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Unread 06-10-2016, 09:53 AM   #1
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Cardboard Alternatives?

Hello there! I'm fairly inexperienced at cosplaying, so excuse me if this is kind of a dumb question x3 I'm making these wings, and they're going to be about 4 feet by 4 feet. It's hard to find a cardboard box of that size (cardboard's not that strong, anyways), so what are some materials I can use as an alternative? I'd prefer the material be strong and kind of thick so layers would be evident. Thanks!
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Unread 06-11-2016, 01:58 AM   #2
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Tbh I've made armor out of cardboard. With some paper mache it'll be really strong and you can glue together boxes. The largest size box I've seen is called a balikbayan box and my family gets them at our local Filipino store. I've also layered wood glue over cardboard to make it sort of waterproof.

Is there a specific tutorial that you're making your wings out of? I'm not sure what you mean by layers. If you wanted to avoid cardboard and you were following a tutorial that used it, I'd maybe go with foam board and add the feathers in with craft foam.
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Unread 06-11-2016, 07:00 AM   #3
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Cardboard is stronger than you think, and I second "which tute are you using?"

Appliance stores, art supply stores, and framing places have either large cardboard boxes or sell sheets of cardboard.

For wings that size you really need to keep weight in mind, in cardboard they will weight several pounds each.
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Unread 06-12-2016, 01:57 AM   #4
Dictamnus Albus
Join Date: May 2011
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...the pic, despite being 1in,sq
shows a shadow or non-physical wing

if thats the case woudlnt you get better restuls from stretched hosiery on wiers
and adding fringes?
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Unread 06-13-2016, 07:17 PM   #5
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Yeah I'm with Dictamnus on this one - 99% of the people I've seen who do Supernatural costumes just use plain black feathered wings. Purchased as well as hand-made with regular feather-wing tutorials.

But if you want the transparent look of those? Cardboard is not what you want anyway. Even if you were making solid wings, I would not go cardboard as my first, second, or even third choice. I know it's cheap or free in some cases but if you want genuine 4-foot long wings (for an 8 foot wingspan?) you need something that will be lightweight and you're already going to need to work out a harness to mount them on, so take a step back here and decide your parameters. Do you already have the harness thought out? Do you know how the wings will need to fold or break down for storage and transportation? Do you want them articulated or static? If you haven't solved these problems yet, finding a large enough cardboard box is the least of your worries.

If you want them translucent, you're looking at a sheer fabric - chiffon, gauze, or netting, likely mounted on wire that is both strong enough to hold it up and lightweight enough not to weigh 20 pounds on your back. If you want them feathered, that's a whole different method entirely. If you just want them to look like a generic wing-shaped thing, I would still go fabric sheath over anything solid like cardboard. Because while some people have been able to work miracles with it, I don't know about you, but when I cut out a giant piece of cardboard and paint it, it looks exactly like painted cardboard and not at all like what it shoudl be.
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