Got any tips of the trade ?

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Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby duxrus » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:27 pm

Wel l since I have been in picture taking mode I thought some people would find these tips and methods useful… I also thought this could be a great way to learn from each other :thumbsup:

Many times we all have seen pictures of mounts where there is no smooth transition between the head/neck/breast junction. People always say that the skin needed to be “taxied” forward. Odds are many people are thinking “what the heck does “taxi-ing” mean.

Here is a bird where you can see a head with a thin neck ending abruptly into a wide breast…
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All I did was pull the breast skin forward toward the head to thicken the neck up and to give it a smoother transition for a more pleasing look. This literally takes less than a minute to pull the skin forward and to work the feathers back into place. This is what is ment by “taxi’ing the skin forward”. Now you can pull too much forward for the no neck appearance so it is always a judgement call as to how much do you adjust. I did some modification to this hen after the picture but thought you would get the idea.
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Another easy fix is the mud or rust stain found on many birds breast and neck areas. On this pintail you can see it has quite a bit of stain…
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All I did was applied some Whink’s to the stained areas with the feathers being wet. Within a few seconds you will see the stain simply disappear. A second application may be needed if you miss a spot. After the stains are gone I just rinse the skin in water and proceed. There are numerous products that do the same thing so this is just what I use.
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I use latex gloves because of certain chemicals so I wanted to share a great brand of them I have used for the past few years. They are super strong and can be taken off and re-used multiple times. I originally bought a box for 14$ from a supplier but have since found that you can buy them for 7$ a box straight from the company. You can hardly by the cheap, rip if you look at them wrong brands for that.
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I really want to get other’s input on this topic since we are never too old to learn new tricks. Some of us take for granted that we use this or that because it has just been how we learned way back when even though some better method or product has existed. If you have any tip about this or that please post it up.
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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby Pete-pec » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:56 pm

I'll add this.

wiring to a base that will hang on a wall. I know it sounds silly, but without recessing for the wire and a hanger, your base will not sit flat against the wall, and the bird will wobble.

I drill three holes for the 30 cent hanger. The holes are drilled with a flat wood bit in 3/4 inch. The two lower holes are drilled deep enough to account for the screws that hold the hanger, and the top hole is deeper to allow for the screw that is on the wall that will hold the mount. I just put the hanger on the back, and mark the screw holes and the top of the hanger.

I drill a hole the size of my wire that holds the bird. I also take an electric wood carver and make a channel that the wire will sit in. I typically use 6 gauge wire for most of my mounts for added stability. I will also pre-drill a couple holes and will take a couple fence staples and hammer them in place across the 6 gauge wire. This wire will go nowhere. If you ever wanted to add that bird to a different base, a bend of the wire and it comes right out.

I like the idea of this, and I will share other things, because I certainly have my way of doing things. :wink: I'm sure we all do!
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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby Pete-pec » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:05 pm

Tried rotating it three times from my phone. If someone is at a computer please rotate it or I will tomorrow. Thanks.
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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby Pete-pec » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:49 pm

Eye ring made of epoxie sculpt.

One of an old squaw before paint.

Another painted for a ross.

I have posted my technique in the past, and basically plug the eye in to wet apoxie sculpt when I do my eyes. Basically wrap the eye, allow to dry an hour or two, and shave the rim to make a thin ring. This method was made by me out of necessity as I do struggle with setting the eyes. You must use a smaller eye normally. I prefer 8mm most of the time.
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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby sprigpig1 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:37 pm

Good stuff as usuall Pete and Brian.. Well this one isn't as technical as Pete and brians but here is what I like to do while skinning. I will take pictures of drum sticks before I remove the meat.(takes 2 seconds)
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This allows me to rebuild the anatomy very close in the legs. If you use to much filler on the legs it will take up too much room and possibly make your bird to tight around the form( we all know that's trouble ) Too little will make for a "hungry" looking bird. I use cotton batting for re -building the legs. Like Brian said there are many ways to do things this just works for me.. Especially when your to the leg and wing building stage and forget how much tissue and tendons you removed. Kinda helps me be more detail oriented..especially on bigger birds like geese where there is a lot more of it. I used to just trace it out, but I would always lose the whatever I traced it on. Obviously the pic is just reference and does not have any measurements like you would have on the neck.. Or body somewhat. But none the less, legs and wing musculature are also crucial anatomy that need to be somewhat on the money IMO.

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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby sprigpig1 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:49 pm

Pete-pec wrote:Tried rotating it three times from my phone. If someone is at a computer please rotate it or I will tomorrow. Thanks.


Gotcha covered
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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby The Waterfowler » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:19 pm

Every taxidermist needs this. Once birds are in Dawn, this stuff will bust any blood clot there is and remove any stubborn blood on feathers. Just pour it full strength directly onto clot and rub it in and let soak for a few minutes. Doesn't take a lot as you will see. Sink spray nozzle will blow the clots out. Fool proof.

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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby sprigpig1 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:28 pm

Fool proof.. My kinda product lol thanks for sharing Pat I'm gonna have to try it.
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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby The Waterfowler » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:31 pm

You'll be amazed at what it will do to clotted blood.
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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby fowlweatherfowler » Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:04 am

I will have to try that Pat. I have been using a cap full of bleach to help break the blood up. Also when your done with a final wash and mostly rinsed add a little Downey to the water. It helps push the suds out and a bonus is it makes it smell good when mounting.

I found this last night. Going to try some of it after work as it looks pretty promising.

http://richiedesign.blogspot.com/2012/0 ... d.html?m=1
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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby fowlweatherfowler » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:05 pm

This was finished today. Really like he outcome. I used poplar wood and then took a wire wheel on a grinder and removed some of the softer material inbetween the grain. From there did 2 coats of minwax classic grey stain making the sunk in parts dark. Then used a light coat of minwax white wash pickling stain to lighten up the surface. It does not need to be perfect or everywhere. Last I used another coat of the classic grey

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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby Tryingtaxi » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:48 pm

fowlweatherfowler wrote:This was finished today. Really like he outcome. I used poplar wood and then took a wire wheel on a grinder and removed some of the softer material inbetween the grain. From there did 2 coats of minwax classic grey stain making the sunk in parts dark. Then used a light coat of minwax white wash pickling stain to lighten up the surface. It does not need to be perfect or everywhere. Last I used another coat of the classic grey

Image

I like it would look good for a dead mount
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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby Pete-pec » Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:05 pm

I took some puctures today while skinning a bird, turning the wings, and skinning the head. I took some pictures of that process in Brian's wing tutorial later. I wanted to show you what I do when measuring a body. I know many people take measurements, but I use a slightly smaller body. I do take sketches both top and side so I can adjust my mannikins accordingly. I also sketch the neck in its natural curvature and have length, girth and shape.

Yes, the outlines will be bloody, but they dry. I normally save them for later references. If someone needs a measurement, I normally have it. I also write down length and girth measurement using a seamstress tape.
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