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2000 Nevar

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Nevar - wings foldedRavens are one of my favorite birds. They're absolutely beautiful, for one thing, and for another, the mythology surrounding ravens is so close to that of coyotes that I couldn't help get interested in them.

This is probably the most realistic costume I've done so far. I had a lot of fun, both building and wearing it; it's a surprisingly light and comfortable costume. (It helped that it was exceptionally cold this Halloween, but still, wearing an all-black costume around in Phoenix and not being uncomfortable is really something!)

Most of the techniques I used on this costume were things I've done before; the mask was made out of plastic mesh, yarn, and foam, covered with fake fur and papier mache. The bodysuit is all either short or long-napped black fur. The wings are made of fur and different types of felt.

As for things I did differently with this costume... Well, it was almost necessary to make it in only two pieces, but it was a nice change, only having to worry about the neck seam. I also discovered the joys of a hot glue gun, and what a handy thing it can be when sewing simply isn't an option.

Obviously the wings were something new, too. Basically, they're similar to the ones on my red dragon costume; they're just my arms, and then a dowel that I hold out to extend the wings. Everything else is just different types of fabric and detailing.

For the long feathers, I found a type of stiff felt at a craft store (Michaels), that held its shape perfectly. The smaller feathers are just regular felt, and then there's a fur sleeve that my arm goes into. The back of the wings are furred. Since I knew I was going to be wearing this during at least one class, I needed to figure out a way to work while in costume. There's a pocket of fur where my hand goes, the opening of which is overlapped by the fur sleeve. While my hand is inside of the pocket, the opening is invisible, but I can slip my hands out of the opening. (That was also handy for putting the mask on.) The second-to-last picture on the left shows what I'm talking about.

The mask is, like I said, very similar to how I've been building them lately. The base of it is made out of plastic mesh, and I attach a piece of foam around the back to build up the neck. That helps make the neck look a little longer, and makes it look a little more realistic, less like a person in a mask. The beak is papier mache, sanded down and then smoothed out with spackling. The only problem with that technique is that the thin areas tend to be brittle; you can see a small cracked area on the left side of the beak in a couple pictures. But the rest of the beak held up just fine, and that part won't be hard to fix. The eyes are made out of the clear-plastic parts of those googly eyes they sell at craft stores.

The rest of it is pretty straightforward; the tail is made of the same stiff felt that the long feathers of the wings are. The feet are made out of the soles of a pair of slippers, fleece, and plastic bear claws that you should be able to find at craft stores.

That's pretty much it for this bird. Hope you like her!

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