So this past Anime Expo, I was constantly asked how I made/rigged up my wings for my Seraphim cosplay. I thought I’d write up how I went about making it for cosplayers who’s characters have multiple sets of wings, such as Angewomon, Lilith from trinity blood, and the like.
(photo source x)
These are the supplies you’ll need (*will vary; this is what I used for 6 wings):
- *x6 3/4″ PVC pipe
- 12″x12″ 6mm sintra board
- 1 flag pole bracket
- *1 roll of packing foam (mine was 12″x50′)
- thin/cheap fabric or whatever you want to use as a skeleton
- super glue/epoxy
- hot glue gun and loads of glue sticks
- heavy duty fishing line
- 6″ seperating zipper
- canvas/duct fabric
- heat gun
- dremel tool with a drill bit, rotary saw attachment, and sanding bit
- exacto knife/box cutter
- self healing cutting mat/cutting board
- fray check
- zipties (I used 10 of the 12″)
- reference pictures!
***I would like to say ahead of time that these are literally my first set of big wings and that they were made with loads of mistakes. I hope you will take this rough design and improve on it! ***
The very first thing I did was cut out hundreds of feathers. I made 4 templates of varying sizes, and cut the entire roll of foam into feathers. It took a lot of time, but I think the result was totally worth it.
^ I had an entire packing box full by the time I was done, this was tray one.
I forgot to take photos of heat forming my PVC to shape, but it’s pretty straight forward. I matched up the ends of the pipe that would fit into my flag pole bracket, and drilled 2 sets of holed in each pipe. The first set towards the top of the bracket, and the second at the base. I did this so that at the end when I ziptied everything together it would be super, super sturdy.
After the frame was shaped, I laid it over some cheap fabric and traced out the basic shape of the wing. I cut 2 of each shape, glued it to the PVC frame with hot glue!
I also apparently forgot to take photos while gluing on feathers, but this is the diagram I used as reference.
I tried to do a mix between what’s anatomically correct and the design, so the feathers are actually overlapped in the reverse of the above image. If that makes sense?
Now onto the harness for your wings. Because I had so many wings, I wanted the weight to be distributed to my hips instead of my back. However, the costume design wouldn’t allow for a typical corset harness. I opted out for a sort of belt harness instead. It was actually really comfortably and you honestly didn’t feel the wings at all.
I took a 12″ square of 6mm thick sintra and cut it into a 5″ width band diagonally. I also trimmed the sharp corners.
Find your center, and line up the end of your bracket. I traced it out with a pen, and also marked where I’ll be drilling holes for the screws (included with bracket)
Now, taking one of the corners you cut off trace the bottom of your bracket a second time. I felt doubling up added extra support, and also helped the screws lay flush with the board. At this point in time you should have 2 pieces of sintra and your bracket.
Drill your holes, and glue your smaller piece of sintra to your band. Take extra care in lining up your holes, the super glue bond is ridiculously strong so take your time. Then screw in your bracket.
Next you’re going to heat up your sintra and form it to your hips! If you think you need help, get help! I didn’t have any trouble doing it by myself though. When you’re done, you should end up with a little something like this.
You’re almost there! Next you need to make a casing for your sintra/bracket combo. What is a casing? Well in this case it’s a band of canvas that encases your sintra and allows you to wear it as a belt!
Measure the width of your sintra and double it, add 1″ for seam allowance. As for the length you’ll be using your waist measurements, add another 1″ or two as you’ll be sewing in a zipper. Sorry I did this all very last minute and forgot to take photos of this part. You’re going to align your bracket with your casing and cut out a notch for it. Go over the cut with fray check. Place your casing over your sintra, fold in the raw edges, and sew! Do a test fit before sewing in your zipper to determine how tight is tight enough, remember you’ll have a little bit of weight pulling it back. When you’re done it should look like this.
I don’t have any picture of when I ziptied each wing in but this is how it went down: 4 of your PVC pipes are going to fit in the bracket. It’s going to be a very tight squeeze, but you’ll get them in there. The other two will be straddling the side of the bracket. Do not fret though, thanks to the holes you drilled prior, they will be on there and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Now here is a word of caution, I trimmed the ends of my zipties, but two or three ended up digging into my back and I ended up tearing myself up pretty bad. So, if you’re going to trim your ends be sure they are 1″ or shorter.
Here is the other thing, my wings were a hot mess when I got to the con. They were dropping and darn near the saddest thing I have ever seen, ever. After stopping at the repair center the problem was fixed with cord, but I would suggest using fishing line.
The green line is where the harness is, the blue dashed and straight lines are the cord. Blue dashed lines mean it goes under something else. Basically, the top set of wings got holes punched under the PVC frame, so that the weight is supported. It’s then strung around my shoulders, and tied around the bracket, then back over my ribs, and again around the bracket, and tied off. It didn’t cut off any circulation, and was surprisingly comfortable! However, as this was an emergency fix I wasn’t thrilled. Looking back I wish I had fishing line, but that’s what I’ll use the next time.
That’s about it, sorry for any typos/grammatical mistakes. If I missed something or you have questions please feel free to ask. Hope this was helpful, and good luck cosplaying!