This is the method to make these props as durable as possible from lightweight materials, so it's not the cheapest way. All in all i'd say you need about 100 euros (160 dollars) all together, but then again in my country everything is overpriced... ( calculated everything paints and glues included)
This is also a version without the lights. If you want to add them the easiest way is to go with battery operated LED -bicycle lights. The ones I used are sold out and I could not find them anywhere else, hence I'm making this tutorial with the frame for the lights but i'm actually leaving the lights themselves out, sorry :(
Supplies for the wings:
- 2 EVA foam sheets, at least 40" in length per sheet
- Thick cardboard, upholstery cardboard is the best choice
- 1 Large sheet of worbla (also needed for the chainsaws)
- 2 A4- size blue plastic pouches (or any see through blue plastic)
- 2 pendant cords (you only need the screw part)
- Hot glue
- A sharp crafting knife
- A thick cardboard tube
- The same fabric as used for the white shirt (with the purple dress I used shiny faux leather , this way it blended with the rest of the wings).
- Wide black velcro strap (only if you add the lights)
- Black and white acrylic paint
- Small foam paint roller
- small paintbrushes
- masking tape for rough surfaces
1. Start with the cardboard base for the upper parts and take your own height into count. I'm just over 5ft tall and the length of the cardboard base was about 80cm (31"). The wings get narrower towards the tip in which case the bit that comes against your back should be 8cm (3") and the tip 2,5cm (1").
Cut thin strips of cardboard the same length as the base, and glue them on upright. The the tips are slightly angled upwards so remember to cut separate strips for this and glue the strips together from where the angle is. This is the base that also determines the angle of the wings.
2. Cut a piece of the cardboard tube about half the length of the base + 2cm (0,8"). You'll need to cut a steep angle to the cardboard tube as shown in the picture below. Glue it on so that the 2cm's is sticking out from the wider part of the base. Like so:
3. Make the case for the lights, If you're actually adding the lights on you're going to need to use velcro strap to attach them. Other wise you can just glue the case on and even leave the top bit of the case itself off. The size of the case depends on the size of the base with the cardboard tube in it. You can easily use the actual base to help make the case. Remember though, the bit of the base that comes against your back and the the actual case should have a distance of 10cm(4"") . Here's another awsum paint picture of the case parts:
And here's what it should somewhat look like when you put the pieces together
4. Cover the base with soft foam. I highly recommend making a paper pattern as accurate as possible and fitting that on the base and seeing what it looks like because the last thing you wanna do is to end up with a pile of EVA foam that can't be used anymore. You want to leave a bit of excess foam to the sides, 3cm (1") is good, just in case. You need to make two of these and they need to be "mirrored" so you have one for the left base and the right base. I can't offer any measurements for the whole piece but the picture below shows quite well what shape the cover needs to be.
After you've cut the cover pieces, its time to glue the cover and base together. Easiest way to do this is to have the cover piece flat and applying the glue on the sides of the base.Start gluing from the base of the wing and work your way up.Remember that since the cardboard ase is angled the EVA foam cover needs to be angled as well.
The EVA-foam bits covering the case for the lights has a piece of cardboard glued between them. (In the picture below that bit is still of foam, but was changed later)
5. Next, the lower wings. Once again, make paper patterns (as accurate as possible) before actually cutting any actual materials. You'll need to use cardboard for the base. One thing I would have done differently, is instead of covering the cardboard base with worbla as well (like in the picture below), leave it without worbla and just sand it and gesso the sh*t out of it and sand it again. That way you can make the bottom wings a bit more lighter. The second layer is good to make with worbla though because you can easily mold the separate pieces together unlike with EVA- foam or cardboard.
The "shades" in front of the blue plastic were replaced with cardboard after realizing that the EVA foam was too floppy for this.
This is where you need the pendants if you're making the wings with lights. The huge hole next to it is to turn the light on and off which is attached to the pendant cord with velcro. All the black stuff you see in the picture is hot glue (I had to make the hole bigger in order to get the light out if the batteries run out)....
If you're not using the pendant cord and lights you can simply just make the part with the lights in it and the shaft (the bit attached to the backplate) as one part.
The flaps are made of cardboard and covered with worbla. Just cut a hole to the bottom and top of the wings and glue the flaps on.
6. The backplate is made of cardboard and lots and lots of hotglue. Simply see where you want the pieces to be and cut out holes for each part. Then cut 4 identical pieces and glue 2 of them together. You'll also need one piece with no holes in it. At this point you'll want to make the straps to keep the wings on your back. Use something non stretchy and cover it with the same fabric you made the white shirt out of (or if you're making the purple/pink dress then use those fabrics instead). I had some leftover leather from Alisa's shoes so I used that.
In order to see where and how long the straps need to be, you can tape some scrap fabric straps on the base and using those determine how long and where the straps need to be. They need to be quite tight but loose enough so you can get them on and off with no additional help if necessary (though I had to crunch down and lay the wings on a chair or something before I could take them off or put them on by myself). Make the straps long enough to glue them inside the cardboard tube of the upper wings and the shaft of the lower wings. After you've done this, cut a small piece off each corner of the two cardboard pieces you have left for the backplate and glue them on. so that the straps are between the 4 plates. (LOTS OF GLUE!)
Glue the wing parts on the backplate and glue the straps inside the cardboard tubes and the shafts. Then glue the piece with no holes to cover everything. The last piece you glue will also make the whole thing more comfortable to wear since the back is smooth.
Cover the plate with the same fabric as used for the shirt.
7. Paint the patterns. The picture below shows the patterns in black. Cover the backplate with plastic or paper and make sure there isn't any of the fabric showing. Use the paint roller to paint everything white first. Depending on the original color of the base you may have to apply at least 2 layers.
For painting the patterns,sketch them first very lightly with a pencil. When you're happy with the sketched patterns put the masking tape in place. Paint first with white, then with black. The white paint seals any cracks or bumps that may let the paint go under the tape. Don't remove the masking tape before you've painted with black paint. After the patterns are done, spray the surface with lacquer spray.
There you go! A pair of awesome wings to turn some heads at a convention! :D
|(C) Emilia Lahtinen|
Please note that I did not plan to make a tutorial of these. Therefore the pictures might be somewhat weird or of crap quality. All different stages in this tutorial are in the same order as I made these wings in, so some of the steps might be better done in a different order (Like painting the upper wings before attaching them on the backplate)
I do hope that anyone who's making these wings can get something out of this. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. I'll be more than happy to help :)