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Pivoting Pinions V.1
By swandog   |   Watch
382 62 21K (4 Today)
Published: November 8, 2007
© 2007 - 2019 swandog
(Sorry to keep spamming y'all with my wing WIPs, but just in case my ideas might help someone else, I'm posting them here.)

I think I got this figured out now...I'm trying, at least! =P This diagram shows the internal armature of the fursuit wings (in this case, the undersides of the wings), which operate via a string-pulley mechanism (the string being elastic, in this case), something along the lines of these wings:

[link]
[link]
[link]
[link]

Am aiming for a look like this, but without using real feathers...Instead, the feathers will be made of either fake fur or "fun foam" covered in thin velvet or fuzzy "flocking", with lightweight, flexible kite rods as barbs, and the primaries will pivot on the ends of these barbs as they fan out, similar to this simplified diagram and little demo prop, as well as this collage.

Other similar designs:

[link]
[link]
[link]
[link]
[link]

And here's how I'm hoping the "arm" of the wing will look, only much bigger, of course (and only the wrist joint will move):

[link]
[link]

More technical info on the anatomy of wing movement (both real and mechanical):

[link]
[link]
[link]
[link]
[link]

Anyways, I will probably have to tweak the design further as I actually start making these, and will continue to give updates here, so stay tuned if you're interested! :)

EDIT: ~lotusii was interested in making these for me, so I color-coded everything in the image to make it a little more understandable:

Yellow = Fake fur "feathers", stretch fabric and foam padding
Green = Plastic or wooden armature and wing base
Light blue = Wing bolts/screws, wire rods, tubing, pull-tab and hook for string, and other bits of hardware used on the armature
Orange-red = Non-pivoting barbs (aka feather shafts)
Blue-violet = Pivoting barbs (aka feather shafts)
Lavender-pink = String pulley for armature and knotted fishing line for feathers

(Here is a video of the mock-up she made, based on my design: [link] ) :)
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Comments (56)
Heart-und-Seoul's avatar
Heart-und-Seoul|Hobbyist General Artist
ooh, that's pretty neat
Reply  ·  
SeaGhost144's avatar
SeaGhost144|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Do you think I could use white poster paper? I would make a static wing mounted to my dress first. I'm going to be an angel type character, so I want nice wings, but at a low price. I've also heard I could use felt, but it would be hard to make feathers big enough with the sheets they sell at Walmart. What do you think?
Reply  ·  
swandog's avatar
swandog|Professional Traditional Artist
I guess you could, but they would need something as backing to make them stiffer, since poster paper is still a bit too flimsy, and also, once it gets creased, bent, or damp, it will have to be replaced. Your best bet, if you can find it, is thin sheets of craft foam, or styrene:

windofthestars.com/blog/tutori…
entropyhouse.com/penwiper/cost…
www.amethyst-angel.com/armortu…

And use something stiff for the feather barbs, like long plastic straws or those bamboo skewers used for grilling meat (you can just paint them white). Anyway, be sure to look at all the links I've posted in the image desc and also in my replies to others here, as they will help you! :)
Reply  ·  
Viviane-neechan's avatar
Viviane-neechan|Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so, SO much for posting this--I've been looking for a feasible way to go about articulated wings for months. x_x I'll have to make a separate post to gush about your incredible gallery, but for now, I just wanted to thank you.
Reply  ·  
swandog's avatar
swandog|Professional Traditional Artist
You're welcome! :D But this design is rather old and outdated. You should check into how Bushitaka and Sunnybrook1 make their wings (depending on if you want them on your back or on your arms). And also these wing-makers: 

Reply  ·  
Viviane-neechan's avatar
Viviane-neechan|Hobbyist General Artist
Sweet, thank you so much!! I'll look into all of them. ^.^
Reply  ·  
swandog's avatar
swandog|Professional Traditional Artist
Also, check out the wings in this one! :D www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkzxvT…
Reply  ·  
Kwintikal's avatar
Kwintikal|Professional Artisan Crafter
With these wings, would it be possible to mount them on your back, and run the cord down to in the hand paws, by any chance?
Reply  ·  
swandog's avatar
swandog|Professional Traditional Artist
You could, but I think having the cords running straight down your sides (under clothing/fur) would be best, because that offers the least friction and resistance for the cords (less chance of them snagging on anything or abrading your arms).
Reply  ·  
Kwintikal's avatar
Kwintikal|Professional Artisan Crafter
That's a good point.
Reply  ·  
THEGREATTITANICCHICK's avatar
This is great! thanks for putting this up :D. i did have a couple of questions though, did you say to use thin elastic for the string to make the wings move or would yarn be okay? and two, i plan to try to make these move on their own without me pulling on them, is there a way i can go about attaching them to my arms (prefrably under my griffin fur suit since she wears a dress) so they can move on their own with out me having to pull on them?
Reply  ·  
swandog's avatar
swandog|Professional Traditional Artist
Yarn would fray and break, I'm afraid. The best thing to use would be those cords that pull up window blinds/shades, if you can just get the cord itself. That stuff is thin and lightweight, but virtually unfray/unbreakable. And if you want wings that just attach to your arms, look at =Sunnybrook1's gallery; otherwise, check out ~Bushitaka. :)
Reply  ·  
THEGREATTITANICCHICK's avatar
Ah okay. well the wings i want to make will be attached to my back, but i mean i was wondering where you were supposed to put the chords so they flap, do they hang forward until you pull them or do you put them on some sort or arm harnass. (sorry i just couldn't quite tell with the diagram just where the chords were supposed to go) :D like i'm talking about the part of the chord that you are supposed to pull to make the wing flap.

and do you have to use cardboard or can you use some sort of other type of lighter matarial, like i found a knitting pattern for wings i could possibly convert into flapping wings but i was wondering if that would work with your type of chord pully system. [link] <--that's the pattern for knitted wings.
Reply  ·  
swandog's avatar
swandog|Professional Traditional Artist
Ah, I forgot you'd already commented here (when I was replying to you just now), lol...The cords can be something like fishing wire, which is virtually invisible, but your wings must be very light-weight for that. The "angel wings" here were done in such a way: [link] and [link] (she pulls the cords, but they are hard to see). :)
Reply  ·  
TheKellox's avatar
WHOA, that´s very impressive! i´m getting so much ideas now! :lol:
Reply  ·  
swandog's avatar
swandog|Professional Traditional Artist
Glad to help! :)
Reply  ·  
Ariade's avatar
Ariade|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is very Helpfull for me^^
Reply  ·  
swandog's avatar
swandog|Professional Traditional Artist
You're welcome! Just keep in mind that this is a "beta" design, and still needs to be tweaked a lot before these wings will be fully functional. If you make them, make a "mock-up" pair first, to iron out any flaws in the design before making the final pair, as =benzene66 has.
Reply  ·  
FakeWings18's avatar
FakeWings18|Hobbyist Digital Artist
I wanna make some D=
Reply  ·  
swandog's avatar
swandog|Professional Traditional Artist
Feel free; that's what I posted them for! :) Check out =benzene66's gallery to see the ones he made based on this pattern. :)
Reply  ·  
FakeWings18's avatar
FakeWings18|Hobbyist Digital Artist
oh! okay awsome! C=
Reply  ·  
OrigamiGryphon's avatar
Wow, these are ingenius! I was wondering if I could use this as a model for my gryphon costume's wings? You'd get full credits for the design, of course. <3
Reply  ·  
swandog's avatar
swandog|Professional Traditional Artist
Of course! That's what I posted them for! :)
Reply  ·  
OrigamiGryphon's avatar
Awesomeness! ^^

How are yours coming along, by the way? Are we going to see the complete Swandog costume soon? ^^ Yours is one of the ones I've been dying to see!
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anonymous's avatar
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