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Wings for Mephistophele

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by PropsPupMikel, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. PropsPupMikel

    PropsPupMikel Member

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    Ok...really random question, but maybe someone out there can help.

    We would like to use a set of wings for Meph, but we can't figure out how to make them, or where to buy them. We wold like them to somehow fold up, or collapse so that they can disappear under his cape.

    The head designer saw a article somewhere with instructions about a set of wings that was used for the demon in Faust that used bicycle breaks to extend the wings and make them flap. But...of course no-one can find said article now that we need it.

    The wings ideally would leave the actors arms free, but if they have to strap on to the arms that would not be a problem. We would also like to have the wings able to hide under his cape like mentioned before.

    I am willing to build them, and would enjoy the challenge if anybody has a design or ideas of how to do it.


    I had been thinking something like a harness that would go over/under the costume as a base, and then some sort of boning/light weight rods to stiffen the wings....

    Any ideas, designs, or even pictures that would help me???


    P.S. Tempest is coming up in a few years and if I can build these for Meph, then I will also build a smaller set for Ariel in Tempest.

    Thank you so much.
    Mikel
     
  2. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Can the boning / ribs be built into the cape? What if you hid a series of small Polypropylene tubes into a series of "pipe Pockets" across <up and down, actually> the cape. Attach run all the hems up to the upper center of the cape, where they would be anchored to the harness. Now, run braided Dacron line through the pipes, attaching them at the bottom hem <furthest point away from the harness> to to the last tube piece. In the middle of the back all the Dacron, or wire, could be ganged to a single line that was then run to something like a bike brake, I can think of a couple dozen ways you could rig several different types of actuators actually.
    When tension is put onto the Dacron it's going to pull all the tubes tight. It's like the opposite of one of the silly kids toys, where you push in to bottom plunger and the clown, dog, cat, whatever collapses.

    Just an Idea, Let me know if you need more clarification.
     
  3. PropsPupMikel

    PropsPupMikel Member

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    That might work, the question is now, how heavy will this be, and how big of a "wing span" do you think we could get? Also, no offense but, isn't that kinda like a rip-off of the batman cape idea? I reealllly don't want people walking out of the show confused because we had batman in the show. I do like the idea of pipes and cables though, hmmmmm......thinking.
     
  4. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Heavy? Not so much depending on the materials used, you could use carbon fiber rod like Micheal Curry uses in a lot of his puppets.
    Wing span would be as wide as the cape is long.
    No offense taken, I didn't even think of it from that angle, but I supposed if you got really creative you could work out a way to "hide" or incorporate a set of wings under the top part of the cape. If there is one of those wide collars that go across the shoulders and almost to the middle of the back. Lastly, If you have people waking out of Faust confused 'cause they thought Mephostopheles was Batman......Well you've got bigger problems that are related to Props.;):lol:
     
  5. PropsPupMikel

    PropsPupMikel Member

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    very true...but I have gotten some really dumb questions after performances....trust me

    Ok....so the carbon rods, would you thread them with the cords still, or would you attach them to the upper end and use a pulley/lever system?
     
  6. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Um, both. You could get tent pole rod from a camping store < sometimes its carbon fiber, sometimes just fiberglass> , then chop it into a bunch of really short pieces. Run your cord, dacron, aircraft cable through the center of all the pieces. as soon as you pull tension on the cordage the pieces of pole should straighten out to a rod. the very first peice would need to be anchored to the "harness" at the angle at ahich you want the rod to stick out.
     
  7. PropsPupMikel

    PropsPupMikel Member

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    ok, I have seen tents like that, that might actually work, and I am starting to form ideas more solidly now. where/how would you make the wings activate/open. Like a pull cord that locks or some sort of spring?
     
  8. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Exactly, or I was actually thinking perhaps something like a sphignomanometer bulb hidden in the sleeve of a costume, with tubing running back to a small, 2 or 3 inch long by 3/16 or so, pneumatic actuator, it shouldn't take much throw distance, but it should have good "push power" sounds hydraulic to me, but too much potential for mess. Anyway with a sufficient sized bulb the actor could squeeze it once or twice to activate the wings, then loosen the valve to let the "wings" fold back down.
     
  9. PropsPupMikel

    PropsPupMikel Member

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    Ok, I may have had a epiphany last night, but it will only work if I can find on thing....do you know where to find the elastic cord like they use for bunjy-cords? I thing the idea of cords through tubes might be the best since I can see that in my mind and on paper, but I have to modify it slightly. If this works is there somewhere I can post a video for other people's viewing?
     
  10. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Any place that you can find those fiberglass tent poles, or most any hardware store. "Bungee Cord" is a trade name like Crescent or Kleenex. You should be able to ask for Bungee, or "Shock Cord" it comes is diameters from about 3/16" up to 3/4". You can usually buy it buy the foot of a roll of anywhere 20' to 250'.
     
  11. PropsPupMikel

    PropsPupMikel Member

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    Thank you so much for the ideas, A friend and I are working on this project in our spare time so if we come up with a good solution, I will post it. Thank you so much.
     
  12. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    How about shopping your local Kite Parts store...
     
  13. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Your'e welcome. I love this kind of brain storming. Hey Good call Gaff !
     
  14. PropsPupMikel

    PropsPupMikel Member

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    Hey...that's cool, I would have never even thought of that...hmmmm....very cool
     
  15. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Like Van I am full of [-]useless[/-] "useful" information.
     
  16. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    I'm trying to find the pictures that go with this, but I think its the same thing as a commercial I saw for a new batman costume for kids. pull a string and the wings pop out, not unlike the monkey costumes from Wicked. I'll see if i can find some pics...

    Playsuit apparatus - Patent 7380285
     
  17. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    nevermind, its Buzz Lightyear from toy story. If you want to see the pictures, which use a spring and some actuators, from what i can infer, you have to get a free account on that site...
     

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