View Full Version : "Working" Mechanical Fantasy wings

02-24-2003, 04:06 PM
I made a prototype of some dragon style wings last year for halloween that are very different than I have seen before. These actually have a bone system and moving parts and can spread out, and "flap." When closed, they hang behind your back and have almost a 7'wing span when opened. They are based on a pulley/lever system. For mine, I had a vampire costume, and the medallion around my neck was the pulley, you just pull it down and these huge wings spread out. It looks VERY cool.
Heres the point of my thread.
A friend and I are wanting to start a small business making these in several styles (angel, dragon, bat, robotic, etc) and would like to know if there is ANY interest in something like this. All the costume wings I have ever seen in stores are static angel style and dont do anything. These would come in many different styles and colors, and will spread and close like REAL WINGS!!
I will post some pictures of the prototype in my gallery for reference, Remember, this is only a prototype, the final versions will be even better! I am only wanting to find out if there is an interest in a product like this.

02-24-2003, 04:40 PM
Well you see like the category you would be placed in is costume and prop design. I think what everyone would as you to do is the Clover wings. I think its a good idea to start a business like that. You'd get allot of costumers from the furry department. Don't just focus on anime. Advertise, people love cheap but not too cheap stuff but good quality. I expect great things from you people. ^_^

02-24-2003, 05:01 PM
Depending on the final price, a lot of people could be interested in these.

I know when Garry made his Yue wing's there was a lot of interest as they were movable by pulley. My large pics are down on tripod, but small pics at http://conpics.tripod.com/awa01pg5.html Based on general reaction to those, movable wings are good as long as not too big.

There were 2 guys at DragonCon with movable wings - the guy with the black wings were a good size but the guy with white cloth unfolding wings was just too big. As long as the wings you are planning on doing are collapsable as you stated - definitely think should test the waters.

02-24-2003, 05:16 PM
the pics of prototype are upin my gallery, The wings would be custom ordered to specific styles and sizes so you could get whatever size you wanted, etc.

02-25-2003, 07:33 PM
I think the whole concept is just a great idea. (It would save a lot of hassle trying to fit through narrow hallways and such ^_-) I can't tell from the photos what the wings are made out of tho....wire covered by fabric? It seems to work well for the dragon/vampire style, but I would just wonder if cybery-tubing or feathery wings would be able to close up so nicely, needing the additional outside dimensions.

02-25-2003, 07:37 PM
I'd be willing to buy some:angel:

02-25-2003, 07:39 PM
seems like an interesting buissness, If I had the cash or needed em for a costume I might buy em cause they sound very cool.

02-26-2003, 03:45 AM
The prototype was actually wooden frame and hinges. The final version will be hollow plastic bone-like pipes, making it light but very sturdy. The feathers, and other types of material will work quite well, I've already tested some other methods out.
The levers work very similar to how an umbrella works. If you look at a cross section of an umbrella (only 1 spoke on each side of the center pole) you pretty much have the method. Just push up on the grip on the center pole and the umbrella opens. Its the same here except the chain around my neck pulled the grip up the center pole, opening the wings.

02-26-2003, 07:52 AM
thats a super idea. I've tryed to create wings for years and recently sent away my Pegasus sculpture to an art show and won the gold key for Scholastics. So, basically I have experience with the structure of bird/feathered wings.

02-26-2003, 02:10 PM
GOD I'd love to have a couple pairs!


~~Tsuki Guujin~~

02-27-2003, 01:47 AM
Would you also be interested in selling "how to" plans?

02-27-2003, 12:54 PM
>>Would you also be interested in selling "how to" plans?

OH HELL YEAH! I'd love to buy the plans, and then say "Yo, I actually made these after someone told me how. XD"


02-27-2003, 12:57 PM
I doubt I could afford such a complex thing, but if I could, I'd love a pair.

02-27-2003, 07:48 PM
How to plans are a great idea because then people wouldn't feel guilty about using em in competitions or sumthin! more initative to buy em!

02-28-2003, 02:38 PM
I'll think about that. What do you say a reasonable price would be for a construction manual with detailed step by step pics and diagrams/list of parts and where to find them?

02-28-2003, 02:45 PM
> How to plans are a great idea because then people wouldn't feel guilty about using em in competitions or sumthin!

I don't think you should enter wings in competition when the whole point of them is that they are movable and you did not come up with the way to have them move on your own.

As for selling plans, I wouldn't do it. It's a bad business pratice. One person buys the plan, then distributes... it would probably cut down a lot on the number of orders and other people could start selling wings following your design.

02-28-2003, 06:27 PM
Originally posted by Rosiel
I don't think you should enter wings in competition when the whole point of them is that they are movable and you did not come up with the way to have them move on your own.

As for selling plans, I wouldn't do it. It's a bad business pratice. One person buys the plan, then distributes... it would probably cut down a lot on the number of orders and other people could start selling wings following your design.

Yes, I agree with that completely....be very careful with making your building methods easily accessible. Of course, it's up to you, but Rosiel is very right that it could hurt your business. I think the wings would be great for hall cosplay and a very good commissionable craft to offer. But masquerades and contests have to be personal, or they loose their meaning. You have a really good unique concept, but don't give away your secrets or people will just steal all your hard work and research.

Itís like people who come into my work that are always trying to get us to do their science experiments for them, when they have absolutely no concept of the mechanics themselves. Giving a tip or two or suggesting a material is one thing - drawing out personal schematics and a full ingredients list for a robot or a hydroponic greenhouse or a steam engine is unreasonable. And if they build that project directly to specifications, did they really deserve to be awarded an A? Science and cosplay are problem-solving exercises. If viewed competitively, you have to be responsible for all steps involved. And masquerades are really judging the processes, not just the final piece, as they usually quiz you on construction and not just glance at you on stage. If it's just a fun, visual and non-judged activity, then it doesn't matter, and if you have money to afford to buy them in their completed form, there's nothing wrong with that.

02-28-2003, 06:49 PM
I would so LOVE to have a pair of wings like that!! This is a great idea you have...you should definitely go into business with this.

Rosiel and Yui are absolutely right, though. If you tell people how you make 'em, they're gonna try and commission wings just like it or make copies of the manuals and give them to friends for free >.< It'd really hurt your business.

Personally, I'm going to try and figure out my own method of making these...the things is if I made them, I could be a lot prouder of my costume as apposed to if I just bought the wings. It's that sense of "I made it myself" ^_^

03-01-2003, 01:04 AM
Well, if you have everything laid out step by step and follow it exactly, it does not qualify for a masq. construction award any more than a fully-purchased product. Adaptations on a basic idea (and how much of that was done) may possibly be open to interpretation, depends.

One should figure - do you want it for awards, or just to have cool wings for hall cosplay? If the former, you are better off starting from scratch. I've seen lots and lots of well done "mobile" wings at SF cons, and I already have several basic design ideas to choose from just from observation.
Originally posted by Trooper_Trent
I'll think about that. What do you say a reasonable price would be for a construction manual with detailed step by step pics and diagrams/list of parts and where to find them?
Dunno. *I* might pay good money for just rough plans and research the materials myself, and I personally wouldn't distribute it (why not make others pay for it too? I don't believe in theft), but it's entirely up to you. There are many people who publish books on all kinds of copyrighted (can provide SOME protection, but it depends) "make it" plans out there, and yet there are still surprisingly lots of people who prefer to have things made for them instead of going through all the trouble themselves. If a finished product price is too prohibitive, though, it will cut down on customers as well.

I have no big desire for gauze butterfly-fairy wings, for example, so I probably won't make any (I know how, but my time is valuable!), but if I ever see a cute pair at an SF con dealer's table that I like (if they go with my "fairy mask"), I may buy them.

If I really want something a LOT, I prefer hands-on customization of design from day 1, but many others don't care.

03-01-2003, 01:10 AM
I am working on moving wings myself, but it's nice to see others do it.

And Karisu-sama has a good point. Even copyrighting doesn't protect such things.

I'd only wear wings that someone else made for the look, not for awards. It's not fun if I didn't do it myself, you know!? *laugh*

Doesn't mean I don't want help doing it. XD


03-01-2003, 05:04 PM
Oh! DUH! You might thing of selling "assemble it yourself frame-only " kits as well as completely finished product. This might satisfy many types of customers.

03-01-2003, 05:10 PM
Karisu-sama, that's a great idea!! I can't believe none of us thought of that lol...

03-01-2003, 06:08 PM
me, i can see not selling a how to as a good thing...being ppl would eventually stop askin ya to make the wings for them.

i myself make rather large anime mallets...an have had numerous ppl ask me how i made it. it is fun but i am jus a tad weary of tellin ppl how my mallet was made. being it is something i do commision upon request (need t make another acutaly).

a put it together yourself kit might be neat but not sure how it would work to keep ppl from copying it an sayin they made it. i think if ya got a unique idea go with it as long as ya can...look how long beanie babies were popular for being a couple scraps of fabric an a few "beans" ty made a bundle on em.

03-01-2003, 07:45 PM
I don't see what Beanie Babies have to do with this - those were worthless small stuffed animals hyped all out of proportion and sold on the TY name alone to people who hoped to make money off them because of hyped demand.

In any case, for my part on anything I actually want, I will neither buy full finished product anything, nor comission custom costume pieces. (Those silly fairy wings mentioned above are not something that counts - that's like buying a nice dress off the rack on a whim, not for anything special.) If there is any way, I will do all or almost all of the work myself. (If I could make my own boots, I would! Maybe one day I shall learn.)

But hey, I'm the weirdo who does her own custom home improvement design and installation too - I have become an expert at custom-tiling bathrooms and installing sinks, etc. ^__^

07-11-2003, 12:03 AM
Hey, sorry I'm a little late on this thread... but I was wondering if anyone still has the prototype pics from Trent (all I see is his SW stuff... which is cool too. =D).

I've been working on plans for a set of mechanical Folken wings, and I want them to share some of the same characteristics Trent was talking about (mainly movable). Obviously they would have to have some sort of "idle" state where they could sit safely while walking around, but still have the option to spread out for pics and such.

I'm not really looking for step-by-step instructions, but more of an idea sparker. I want to make the wings myself, but getting ideas and suggestions from people that have already done something similar couldn't hurt.

I think one of the major obstacles concerning the overall look would be finding a good medium between the idle and spread out states. The main spine/bone portion of the wing needs to be thick enough to be convincing, sturdy, and light. The "joint" part between the two wings has to look legit also... not too bulky/round, but sturdy as well.

In addition, the entire harness needs to be somewhat indiscreet. I know that it's going to be a hard task... especially for wings like this. I mean, I'm looking into doing black-winged Folken, so there's no shirt involved. It's going to be impossible to hide some of the harness, but maybe there is a way to disquise it by using the same color material/paint to match the body paint (since Folken seems to be a bit... whiter than everyone else, I expect to paint face/torso/good arm a share or two lighter than natural skin). I was thinking about harness options that included a rigid belt/neckpeice (so that shoulders were free)... but I'm not to sure if that can be safely done. At least Folken has the right arm to hide one side of the "typical" shoulder hoop harnesses.

Any ideas or reference pictures would be greatly appreciated.


07-11-2003, 09:43 AM
Get a copywrite put on the plans, make people adree to a term of use for your pattern (You know, non-professional and all that) and if anyone does go and resell your design, you can take them to court.

I'd be more interested in the purchase of framework rather than finished wings. But that's because I never belive in having something done for me when I can do it myself for five times the hassel and twice the price.

07-12-2003, 10:02 PM
I had another idea for a harness. Keep in mind this only really pertains to a costume where there is no shirt/jacket/other to cover the harness. Anyway, I guess you could fake the no-shirt look with a skin-colored/skin-tight top, and wear the harness undernearth. Some kinda holes would need to be cut obviously... but it might work. Then again, it might look exceedingly cheesy.

I wonder how good/bad it would look with no-shirt, and only the left shoulder harness visible (the right one being hidden by the Folken arm).