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Realistic Wing Tutorial - P.3

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By Sunnybrook1   |   Watch
Published: August 21, 2010
Here's the harness-tutorial for my Realistic Wing design~ :w00t:

[ Pixel ] Gloved Hand Point (WHITE) 1 - F2U 1/21/2016:NOTE on Gloves: Instead of making gloves, feel free to buy a pair/find & re-purpose them for your wings, I've found ones with a velcro strap at the wrist to be particularly useful, though the slightly-stretchy gardening gloves work too.
02 25 2014 079 by Sunnybrook1  02 25 2014 082 by Sunnybrook1 

youtube Icon 3/22/10: Have you seen my video showing wing-movement yet? Here's another. :D
youtube Icon 10/17/13: Still having issues with the harness? Here's a close up VIDEO!
Question mark 4/20/14: Trouble with the D-ring wire-wrapping? Here's a photo-progression that may help you start~
Heart 6/28/17: I can't believe I forgot to post this... Alternate Harness Design as used by one of my tutorial followers, don't think they have a dA account to link sadly...
April 23rd 2014 004 by Sunnybrook1  April 23rd 2014 009 by Sunnybrook1

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

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


Wing Design/Tutorial © Sunnybrook1
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anonymous's avatar
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Ryua's avatar
RyuaHobbyist General Artist
This was the section I had most trouble with, so I'll write down my experiences for anyone trying this after me. 

I bought a fairly tough button-up shirt to use instead of making a harness/glove combination. I cut most of the fabric away so I had the upper back, the shoulders, and the arms intact. I kept one button in the front for easy putting on/taking off. The sleeves were long enough to cover almost my whole palm, and fairly loose (which is covered anyway so that doesn't really matter). I stitched on a strap that looped over my thumb to keep the sleeves down in place on my arms. Make sure it's a soft and wide enough strap not to give yourself any sores.

I used the same bolt/wire frame setup for the hinged feathers, and sewed it to the underside of my wrist, right at the end of the sleeve. 

Never used a d-ring or parachute clips for anything.

My elastic strips were sewn to the back of the shirt about middle of the shoulderblades, and the other end was anchored about at the back of my hand, directly above the hinge.

Storage and transport is surprisingly easy. I just hung them by the thumb loops in my closet/drycleaning hook in my car. They don't come apart, but I actually prefer that. One less thing to go wrong, right?

To cover the shirt sleeves, I went to my local quilting shop and bought a yard of cotton fabric in the right colour, cut out 12-ish large panels to cover the elastic and front of the sleeve, and about a million little feather pieces to tile overtop of those. I then hot-glued a feather boa to cover what was left, partially because I wanted to mimic a fluffy neck ruff, partially because I was out of time and that was the fastest option.

This has the added benefit of being really comfy. Like just wearing a heavy jacket.

Picture for clarity:  Construction by Ryua
jimjomjamie's avatar
jimjomjamieStudent General Artist
Sorry for updating with new questions every few weeks but... I made the pivot point part but I'm completely lost about attaching it to the glove? What's the purpose of the long x-shape with the PW? Could I just sew the pivot point to the glove with the tiny bit of PW that's folded over the square part of the pivot point? Idk if these questions make sense lol sorry and please let me know!
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Not at all~

The "X" shape was just the best way I could think of to evenly distribute the weight of the pivot point & wing attached to it along a wide area of the glove, and not just that edge of it. Having the PW loop over the glove, between the thumb & forefinger, means it acts like a bag handle for you to grip while wearing the wings  in a down position (ie just hanging there closed).

You can certainly use just a bit of PW to attach the pivot point to the glove, but it may stretch and warp that edge of your glove with the weight of the wing. Who knows - if you give it a try, let me know how it goes!
jimjomjamie's avatar
jimjomjamieStudent General Artist
Got it! Thanks so much for responding so quickly :)
jimjomjamie's avatar
jimjomjamieStudent General Artist
I know the alternate harness design isn't your own making, but what do you know about how to make it? Like.. what are the two male parachute clips on the top/back for? Thanks for the mazing tutorials, embarking on this wing adventure for PAX East :)
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
THAT'S where the wings will be clipping too~ :D

And PAX East? Good luck! What's your costume going to be?
jimjomjamie's avatar
jimjomjamieStudent General Artist
I'm doing Medli from Legend of Zelda!! Popular choice, I know, but couldn't resist trying out this giant project once I saw your tutorial.
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Medli is a fun character, so I don't blame you~ 
Don't fall! by kopso866  
 
RagingAries's avatar
RagingAriesHobbyist General Artist
Hey SunnyBrookOne! I like your wing tutorial alot and will be basing my cosplay alot of your own design. Are you familiar with the character Papi from monster musume? i will be making her wings for my cosplay, and wonder if it will be viable that i connect the last primary feather to my elbow, instead of my back, and without the harness due to the wings being only arm mounted, and not stretching all the way to my back.

 I was thinking, maybe a strap close to my elbow and one close to mu wrist where i make a reinforced feather of some sort, and just connect the ribbon through to the longest feather, the one you're holding, that might work.

And to add upon that. the biggest challenge will be concealing the steel wires connected to the bolts under my wrist.  Not sure how to make use of secondary feathers there.

And another, blunt question. When makign the feathers, do you use Paint, as the one you use to colour your walls? I got a bit confused at that part but im still researching for my cosplay so shouldnt be much of a problem!

And last but not least, flipping heck, you know you make good wings when people use this a decade after you put the tutorial up, good work!
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I've seen that character, yes, and the way her wings work, you might be better off attaching all the feathers to a kind of sleeve, since that's the way she's drawn, and then having the first few primaries attached to a glove that you wear. This means you'll want to use more lightweight materials to prevent arm-strain. Silk-like fabric, stitched-together-drinking straws, and glue (since wall paint doesn't work well with very-thin or sheer fabric) probably wallpaper glue, similar to Bushitaka 's materials/wings. Or go with cheaper, thicker/heavier materials and just plan lots of breaks.

Also, if the feathers follow your arm/top of your hands, they won't close as cleanly as a real birds wings, but this is Papi - when have her wings ever looked all neat and tidy closed? I think just being able to move at all will look nice, similar to how the Crooked Feather made these wings for her commissioner.

:: Papi the Harpy :: by LunaLeFey

You might be able to find a lot more costumes of this character, I'd search around some more and see how other tackled the problems your having, it's really useful for inspiration - just be sure to write down names & credit folks if you're using their ideas for your project~

Good luck, and thanks!
FlippyKat's avatar
FlippyKatHobbyist Digital Artist
I'll be doing Papi the Harpy, and was wondering if there's a different way to conceal the harness as she wears a tube top?
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Papi, huh? Hmmm, a good question. The flight feathers on her arm-wings only go up to about her elbow too, so you may need to make the wings light enough to attach the stringing ribbon/thread to an arm-only strap. Her wing-design doesn't seem to change much between open & closed though, so while you can make the large feathers using my tutorial you may want to connect them to your arm differently, so may not even need a connecting point for the stringing ribbon/thread.
FlippyKat's avatar
FlippyKatHobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome! I appreciate the quick response :D
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Lol, "quick"? That's generous of you, took me a few weeks to sit down and think up an answer. ^^;
FlippyKat's avatar
FlippyKatHobbyist Digital Artist
There's a possibility that I forgot that we're in February xD
TatianaDragonWhisper's avatar
TatianaDragonWhisperProfessional Digital ArtistFeatured
What I found really useful instead of buying a few of the materials separately I bought a bunch of dog collars (about 6?) much cheaper at a Family Dollar. This gives all the D rings you need a swell as the clip things and the entire length of the PW you need. The collars have the D ring the appropriate distance from the clip as well, just cut them off the rest of the collar (WHILE KEEPING THEM ATTACHED TO EACH OTHER) and you'll eliminate part of the step to make the thing your elastic will clip onto later.
And if you're lazy like I am~ You have two adjustable arm rings already made just cut the D rings off carefully in case you'll need extra. :) 
As for the elastic tubing I can't order things online and no store near me carried any. I was lucky and had to get blood tests done so I asked to keep that rubber thing they tied around your am to use as a replacement and it works perfectly!
MisirlouMacca's avatar
Hello ! I'm currently trying to make these, but I'm not a native speaker, so I don't understand half of the specific vocabulary ^^' So I have a lot of questions, I hope you still answer here !
So just a few from the previous step:
- is the paint used as glue ? There is no additionnal glue needed ?
Now for this part:
- can I replace the PW with any other fabric, or maybe an elastic ? Or does it has to be non-elastic ?
- can I use a simple elastic instead of tubing ?
- does the arm-ring part of the harness rotates a lot ?
- does the arm elastic has to be fold in 3 ? And how do you mesure it, pulled or resting ?
And also for the next step with the ribbon thing, should it be placed closer to the pivot point or more far is better ? And do I also have to attach it to the secondary feathers ? I didn't really understand how you attached it to the feather, cutting a hole and tying it around the shaft ?
I hope I didn't forget anything, so I don't have to bother you again, and sorry for the novel !
It would be really helpful if you could answer, thank you in advance :)
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Hi! I apologize for all the difficult words, I'll try to provide a list of definitions in the future.

Here are my answers, in order:
- Yes! The paint is the glue. You shouldn't need any more.

- The PW can be replaced with fabric or elastic, yes, but it should not be too stretchy. If it is TOO stretchy your wings may not open all the way, but thick/strong elastic or kind-of-stretchy fabric/material should work. Anything that would work for a bag or backpack strap should work.

- Yes! You can use simple elastic instead of tubing~

- Yes, but it should not rotate too much. :/ It should stay in one area on your back/back of your arm. If it rotates too much, you can shorten the long piece that connects them (not the elastic/tubing part).

Or you can try an alternate harness design, like this one:
  April 23rd 2014 009 by Sunnybrook1   April 23rd 2014 004 by Sunnybrook1

- If the elastic is thick/sturdy enough, you don't have to fold it in 3. You measure it resting. When the wing is closed the elastic is resting. When the wing is open the elastic is stretched.

- The ribbon thing - the "stringing" - is best placed in the middle of each feather. It's easier to open the wing that way. The closer the ribbon is to the pivot point, the more difficult it will be to open the wing. BUT if the ribbon is placed in the middle it sometimes looks bad. :/ So I pick a spot that looks good but is between the pivot point and the middle of the feather.

- Yes, the ribbon/stringing should attach to the secondary feathers too. Then it attaches to you, so that when you open the wing the feather you are holding will pull the other feathers open, but not TOO far.

- And yes! I cut a small hole & tied it once around the shaft of the primaries (there's not enough room to make a proper knot), and in a knot around the secondaries.

If you still have any questions, please let me know~
MisirlouMacca's avatar
Thank you that's very helpful ! Just two more things, if the shaft is bend to look more like my reference feather, will it be weaker ? And how do you lift the wings ? Just grab the first feather ?
Thanks again for the tutorial, I'll be sure to send you pictures when it's done :)
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Glad to help!

And no, it won't be weaker, but it may be more difficult to open & close all the way, it'll depend on if all of your feathers are bent in the same way so that they stack properly.

And yes, you grab the first feather and lift, and since all the other feathers are connected to it by the stringing/ribbon it should open like a big fan. ^-^
MisirlouMacca's avatar
Thank you so much ! I'll get to work now ^^
GhoulBanshee's avatar
GhoulBansheeStudent Traditional Artist
So i have a question regarding the 1" elastic- how long do i measure it? 
when you say "fully extended" do you mean stretching it out completely and then measuring your arm?

thank you
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
The length of the elastic depends on how much distance is between the harness point behind your shoulder & the pivot point under your wrist (as seen in step 6 of this tutorial) while your arm is folded into a resting-bird-wing. You take that distance & multiply it by 3, since I fold the elastic into thirds to make it strong enough to hold all the secondary feathers but still stretch when you open the wing.

The "fully extended" note is just to let people know that the elastic shouldn't be that long unless you're pulling it/opening the wing. ^^; Does that make sense?
GhoulBanshee's avatar
GhoulBansheeStudent Traditional Artist
oh! I understand now, thank you so much!
anonymous's avatar
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