Friday, August 20, 2010

Angel Wings

Today we glued the wings together! Or at least 90% done gluing the wings together!

there was TONS of planning involved, and yet only 4 action days! Amazing! (We're 3rd tier black belt lever procrastinators...)

So! Let me tell you about what's been put into these suckers:

We looked and looked for reference pictures for the wings. I gave up and took some of my own. I can share if you ask nicely ;)

I measured out how large they should be as compared to someone our height (~5'3") and decided they should be right at 3 feet from the highest point to the lowest point. I took the reference images into Photoshop and devised a grid, setting the scale to 1" = 1' so I could gauge how big things needed to be in proportion to one another. We set out to draw the wings, both the front and back (they're different!) to scale on some big pieces of newsprint. After I finished drawing the back, I taped the piece of paper to a window and traced the outline of the wing onto another sheet of newsprint, so the outlining shape would be the same for the front and the back.

I numbered each piece with a code on the master sheets, so we could keep better track of what went where. I then taped the pieces to the window again, and individually tracing each feather, making sure to add extra at the top for overlapping, MAKING SURE not to forget to number each piece using the code from the master.

To make the feathers, we ordered some 1/4" thick EVA foam from Foam Order.  One sheet of 1/4" thick eva that measuered 40" x 80" made JUST enough for one pair of wings. It was a TIGHT fit too. We deliberated on where each feather piece went when we went o trace them as we didn't have any room for error. We made sure to number each piece as we went along, or else we'd have been up the creek about fitting everything together.

Since we didn't feel like playing puzzlemasters again, we just taped the second sheet of EVA to the one we traced all those feathers onto. We carefully started to cut the foam with an Exacto blade and a box cutter. I preferred the box cutter, and Ktar preferred the Exacto. Both knives did a kind of lousy job of making the top and the bottom layers have clean cuts. We were just dead tired at this point, and wanted to finish cutting them out so that we could go to bed. (We tend to do most of our work after 9pm... at this point it was probably 3am)

After cutting them all out, we had to clean each edge up with a pair of scissors, which seemed to do the best job. I wanted to use my Dremel tool to round each edge off, but Ktar convinced me that it would be a waste of time (I still think it would have looked even nicer...)

We separated the feathers by code, and into 2 sets. We laid each one out on the master diagrams, and taped them together  as a first fitting.

Meanwhile, we had been working on making the skeleton of the wings.
We used 1/2" PVC pipe and chicken wire for the insides. I measured and cut the main skeleton of the wings (PVC) and then got my boyfriend to heat the point which needed to be angled and bent it for me. I added hexagonal chicken wire to the PVC to give the wings a bit of body and resilience. This way, we can bend them back into shape if they get bent.

I cut the hex net into the approximate size and shape that we needed for the wings. I attached it to the PVC by bending it around it and using some wire to tie it on.

After we cut and cleaned up every feather, and test fit it, we began gluing them together. We used "Dap" brand Weldwood Contact Cement. (It was about $7 for a pint at Wal-Mart, cheaper than amazon...) We glued the "fronts" of the wings together first, as they have WAY more pieces than the "backs".... (I don't know if we should reverse the way we're calling them front and back... either way, doesn't matter.)

After we glued all the fronts together, we let them dry for a couple of hours, then we coated the entire wrong side of each piece with the contact cement. We then placed the skeletons on them, cutting the hex net to get it just right. We brushed a bit of the cement on the hex netting and PVC as well, adding more where we needed it later. We lined up the back pieces feather by feather, so it would look better overall.

At the top edge, to help fill it out more, we added some of that green upholstery foam that we had lying around from a previous project (Ice Climbers Hammers!).
It really added to the look of the wings a lot. It wasn't just empty space there anymore :)

After the glue dries, we're going to give it another trim, to make sure everything fits really well, and then we'll be ready for the painting day!


  1. Hi, Katie!
    My name is Stefani and I am interested in creating a Weeping Angel costume. It will be dual purpose: Hallowe'en and a Doctor Who convention coming up in November. I have been pouring over both your posts and Penwiper's. I'm not a particularly artistic individual, so I was wondering if I could "borrow" those reference pictures you mentioned at the top of this post. I know this is a bit late (!), but congratulations on a fantastic costume!

    1. I'm super sorry I didn't get back to you before now! Obviously Halloween has come and gone... I hope you got everything together, and I'd love to see photos if you did end up completing it!
      You are more than welcome to use any reference I post, I did just find things around the internet myself, with a few screen caps I took :)

  2. Hi! I am also looking at helping my little sister out with her angel costume for this year's Halloween. If it's not too much trouble I would really appreciate it if you would share your reference pictures - I have looked all over and there don't seem to be too many good ones out there ^^; I really appreciate it! Thanks :D My main e-mail address is Thanks again :D

  3. hi really want to make this costume! looks awesome!
    I was just wondering how thick the wings came out when they were finished :)
    Oh and if the dresses got stiff after painting them.

    x Tessa

    1. They're about 3 inches thick at the top, and about 1 inch thick at the tips. The dresses are a bit stiff, but not too uncomfortable

    2. thank you for replying so fast!!
      was wondering if you could send me the references you used :)
      thanks in advance :)

      x Tessa

    3. I've had hard drive problems since I made this, so I lost a lot of references. What I did was watch the episode "Blink" (since that was the only episode with the Angels when I made this costume), and took a lot of screen caps. I also took a lot of screen caps from the episode of Doctor Who Confidential that accompanied "Blink"



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