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 Feathered Kama! And more feathers! Opinions, materials, etc.

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Corvyn Nuhunar


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Hey guys! So, recently, I posted some concept stuff for my first set of armor. The armor is going to be bright and flashy, and I want it to have a lot of movement and visual interest. I briefly discussed why the feathers fit thematically in the Concept post (http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=163015.0), and got some feedback re:feathers on your armor. So I figured I would consult the Soft Parts board, since my main feather feature in the concept art is the kama!

Just so that people don't have to click around, here's one of the armor concepts with the feathery kama.


Now, there's three main questions I have:

1. Would a feathered kama even be approvable?

2. Is a feathered kama something that is cute in concept but would look tacky in execution? I love the idea, and I think the choice in material for feather construction would really affect the outcome, but I want some genuine advice here.

3. What material should I use, if the concept is approvable and has aesthetic potential? I had a few ideas on the matter. Obviously I could use fake feathers, dye them and weather them a bit, but as was pointed out in the Concept thread, this would lead to a pretty fragile kama. No good for troops. The second choice is to craft fake feathers using thin craft foam. The feathers could be sculpted and painted to sort of resemble the real thing, but I personally think it would be obvious that they were made of foam, and they would probably look a bit tacky. My third option was suggested to me by my fiance, and it's actually based on a Magic the Gathering card.



This is art from a card called Paradise Mantle, and though it's a little hard to tell, the concept here is that her cloak is made from metallic feathers. My fiance suggested that I could make similar metallic feathers for all the feather accents on my armor, including the kama, and just back them with thin layers of craft foam to stop them from jingling. (I'm going for flashy, not loud!) They would probably be made from aluminum or a similar metallic material, sculpted, and painted like the foam feathers. He suggested that this could look very cool and sci-fi while being a bit more durable than fake feathers. If I went with this option or the foam feather option, I would remove the feathers trimming the vambraces and just have the rangefinder feathers, the feather pauldron, and maybe the feather kama.

So what do you guys think? I'm pretty attached to the idea of feathers for this armor, and I would love some suggestions for how to make it work functionally and aesthetically. I'll take any advice you guys are willing to give! Thanks!

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OriKad


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Re: Feathered Kama! And more feathers! Opinions, materials, etc.
« Reply #1 on: Jan 02, 2019, 10:50 AM »
The only reason I'd suggest not using real feathers is that they'd end up pretty ragged-looking after a while, unless you care for it as if it were a museum piece.  Foam feathers will last longer, but they'll look cheap.  But you've already heard similar. :)

You could make molded fake feathers out of sintra, which would look a lot better than foam.  It would also look like scale mail, but that's not necessarily bad, as roman scale male was called 'Lorica plumata', or feather armor.  It would definitely weigh (and cost) a lot less than doing it with metal, and you wouldn't have to back the 'feathers' to prevent clinky noises... although, the sound effect would probably be pretty cool.  Making sintra feathers would be about the same process as foam feathers, only take a little longer and more heat.

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Corvyn Nuhunar


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Re: Feathered Kama! And more feathers! Opinions, materials, etc.
« Reply #2 on: Jan 02, 2019, 11:37 AM »
You could make molded fake feathers out of sintra, which would look a lot better than foam.  It would also look like scale mail, but that's not necessarily bad, as roman scale male was called 'Lorica plumata', or feather armor.  It would definitely weigh (and cost) a lot less than doing it with metal, and you wouldn't have to back the 'feathers' to prevent clinky noises... although, the sound effect would probably be pretty cool.  Making sintra feathers would be about the same process as foam feathers, only take a little longer and more heat.

That's an excellent idea, vod! I'll definitely look into that.  Ori'vor'e! :D

Also, I've updated the kit plans and I will probably have fewer feathers now, but they are still an important part of the kit. The newer design is this:



Here, the feathers line the top of the kama and trim the bottom of the flappy bit. So there will still hopefully be some movement with the feathers there, but it's a bit less wild than an all-feather kama.  :like:

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Re: Feathered Kama! And more feathers! Opinions, materials, etc.
« Reply #3 on: Jan 02, 2019, 04:29 PM »
If you use goose shoulder (aka nagoire) feathers - they're fluffy and remarkably durable especially if they're sewn to fabric. I've also made oversized fake feathers using two layers of broadcloth with a 12 gauge wire as the spine and construction/carpet adhesive to make them stiff. Check out the Crooked Feather on YouTube - she makes articulated wings and is an amazing resource for all things feather related.

(edit: figured it out. not sure how/if I can add a pic to my reply, but I'm happy to share pics of my wing build with you)




« Last Edit: Jan 02, 2019, 04:37 PM by JenEcho » Logged

Corvyn Nuhunar


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Re: Feathered Kama! And more feathers! Opinions, materials, etc.
« Reply #4 on: Jan 02, 2019, 11:14 PM »
If you use goose shoulder (aka nagoire) feathers - they're fluffy and remarkably durable especially if they're sewn to fabric. I've also made oversized fake feathers using two layers of broadcloth with a 12 gauge wire as the spine and construction/carpet adhesive to make them stiff. Check out the Crooked Feather on YouTube - she makes articulated wings and is an amazing resource for all things feather related.

(edit: figured it out. not sure how/if I can add a pic to my reply, but I'm happy to share pics of my wing build with you)



Oooh, I'll have to look into nagoire feathers, thanks for the suggestion! I've seen some cosplayers do cloth feathers, so that's also an option for sure. I'll just have to ask the App Team what they think  :D

(By the by, those wings are lovely!)

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Novoc Mereel


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Re: Feathered Kama! And more feathers! Opinions, materials, etc.
« Reply #5 on: Jan 07, 2019, 11:03 PM »
If you use goose shoulder (aka nagoire) feathers - they're fluffy and remarkably durable especially if they're sewn to fabric. I've also made oversized fake feathers using two layers of broadcloth with a 12 gauge wire as the spine and construction/carpet adhesive to make them stiff. Check out the Crooked Feather on YouTube - she makes articulated wings and is an amazing resource for all things feather related.

(edit: figured it out. not sure how/if I can add a pic to my reply, but I'm happy to share pics of my wing build with you)



This is so freaking cool.

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Re: Feathered Kama! And more feathers! Opinions, materials, etc.
« Reply #6 on: Jan 09, 2019, 10:40 AM »
Have you considered leather? I know it is a bit more expensive but I think layered leather with feathering and decoration could look really awesome too.

Corvyn Nuhunar


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Re: Feathered Kama! And more feathers! Opinions, materials, etc.
« Reply #7 on: Jan 09, 2019, 11:38 AM »
Have you considered leather? I know it is a bit more expensive but I think layered leather with feathering and decoration could look really awesome too.

Leather would be lovely, but my main concern is being able to dye it. I think a brown leather kama would be a bit too toned-down in terms of color, even if it was decorated with feathers. When I'm in the actual construction phase, I might grab some leather and see how it looks. I'm always open to new design ideas  :like:

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Re: Feathered Kama! And more feathers! Opinions, materials, etc.
« Reply #8 on: Jan 09, 2019, 11:41 AM »
you can definitely dye leather in bright colors and you can even buy it dyed already. check out Tandy Leather company they have everything you could imagine in leather. Just a thought I think it is the right mix of durable and not cheap or cheesy looking.

Corvyn Nuhunar


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Re: Feathered Kama! And more feathers! Opinions, materials, etc.
« Reply #9 on: Jan 09, 2019, 11:56 AM »
you can definitely dye leather in bright colors and you can even buy it dyed already. check out Tandy Leather company they have everything you could imagine in leather. Just a thought I think it is the right mix of durable and not cheap or cheesy looking.

Oh, that's great! If I can just order some bright orange leather, that would be wonderful. It's such a nice-looking and sturdy material, I was really just concerned about the color. Thanks!

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