I do hope this post finds you well and in good health. The following is a look behind the scenes at the set of white wings I made and displayed at the SWPP convention. I do hope you find it interesting and please don’t hesitate to ask any questions. I’ll add a list of supplies at the end with links 🙂
I buy my feathers in a trim as I’ve found this one of the best and most cost effective way. Generally I use goose feather trim. I use a rotary cutter to take them off the trim. The pipe you see is my vacuum that I switch on while cutting as the fluff from the feathers gets everywhere and it’s not fun to have a ‘feather fur ball’ in the back of your throat 😀
Using a standard gold acrylic paint, I tipped all my feathers. You can buy pre-tipped feathers but they are expensive and rightly so as this is a very time consuming thing to do.
I then cut out my cotton fabric into the lengths I knew I’d need and coated one side with glue. Placing the wire (9 gauge for the smaller feathers and 12 for the larger) down the centre, I carefully place the second piece of fabric down and smooth out wrinkles and air bubbles. I then hang each piece up to dry.
Once dry I iron them smooth. I then coated each side with a clear coat of flexi paint and again hang them up to dry. Using the same paint, this time mixed with a colour shifting mica powder I add another thinner coat to each side.
I had my back plate laser cut and pre drilled. Predrilling is not the cheap option but it does save a large amount of time!
Once the wing struts are mounted I then mounted the actuator and attach the cable so each wing can open. I’ve also mounted a remote control that allows me to just press a button to open and close the wings.
Once the fabric is dry, I then cut out all the feathers and lay them out on the struts. I then bend the wire into a loop at the marked point and using a M6 bolt attach the feathers to the struts.
I’ve laid the cover over the mounted feathers to see if it covers the struts well, and I then finish sewing the feathers on to the covers starting at the bottom and working up one row at a time. I use a felt fabric here as it’s pretty strong . Note that when sewing feathers use a leather needle and go slow as the spines of the feathers can break the needle if you go too fast.
These are the wings fully open. 🙂
Video of the wings in action 🙂
To see a black set of wings click here and to order a set of your very own contact me on the form below 🙂 I currently make them in 2.5m and 3.5m wing spans. And pretty much any colour you can think of 😀
Colour shifting mica powder
Acrylic paint for tipping the feathers
Aluminium plate for the back brace
Aluminium square tubing for the struts
M6 bolts of various lengths
9 and 12 gauge wire for the spines of the fabric feathers
Felt fabric for the wing covers
Actuator, remote control and battery for motion
Steel cable to attach the actuator to the wings
Any questions, don’t hesitate to ask 🙂
Follow me on Instagram for regular updates and progress photos of my projects.