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Need help with bird w/ outstretched wings

#1 2013-08-01 00:09:13

Registered: 2013-08-01
Posts: 1

Need help with bird w/ outstretched wings

Hi all--

I am new to this forum and relatively new to papier mache,though I think there are enough tutorials on the basics that I am set.

What I need help with is figuring out the design, structure, and execution of a project.  I need to make a bird with large, outstretched wings (think of a hawk).  Ideally, the "feathers" would be individually visible as well, though I realize that is a lot of work.

Does anyone have any ideas?  My googling so far has only yielded small birds with folded wings.

Oh, and if you link me to a tutorial, please make it one that has a lot of pictures!   Thanks. smile



#2 2013-08-01 05:24:44

From: Washington State, U.S.A.
Registered: 2006-01-09
Posts: 1314

Re: Need help with bird w/ outstretched wings

How large do you want the wingspan to be, from tip to tip?

And what kind of wings?  What kind of bird, real or imaginary?




#3 2013-08-01 07:17:33

From: UK
Registered: 2004-12-04
Posts: 754

Re: Need help with bird w/ outstretched wings

I have made a couple of gulls, smaller than full size.  One is in my gallery (David Osborne).  Probably the method I used would work for you.
Create a template (thin card?) for the cross section wing tip to wing tip.  You need to think what proportion of the body would be seen because the majority of the body will lie below this transection.
Identify where any bends will be.
Get a supply of flexible card (breakfast cereal box is ideal).  Now you must experiment to find how many layers you will need but I'll continue with the full method.
Cut x layers of the shape.  Mark the faces that will be in touch with each other.  Brush a thin layer of PVA on each.  They may curl slightly - don't worry.
When fully dry, place the layers together;  they will only stick slightly.
With a hot iron (best to place a layer of baking paper between the iron and the laminate) iron it firmly, bending it into shape as you go.  If you have enough layers, it will be surprisingly strong.  Don't worry about feathering the edges - you can do that with the final covering.
Does it need to be even stronger?  If so you could lay a wire all around the outer edge, fixing it with masking tape.  My gull has just two layers of card.
Now the body.  I used carveable foam as used in building insulation; it is delicate but cuts and sands easily.  There will be a thin layer of body on the top of the wings but the majority is below.  Create your shape and join it to the wings with PVA and masking tape.
Now the covering process begins, laminating with paper (plenty of advice on this site).  The beak can be carved wood pushed firmly into the foam.
The method of finishing is wide open so I'm going to stop here.
It would be a good idea to think in advance about how you want to mount it, bearing in mind point of balance, whether suspended from above or below . . .
Good luck.  It sounds fascinating.

I'm a PM addict



#4 2013-08-02 19:38:15

From: Istanbul
Registered: 2009-04-22
Posts: 106

Re: Need help with bird w/ outstretched wings

I've seen seen plastic water bottles used to good effect- individual feathers cut from plastic, papered, and assembled.

For the model I'm working on just now, the wings are cut from aluminium- as thick as I can manage to maneuver with scissors -which are then domed to shape with a planishing hammer, and covered with clay.



#5 2013-08-08 15:27:50

From: Michigan, USA
Registered: 2008-09-10
Posts: 151

Re: Need help with bird w/ outstretched wings

I usually make bird wings by building up several layers of thin sheets of feathers (usually 2-3 ply newsprint), here's some mid-construction photos of the wing components and the finished, but unpainted, wings from the Bifang/Hippou (a one-legged pyromaniacal mythological Chinese bird) figure I made awhile ago:


And the finished product:


I probably make women with bird wings more often than actual birds, but the technique is the same:


(Morrigan, an Irish goddess of battle/strife/sovereignty)

Last edited by Patraw (2013-08-08 16:24:33)


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