Some people have asked how I sculpted the wings of Illidan. The first time I made the wing, it was to get a feel for how to do it. Since I wanted to redo the wings to make them not only consistent but also more dynamic, I figured I'd take a few photographs along the way. I'm open for suggestions on how to do this better, so please comment, but here is how I approached it (with pictures).

Sculpting a Wing Tutorial
1. First, I drilled a hole into the back of Illidan. The wing is going to be heavy, so I wanted there to be enough mass of the wing that gets inserted into the back of Illidan to support the weight. I filled the holes with Magic Sculpt (I found Magic Sculpt to be a lot cheaper than aves, but they are very similar products). I then inserted a brass rod, and then inserted wire I twisted into that brass rod. I let that sit overnight to harden. The red dots you see are where all the elbows and joints of the wing "fingers" will be.

Sculpting a Wing Tutorial
2. Here you see I added the rest of the wing "fingers", all pre-measured for both wings. They are connected by quick curing plumbers epoxy, to speed up time. I then wrapped floral wire around each finger for the wire mesh and clay to stick to later. Repeat for second wing.

Sculpting a Wing Tutorial

3. Because the wings are so massive, I decided to add mesh as the base of the membranes. I think smaller pieces would be fine with thin layer of Magic Sculpt, but the size of the wings would have caused the sheet of Magic Sculpt to droop. I highlighted in red holes I made where each elbow of the finger would be. I then threaded the wire through those holes to help keep the mesh more secure.

Sculpting a Wing Tutorial

4. After I threaded, I "pinch" the mesh around the wire fingers, so that the mesh meets up in the half-way point of the finger. I do this because when I go to add Magic Sculpt, the membrane will look more realistic, like the membrane is really attached to the middle bone. I also run a little superglue along the finger, kick it with some Zip Kicker to cure instantly, to hold the mesh in place for the next step.

Sculpting a Wing Tutorial

5. The last step is to prepare the wing for clay/sculpey/wax, so we need to strengthen the membrane. Here I have pressed bits of Magic Sculpt into the wire mesh, as thin as possible, to create the membrane foundation. I used disposable vinyl gloves for this, and dip my fingers in water, sometimes dipping the chunks of Magic Sculpt into the water directly. This softens it, almost like a slurry, and helps spread it out a bit more easily.

I will let this all harden overnight, and begin adding super sculpey or wax (I still don't know what I'll use, I have to see if I have enough wax left to do this.

I'll add more pics in the next week of the detailing process.