Every now and again I need to do a test render to show myself some progress, because laying out feathers is very tedious. Right wing only has flight feathers, left wing has two layers of underside coverts (the second layer is incomplete) and I'll figure out how to do the downy feathers later. In the interests of speed I set it to render only one child per strand, this one took about 15mins. 5 children per strand looks better, when I have the time and the inclination I'll compare it to 20 (which was what I was using originally before there were too many feathers) and see if the extra children is worth the jump in render time.
I'm pretty sure properly textured polygon feathers would also look good and would definitely render quicker, but I'm still thinking these ones look better, even in the ratty state and clipping through the legs as they are at the moment.
The polygon feathers took about 5mins to render. The comparison here is a bit unfair as this version has topside coverts and the underside coverts aren't all positioned properly as I had lost work (tragic story of not having saved where I was quite sure I had saved and found out the hard way when I needed to revert) and was really not liking how the polygon feathers were looking so cracked it and started playing with particle feathers shortly after.
I have no idea what possessed me to think that it would be easier to do the Avian model first. Should have done the Dragonkin model first, all I had to do was resize it up to 2m tall nd then it was just bat wings with an oversized thumb claw. Perhaps finishing on the hopefully easier note will be a good thing.