Edit: Due to the populatiy of these tutorials (who would have guessed?) I've changed the original format of them to a nice, shinier model~! Hope you enjoy the new interface!
It's been a long time coming, I know. Please don't kill me for being slack!
I promised my good friend this tutorial when I first met her earlier on in the year at the AVCon prelim heats for the 2010 Madman Cosplay Competition. I was dressed as Belldandy from 'Ah! My Goddess' (which you can see here: [link]) and I had on a massive-huge pair of wings that effectively knocked people out. I'm sorry!!
Anyway, I thought I'd start making a few cosplay tutorials here and there, just to spread what tips and tricks I've collected in my... *calculates* ... seven or so years of cosplaying.
Seven years... what am I doing with myself?!
Anyway. Please look forward to more tutorials in the future! ^_^ If you have any questions, just ask me in the comments section, and I will endeavor to update the FAQ in my Artist's Comments as I go.
I found them online. Depending on where you live, you'll be able to get better prices if you take a bit of time to hunt around. A good starting place would be www.rainbowfeathers.com - they're an American site, and sell feathers by the pound in an assortment of styles, shapes, breeds and colors.
How many feathers did you use in your wings?
Because they were quite large, I ended up ordering the feathers by number, rather than weight. I ordered 400 feathers in total, 200 rights and 200 lefts. In addition, I also bought 2 packets of fluffy turkey rounds from my local craft store.
Did you buy your wings online?
I should think that seeing photos of my wings in progress from start to finish should be more than enough to answer that.
Can you make me a pair of wings?
Unfortunately, no. I'm not planning to take costume or prop commissions for a long time yet.
Can you color feathers?
I haven't tried it yet, but I have heard it can be done. Most places where you order feathers from should be able to supply them in the color you want, though. However, if it's a specific color you need, I've heard you can use Dylon Fabric Dye to hand-dye the feathers yourself. I'm not sure if you can use Copic markers to color them, but my guess is that the color might actually run. That's just a theory though...
How can I attach wings to a trenchcoat?
I'd recommend making these wings with a kind of backpack harness (illustrated in the tutorial quickly) and cutting holes in the back of the trenchcoat to feed the harness through. If you cut small slits in the coat at the back, only big enough for the straps of the harness to go through, it shouldn't be noticeable at all. So sit the main body of the metal against your back, and only poke through the two long bits for the wings.
How long did it take you to make these?
I made these in a bit of a rush, so it took me about two weeks.
What do you recommend I use for making a study base that I can attach around my torso? I'm working on making wings for Dark Pit (from Kid Icarus) but I don't want to use shoulder straps and i don't own a corset.
Looking at Dark Pit's design, I can see why you wouldn't want to use shoulder straps, since the tunic's top part is more halter-style.
I would probably still use shoulder straps in the backpack style (as illustrated in the tutorial) because you'd need the support of the straps to keep the wings up. However, so you don't see the straps under the shirt, perhaps make the front end of the straps detachable (either tie them or use a clip) and criss-cross them over your torso so the straps are closer to your neckline and don't show. That way you'd still get the strength and support needed for the wings.
The costume I'll be doing is a bare back as well but the costume doesn't have enough support like a corset would for the u shaped holster. I know you said to make a base that would wrap around the torso and I was just wondering what kind of materials you would think to use for proper support?
Hmmm, that is a bit of a pickle. For the U bend of the wings, what I'd probably do is make the U a little bit longer (to offer more support) and then attach strong straps (probably flat like backpack straps) along the sides of the U to strap it to your back around your torso. Then, I'd make a tube of strong fabric (maybe cotton) that you can make quite fitted on yourself to put over that to hold it right in place. If the costume was a little bit heavier (i.e. not very fitted and light) I'd also put a zipper into the tube to make it easy to get in and out of.
I hope this helps. This is what I'd do in that situation, I don't know if you could apply that to your costume or not.
The wings ended up being a little on the heavy side, just because they were so big and I didn't have them secured on me as well as they could have been. But making them a tad smaller and with proper support would decrease the weight and the redistribute the balance of weight on your shoulders and back better.
I wore my wings for a whole day at a convention and I was fine with them. The only downside is that they were so big they became cumbersome, and it was difficult maneuvering in them.
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More