So this is my Hawkgirl costume. I decided to create my own version of the Hawkgirl you see in the DC comic books. I made about 95% of the costume. I wanted to create something that would make people gasp when they saw my costume. That is exactly the reaction I got from most people when they saw my wings go from closed to fully open with the click of a remote control. This is definitely the longest it has ever taken me to make a costume!
Here are the materials I used:
-Pheasant feathers, Turkey feathers, goose feathers, aluminum square tube bars, mini linear actuator, 12 volt sla battery, 14 gauge aluminum wire, thin cotton material, loctite power grab glue, bolts, nuts, drill, hacksaw, file, hot glue gun, high temperature glue gun sticks, backpack straps, 1/4 inch sintra, spray paint, cotton fabric
For Body Armor:
-Foam .5 inch thickness, thin EVA foam, Jewelry beads, spray paint, acrylic, contact cement
-Sintra, heat gun
For Head Piece:
-Thin foam, .5 inch foam, contact cement
Step 1: Wing Framework
I first started with getting the framework for wings ready and I used a scale drawing to get measurements of wing framework. I used aluminum flat bars but then once I was done building it I realized the feathers put too much weight on the flat bars and I needed something sturdy so I then used aluminum square tube bars. You can use both, you'll just have to be more careful with the flat bars.
First, you measure the flat bars and cut them with a hacksaw to whatever height you would like depending on how tall you are with the design shown in the photos. After cutting, you file the edges of bar to take away sharpness. Then you drill and bolt the pieces together.
I cut the piece of 1/4 inch sintra to fit my back and I used heat gun to mold it to shape of my back. (wear a mask while heating up the sintra). I cut the straps of an old backpack I had to attach to sintra and then attach the framework to the sintra that I used as the back board that goes on my back.
Next step is to mount the battery (12 volt sla battery), the actuator, and the control box for the actuator. The actuator is a piston that goes up and down and helps the wings open up. This is the one I bought. The control box allows for remote control operation of the actuator, this is the one I bought.
Step 2: Wing Feathers
-I used cotton fabric to cut out pieces that were all 5 inches in width and different sizes in length ranging from 34 inches to 14 inches. The first picture shows all the feathers that I made from cotton fabric, loctite glue, and 14 gauge wire.
-I would put glue on one side of the fabric piece then scrape it evenly. Next, I apply the wire to keep feather sturdy. Last, I put another piece of fabric over the first piece and let it sit on side for 12 hours till it was dry and sturdy.
-After all the long feathers were done, I spray painted them with dark brown and bronze spray paints.
-Make sure you leave an inch of wire hanging out of feather so that you can insert it to the flat bar that I made holes to
-I overlapped the long feathers over each other a little bit and sewed each one to each other in the overlapping form so it doesn't have trouble closing and opening. Think of it as a hand held fan that you open and close.
-I added a small piece of material to the wing framework to cover it up and also as a base to glue real feathers.
-I started off with gluing the layer of turkey feathers that I spray painted the tips of. I then added another layer of same feathers over it. The gold long feathers I used at the end are these feathers. I added small pheasant feathers to rim of top that I got from Hobby Lobby. Other feathers I used were gold small feathers, gold tipped goose feathers.
Step 3: Headpiece
-For headpiece, I used a free template I got online and used the .5 foam for the front head pieces and used thin foam pieces for the sides and back of headpiece.
-I glued everything together with contact cement. Instead of having to wait for contact cement to dry I used a hot gun to make it thicken quick and glue pieces together faster.
-After everything was glued together, I brushed on 4 layers of modge podge over the front piece to fill in the gaps between foam pieces and to create a shiny look.
-I then spray painted the top piece of helmet gold and left the sides black
Step 4: Body Piece
-For body piece, I used the thicker .5 eva foam.
-I came up with a pattern of my body by wrapping my body with saran wrap and duct tape.
-I used contact cement to glue all the pieces together.
-When working with contact cement it is good to use a mask like the one I am using in photo.
- I cut out a little pattern to make multiple pieces that I glued to front of armor, making scales.
-I spray painted with gold and a olive green and used acrylic bronze paint for certain parts.
-I used black paint that I diluted with water in order to make the antiquing effect.
Step 5: Mace and Bracer Cuffs
-The mace was the easiest thing to make.
-I used a foam ball and hot glued small cones that I made out of construction paper throughout ball. I made sure to use a good amount of hot glue so it poured out around cones and created a unique look. I used a tube from wrapping paper as the stick and attached small eva foam to it creating handles.
-The cuffs were made with sintra (which is very toxic while heating so I strongly recommend a mask). As I heated the sintra, I started molding it to my wrist shape. I spray painted it with silver after.