Queen of Blades Tutorial Step Eight and a Half: finishing the wings

So last week, Mario told you all how he put together the skeleton structure of the wings. We were going to add how we finished the wings but we felt like the post was getting a bit long, so here you go!

Once we had the skeleton of the wings taken care of, we took the wing stand that Mario built using some scrap wood and the base that the body sculpture was on outside so that we could have more space to work on the foam.

I cut strips of cardstock and hot glued them around the wings to act as a guide for the expanding foam, and also to help the foam stick to the wings. It took ten cans of expanding foam, but we got it all covered! We wanted the wings to sit flush against my back so it looked like the were coming out of my back, so we also covered the bottom where the corset was with foam, first covering all around the corset and the metal that was going to be covered with foam so that it was kind of a sock that went over top of the metal that was sticking out of my back, if that makes sense.

We ran out of foam a few times and had to run back to the store to finish covering the wings… we also ended up bringing them inside so they could fully cure inside and not worry about the wind or some really mean person coming and knocking them over.

Once it was completely covered, I took a knife and started shaping the foam. it helps to kind of draw the general shape you’re going for on the foam. I feel like we should have made the wings a little more thin, but it was really as thin as we could make it, since the most thin parts of the wings were already about as thin as the rods themselves.

Once we had it fully carved, we sanded it down so it was more smooth, and essentially painted the wings with a mixture of modelling paste and paint. We did go back over it all with more paint to make it all even, but mixing the paint in with the paste helped give it a darker background to paint over. When we painted over it again, we did not use straight paint, but instead a wash of paint plus water, into a much thinner consistency that still gave off color, but wasn’t so opaque.

I used a chip brush for the main coat of brown, then after each side was dry and covered, went in with a sponge and some watered down black to darken the joints. After that, we mixed some of a kind of mustard brown color to lighten the middle parts of the ‘bone’ in the wing.

And there you are! Completed wings, generally light weight, only 8lbs each.

11 thoughts on “Queen of Blades Tutorial Step Eight and a Half: finishing the wings

  1. i ahve a really really important question im using this technique to achieve some really big wings i was wondering if expansive foam break easily??? i ahve never used before but have you seen any problems with that? cuase i was thinking abou to make the same exact process you used (before the painting part) and then coeated all with a pair of fiberglass what do you think??? anyway if u can reply u will truly TRULY HELP ME !!!! PLEASE!!! AND BTW YOU ARE MORE THAN AWESOME!!!!

    • Expanding foam only breaks easily if you don’t have a strong core, like a wooden or fiberglass rod through it. If it’s the foam by itself, for a structure that big, it could break apart. Foam is still fragile though and can dent if it is hit hard enough. Coating it with fiberglass will make the wings significantly heavier, my wings were pretty durable and we didn’t notice any marks or breaks in the surface.

  2. I see, well thank you for replying so fast!!! im still new with this materials so thats why i start researching and found your work that let me say is really imrpessive!! congratulations!!! im looking forward to start soon the proyect i told you about hope im not botehriong you with some more questions in the future you’ll see im making this wings let me know what you think could work to make it work with them pls!!! any advice would be really helpfull for me!!!

    this are the wings:

    • Oh my goodness, those are some wings. They are going to be incredibly heavy, I think, if you go with straight expanding foam, and the first thing I thought was maybe to use fabric instead- or even wonderflex or worbla with a rod in the middle supporting it. That’s really the only suggestion I can think of.

  3. hi, thanks for the tutorial, it really save my day a lot!!!!!I have a question, when you wear the corset, do you cover the corset up with prosthetic so that it look like the wings are growing out from your back, or do you just leave the corset visible?the thing is, I’ve been planning this character where her back is fully opened and i’m unable to attach any visible wing strap cause it’ll ruin the character…. I planned to cover the strap with a front and back prosthetic, but will it limit the movement, like when you move the whole prosthetic will fall or anything? Your answer will be much appreciated!!!!

    • Hi there! I had a full body foam latex suit that went over the corset, so the corset was completely covered and it looked like the wings were coming out of the back. I’m not sure about attaching prosthetics over a corset or how well it would hold up, since ours weren’t attached to anything, just the suit!

      • I see…..Thanks a lot!!!!!! i’ll try to see what happen^^, Another question, do you guys cast the cowl using polyurethane as well? or do you guys use foam latex???foam latex is not anywhere available near my place, i was hoping to cast my cowl using polyurethane…

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