torsdag 16 februari 2012

step 12: character number 7, making the wings.

The wings of character number 7 are suppose to be distorted and broken, and they are not suppose to be working wings, just to look like they have once been suppose to be wings of a flying creature. To achieve this I have done a wide ranging research on wings and different wing-born species. It is essential that they look realistic, since it is a big part of the design.

Starting with making the structure for the wings, making it as lightweight as possible but still strong and durable. To achieve this I use lightweight wooden rod, 10 mm. as my base. I strengthen it with aluminum armature wire, that lies parallell with the rod inside of a plastic tube. In the joint of the wing I simply attach 4 pieces of the wire to both parts of the wooden rod, inside of the plastic tube, this makes the wing bendable in the joint, which is necessary when adjusting the looks and also necessary while transporting the wing. The wire will also keep the wing together in case of the rod breaking.

In the right undeveloped wing I only use the aluminium wire inside of the tube, to be able to shape it in all directions, I have also twisted the tube to make it uneven and look like a broken bone.

For the right wing I attach the armature on the latex costume with the help of gaffe tape, when it is in desired position I stitch it on by hand.

I then cover the wing with latex skin, applying it by hand with herringbone stitches all around, stretching the skin to desired shape and looks.

It is good to use a curved upholstery needle, which makes it mush easier to sew in difficult angles and it is also very convenient when sewing while the costume is still on the mannequin.

I then cover the armature for the left wing with latex skin on both sides, making sure to stretch it just enough to make it straight. I cover the inside with latex to make the back and front stick to each other. I then attach the armature by sewing by hand around it, this will make the bones show through the skin and it will give it the bat wing- look to it.

To keep the left wing up straight a lot of thinking is needed, I tried many different techniques to keep it up straight and not falling down. To simply attach it to the costume does not work, since the stretch in the fabric will give of the weight of the wing. If you are wearing two wings the best way to do it is to wear a vac-formed back pack under the costume that will keep the weight of the wings, but since this is just one wing it is a bit more complex.

I created a structure of aluminum wire, galvanized wire and wooden rod in the end of the armature. this is then covered with wadding to make it comfortable to the actors back. This is the attached to a backpack made of nylon ribbon, see technical drawing.

I attach the wing and the armature to the costume with latex skin, sewing it on by hand all around and covering the seems with brushing latex, until it is completely blended in with the back.
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