The wings

 If your looking for part 1 of the Owl Lectern click here

This next stage, the wings took a bit of thinking, I wanted the wings to be angled back and fully spread out as if he was landing on the ball. They also had to be strong because I wanted each feather to stand out and have detail. I wanted there to be three layers of feathers for each wing. However they needed to taper back on each other so they weren’t bulky.

The foam lids that I had picked up from work were about 22mm (13/16”) thick, that was way to thick so I needed to be able to cut it down to about 8mm (3/16”) and this thickness had to be even. This really got me thinking, so I ended up making a hot wire jigsaw to slice the foam.

I then clamped a piece of wood 8mm (3/16”) from the cutting wire, to be used as a fence and connected the wires to my battery charger for power.  Now I was able to cut three piece of foam 8mm (3/16”) thick for each wing.

I had to draw the wings freehand but luckily for you there is a template in my book. Once I had the measurements marked out for the overall length I drew it in one go. I drew this on a piece of 3mm (1/8”) mdf as I had heaps of off cuts from making the walls still in my garage.

It is best to be fluid with your strokes when drawing the wings, as it gives it a more realistic look, rather than going slowly over each feather a few times to try to get the shape. After I had drawn the first row of feathers, I staggered the next row and made them slightly smaller, then staggered the last row of feathers and made them even smaller again.

When I was happy with the wing, I simply cut out the whole wing from the MDF with a jigsaw and used it in reverse as a template for the other wing. All that was left to do was to draw the inner rows of feathers freehand inside the other wing template.

Now that I had both wings, I held them close to the body to make sure I was happy with the wing span, and I was. Next I took my three pieces of foam that I had sliced down to 8 mm (3/16”), these were going to be the three rows of feathers.


To transfer the pattern of the feathers to the foam I used some bake paper and traced the first row. I then simply placed it on the foam and traced over the pattern, this left a slight impression in the foam which I went over again with a pen to get a clear outline.

Once I had the three rows off feathers cut out, I lay them on top of each other to see how they looked and if I was happy, they were really coming along nicely. I tapered the top edge of the bottom two rows of feathers so they lay nicely on top of each other.

Then before I glued them in place, I shaped the end of each feather to give it a slimmer profile. Then glued them on top of each other.  This has been by far the most challenging thing I had made and also the most rewarding.


There’s a lady at work Jackie (who is a good friend) and happens to like Harry Potter too, so every day when I had made some more progress I would take some photos on my iPhone to showed her at work.

Her response was always the same ” How did you do that? ” to which I replied jokingly ” Never you mind”. She was always interested in what I was doing next and that helped me to keep on going when at times I just didn’t want to do any more.

The other problem was that I was running out of time, I had so many more props to make and the date of the party was getting closer. I hadn’t been fishing for months and that is a huge passion of mine, but I wanted to give Leon a party that he and his friends would not forget. I stayed focused  and worked on the props for about 5 hours each day before work, lucky I started work at 2pm so I had the mornings to work uninterrupted.

Back to the owl. It was all starting to come together and I was really happy, the next thing to do was to glue the wings to the body.

I didn’t want the wings to be just straight out to the side, they had to be angled back as though he was ready to land.  I needed to cut two wedges of foam so I could glue the wings to the body at the correct angle. When I had the angle right I glued everything with 5min Araldite, this glue is strong and perfect for what I was doing.

So what is Chester going to stand on……Hmmm…

Click here to go to Part 3

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