Making a Rock Base for Large Mounts (+PICS)
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Taxidermy.Net Forum  |  Beginners, Training & Tutorials  |  Tutorials  |  Topic: Making a Rock Base for Large Mounts (+PICS) « previous next »
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Author Topic: Making a Rock Base for Large Mounts (+PICS)  (Read 35437 times)
murph
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« on: January 24, 2010, 10:42:10 PM »

This tutorial is by no means the only way to produce a quality looking and functional artificial rock. This is how I make them. First is a list of tools and materials you will need to do this job. This rock is for a Life size bear mount.

1. electric small crown staple gun
2. chicken wire
3. drywall compound (dry mix)
4. plaster of Paris  (dry mix)
5. rolled burlap
6. McKenzie rock mix
7. Spray bottle
8. black water base paint
9. dried moss
10. hot melt glue gun


STEP 1 -   Make the post's of wood (top of rocks) on your base at the proper height so you can use the tops to bore a hole through to accept your rods from the form to anchor to. Cover the posts with your chicken wire and make your desired shapes of your rock using the chicken wire . This is an important step to make sure your shape is correct. This will not be able to be modified very easily once you start covering it. DO NOT forget to bore holes in your base so you can get your hands up inside your rock from the bottom to tighten the nuts on your form after the rock is covered. I use a 4" hole saw. I install dowel rod into the holes drilled in the top plates for your rods on the form. This keeps these holes open while working with the covering of burlap. Once you have the shape to your liking, the chicken wire is trimmed with side cutters and stapled down around the perimeter, I always bend any loose wire toward the inside so you don't have sharp ends sticking out of the burlap once completed.

  (Pic #1 and 2)

« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 09:41:58 AM by murph » Logged

Lance Murphy
murph
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2010, 11:01:23 PM »

STEP #2

     The burlap must be cut into strips about 3" wide x 8" to 10" long. Cut as many as you will need to complete the job. Once you mix the compounds together and make a thick paste, it will start to set up in about 10 minutes so you have to work rather quickly.If working by yourself, I would only recommend mixing enough for about 4 or 5 strips at a time. The mix ingredients are drywall compound mixed with plaster of Paris in equal amounts. I use a small plastic butter dish full of each one and mixed dry together. Then add your water sparingly mix until completely mixed and a consistency of say like a milkshake. Take your burlap strips one at a time and lay it into the mix and make sure you press it into it and turn it over and do the same. Now for the really messy part.  Run the strip through your hands and squeeze the excess out and then just press it on the wire and don't worry about being perfect at this point. Just continue working the strips and overlay them  one on another until you feel the mix starting to get stiff. Once I reach this point I then turn my attention to the strips you have put on already and take any excess compound you have in your mixing bowl and use it to fill holes in the strips you have put on. Around the bottom and in between the strips. get the bowl to the water sink and clean it out and continue this process until your wire is completely covered and all holes and the burlap pattern is covered.

PIC # 3
« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 09:40:27 AM by murph » Logged

Lance Murphy
murph
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2010, 11:22:33 PM »

Now that we have the rock shape made with the strips and all holes filled, we can now mix up the McKenzie rock mix and cover the whole rock. This mix is relatively inexpensive and goes a long way. It will come in 5 lb. bags. All you have to do is dump about 4 cups in a bowl and mix with water to a consistency a bit thinner than the mix for making the covering. You will notice the this has small chunks and is kind of rough texture. This will give you the look of an authentic rock.You will use a patting motion to put this on more than rub it in. You will also notice that the rock covering is white and once you start putting the mix on it turns it a slight yellow. This is fine. now, You must work at a good pace to get this covered in this mix. It does not go on like the compound that you used to make the rock. Continue mixing as much as you need to complete the job and make sure it is covered well.

Pic # 4 and #5
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Lance Murphy
murph
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2010, 11:33:23 PM »

Now, before this mix dries. you need a spray bottle and about 1 1/2 oz. of black water base paint mixed with water in the spray bottle. Start spraying it sparingly and cover the whole rock. You can leave it as light or as dark as you like. Go over it as many times as you like to get the tone that your looking for.

PIC # 6 and # 7 and #8
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 10:37:41 PM by murph » Logged

Lance Murphy
murph
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2010, 11:36:32 PM »

next pic
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Lance Murphy
murph
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2010, 11:42:49 PM »

Once the rock is covered with the black paint from the spray bottle and you have the desired color. let the piece set overnight. once completely dry, you can then begin putting your moss and begin building the rest of the habitat. Here are a few pics of the base with the habitat started. good luck and be creative. Making rocks this way is an inexpensive and leaves you much more freedom in your creations.


             
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Lance Murphy
murph
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2010, 11:44:45 PM »

Good luck and have fun with this. It is an inexpensive way to make a quality rock. you have a lot more freedom to make any size as well as any shape.

         Thanks for looking,   
 
                                     Lance ! 

 
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Lance Murphy
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2010, 01:47:06 PM »

An easily understood and well presented tutorial, thanks for sharing your knowledge Lance, wishing you well,  stargazer644.
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murph
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2010, 02:04:33 PM »

your very welcome stargazer!!!
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Lance Murphy
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2010, 03:34:37 PM »

gonna use this for a howling yote..

TY-TODD
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murph
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« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2010, 04:06:50 PM »

Your very welcome Todd .... Yell if ya have any issues ......


                Lance!
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Lance Murphy
murph
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« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2010, 07:18:24 PM »

Hi All,
         I forgot one step that will give a more realistic look to your finished rock. Once the painting of the black is done to your liking, take a wet sponge and pat the "sharp" or "edges" of the rock to lighten it some.... This give it a weathered look also .....
 sorry I forgot this step in the tutorial. here is a pic of the process......
 
              Lance!
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Lance Murphy
Chad C
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« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2010, 08:43:00 PM »

Great work Lance. I have a lifesize bear that i'll be doing soon and will try this method. I haven't tried to make any rocks yet but will have to for this bear.
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murph
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« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2010, 10:17:19 PM »

Great Chad,
         Glad I could help. I think if you take your time and have all your materials readily available and get the shape correct in your wire, It will be very easy and makes a very convincing rock. If you need any assistance, please feel free to shoot me a message ...


           Thanks,   Lance!
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Lance Murphy
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« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2010, 05:59:35 AM »

Lance you are really doing some GREAT work.  I like your tutorial and you have explained things very well.  A lot of people needed to see this.  Thanks.

Best,

John Griffith
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John Griffith
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