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Unread 03-06-2013, 11:42 PM   #1
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Help with plush bird prop? (MGS2 Emma cosplay)

So, I'm working on a cosplay of Emma Emmerich from Metal Gear Solid 2. If you don't know, she has a pet bird that I also plan on including in the cosplay. Currently, I have two questions.

1.) It will probably be a plush bird. Is there any way to secure it on my shoulder so that it won't fall off? The weight is going to be my issue, I think.
Emma just simply wears a t-shirt, if that helps at all.

2.) The other thing that I want to do with this bird is to open it up and put in a little recording device that will play the "Hal, I miss you" audio when I press it. I've thought about using whatever's inside those cards where you can record your own message, but I'm not sure how well that would work or if I could get the device out of the card without ruining it. So, does anyone know what I could use to do this with the bird?

Thank you! Feel free to give me any other tips you might have in mind for this bird prop. I feel like he might be a small challenge, haha.
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Unread 03-07-2013, 11:00 AM   #2
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so without reference pics i have no idea what the bird looks like so i cant say for sure.
its possible to take the sound card piece out tho it wont open the birds mouth....
what i would do is figure out how to record over those bird toys that open and speak, then cover the bird w feather or something
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Unread 03-07-2013, 03:21 PM   #3
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It is extremely easy to extract the guts from electronic greeting cards. The only problem is they are not as loud as you might think. In a convention environment, they tend to be almost completely inaudible. If you could find an extremely small battery amplified speaker, that might be a different story.

Getting birds to stick on your shoulder and look natural is a huge pain. They sell novelty parrots for pirate costumes that come with some bendy wire attached. The intention being to wrap it under your armpit. However this doesn't stay in place and looks completely unnatural.

You can fashion a strap that covers the shoulder and then goes across the chest, under the opposite arm. Seatbelt strapping is good for this. Bookbag type strapping can also work, though you might have to sew a couple of them together to make it wide enough to cover the shoulder and stay in place. A couple layers of elastic bandage can potentially work, but you tend to have to fiddle with it a lot every time you put it on.

From that you can either cut holes in the shirt and run stiff wire (like brass coathanger wire) up the legs, or you can rig up a set of 4 or more pairs of small neodymium magnets. you adhere and/or embed the base magnets onto the strap using hot glue. Depending on how the bird is designed, you might need to stiffen the legs with stiff wire.

If you go with the wire, you want the wire of each leg to spread into a sort of tripod arrangement, and you either stitch or epoxy an inch or so of each tripod leg onto the strapping.

If you want to make the bird removable without magnets, you can buy thin brass tubing from the hobby shop. One diameter tube is just the right size to slide onto the next size larger tube. Solder or superglue stiff wires to the inside of a couple inches of the smaller tube to act as the tripod support. Then secure a couple inches of the larger tubing inside each bird leg. When the bird isn't in place, be very careful that you don't jam the brass tubing now sticking out of your shoulder into your or anyone else's face.
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