Monarch Henchman wings (venture bros)

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#1 LxExplosionx93 on 11 months ago

Hi there! It's been a while since I've floated around these forums (or even done a cosplay!) but I'm back in the game and currently working on a Monarch henchman cosplay from the adult swim cartoon The Venture Bros.

I was looking for some suggestions on what materials construct the wings from. I have a pretty good idea of HOW I want to make them but not WHAT I should use. I've perused many a wing tutorial, which are great, but not really the style/material choice I should go for (lots of feathered wings, fairy wings, etc). The wings I need to make aren't feathered, are rather large, and I'd like them to be somewhat durable while also light enough to be worn all day. I'm thinking I may make them a bit smaller than they appear in the show just for practicality's sake.

I'd like to get a smooth, even texture if I can. I've been thinking possibly cardboard with gesso/other strengthening substance, though in my experience cardboard has the tendency to warp when treated with gesso, especially pieces those large. My next thought was some kind of thinner cardboard sandwiched between craft foam, though I'm not sure if I can get craft foam in that large of a solid sheet. I've looked over worbla and similar materials though I've never worked with them before and am not sure if that would be a good choice either. I could also go the wire/fabric route, and have considered using cardboard covered in fabric to get a smoother texture.

Mostly, I wanted to ask people with more experience building props and using different materials what their suggestions would be to build these wings out of! Any ideas would be much appreciated. I'm sure there's something I haven't thought of/am not aware of.

Picture below for reference, let me know if anything needs clarifying. Thanks in advance for your help!

[IMG]http://www.timetravelcostumes.com/images/sci-fi-monarch-henchamn/monarch00.jpg[/IMG]

#2 Penlowe on 11 months ago

foam core board. It's the stuff the nicer looking school display tri-folds are made from. Doesn't warp like card board, has a beautiful smooth finish to start with. If you need pieces bigger than you find in the school poster making supplies section, got to a frame shop/ counter in the craft store of your choice. Framers use tons of foam core in mounting stuff. It can be got in sheets up to 40" x 60", but it gets pretty expensive at that size. It also comes in black (black paper black core)

#3 loz64 on 11 months ago

I think a thin layer of upholstery foam or thick interfacing covered in stretch fabric would be your best bet. Cardboard and foam board are great rigid materials, but if you sit down while wearing them you risk bending your wings and creating creases that are extremely difficult if not impossible to repair. At least with a soft foam you won't have to worry as much about damaging your wings, and if you smack people with them while walking it won't hurt!

#4 Scunosi on 11 months ago

[QUOTE=loz64;5068385]I think a thin layer of upholstery foam or thick interfacing covered in stretch fabric would be your best bet. Cardboard and foam board are great rigid materials, but if you sit down while wearing them you risk bending your wings and creating creases that are extremely difficult if not impossible to repair. At least with a soft foam you won't have to worry as much about damaging your wings, and if you smack people with them while walking it won't hurt![/QUOTE]
I was going to suggest something similar also as I think uncovered foam or board would get battered too easily at that thinness, while plastic acrylic (not mentioned but I'm seeing it used for Mercy wings often these days) would likely be too heavy, fragile, or outright dangerous to others at that size. Foam or interfacing would end up needing support at that size though so maybe just combine the two for the best finish; sandwich foam over stiffer board (or wire) to give some bulk and softness (especially if you go with the wire), then cover with fabric for a clean exterior.

I will say though you should also figure out how you're going to be attaching these as that may tie into what material you use, or at the very least you'll need to figure out what materials you need for the attachment. If you're just doing shoulder/backpack straps you can do just about anything but if you wanted to do one of those wing harnesses like fairies wear that hides in your clothing, or a dancer over-the-shoulder harness you may need to put something different inside like wire that can be built into the harness.

The alternative of course is leaning into the "low-budget, homemade" angle of the Henchman uniforms and using something like painted cardboard to embrace that.

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