Work on the unfinished Troll Screamers shown above as well as several NEW Troll Screamers will resume soon. I have several body parts ready to go for the new creations.

Saturday, 10 October 2009


Here is a simple method to making a dragon wing. You can make the wing as large or as small as you require just follow the simple build instructions below.

To begin cut some stiff card stock for the 'arm section or skeleton frame of the wing. Cut two into the shape or position of the wing you want. Make them the same or slightly different for effect.

ALWAYS do a size test.

Now add some support to the card. I use wooden or bamboo skewers for this. They are light, flexable but very strong once embedded into the project such as this.

Now 'bulk' out the arm using foil. Remember to 'compact' the foil as hard as you can for strength.

Then cover the arms in a few layers of paper strips.

Now we need to make the 'fingers' or strut supports for the wings 'skin' covering.

Once again i am going to use wooden or bamboo skewers covered in foil to bulk them out & add some definition to them.. Don't forget to add some knuckle joints to these. I forgot. For larger wings you can use large plastic straws, or tightly rolled paper. What ever you use again cover these in a few layers of paper strips.

Once you have them all done & dry start to attach to the arms & fix in place.

Even without the 'skin' you can see the wing emerging from the build. Using skewers makes attaching the fingers eaiser.

Now to add the 'skin'. Work from the fingers down FIRST. We need to 'pull' the skin in between the fingers as we go. If we worked from the arm/shoulder section first the skin may not sit right over the fingers. If you are making a textured finish (which i will show you how to do) then having to splice in an extra section of skin won't show through the final build. But if you are going for smooth leather effect wing skin then we need to do this in a single sheet of paper. So start at the fingers FIRST. Apply a good layer of glue.

Brown parcel wrapping paper makes superb leathery, smooth or wrinkled, strong yet flexable skin for wings. I prefer the waxed on one side only kind as this soaks up the glue at a nice even pace. The wax coating also helps to hold the paper together whilst i manipulate it between the fingers etc. Now BEFORE the glue dries too much with your fingers rub the skin into over & between the wing fingers one at a time. Hold down the previous section as you go or it will pull free as you work along the fingers. An un-diluted glue will dry much faster making this task much easier & faster to do.

STILL working on the fingers section use a slightly watery glue mix & work the skin in & around the fingers more to define the fingers through the skin.

Now carefully so not to disturb the fingers section you just did, peel back the lower or shoulder section of the skin & repeat the glue adding as will the finger rubbing method.

Again work the wrapping paper around & down over the arm as you did with the finger section earlier.

Again repeat the working in of the watery glue mix.

Now leave this to FULLY dry. It HAS to be fully dry so when you turn it over to do the other side when you rub the wrapping paper down you will stick the wing to your work surface if still sticky. When you try to lift it you will damage the wing possibly beyond repair.

Once FULLY dry you can trim off some of the 'excess' paper ONLY. Do not try to cut & shape the wing just yet as you will have to then do it all over again after you build the opposite side. Also cutting & shaping the entire wing in one go will make it easier if you have to make adjustments to the final shape. If you cut & shape the single side you just made now then you may be left with an uneven sided wing skin that may show up in the final project ruining the design & effect of the wing skin.


Now turn the wing over & repeat ALL the steps i have previously shown you 'exactly as before. When you turn the wing over if you did it right then the ribs or fingers ass shown below only have skin coming down over half way on all sides.

When you have done both sides of both wings (or more if you are making more). Once FULY dry NOW you can cut & trim the wings to the final shape.

As i said earlier left like this once painted this will ressemble a great leather like skin wing. But what if you want to have an ancient wrinkled skin wing? Well here is a very simply trick to making that effect too. Take some cheap X2 ply tissues. The cheaper the better, they wrinkle much better than the expensive tissues. Tear off all the edges of the tissues. Then lay each double tissue onto the wing surface 'DRY'. DO NOT add ANY glue to the wing surface at all. The tissue is thin enough to allow enough glue to soak through to make it stick in place. This has the effect also of making the tissue wrinkle more & conform to the shape as you move it around if required as you work. DO NOT brush hard or more than you need to. Once the tissue is wet it WILL begin to wrinkle. Once the wrinkles show 'back off' do not brush it any more.

The tissue WILL appear to go translucent at first but WILL dry white again later. You CAN do more than one layer if you like but i found that above 2 layers the wrinkles begin to thin out & are less effective. Try to keep it 2 layers or less if you can. ANY missed sections or knocked loose sections CAN be repaired at any time when wet or dry by simply adding a new small piece of tissue over the damaged or missing section(s).

Try not to overlap too much when layering on the tissue, but if you can not help it try to make the overlaps irregular. This WILL be lost to the painting later.

There you have it a simple dragon wing. To make a demon wing simply add a few spikes to the 'top' joints of the wing arm. Or a birds wing simply add some feathers paper or real to the
wings surface. Either way a little imagination goes a long way.

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