Zippy C
costumer, photographer,
cosmetic lover, bird whisperer.

Reality is an illusion, the universe is a hologram

Davesprite FAQ thing!

Alright guys its time for me to tell you about davesprite. This is going to be pretty long, so ask responses below the cut!

The wings were made from scratch, and were my first attempt at making wings! As such, my experiences and what I did are not necessarily the most efficient way to go about it, but I will attempt to detail what I did with accompanying footnotes on what I would actually recommend doing. I do highly suggest checking out some more detailed wing tutorials before jumping into making wings!

Okay supplies list! Now I’m going to preface this with I spent roughly $300 on davesprite just for the wing materials so YOU HAVE BEEN FAIRLY WARNED. Wings are not the cheapest costuming piece to make haha. I bought all my feathers from the lovely people over at Rainbow Feather co! If you go to their feathers, then turkey feather section, what I got was a pound and a half of hen feather rounds, and had them dyed orange. (An alternative to this that I have seen a friend do is to hand spray white feathers to color them. This would work if you want to match your feathers to a certain fabric. I had made the mistake of buying my fabric first and ended up returning it and needing to buy a less favorable material to get the right color match. So that’s a personal judgement call on how you want your feathers colored.)  I also bought half a pound of flats, which I used to fill in along the edges. (I ended up using literally every left wing feather I had and needed to use more flats than I had intended/had none left over for the very back. I did too much layering on the inner wing and would recommend trying to be more conservative about how you place them if you don’t want to buy a ton of feathers. If you decide to order from rainbowfeatherco, I do recommend calling them to place the order, and not doing it online! Their website is pretty old and outdated, but their phone customer service is great in my experience.

For the wing frame I used copper wire found at Home Depot. Now what I had been looking for and what I have had recommended to me is to get 6 GAUGE WIRE. My home depot did not have 6 or even 8 gauge, though friends have told me that is where theirs was bought so I would at least check out a Home Depot if you have one nearby. I ended up going to the electrical section and getting wire that was wrapped in a grey tubing. I thought it would be thick enough but it ended up being far too weak to support the frame I built, so what I did to strengthen it was to wrap it in several layers of wonderflex. Wonderflex for those that don’t know is a plastic that becomes malleable when heated with a heat gun or a high powered blowdryer. I would not recommend this and would really suggest hunting down the 6 gauge wire, however I was working on a very short time limit and had to work with what I had on hand (and anyone who knows my stuff knows that my strife specious is wonderflexkind. I have a ton of it.)

Now this is the part where I loudly scream LOOK UP REFERENCES OF ACTUAL BIRDS FOR THE SHAPE. Seriously. Go study that shit. Bird anatomy is your best friend right now for realistic looking wings. Davesprite is part crow, go fourth to google images of crow wings. It will give you a much better sense of what to do. After you’ve got the general shape made with the wire (I started from the short end, shaped it to the shoulderblade, made a loop, then went back around for the other wing.) To answer the question of how they stayed on my back, the way I made the loop it literally just slides into the back of my shirt and sits there, no harness required. Wire curves to my spine. Zing. (Props to Lady Ava for showing me that trick. Love you bb.) This did however seriously wreck my back’s shit after bouncing around all day with the wings on though, and the wonderflex casing started digging into my shoulderblade pretty bad, so if you have a bad back or a low pain threshold, I might recommend you do a method with more support (or make the wings smaller than I did) if you plan to be jumping off ledges like an idiot (see: exhibit me) Also with the wings being so asymmetrical, I had to keep shifting them back into place. I did have one elastic strap running diagonal across my chest hooked to the bottom loop, but that ended up digging into my neck pretty bad so I wouldn’t recommend it. Last minute fix I’ll be reworking before I wear this again. For those curious since I got this question a lot at the con, YES THEY ARE HEAVY. Much heavier than you’d think a pile of feathers would be, lol.

After I made the base shape, I took chicken wire (more home depot, I believe I got 2” wide but it honestly doesn’t matter, you don’t need too much of it! I got a fairly small roll) and cut it with wire cutters to shape the gap between the wings where the feathers would be. Cue the ducttape. Cover it well, you don’t want any of those sharp edges poking out. At this point I’ve seen many recommendations of using batting to cover the chicken wire, but since the feathers are orange, I decided to get orange felt to cover it with. Which I did using a crapton of hotglue. (get a jumbo bag of hotglue you’ll be using a lot of it)

The most time consuming part of the feathering process is the feather trimming. I got through The Crow, City of Angels, and The Two Towers by the time I finished. (I don’t judge your movie choices, okay) I still have orange feather bits embedded in parts of my carpet. It’s probably smart to do it outside or on a hardwood floor you can sweep up, if possible. The rest of the process is fairly self explanatory, and explained better in the wing tutorials I linked above. I glued the feathers bottom to top, attaching feather to feather at the very bottom to add more to the length. When I got to the top slash ran out of feathers, I used the flats to cover the rest.

(8luh 8luh huge mess)

Welp I think that’s just about everything as far as the wings go! Hope that helps anyone trying to do davesprite, and of course feel free to shoot me an ask if you have more questions about the wings or other stuff. Davesprite was a big experiment in feathering for me, and I’m planning on making a full winged version of him next!

Oh, and to answer the question of when more pictures come…. well that I’m not honestly sure about haha. Sadly, I didn’t really get a chance to plan a proper private shoot and I’m actually really lucky and thankful to Fenyx for snagging me for the excellent shot above! My photographer buddy Brendan did take a few though at the Friday gathering so I might have a couple more to post soon. I might fix also him up for the cherry blossom festival at the end of this month to get a private shoot done.

Hey buttface :P

Aaaaah thank you guys!!! 0w0 I’m seriously so glad this costume was as well received as it is, especially considering how much I rushed it. (Had plans for a tail but they had to get cut due to running out of time for the frame, I’ll have it next time!)

Ew GET OUT YOU FAT NASTY TRASH. h8 you. <3< I’m going to piss on your car and slash your tires.