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I'm wondering how one would go about making large bat wings on a 5' skelly? I'd like them to appear as bones with some rotting skin in a semi-closed position. My first thought was using .5" pvc pipe or long branches but am not convinced these will work. I was considering using a heat gun to mold the pvc into shape but am concerned about toxic fumes as I am not fond of dying. Skinning the wings is the easy part as I'd use cheese cloth and liquid latex. Better ideas are very much appreciated!
 

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I would do it with PVC, shaped with a heat gun, I would probably where my respirator while I'm doing it, but that's just me.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would do it with PVC, shaped with a heat gun, I would probably where my respirator while I'm doing it, but that's just me.
I've never actually tried shaping pvc with a heat gun... how easy is it, or any tips?
 

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I've only done it once and it wasn't as successful as I would have liked. I would recommend using a 'form' of some sort so you can get consistent bends for both sides, heat it slowly, and leave it in the form until it fully cools down. This is me literally making stuff up, so if somebody pops in and points out that I'm an idiot and don't know what I'm talking about, they are probably right.
 

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Could you buy a second skelly and harvest the long bones to make the wings? I think HD skellys are around $30 which gives you a skull, two hands and feet (for other props) and some really good long bones to build wings with. The Pose and Play type might even let you lock the joints in good places.

I'm just spitballing, but that is the route I would take (if I am wrong, you have an extra skeleton to use somewhere).
 

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How about some tubing with heavy gauge wire, like clothes hanger wire or even heavier, running through it? You could get different diameter tubing so you can go from wider near the body to narrower as you go towards the tips of the wings. Then you could bend and shape the wings however you wanted. You could even start out with 1/2" pvc pipe with a long piece of wire going through it and then build a jig of some sort using a piece of wood and some nails or screws to help form the starting shape of the wings. Look at how bat wings are shaped to figure how to shape your jig. Then heat your PVC pipe with a heat gun and use the jig to bend the pipe the way you want it. The wire will bend with the pipe as well. Then you could start adding the tubing onto the wire sticking out of the end of PVC pipe going from bigger to smaller in segments. You can glue the tubing ends to each other. To make the bat wing fingers just use more wire.
 

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Last Christmas I made angels using this. It's flexible, paintable, and held it's shape.


It held up really well. I used the glue they recommended and also hot glue. Here is the link for the build

 

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There are a lot of skellies ready-made that should work for your needs.

For wings, hack a large rain or commuter umbrella. The metal is strong and already hinged/articulated in multiple places. You can easily zip tie plastic coated clothesline wire to extend the wing shape and spray paint, wrap with tape, etc.

An umbrella already comes with nylon tent-like fabric that you might be able to reuse.

Otherwise, try building the wings with twisted strands of the clothesline wire. It holds its shape really well and is strong- it's meant to take the weight of wet clothes swaying in the breeze. Mini zipties will be your friend. And you can coil the wire into eye-bolt like knots and secure to objects with a washer and screw.

You can make the wing membrane with nylon stockings, clear trashbags, etc.
 
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