Introduction: Bird Feet
This tutorial will teach you how to make bird feet for model birds.
Step 1: Equipment
Wire (Image 1)
Gauge of wire depends on the size of bird.
0.8 mm will be fine for robin sized birds,
1mm at least for bigger birds. A millimeter makes a lot of difference to the flexibility of wire. Any thinner and it won't hold the bird up and any thicker and it will be really hard to bend.
So check your measurements carefuLlysfaen when shopping!
The picture shows black enamelled craft wire with a 0.8cm diameter. I order that online.
The aluminium garden wire in the same picture is 1mm thick. That wire is easy to pick up in local D.I.Y shops.
Needle nosed pliers (Image 2)
For cutting and bending wire. The correct sort have a flat area for gripping and bending the wire and a sharp area for cutting it. See image 2
Wool (Image 3)
I try and find thin wool in mixed tones like the wool in the picture to make the leg more realistic (nature rarely produces flat colour) What you pick depends on the end result you want though. Experiment!
(I don't need to add a picture of that hopefully!)
I pick up kids PVA where ever I find it cheap.
Step 2: Wire Armature
Cut piece of wire long enough to make two front toes, the legs and a connecting piece
as in image 1.
Get another piece of wire and attach it to one foot to make the back toe. Wrap it around the first wire up one leg and down the other. The end makes the other back toe as in image 2.
Try and make the toes the same length! Feet look very odd if they're uneven.
The third toe is more tricky. It needs to be slightly shorter than the middle front toe.
When you attach the toe to the leg you need to wrap the wire around the leg in the same direction as the wire for the back toe so it fits on snuggly next to this wire as in image 3.
Add the fourth toe the same way. When you have finished you should have something close to image 4.
Step 3: Adding Wool
Dip one of the toes in pva. Wrap the wool onto the toe tightly starting in the middle. Wrap down the toe towards the claw end to start. Then wrap the wool tightly back up the toe so the wool holds the end of the wool in place.
Dip the next toe in pva and carry on wrapping until you have covered all the toes wrapping down and then up. Try not to cut the wool at all. We really want to avoid any loose ends.
Next wrap the wool up one leg and down the other until the legs are both covered. Then wrap the other foot. When the foot is covered cut the wool and felt the end back on to the heel of the foot with a fine felting needle. If you don't think it'll hold use some glue too.