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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    282

    Default Skeleton/Angel wings/feathers

    So I am already onto next Halloween. -.-

    Because of time constraint I was not able to do a lot of things I planned on doing. One of those projects being an 'Angel of Death'. I already have sketches to look at of different wing styles and pick and choose what I like off of both. Most likely the prop with have monster mud cover it to create a stone-like figure.

    I do have a few questions though. Of course budget is always one of my main concerns, and looking around at Halloween stores, angel wings SUCK. So I am going to break the bank and create my own, feathers and all. Also, I have only worked with plastic skeletons but for this to support the weight of the wings and everything else, I will have to use a better one.

    What skeletons do I have for options? (I am looking for a full-size skeleton)
    What type of feathers do you think I should use for the wings? Any place to get them greatly discounted? (gonna be a lot of feathers)
    Do you think it should be MM or just left as is?

    I am hoping some of the more experienced members will help me with the specs of it since I've never dealt with something of this magnitude and have only corpsed plastic skeletons to give you an idea of what I've worked with. Any ideas are welcome from everyone cause I want this project to be workable, detailed and realistic.

    Here are some of the sketches I am looking at right now to get ideas...
    THE FIRST PICTURE IS WHAT I AM GOING TO ATTEMPT:








    Just so you can get an idea of how many options I have.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Lindside west virginia
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    6,535
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    282

    Default

    I am thinking once I find the correct skeleton, with people who have used different ones, then I will do armature PVC wings for the structure of it. Still looking for opinions and options for materials. I can take different elements of each of them and create something fantastic.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    282

    Default

    I am going to attempt to do the first one, while possibly incorporating elements from the other pictures. I am afraid for the armature though and would hate for it to topple over... Any suggestions on that. I don't think the basic armature from say the MM Reaper will do the trick and I am new to armatures in general.

    Any suggestions to make it stronger/more sturdy to support the weight of the materials that I am going to use to create the armor, the feathers/wing structure (which comes forward and is higher than the head), and the monster mud which is going to put major stress on the whole thing whole thing?!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Hockeytown
    Posts
    468

    Default

    Okay. All of this is heavily opinionated and probably a little teensy bit rude. Don't care, haven't had my morning coffee yet, typing it anyway.


    First off, there's no need to use real feathers. Especially if you intend for this to be a stone statue. You're gonna soak down far too many feathers with monster mud and make it way too heavy.

    Second, if you're building the skeleton from PVC pipe, remember that small diameter PVC is quite flexible, and large diameter PVC doesn't look good. I don't know if you're aiming for bird-like wings or bat-like wings. If its bird-like with feathers, then thicker PVC shouldn't be visible once you cover them. If its bat-like wings, you need a thinner skeleton to look right. I would recommend trying wooden dowel rods glued into PVC pipe fittings and connectors, because dowel rods aren't as bouncy and flexible as small diameter PVC.

    Third, small wings suck. Think about proportions. Birds and bats have very large wings relative to their body size, to get them off the ground. The bigger your wings are compared to the size of your statue, the more realistic and believable the whole project will be. Also remember that bones are rarely ever straight. So the more natural curves, the better. Research some actual wings. Look at bat wings, look at bird wings, look at their proportions. That second picture you posted is "anatomically correct" for how an animal's wings are formed. Doesn't matter if its feathered or not. Get the skeletal frame believable, everything else will be believable.

    If you want feathered wings, I would recommend some chicken wire wrapped around the framework, and chunks of foam glued into place. Then you can carve the foam into feathers. You'll have a lightweight base to paint, instead of a bunch of real feathers soaked in monster mud adding weight. Remember the Great Stuff, it can be used as filler to help get some rigid support. You can spray it all over the chicken wire, let it harden up, then carve it directly to make your feathers.


    Hope this helps. If not, just punch me in the face.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    282

    Default

    I would never punch you in the face

    That is the type of information I need and want! Like I said, I am new to armatures and MM so any information you can give me on any aspect of this project is well worth it for me and always welcome. What you said has helped me so much and I am going to go shopping today to start buying stuff to play around with.

    I definitely was not going to do small wings, as I am going to be doing the first picture, which only has a head visible and the rest is fabric and armor basically and then the wings which are taller than the figured and wrap around almost like its trying to encompass it.

    Again, any and all feedback, suggestions, help is always welcome. I love hearing opinions or facts about projects from people to help me build mine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Chesterfield Twp. MI
    Posts
    549

    Default

    Also think about using wood for any of the body/figure armature that isn't visible it will increase its rigidity without adding a lot of weight,

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    282

    Default

    The thought crossed my mind. I am trying to make this a 'light' project. Of course its still going to be heavy, but the more wood I use, yes it would be sturdier but weigh a good amount more. I just got back from Home Depot, after like... and hour and a half I swear looking and cutting stuff. I have the armature materials and I guess we will see what happens. Any information or suggestions are always welcome though for ideas.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Chesterfield Twp. MI
    Posts
    549

    Default

    Here is my reaper I just made this year even with monster mud it weights only around 50 lbs and stand over 6 ft high.

    here is the frame work:
    Name:  Reaper_Framework.jpg
Views: 1200
Size:  93.9 KB

    here is the finished Reaper:
    Name:  Reaper_Finished.jpg
Views: 1159
Size:  95.7 KB

    These pictures are also in my photo album

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Hockeytown
    Posts
    468

    Default

    Now THAT IS EVIL.


    The thing about a wood frame is weight VS rigidity. You can make a very stable base with your main PVC center post, and making "rocket fins" of plywood cut into triangles to brace the center pipe. Three fins and a bunch of angle brackets into a bottom plywood square will get you stable and rigid. You can screw through the plywood into the PVC pipe, or if you plan ahead, use Great Stuff as an adhesive to fill in the spaces around the pipe between the fins. Once it cures, that stuff is STURDY!

    Also remember that chicken wire can be used for much more than just the body. Do the sleeves, the hood, even the wings. Also a neat trick, is to use pliers and twist the chicken wire for forming and shaping. Just grabbing the middle of the wire and twisting two or three times drastically warps and changes the chicken wire. Practice a bit! Lots of practice helps you understand how that wire can behave and be shaped and tweaked.

 

 
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