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Realistic Wing Tutorial - P.5

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By Sunnybrook1   |   Watch
Published: January 23, 2011
Made in Photoshop this time! :pc:

youtube Icon 3/22/10: My first video showing wing-movement ~
youtube Icon 12/3/13: My second video showing two wing's movement~
 Little Pixel Wing - White (left) 7/6/17: Fixed a stray bubble & added another view of how each feather looks with coverts attached, hope that helps clear up some confusion.
 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.

Part 0 - MATERIALS
Part 0.5 - TOOLS
Part 1 - CONCEPT
Part 2 - FEATHERS
Part 3 - HARNESS
Part 4 - ASSEMBLY
Part 5 - COVERTS :pointl: YOU ARE HERE
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
Image size
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Comments129
anonymous's avatar
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flowerchic's avatar
I appreciate the time you took to share all of your work.  I see it is very time consuming and hard hand work.  Having 4 children,  I had to decide if I should give up on the idea or go for a flash emergency substitute.  VERSION Go the easy way.    It´s for Halloween.  So my daughter will use em for a few hours tops.   She will be a Hummingbird.  Referring to the wing patterns... I am screwed because all of the feathers spread diagonally.   We´ll see how I work that out in the end.    

It´s like a scene out of a space station movie where you have to replicate something out of what you have on hand in 3hrs.   I am opting for eliminating completely all the wire bending.   For feather bones I am using balloon sticks.  The alligator clips were expensive  here so I am going to use a bag of alligator clips that are used for  ID tags.  to fasten the secondaries with balloon sticks to the alligator id clips, I will use contact cement  or duct tape and a mini loop made of small tie wraps.   I will use  different tie wraps for all of the wire looping.   Including the bolt.  Instead of the parachute strap I have quite a bit of velcro strapping on hand.  With this I will omit the plastic clips too.         

Instead of cutting out all of the cardboard I created one big master feather out of posterboard and marked it with all of the feather measurements.   For this, I measured my kid lying on the floor and created the whole silhouette right there.  Outlined with a continuous yarn, shaped and scotch taped to the floor.  With the path for each  overlapping feather to be created.   I took measurements off of the yarn feather lengths and marked all on the one paper feather stencil.   I then cut out everything.    For the  reinforcement of  the first feathers of the fan, I have some pretty strong plastic sticks with looped heads.  They are the kind used for pulling curtains open and shut.       Running like a crazy woman here.  We´ll see what my results are. :)     BTW.  I am in South America.

Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Wow, this sounds like a project alright! :o If you're willing to take pictures and share the what you made, that'd be awesome~

Thanks for sharing your story!
KannaKurosaki's avatar
KannaKurosakiStudent Digital Artist
I don't quite understand how the Coverts are placed on when we're done and where they attatch?
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Sorry for taking so long to answer this question! ^^; I kept wanting to make a video showing how I assembled wings, including coverts, but it hasn't happened yet. So I've updated the current tutorial a bit to hopefully better show how they look when attached.

Here's the cropped version:
Covert comment response by Sunnybrook1

It's easier to attach the coverts in groups (example: all of the pink/back coverts) but once attached, if you were to separate one of the primary/secondary feathers from the wing it would look like the ones above.

Does that help?
RuffsPuffsandPunks's avatar
You wouldn't happen to have a template for crow coverts in the same way you had a template for the primaries and secondaries, would you?
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
No I don't, there were so many of them, ugh, but luckily their shape was fairly simple and unvaried (just had about 3 sizes, with some cut down to a bit to smooth the transitions between them) - I may make the 3 staple sizes & post patterns to those, then it's just make a ton of those out of poster board, fit them to your specific wing & cut/adjust as needed.

I don't have said wing anymore, but I bet I could scribble out the rough shape that I used from the photos - would that help?
everythinglover12's avatar
everythinglover12Hobbyist General Artist
i know this may seem like a repetitive question but when you put the fabric on your wings did you glue them on or did something else? Also if you have the time could you make this into a video tutorial? Its just a little easier to understand how you did certain things.(I'm also planing on making some soon)
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
No problem - think of the feathers as a fabric-wire-glue/paint sandwich (aka I used wall paint, but glue works as well, like Elmers glue) - with the fabric as the bread, the wire as the filling, and the paint/glue as the mayo that holds it all together.

And video tutorials someday, I've been learning how to edit videos and footage together... *digs around in her video folder*...hey, I have one of me painting feathers actually. :D I'll see if I can throw something together ~
everythinglover12's avatar
everythinglover12Hobbyist General Artist
Ok thank you so much for making these awesome tutorials, and also good luck on the editing process 
theFrey1's avatar
Quite the engineering problem. Kudos to you for figuring it out.
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Well they aren't perfect, but I like'em - thanks~ :thanks:
Labrecch's avatar
Hey Sunnybrook1, I was just wondering if you use the cardboard cutout only as a pattern see what your wings will look like and for as a pattern for the fabric part or if they are used in the assembly of the wing as well? Do you use the cardboard or the fabric for the actual wings part? Thanks.
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I've only used them for silhouette testing & patterning, BUT I've seen others use the cardboard AS the feather base. :D The added thickness means you'd need a much longer bolt, and they're not as easy to wear, but they're much quicker/cheaper.

I've found that posterboard is a passable substitute, much thinner though not as long-lived as fabric (though, again, much cheaper). :D
ForestSpiritAiia's avatar
ForestSpiritAiiaHobbyist General Artist
I first saw your tutorial about a year ago and found it so inspiring I decided to make plans for my own wings-- but like a typical steampunker I have to be horribly impractical about it and try something different. Hopefully before the next event I attend I'll be sporting my own pair of wings, rather than on my arms worn like a pack, with ratcheting joints and a bamboo skeletal system. ^_~
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Ahhh, that still sounds cool! :la: I can't wait to see, please send me picture links when you have them!
ForestSpiritAiia's avatar
ForestSpiritAiiaHobbyist General Artist
Almost there-- I have less than 2 weeks left before I need to have them wearable but here's some update photos. 

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fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net…

scontent-sea.xx.fbcdn.net/hpho…

scontent-sea.xx.fbcdn.net/hpho…

The stiffness of the leather is keeping the feathers from unfurling like I would prefer them to, but that can be a thing I troubleshoot at a later date (maybe after they're worked a little it won't be an issue anymore) and I definitely need more feathers in the near future but for now the more pressing stuff... 
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Just curious, anything new on the progress of your wings? :D
ForestSpiritAiia's avatar
ForestSpiritAiiaHobbyist General Artist
Oh goodness! It's been ages and I totally forgot to share my adventure! 

So, the redesign of a few things was both good and not so good. First of all, as a steampunk apparatus they weighed a TON but the corset and the padded back plate were good enough to keep me from topping backward or snapping my spine in half. Second, I should have used locking washers or teeny tiny rubber bands to keep all my little nuts and bolts in place--- actually the vibration of my footsteps caused them to unscrew themselves so it was constant maintenance from my helpful engineering assistant. Not too long after the event I ended up having to pack them away for a move and have yet to be able to make the modifications and improvements I want to before I wear them next. I never imagined moving into a place that was only slightly smaller than my old one would cause so many issues. HOWEVER! Here's my favorite photo of the wings during the event.
  12240 10203225988325431 8010283756920296711 N by ForestSpiritAiia   
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Wow, these look great, wish there was more photos/video  especially of how they look closed - and yeah, using some kind of locking washer is a smart idea~
:thumbsup::D
Super steampunk and sturdy, hope they last you a long while and many revamps~
RejectoftheRifts's avatar
RejectoftheRiftsHobbyist Digital Artist
Okay i'm currently using your tutorial to create the wings for a Monet cosplay from One Piece, and no matter how many times i read through this specific part, i just cant see where the posterboard comes into it? I see you mention posterboard at the top, but afterwards it goes to paper and i don't know what to do... should i use paper to do the coverts or should i use posterboard? 
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Lol, it's under step 1 - I use the posterboard to make patterns that I can cut & attach to the fabric feathers for placement tests, then I mark them (so I know how they go back on, remove them & use them to cut out the fabric coverts.

BUT it's up to you! :D If the posterboard coverts look fine on your wings & you're ok w/them use them, just be more careful around water.
RejectoftheRifts's avatar
RejectoftheRiftsHobbyist Digital Artist
aaaaahh gotcha, makes sense given the fact you've only used one piece. 

One more question and I think that'd set me on the right track to completing this, on the harness there's one buckle sewn to clip onto the wing elastic strap, is there another attached to the other side? Because it doesn't seem like there is on any of your pictures but I don't see how it'd work any other way. 
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yes, the harness design should be symmetrical when finished~ d(^-^)b
RejectoftheRifts's avatar
RejectoftheRiftsHobbyist Digital Artist
aaah thank you! i'll add that second buckle, thank god i didnt sew that yet haha. 
anonymous's avatar
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