Common Merganser and Red Head Bill

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Common Merganser and Red Head Bill

Postby 1080tommy » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:24 pm

I found the mallard bill to be pretty easy to paint so my uncle and friend asked if I would mount a duck for each of them. I will be doing a common merganser and a red head. I figured I would mess around with the airbrush and tried my first two more difficult ducks. I say that because there was some blending and fading especially with the red head. Here are some pics of the first attempts at these two bills. The pics for some reason look darker especially on the merganser, the ridge of the bill and hook are not as dark as the pic would indicate. I used some reference material off the internet and the bills are pretty accurate representatives of what I used for reference. Hope the mounts come out as good as my mallard. Really enjoy taxidermy and hope to do these ducks and then some fish this spring.

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Re: Common Merganser and Red Head Bill

Postby Pete-pec » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:17 pm

I will give no criticism, because I hate to paint, and I'm just not good at it. Blending with an airbrush is something I've yet to conquer. I typically blend my paints in a small vial, and then paint in layers, masking if I need to. I painted a ring-necked bill yesterday, and I must admit it had hard lines from masking off the colors. I then painted it with water based satin clear coat today, and I think it turned out real nice. I was given this hint from a friend, and he said if you paint multiple layers of the (water based) (Hydro-mist) satin clear coat over the lacquer paints, it gives it a very fleshy look. I only painted one coat myself, and it looked better than just the lacquers alone. I honestly think I may make the switch to water based paints entirely?
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Re: Common Merganser and Red Head Bill

Postby 1080tommy » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:03 pm

You could criticize, no problem. I am a complete novice and just learning how to paint with an airbrush. Some of my lines are not real crisp such as the black on the bill of the red head but the pics I used look pretty close to what I have completed. I know that I will learn new techniques as I go and get better and better. I will say I used polytranspar water based paints and I do like them because they are easy to use. I hope the mount itself makes up any shortcoming of my novice bill painting. My mallard came out really good but it was easy because it was basically a few colors. I have read your posts before and you always give great advice on taxidermy.
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Re: Common Merganser and Red Head Bill

Postby 1080tommy » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:23 pm

Took your advice and went over the detail between the black, white and blue/gray. It made a difference and the bill looks pretty good now. Amazing what a little fine detail work can do.
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Re: Common Merganser and Red Head Bill

Postby duxrus » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:48 pm

I can't believe people don't love to airbrush :lol3: :tongue: :lol3:

You might hit the "teeth" of the mergie with black and then lighten them up a little with your orange to give them some depth. That is one example why I use thr real bill. No one can make an artificial bill as realistic as the real deal IMO. I usually "dust" the top of the bill at it's highest point across the top with black to give a redhead's bill some blending. You could spend hours trying to get it exact so don't beat yourself up. Yours look fine.

A trick I have learned is to coat the bill with matte finish Modge podge for that "fleshy" look kinda like what Pete is doing with his final coating. Makes them go from looking painted to real in minutes :thumbsup:

Keep up the good work.
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Re: Common Merganser and Red Head Bill

Postby 1080tommy » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:49 am

Since I have gotten it I do love to airbrush. Thanks for the advice on the bill. I will do that with the modge podge on the next ones that I do. I did do some detail finishing work on the red head and I think it looks better than in the pic now because the black on the front had some over spray and now it looks more detailed. I also did a light wash with black over the whole bill and that made the bill look weahered, for lack of a better term, and it looks pretty good. Thanks again for the advice because I am new to taxidermy and have only completed one mallard any help is appreciated.

On the merganser I tried to put a lighter brownish yellowish color on the teeth because the pic I was using seemed to have this yellow color on the teeth. It is not that pronounced in the photos but it looks pretty cool when actually looking at the bill. Hope that I can get some pics of the finished mounts for you guys to check out. I should be working on the merganser this weekend or next.
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