artificial vs. real head

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artificial vs. real head

Postby kyle916 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:44 am

hey guys, going to try my first attempt at taxidermy using a mallard. as a newbie I have been watching all the free videos out there I can. as a first timer, which is easier, using the actual skull or using an artificial one? seems like there are pros and cons to each?
also, do I have to get degreaser, or is washing several times in dawn enough? it's hard to plan it all out in a way, it seems like there are several ways to do things here kind of overwhelmed..
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Re: artificial vs. real head

Postby northzoneguy » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:20 pm

Stick with the real skull and get you some Coleman white gas in a clean bucket and soak it over night then dry it and throw it together . Good luck man
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Re: artificial vs. real head

Postby Pete-pec » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:27 pm

No offense, but try other techniques as well. I use artificial, and no gas, so there is an alternate method, and I'd never tell you to stick to just one. I might suggest trying it out using the real head for a first duck to get your feet wet, but there are certainly pros and cons to each method. The artificial head in my opinion is cleaner and easier, but the real head will fit like a glove.

Also search this forum, I'm sure you'll find several threads on this exact topic. I know I posted some pics of rebuilt heads, and my method when using the real skull, as well as duxrus, so there is additional information out there.

Read the newbie sticky as well, there is also some pertinent information that may apply before even getting the scalpel out. there is an investment of sorts that will be reqired to do the job adequately. Training is important. However you get it, soak as much in as possible. Take good notes.
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here is a real skull rebuilt using epoxie sculpt
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Re: artificial vs. real head

Postby sprigpig1 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:27 pm

I agree with Pete, don't lock yourselve into just one method. Try each one, research each one and you can pick and choose wich one suites you and develop your own styles and methods.
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Re: artificial vs. real head

Postby NVduck » Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:41 am

I agree try multiple methods. Many of us are stuck in our ways and those ways were taught to us by some old timer who was stuck in his. There are many new methods out there. I use the white gas to degrease and I typically use the real head but I do realy like the fake ones.
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Re: artificial vs. real head

Postby hillbilly.. » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:00 pm

no matter what you do these old timers will still call us the snap together generation. because that's what it has really came down to.. Since none of the old school guys will let anyone in there shop. but I first bird was a snow goose used real head and the whole bird came out lookin good in my eyes.....well now that I actually have a clue I look back at it and think I should burn that sob.
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Re: artificial vs. real head

Postby kyle916 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:06 pm

thanks for the replies guys. I went ahead and did my first bird using the real skull. it wasn't as difficult as I thought. overall the bird turned out pretty good I think, especially for the first time. I was looking to find out which way was the "easiest" way for a first timer.
the next bird I do I will use an artificial skull. that way I can choose the method I like better for myself. the only problem I had was from the incision below the back of the skull and down the neck a little bit. the feathers didn't lay back down perfectly, I plucked a few of them and it looks better.
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Re: artificial vs. real head

Postby Pete-pec » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:23 pm

You want to make greater strides? Post pictures. I personally won't beat you up, and as long as you can accept constructive criticism, you'll learn far more, much faster. Also depending on the bird, you may be able to invert the head through the neck. You can rebuild the head, and use the artificial head incision around the bill, allowing you to glue rather than sew. If you go to taxidermy.net, and go to the bird tutorial section there is a method where you glue the back of the head like there is a cap versus a single incision. Neat tutorials to be had there, and they are free!
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Re: artificial vs. real head

Postby duxrus » Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:42 pm

Glue is so PERMANENT :sad: I am way to accident prone to chance that :tongue:

People will always debate the pros and cons of real versus artificial but if either is done correctly, a dam fine bird can be produced. On the other hand, a very crappy bird can result if not. I NEVER tell anyone that one thing is "better" than another. I read an article bashing one of the two and funny thing was the author's birds didn't make his choice look very good :fingerhead: Don't be closed minded to multiple methods just because someone else says "this" is the way to do something.

As far as "easiest" it is only relevant to who you are asking. If you have done what some deem "hard" but have done so a thousand times, odds are that will be your "easy" answer.

Have fun and try everything once, then go from there :thumbsup:
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