pre-made eye rings

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pre-made eye rings

Postby Pete-pec » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:09 pm

I was mentioning these pre-made eye rings that I use for my birds. I wanted to share some pictures of the process.

Like I said before, I plug these into the socket, it grabs a bit of skin and clinches that skin against the eye ring, and the wet apoxie sculpt that is in the socket. This is the first step to modeling them. Once they dry overnight, I paint them with lacquer paints with a fine camel haired paint brush. If any paint gets on the eye, I simply scratch it off with a scalpel.

After the paint dries, I will put an eraser type plug on the bottom side of the eye, and sharpen it slightly so it drives into the opening at the eye, and sits in the wet apoxie until it all hardens a day later. Of course the eye rings are slightly larger than the real deal, although the hazel eye is for a hen old squaw, and they have very puffy eye rings, but the eye ring sort of meshes against those tiny feathers and disappears a bit. So most of the eye ring is sort of imbedded over the skin, and into the socket that has the wet apoxie sculpt in it.

The only tools I use is apoxie sculpt, wax paper to work on, and allows me to remove the eye later, a sharp scalpel, and a bent pin to help sculpt the duct and the nictitating membrane in the corner of the eye. I understand that that membrane is clear, but I make mine out of sculpt, and I paint it. It is very hard to see, and although this is something someone would do in a competition, it is really only for my pleasure. I very rarely display my work or my collection. I'm simply trying to get to that next level.

So the first thing I do is take a piece of balled up sculpt and put it under the eye, and press it to the wax paper to to keep it in place. After the process is complete, I can simply remove it by taking a scalpel blade, and sliding it under the eye, and allow it to dry overnight.

I roll up some sculpt into a worm, (picture is rolled up apoxie)

I take a piece and wrap it under the eye, and cut both ends at an angle. (Step 1)

Then I do the same thing, and wrap it over the top. (Step 2)

Then I cut that off at an angle. (Step 3)

I blend the two together. (step 4)

They are in reverse order, and I'm not doing it again! lol

I'll continue with the next couple sequences on the next post.
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step 4
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step 3
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step 2
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step 1
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worm
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Re: pre-made eye rings

Postby Pete-pec » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:28 pm

I then take a bent pin, and sculpt the nictitating membrane by making a pocket and allowing some apoxie to stay on the eye, and the corner is the duct. The bent pin allows me to shape a triangle because the pin is sharp, and smooth, and doesn't stick to the sculpt.

After I have shaped both corners of the eye, I then take the sharp scalpel blade, and cut at an angel (towards the glass eye) and shave off the excess apoxie sculpt until it's thin enough. If you want to go thinner, you need to let it harden for thirty minutes to an hour depending on humidity. I sent a picture of the finished eyes.

I also sent along a picture of the old squaw right left, and pair.


Let it harden overnight, and then paint. I will update tomorrow.
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Pair for an old squaw hen
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The finished pair to harden overnight
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Step 5
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Re: pre-made eye rings

Postby duxrus » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:09 pm

Aren't you Mr. Fancy pants... :clapping:
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Re: pre-made eye rings

Postby sprigpig1 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:25 pm

Thanks Pete.... Awful nice of you to post that up :thumbsup:
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Re: pre-made eye rings

Postby sprigpig1 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:08 am

Pete, just so I'm understanding you right, youre putting the eyes in after you pulled your cape over the artificial head so it pinches the skin against the head? This application would work with clay in the socket as well right?
Last edited by sprigpig1 on Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: pre-made eye rings

Postby Pete-pec » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:08 am

Brian, I've ben off work recovering after surgery, and am bored out of my mind.I g back in a week, and it isn't soon enough. Cabin fever is setting in!

I figured after our email today, I thought I'd get at them. I've explained it to other taxidermy friends over the phone, as well as a decoy carver from another forum, and thought I'd share my cheaters method making the "fancy" eye ring, which is really an easier method to the end result. Plug it in, adjust it, and you are done. Zero pins, and it's way easy for me. I think we've already talked about this taxidermy thing once or twice, but we all do it a little different don't we? Hey, I don't expect everyone to drop what they're currently doing, but if you struggle with setting the eyes, this will certainly make things easier for you, even if it is flawed, and is not the standard! :yes:
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Re: pre-made eye rings

Postby Pete-pec » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:12 am

Sorry, we were typing at the same time.

Yes, I am pinching the skin against the socket that has it filled completely with "clay". I use apoxie sculpt, because I'm using an artificial head, I sculpt the ring out of the same material, and I think it is much stronger when it hardens. Apoxie Sculpt is water based, and is a two part apoxie that is soft just like clay, and hardens like a rock with zero shrinkage. If you are using the original head, you can still rebuild the head with clay (or apoxie sculpt) and still fill the eye sockets with apoxie sculpt. It costs like 12 bucks for 16 ounces of the stuff (two 8 ounce jars of each) and it lasts a long time. In my opinion, a must have for bird taxidermy.

I fill the sockets with apoxie sculpt. I bore the sockets larger than the artificial head comes with (a real head has sockets already the right size for the plug, as well as deeper). I fill it, glue my skin at the bill juncture, and insert the plugs that pinch the skin. No pins, and it takes a minute to set the eyes. There is prep in the beginning stages to make the ring, but the end result is so damn easy, I will never do it another way. I will show some more pictures tomorrow after I prep the remainder of the eye, which is the painting of the ring, as well as making the plug that goes into the socket.
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Re: pre-made eye rings

Postby 1080tommy » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:18 am

This seems like a good method for setting the eye. I did something similar but did not put the detail in that you did with yours. Next mount I am going to try this though because I just put a ring around the eye and did not pay attention to the membrane. Thanks for putting this up!
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Re: pre-made eye rings

Postby Pete-pec » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:26 pm

OK, so here's the eye rings painted, and the cones attached. These cones are apoxie sculpt, and dry overnight. They will then be ready to insert into the bored out and deeper socket that I fill with wet apoxie sculpt. Simply glue the skin on at the junction (make sure the socket is bored out and filled first) then plug them in. Takes a few seconds to set them right, and your done. No pinning, no problem. And here is the hen common goldeneye that the yellow eyes will be inserted into. Notice I bored out the eye, and made the recess deeper.
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Re: pre-made eye rings

Postby sprigpig1 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:06 pm

Had to copy you Pete... made these for a drake Widgeon im getting ready to do. :beer:
Thanks Again to you, Bryan and all the other guys who help out us new guys :thumbsup:

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Re: pre-made eye rings

Postby sprigpig1 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:57 am

Pete- in one of the posts you mentioned that this method can't be used with a 9mm eye... Why is that? I used a 8mm for the widgeon posted above but I have 9mm eyes that I have already ordered for other ducks.

Thanks,
Brandon
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Re: pre-made eye rings

Postby Pete-pec » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:07 am

Because the eye hole on the skin is normally 8mm and smaller. When I make the ring, it will be above the rim of the glass eye, making it roughly 7mm, but I still have to sink the eye through the eye hole on the skin of the bird, clenching some of the skin. A 9mm eye in my opinion would be to large to fit through that hole, or look to large on the bird even if you pushed excess skin into the socket. The eye ring is very thin on most ducks, and although mine are larger than they should be, some of that thickness is hidden by the skin as I recess this into the socket. When done, you don't see much of that ring at all. I like the work you put into yours, but they may be too thick?
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Re: pre-made eye rings

Postby Pete-pec » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:24 am

Additionally, the normal way to set an eye is to replace the duck with the correct eye, and the lid of the duck's skin lays over the eye, you normally tuck the bottom of the eye in clay etc. Then the two corners are pinned or at least shaped, and the eye then dries laying over the artificial eye. This method is for a flying bird with very little eye attitude other than a bright eyed bird in flight. It is a cheaters method because I'm not replacing it with the correct eye always. Instead, I'm creating the look of the lid laying over the eye by having an eye ring already created on the artificial eye itself. The skin of the bird's eye is actually under or alongside the artificial eye, because I'm plugging it in, and clenching it between the artificial eye and the wet apoxie sculpt. I don't do well on eyes when the head doesn't fit perfectly. They eye will not always line up to the socket that has been created on the artificial head. I don't like pinning and tucking, and I don't like the dry look that the skin has sometimes after drying when there is no cosmetic work done if the eye ring is not replaced. Actually my method is a lazy way to compensate for the artificial head's imperfections of lining up exactly. Using the real head, this is less of a problem, but then other issues may exist?
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Re: pre-made eye rings

Postby sprigpig1 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:14 pm

Gotcha...yeah they look a little thick . I sculpted them kinda after the flex eyes in VD magazine. They also are zoomed in on quite a bit. Anyhow, I'll give em a go. Hopefully they are not to big. If they are, hopefully
It's a really good looking bird with effed up eyes....lol if so I will adapt and improvise when the time comes and learn a little bit more for the next ones.
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