Been a while, 1st Flying Mount, 3rd overall

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Been a while, 1st Flying Mount, 3rd overall

Postby JustinNH » Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:07 am

Hi all,

I did this a few weeks ago but never got around to posting it here. Please forgive the borders, etc on the pic... I posted it in several forums and wanted to make it look a bit more presentable.

Things I noticed:

I did a better job at degreasing/cleaning the feathers than on the scoter I did a year ago.

The bill looks like it is missing the black in the front from the angle I took the pic, but I assure it is painted properly and pretty darn close to the color it should be, which I was happy with.

This is my first flying mount and only third overall mount. Over a year since my last bird mount. (Had done a muskrat mount and a bunch of home tanning furs).

---------------------
Issues:
Wings... several issues with them that I can see. I had a hard time with positioning them. I do not think I got the wires in enough (to the body, which could be why the tertials(?) seem wrong as well) and the way they are open is not correct. Opinions?

Eye... I sliced off the top part of the eye ring and need to rebuild it. Right now it only has a bottom part. I have researched how to do this but if anyone has a tip, I am open to hear them.

Neck... not taxied properly... the black patch should be more rounded and less elongated/ stretched like I have it. For whatever reason I did not notice that until after it dried and was too late. :no:

Back feathers... could use a bit more work. a few holes didn't help, but did teach me. Back feathers are vastly better than my first bird (bufflehead dead mount).


I am open to any critiques and help fixing future mistakes. I have tough skin like the divers do :beer:
Only way to learn!

Thank you for your time
-Justin
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Re: Been a while, 1st Flying Mount, 3rd overall

Postby The Waterfowler » Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:35 am

You are to be commended for your honest critique first of all. What imediately jumps out to me is the wings. An easy way to describe the position is to hold your arms out, palms up and drop your elbows toward the floor. This is the position the wings should have. Like the normal bends of the arm. I do a lot of wing positioning initially before I ever put the bird on a base if it is a flying bird. Makes it easier to do the manipulation, but again this is just me and may not be for everyone. I'm not polished by any means and really have no authority on what's right or wrong but you seem to want to learn and I hope this helps. There are some serious guys on here that might be able to explain better and don't thake things personal from those trying to help. More than half the work for a finished bird is on the inside and feathers will never lay right if it isn't cleaned well of fat and tissue. I also think the body is a little long but that might be due to the wing position as well. Keep it up as you have potential.
Helping waterfowl make bad decisions since 1961.






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Re: Been a while, 1st Flying Mount, 3rd overall

Postby Pete-pec » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:41 am

Pat nailed the description on the wings. the wire will not be simply straight away from the bird's manikin. I will bend the wire in a sort sideways "Z". The humerus bone will sort of lay along the side of the bird running to the tail, then the radius and ulna will rise upwards towards the head, and then the wrist or primary feathers will either be straight away from the radius and ulna, or sweep backwards a bit. This is all depending on the look your going for. Diving into the decoys, or flaring. I would say an old squaw's primaries would look better laying slightly back, but they certainly can do about anything. When I wore my wings, I simply have the wire run to the wrist of the bird. I do not push it in the meat unless I am strictly going for a flaring look. Instead, I just put the wire into this socket that sits between the two bones at the wrist. I then tape with electric tape at this joint, and then bend the wire at the "elbow" of the bird, following it's natural contour an bend. I tape at this juncture before and after the elbow, and run my wires into my manikin. Now you can certainly run your wires through the skin, and many people do. I just simply choose not to. Filling the wing with material to give it it's muscle back can be done with batting or caulk. Again, I use a syringe, and use clay-based wallpaper paste, and inject under the wing at the wrist, and fill it to the desired plumpness I'm going for. I do not over stuff the wings, and the feathers lay as they should. The roughness of the back feathers can be from several things. Pat talked about fleshing, and for sure this is one. Leaving grease behind will make it look stringy. Those feathers are delicate. Over fleshing can disturb them as well, and also the surface you are mounting your bird on can definitely be another. I use a very soft wool cloth that acts as a pad, and I try not to drag the bird as I'm running wires etc.

The neck is a simple fix. You already know what you need to do. The mistake is quite common, but pulling the skin towards the bill will help tremendously. You will need to fill the neck at the neck/manikin juncture. Many people use caulk. I use the paste here as well.

The eye ring? I use two part epoxie sculpt, and make the ring by rolling a small piece, and shaping it with a tool to give it texture. After it hardens, I use a fine camel haired brush, and paint it.

Now As far as Pat not having any authority? Well, then I have even less. The whole point is, that there is more than one way to accomplish this. Read, take notes, try, and mend what went wrong. You will learn what works for you, and find your own method. It may be a rendition of many taxidermists? I know I do things no one has ever tried, and it works for me. I have listened, and read pointers from many fine taxidermists, and I am never satisfied. Not sure I ever will? I will however keep looking to step outside the box, and try other methods. This in my opinion makes you improve. That is probably everyone's goal I'd imagine?
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Re: Been a while, 1st Flying Mount, 3rd overall

Postby JustinNH » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:15 am

Thank you both, I value both of your opinions/critiques/tips highly :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Been a while, 1st Flying Mount, 3rd overall

Postby Pete-pec » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:46 pm

Justin, one thing I know for sure, is your wings are too far from the body. Did you cut the ball off the humerus that would be its shoulder? I take mine down to perhaps half of what was there. Some people will countersink a hole that allows this ball to sit in the manikin. Either way, the scapulars sit over the back like your shoulder blades sit on yours. So if they are off to the side, they are too far from the form. Surprisingly, you can compensate a bit in this spot, by bending the humerus downward like Pat and I mentioned in the previous post. If you go to cut bone, I suggest scoring the entire surface of the bone with a dull knife, and then once scored, you can break it cleanly without shards of bone. I do this, and at the same time, I remove the bit of marrow with a piece of wire, and stuff some borax in the hole
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Re: Been a while, 1st Flying Mount, 3rd overall

Postby JustinNH » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:54 pm

Pete-pec wrote:Justin, one thing I know for sure, is your wings are too far from the body. Did you cut the ball off the humerus that would be its shoulder? I take mine down to perhaps half of what was there. Some people will countersink a hole that allows this ball to sit in the manikin. Either way, the scapulars sit over the back like your shoulder blades sit on yours. So if they are off to the side, they are too far from the form. Surprisingly, you can compensate a bit in this spot, by bending the humerus downward like Pat and I mentioned in the previous post. If you go to cut bone, I suggest scoring the entire surface of the bone with a dull knife, and then once scored, you can break it cleanly without shards of bone. I do this, and at the same time, I remove the bit of marrow with a piece of wire, and stuff some borax in the hole


Yes, I cut off the ball and the top 1/3 or so of the bone. I used a syringe filled with water to push out every bit of the marrow. Thanks for the tip on cutting! Every other one would not cut cleanly and that may just stop that :thumbsup:

I agree, the wings are too far out, causing the scaps and other feathers to not line up correct. First thing I noticed when I looked at it finished. I think the reason was hit on earlier in how the wing bones/wire lay... I do not have them in the natural position. Exactly why I post them up for critiques... :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Been a while, 1st Flying Mount, 3rd overall

Postby JustinNH » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:58 pm

Also- Next up in line is a WW scoter. Feet are injected/painted, bird is skinned and needs to be fleshed.

Having trouble painting the bill without an airbrush to get a good blend and getting the right colors, but I'll keep at it. I can always repaint it later as my main goal now is getting wing placement correct and improving on fleshing/washing.... and everything else of course
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Re: Been a while, 1st Flying Mount, 3rd overall

Postby Pete-pec » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:11 pm

Justin, Interesting that you chose to inject and paint the feet before you've fleshed? Did you remove them to add them later? I assume so. I'm one of those old school guys who leaves his legs attached to the skin, and injects after the bird is taxi'd, then paint the feet when dried. I would invest in a cheap air brush minimum, and consider getting a better one down the road. I still have a cheap one, but painting isn't my thing, and it works fine for my level. I would think a white-winged scoter would be difficult to paint with a brush, considering it isn't the easiest bird to paint with an air brush. Are you using the original bill or artificial?
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Re: Been a while, 1st Flying Mount, 3rd overall

Postby JustinNH » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:37 pm

Pete-pec wrote:Justin, Interesting that you chose to inject and paint the feet before you've fleshed? Did you remove them to add them later? I assume so. I'm one of those old school guys who leaves his legs attached to the skin, and injects after the bird is taxi'd, then paint the feet when dried. I would invest in a cheap air brush minimum, and consider getting a better one down the road. I still have a cheap one, but painting isn't my thing, and it works fine for my level. I would think a white-winged scoter would be difficult to paint with a brush, considering it isn't the easiest bird to paint with an air brush. Are you using the original bill or artificial?


Yeah, I heard about removing them on taxi net (guess a lot do) and found it much easier. I am a little messy injecting and painting, so I thought it would be safer that way too. Plus it breaks it off into an extra step than can be done at my leisure, not worrying about doing any more or less. I wouldn't be opposed to trying it with them on down the line, but for now this seems to work for me.

yeah, I was thinking of getting one from Harbor freight for cheap as a temp option... funds are a bit limited until after hunting season though. But I recognize that if I want to take it to the next level at some point, I will need one :thumbsup:

I am using an artificial head. I tried to set up a real head (just the head, for practice) a while ago and found it too much extra work... but I was able to get the concepts down in case I cannot find a repro head for some odd ball hybrid or odd sized one. Soooooo much easier using the artificial head.

Certainly a strange combo of colors on the WW scoter bill. Hopefully I will figure out some good mixes and give it a shot this weekend.
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Re: Been a while, 1st Flying Mount, 3rd overall

Postby wanapasaki » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:43 pm

Sorry, I can't critique, but I'll provide you with some birds if you send them back :beer:
Give a man a duck... Feed him for a day... Teach him to fowl hunt... Feed him for a lifetime...Teach him in your spot... Learn to hunt a different spot....
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Re: Been a while, 1st Flying Mount, 3rd overall

Postby quack wackr » Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:32 pm

what do you guys inject into your feet ?
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