Carving vs painting detail

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Carving vs painting detail

Postby Slack Tide » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:35 am

Hey guys..
I just a had a friend of mine rough cut some jumbo BBill heads for me...Soft ball sized!
I'm going to carve them and make the bodies. I'd like to model the deek as close to a (magnum) 72 as possible, but I want to add feather and tail detail. When I've done that in the past, I lose the detail with the burlapping process.
So, do you guys carve extra deep knowing that the lap will fill it in, so you can still have detail? Or, do you rely on painting to create the look of detail?
To answer the question I think I'm going to get..."why do you want them so big?"
They are going to act as the mainline buoy for long strings of divers..
Thanks all.
"I've been left for dead before but I'll still fight on, don't wait up, leave the light on, I'll be home soon"
Chris Smither
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Re: Carving vs painting detail

Postby Ringneck » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:15 pm

I don't work in foam so I'm not sure how you would go about that. That being said I always sway toward trying to acheive that look with paint instead of carving on a working bird. Carved in areas on the tail, back (primaries) result in raised areas that are subject to abrasions from everyday hunting.

If you go with the carved in look post it up. I'd like to see how it turns out. Alot of you foam guys are turning out some impressive work.
"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."

-Albert Einstein
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Re: Carving vs painting detail

Postby Frank Lopez » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:53 pm

Slack, forget the foam and get some cedar, the traditional LI decoy material! Seriously, it's great to work with. Standard two by lumber can be hollowed out and glued up to get the proper height. Cut a slot for a 3/8 inch pine board for the tail and you're all set. Suprising how well they ride in the water.

As far as detail, come on! These birds have a brain the size of half a walnut, have monocular vision are usually speeding by your spread at 30mph or so in poor light conditions. They're just not that smart! Besides, if you make your decoys too lifelike, you won't be able to tell them from the real thing if one slips into your righ unnoticed!

I have a book titled "Decoys of the Atlantic Flyway", by a Dr. Starr. Dr. Starr was a waterfowler turned decoy collector. I got the book nearly 40 years ago and it really turned my thoughts on decoys. Now, when I carve a set of blocks, I try and match the old working blocks of this area. Last year I carved half dozen buffleheads and half dozen redheads, to go with 9 or so broadbill that I did the year before. The style is simple, no elaborate detail. But when those things are on the water, riding the chop, they'll definitely toll birds. And you'll find yourself having a second look every now and then, too.

Frank
I feel slightly sorry for a man who has never patterned his gun, who has no idea how far his chosen load will retain killing penetration. But I'm extremely sorry for the ducks he shoots at beyond the killing range of his gun and load - Bob Brister
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Re: Carving vs painting detail

Postby Slack Tide » Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:05 pm

You'll like these Frank....
They are JUMBO....I'm making them for the mainline buoy for the longline of BBills.
"I've been left for dead before but I'll still fight on, don't wait up, leave the light on, I'll be home soon"
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Re: Carving vs painting detail

Postby Frank Lopez » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:23 pm

Slack Tide wrote:You'll like these Frank....
They are JUMBO....I'm making them for the mainline buoy for the longline of BBills.


One thing I never really understood was the use of oversized/magnum/super decoys!? I understand the concept that the bigger they are, the easier they are to see from a distance, but I'm not sure that's the advantage some say it is. I look at it this way. As a walk in hunter, there's a limit to what you can carry on your back into the marsh. My decoy bag will hold 36 standard sized decoys or 18 magnums. To my way of thinking, I'd rather have the 36 standards. On a salt marsh, there are few days of dead calm, so the more birds that are in a spread, the more motion, just from the waves. And motion is what the birds actually see. Also, there are days when a small spread is beneficial, and other days when a large spread will produce better. There are also days when it's best to set several "small spreads", i.e. well spaced family or breeding groups. With a large number of blocks, you can cover all basis. With magnums, not so much.

I've also found this to be true when hunting from a boat. Space is a premium in a lot of duck boats, and I find it easier to pack several smaller blocks than a few big ones.

Many years ago (35?) I had a small spread of HUGE cork broadbill. Maybe 6 or 9 birds. They were beautiful, typical Long Island cork blocks. We didn't really have much success with them, though. Seems like everytime we used the small spread with magnum birds we didn't do as well as with larger spreads of standard sized blocks.

Still, I can't wait to see yours, if only for artistic value! :wink:

Frank
I feel slightly sorry for a man who has never patterned his gun, who has no idea how far his chosen load will retain killing penetration. But I'm extremely sorry for the ducks he shoots at beyond the killing range of his gun and load - Bob Brister
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Re: Carving vs painting detail

Postby Slack Tide » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:44 pm

The idea started with painting a lobster buoy to resemble a BBill for the anchor and the mainline of a string of Bills.
Then I thought, why not carve a decoy to do the job, then I went BIG....
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