This Years Foamer Spread - Species

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This Years Foamer Spread - Species

Postby ScaupHunter » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:03 am

As most of you know I have been busy making a few hundred foamers and have had a blast hunting over the spread this year. I guess I am doing ok on the paint jobs since Bella who had never retrieved a decoy or tried to last year swam up to several decoys and gave them a hard look before moving on to make retieves this year. As promised in another post I am going to be posting up different decoy sets I have completed.

All of these decoys are gunners so don't expect to much on the paint jobs. I am unhappy with a lot of details on the different birds and a few overall paint jobs. I am still working on patterns and variables for some of the species. I plan to repaint the ones I am not happy with over the summer.

Old Squaw - 5 drakes and 4 hens. I have plans to have 10 drakes and 8 hens in the spread when I am done.

OS3.jpg


Harlequins - 4 Drakes - 4 Hens - I have plans for a total of 12 in the spread

Harli[2].jpg


Brant Geese - I have 8 of these completed with plans for 12 more coming to a pot of boiling water near me soon! :lol3:

photo[9].jpg


photo[7].jpg


photo[8].jpg


The Brant are a great example of birds that are going to be getting some painting updates. I am going to redo the sides and color highlighting. Dry brushing didn't work that well so I am going to be going to sweeping washes instead. I am hoping H20 or someone else will take pity on me and get some good pictures of some Brant so I can get the decoys close. Yah, I know they are dumb and will decoy to anything. I am still hoping someone takes pity on me anyway. :beer:
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Re: This Years Foamer Spread - Species

Postby h2ofowlr » Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:24 pm

They look good. If you get some of the black sprinkler system line, you can slit it and cut off an 11" section. Make a slit in the tail end of you old squaw and insert with silicone or other glue. Make them even more life like.
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Re: This Years Foamer Spread - Species

Postby ScaupHunter » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:36 am

Another option I had considered was making a snap in system with heavy duty zip ties locked into a plastic base. That way I wouldn't have to worry about bending and fighting with the tail shapes when pulling them out of the bags. Just pop them into the tails of the deeks as a I put them out and pull them as I bring the decoys in at the end of the day.

Thanks a bunch for the photos of the Brant Geese! The Brant decoys are going to be getting a base coat of grey on the sides. That will of course be after I get done loading the rig and boat out for a hunting trip planned for Saturday. I will highlight the sides with with a creamy white for feathering to match the live birds. I plan to hit the backs with a light colored wash to to give them a feather edge effect and call em done at that point. Now to cast the next 12 and get them done so I am ready for next season.
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Re: This Years Foamer Spread - More Divers

Postby ScaupHunter » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:49 am

Here are a few pictures of some other deeks I have been using this season.

IMG_0417.JPG


I am not totally happy with the GE hens and plan to repaint parts of them. They eyes have been mounted in all of them now, and the orange on the bills added for the hens. We managed to land GE's right in the decoys this year so the hens are close enough to work. I am going to make a couple of sleeper hens and that will get me to the 12 Common GE's I planned. I still need to make up another dozen bodies and heads for Barrows before next season.

IMG_0412.JPG


These redheads have not had any company this season. The eyes have been mounted and the white on the bill tips widened to match a real bird. I have two hens close to completion and will post up pictures of them later. I have plans for another 6 redhead decoys. A dozen of them along with a dozen canvasback deeks will put a good amount of red in my spread when hunting areas they frequent.
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Re: This Years Foamer Spread - Species

Postby eagles2069 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:44 am

Scaup I think those GE hens look pretty darn good. My hens are just brown heads with a grey body with no detail and I get a ton of birds coming in. I can only imagine how much the GE loves those.
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Re: This Years Foamer Spread - Species

Postby ScaupHunter » Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:31 pm

They definitely worked. I am just being a bit anal about the paint. I enjoy the process and want them to look awesome to me on the water. I could have had them all painted and done before season if I just wanted to general paint job. I am going on my third paint job on large goose floaters. I will say that I think they look awesome right now. I just got the colors wrong. They pull birds. That doesn't matter to me, they look wrong and it bugs me so I am going to repaint them and the others I will make in the off season.

I have plans for a total of 12 large Canada goose floaters and 12 small / medium floaters. Toss in a dozen snow goose floaters and a bunch of bodies for field hunting. I am working up a leg design and a connection point design for mounting them into a foam decoy body. The goal is 36 snow goose foamers and then a bunch of windsocks by next season.
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Re: This Years Foamer Spread - Species

Postby h2ofowlr » Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:56 pm

How much time do you have in each decoy? You have the artistry that I don't have. I probably would give the kids decoy both at the sportsman show a good run for the money though. :yes:
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Re: This Years Foamer Spread - Species

Postby ScaupHunter » Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:45 pm

I haven't really stopped to calculate it for each bird. I can tell you that hens are a pain in the rear to paint. Tons of detail to get them right. I will be posting up pics after the weekend of mallard, pintail, and teal hens I am still not done or happy with. They pulled birds just fine. I don't care, I won't quit until I can sit back and admire the gorgeous decoys in the spread. Then I will find something else wrong and adjust the paint schemes a bit. :help:

Lets see here.

Heads Mold prep and bead prep - 5 min
Loading beads and nail - packing - 5 min
Toss in boiling water - 15 to 30 min
Toss in cold water bath - 20 minutes
Removing head casting - 2 min
Flash removal -1 min
Grinding to final shape - 2 min
Hand sanding to smooth edges - 5 min
Painting - 10 min to 15 min - varies by number of colors and species

Total - short end without the boiling and cooling is 30 minutes per head - Long side is 40 to 45 minutes. The short side is doing them in bulk and using power tools for some of the work.

Bodies.

Heads Mold prep and bead prep - 5 min
Loading beads and nail - packing - 5 min
Toss in boiling water - 30 min
Toss in cold water bath - 30 minutes
Removing body - 2 min
Flash removal - 5 min
Grinding edges to final shape - 3 min
Hand sanding to smooth edges - 10 min
Head Mounting - 10 min
Glue set time - 24 hours
Apoxy Sculpt head / body line - 10 min
Keel cutting and mounting - 10 min
Restle Coat - 20 mins
Painting - 30 min to 2 hours- varies by number of colors and species
- Hens take forever to get right could be three hours on a fancy bird

Total on the short side without boiling and cooling or glue / restle coat drying time - 3 hours - Long side 5 hours

I really don't have accurate numbers since I make everything in bulk groups. These numbers are an educated guess based on experience. I will say that just doing a bit after work each night assembly line style will get you a lot of decoys completed prior to season if you are persistant.

I boil a series of molds / castings as well as prep and remove bodies in groups. Everything is done production line style since I wanted to get a ton of them done before season. I remove one set of molds and toss another set in the boiling water, etc.... I Clean up and edge shape / sand in groups. I paint them assembly line style. All body colors of each color done at once, etc....

I know that guys who paint presentation and fancy decoys can spend 10 to 20 hours per bird. I won't even get into repaint time, and geese, with me being on the third paint job for some after season ends. That is a personal satisfaction issue.

Now mind, these numbers are all off the cuff estimates with no tracking of real time so take them as just that estimates. No effort was made to be precise here. :lol3:
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Re: This Years Foamer Spread - Species

Postby WYTRANSPLANT » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:04 pm

Awesome. Those harlies are nice, so are the rest but really like those. Nice work. I will be bugging you in off season for tips
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Re: This Years Foamer Spread - Species

Postby QH's Paw » Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:11 am

SH, I would agree with the previous statement on the GE hens. The improvements you've stated have been made are all I would even consider. The bodies look spot on. When you say you are adding the eyes, does that mena you went to bead eyes or are you just meaning painted eyes?
There are very few of us, that diver hunt, who even use hens. Your spreads will get second looks just due to the addition of the hens, guaranteed. Really a great job on the GE and, I'm looking forward to see your Barrows. :thumbsup:

Also,
Thanks for supplying the rambler this year for the Pacific flyway. We had fun gunning over it.
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Re: This Years Foamer Spread - Species

Postby billsarima » Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:28 pm

Wow!!! Nice work!!!! :thumbsup:
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Re: This Years Foamer Spread - Species

Postby ScaupHunter » Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:03 pm

I put eyes in them before hunting them. I use glass eyes. It is just part of my OCD about hobby stuff. I did hunt a few times over some without eyes until I had time to mount them. They pulled plenty of birds,so the eyes are really in there for me, not the birds.

I can tell you that my diver spreads get birds bombing into the spread on a regular basis, even on highly pressured birds. The hens add a lot of realism to a spread. I paint up first year drakes with the brown bodies, black / green heads, and splotches of white with vermiculation on them as well. I want to match real world flocks as closely as I can. I am working up a big set of pinners with better paint than what I had this season. I will adjust the back feather detail on the ones I alread have once I am happy with the new paint jobs. I am casting up a bunch of widgeon bodies and heads, with plans for some Gadwall. Snows, Cacklers, modified paint Brant, and some Wood Ducks are in the offing this season as well. I eventually plan to have paint jobs set up for a variety of different Canada Geese so I can adjust to what I am seeing in the field in different areas.

I have to put a bunch of effort into the puddler hens with head ticking, and overall body coloration changes. I am going to be making some major changes to the fine feather details on them as well. What I have works, but doesn't look right up close. I am going to spend enough time on them that I am happy with the paint schemes. That way I know the decoys paint jobs are not the problem when birds won't work.

Either way it is a lot of fun, and very satisfying to hunt over decoys I made.

Anyone who has questions just PM away, I am happy to help out. The first tip is go to Working Decoys.net and start reading up. It has most of the information you need to get rolling.
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