looks that the particular paint you are using is discontinued or not available in my wallmart. Well I then opt to Mod Podge, because I am lazy.  The results are so so for the moment, but as long as the feathers don't fall appart, it will be suffisant for my LARP :'D.
Girlysprite's avatar
I bought wire which is used for keeping wired fences in place (in english it's tension wire I think?). You can buy it per 100 meters, and it's quite cheap. Also saves on fiddling with wirehangers. Though you still need to kinda straighten the wire. 

Example:&nbsp;<a href="www.giga-gaas.nl/spandraad/ver…
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
KarmicIllusion's avatar
KarmicIllusionStudent General Artist
I’ve tested this method of feather making quite a bit. The front looks relatively good with pressing and smoothing the paint and fabric, however the back seems to always have air bubbles left. How can you fix that or prevent it from happening?
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter

Are you flipping the feathers to smooth both the front and the back?

And while drying, do you flip them every so often so they dry on both sides somewhat evenly (at least for the first few hours)?

When I paint feathers, I do a few at a time, and every time I finish one - takes 5-10 mins - I'll flip the others that are already drying.

Hopefully this helps.

KarmicIllusion's avatar
KarmicIllusionStudent General Artist
I just ordered 3 large sheets of 1mm craft foam from eBay so I’ll try that. Though I tested it with 2mm foam, easier to put together, but the thickness was a tad too thick.
KarmicIllusion's avatar
KarmicIllusionStudent General Artist
I tried doing that but sometimes they don’t want to stick. I’ll keep trying though.
jimjomjamie's avatar
jimjomjamieStudent General Artist
About what size are the alligator clips for the secondary feathers? I'm ordering online so it's hard to judge...

Thanks so much for the tutorial :)
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
No worries - 1-inch or 2-inch alligator clips will work fine~
jimjomjamie's avatar
jimjomjamieStudent General Artist
Do you think something like mod podge would work instead of the paint? I haven't worked with thick wire like the coat hangers so I'm not sure if it would stick well. Thanks!
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I've never used modge podge myself, but I know what it's usually used for - sounds promising. Make a single test feather first to see if it will - if it works with one, it'll work with all of them~
ApollyonGrim's avatar
For the crow wing template, are the primaries #1 through #14?
I am trying to figure out which of the feathers I need to make the wires that have the loop in order to to put them on the hex bolt.
I currently have 1-7 made.

Thank you!
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yup, that's right, feather #1 should be the first feather on the bolt that you grab to open the wing~
AmethystArts213's avatar
So I followed all of these steps but for some reason while the paint dries it isn't drying together. I am unsure what to do or how to proceed. It doesn't seem to be sticking at all :( 
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
That's not good! :( What kind of fabric & paint are you using?

And does it stick together while wet, only separating once it's dry?
rozen85's avatar
Do you have a step by step video by chance?
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Not yet, but when I do I'll add a link to the description~
lynxira's avatar
The paint (even though it is almost the same color as the fabric) is seeping through a lot :( If I would have put any less, I dont think the wire would have stayed. I still dont know if it will.
I am really confused as if I am expected to spray paint everything afterwards to hide the random blotches of seeping through...In that case, what was the point of finding cloth of the right color? Helpppp! lol
anonymous's avatar
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