doh, I'm a little bummed that the poof didn't work out, but we agree and did another take, including back view for modeling ref. I've also started building some base meshes. My arm slot is going to be really tight, as is probably the rest, but I should be able to make it..
The main issue is that I didn't check if Phantom Lancer had alpha support before we started doing all the feather stuff. I think we can get by with just modeled feathers though.. we'll see!
and a quick feather test, simple geo and vert paint cobbled together to see if it would read right from player view. I think this could work.
Thanks again guys for all your feedback!