Jan 26, 2013

How I made my Mogami Kyoko Prisoner Velvet Wings

I am SO LATE in doing this entry! But anyway I’m finally here to share how I did the black wings for my Mogami Kyoko cosplay of Fuwa Sho’s Prisoner PV.

Click here to view the photoshoot photos.

Firstly, it is a pair of movable Velvet wings. What do I mean by ' velvet wings' ? Basically, most of the feathers used on this pair of wings is created entirely out of Velvet. Yes that's a fabric, a cloth, not feathery at all. But I bet you wouldn't have realised / noticed it if I didn't tell you xD

(The feathers kinda came out from all the jostling and it shows in this picture ;_; )

Each single velvet feather is made individually by hand. So while it is A LOT cheaper than feathers, it is also A LOT more tedious! I eventually chose velvet over feathers not because of the cost but the advantage in storing and transporting of the prop.

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This is how the wings look laid flat on the floor and without the harness. Some feather boas are used on the top and middle part to help make everything look more realistic.

I wasn't a fan of what they describe as ' tombstone' wings. Basically cardboard wings that are flat and shaped like a tombstone. So after some anatomy research on winged animals and how other cosplayers do their wings, i came up with this simple structure. Unfortunately though, since it was my first attempt at making wings, I have to say it didn’t turn out as well as I hoped =(

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This is the harness that I wear on like a haversack. It is made of compressed wood board, pvc pipe, cable ties and hot glue, so professional I know =x And then I made a fabric tube in matching colour (of my dress) and run the fabric tube through the harness. In the 2nd photo you see me half way through spraying it black on strategic parts just in case any part of it gets seen.

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The internal skeleton.

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Material used for the skeleton  was this plastic rubbery tube thingy that people use with sliding glass doors. I'm sorry I don't know it's technical/official name but maybe your local DIY stores can help. I think it cost me $8 /1.5m and it was chosen for it's flexible yet sturdy nature because I think real wings should flap ahha. It is also lightweight.

The plastic can be pretty hard to bend with hands alone, so at areas that I really need it to bend at a specific angle, I melt the plastic a little with fire then sculpt it with my hands.

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And because I wanted some parts of the plastic tube to be attached together like paper held together by paper ring, I use a heated nail to scorch a hole through it.

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Hehehe, hot glued everything Open-mouthed smile The 5 cable ties that are hot glued onto the cork board is to create loops for my fabric tubes (the thing that allows me to carry the wings like a bag and it goes around my abdominal ).

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Cable ties wrapped around strategic parts of the skeleton to hold the string inside it in place. Yes, I love cables ties and I’m such a kitchen cosplayer >/////<

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Because my main concern is on the storage and transporting of the wings, I made almost every single part of it detachable. In this pic you see the plastic tubes (the translucent one) inserted through the PVC and you might notice how it isn’t actually put together.

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Here, a black cable tie has been tied to hold both the tubes together. The shorter tube works as a support for the inverted ‘L’ shape and without the back cable tie, the whole structure would fail.

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This meant I can cut the cable tie and roll everything into a convenient bundle then set it up again when I need to cosplay/shoot.

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This is how each wing skeleton looked like.  I recommend extending part 'A' to be longer and higher so as to create a more majestic looking pair of wings. My recommended skeleton is outlined in green.  My current one just looks a tad weak because it's not high enough=.=|||

To facilitate snaking in crowds, I made my wings 'swing-able' so I have the option of closing and opening it when I want to. As you can tell, the plastic tubings are inserted through the PVC tubes freely, this is what makes it 'swing-able'. But having swing-able wings also had it's fair share of trouble because the wings wouldn't stay still for pictures =.=;; Oh wells...

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Here’s a miniature trial version of the wings that I made to test the physics before making them in full scale. Here you can sort of see how I attached a string to strategic points of the wings and then made it go through the straw. When I pull the string through the straw, I can open the wings. So if there’s one advise I can give to any new cosplayers, that is to test and trial on inexpensive materials first before moving onto the real thing!

Check out the video above. I'm sure it would have been much better if i used pulleys or some more advanced hardware but I don't have those DIY knowledge ^^; And that pretty much sums the skeleton up.

On to the wings! The base of the wing is basically a big piece of velvet that acts as a pillow case over the skeleton.

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First I placed the skeleton over a big piece of Mahjong paper and drew what I visualise to be the right size and pattern of a wing. After I’m satisfied with what I see, I cut the paper out and use it as a template.

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Place the paper template onto the velvet and cut 2 sides for each wing. I then stapled around the edge and kind of made it into a pillow case for the skeleton. Of course, I cut 4 pieces out and made 2 sides of the wing pillows. I’m sorry if the photos don’t explain as much, I was in SUCH a rush when I made it, I didn’t have the luxury of time to snap progress photos.

Now to the feathers!

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To make the feather, first draw and cut out the rough shape of a feather on velvet. Then use a permanent silver marker to draw strokes that mimics real feathers on it.

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Here are some photos of the ‘feathers’ before they were drawn and burned.

As not all the feathers on a wing has the same size, it is essential to take note of roughly how many 'small' and 'big' feathers you will need. The actual amount of feathers needed ultimately depends on the size of your wing.

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In the above photo I laid my pre-burned feathers onto the paper template to better understand how many feathers I need.
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Later on I found out that it was easier to just draft with a slope like this and make feathers that goes from small to big progressively.

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Then I just burned the edges with a simple candle. Be careful while you are working with fire and becareful not to inhale too much of the toxic gas. I had to burn so much of it at one go that I even felt physically dizzy and my mom was visibly upset with me for making the whole house smell like plastic. But then my mom was nice enough to not comment too much and allow me to continue since she witnessed how much effort I poured into it.

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Some random photos to show off how real I thought they turned out *proud* XD.

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Now lay them on top of your ‘pillow case’ and glue it down with your glue of choice. I think I used UHU glue and hot glue.

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After you are done, glue feather boa to the top edge and the side close to your back.

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This is how it looks like from the back, not too nice.

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So I cut more feathers and stuck them to the bottom area.

I forgot to take any pictures of the harness (the wooden board thingy) but I also covered it with black velvet and feather boas to make the wing look seamless.

I’m sorry if my descriptions were bad for this and I probably left out a lot of details but I hope it gives you an idea of how such wings are done. Do remember to leave me a comment and tell me what you think! This entry took my so long to put together xD

8 comments:

A-chan said...

Very handy! thanks very much for sharing :D!

reiko said...

True enough I was fooled into believing those fabric feathers were actual ones! Nice work there =D

Very interesting read on how to make portable wings from scratch. I doubt I will be making one anytime soon, but I will be sure to consult you and this entry again if I ever do need to!

Anonymous said...

That's amazing! You're such a dedicated fan, I can't believe the amount of work that must have gone into this!

July E. Gzn said...

OMG!!

Kyuuketsuki said...

I could have sworn they were real feathers!

Sese said...

NOW I KNOW

I was so fascinated by it when I saw it during AFA 2011. Its just so frikking awesum I tell you.

AND YOU DRAW THOSE LINES ONE EACH FEATHER ONE BY ONE???

Talk about patience!!! Hahahaha Awesome Kaika dear

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thank you so much! This really helped! ^^

Gina said...

Wow! This is amazing. It's so beautiful.

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