Taxidermy.Net Forum

Beginners, Training & Tutorials => Tutorials => Topic started by: LionHeart on January 26, 2009, 02:19:35 AM

Title: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: LionHeart on January 26, 2009, 02:19:35 AM
Hi all,

I just can't sleep tonight, so went back to the basement and started to play with wires, thinking about wrapping squirrels bodies and that I don't like the fact that when you buy forms, you're limited from choosing your exact pose without minor and sometimes major alterations. And also to save a bit of $$$ as I am just starting  ;). I have not seen it yet but it might be an old taxidermist idea that is been refreshed  ;).  I'd like to make the pose I want so after a couple of hours of having fun, the end product is not bad.

Don't know if it is worth putting in the tutorial section because ... well, as I say, I am noob in taxidermy so here it goes:

I start by measuring the squirrel, tracing, and taking note of the emplacement of the shoulder, where they connect to the spine and bassin, also taking note of the legs and arms lenght.
Then, I take some wire, strong enough for a squirrel but easy to bend because it will be for making the bones and attach them together by making loops.
(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/squirrel.jpg)

As you see in the picture, I use the loops in the wire to join the legs and arms bones to the hip and back shoulders. Each bone have a loop so when you choose your pose, the legs and arms bend at the right place.

Now, I put a bit of tape on the wire for the cotton to grip to the wire and to make sure it wont slip on it. I had duct tape but masking tape will do good. I now use thread and wrap cotton on the whole spine , arms and legs making sure to let a bit of play in the articulation so it will conserve its flexibility.

(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0051-1.jpg)

Last week or so, I carved some squirrel heads from foam and I plan on using them on these forms, once finished.
(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0043.jpg)
A couple of poses while playing. It is infinite, you can make whatever pose you want and always keep a good anatomy as you move a leg or arm for the pose. It bends where it should  :).
(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0052-1.jpg)
(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0053-2.jpg)
 A dead squirrel pose
(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0057.jpg)

What I like about it is it can easily be adapted to any habitat, you make with the pose you choose  ;D.
Another one with a worried squirrel standing loll  ;)

(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0055-2.jpg)
(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0056-1.jpg)


Well, that's it for tonight, it's now past 2 in the morning, good night every one. I will try to continue this "tutorial" sometimes this week or next weekend by adding some muscle to the "squeletton" .


Unless I can't sleep again tomorrow night  ??? ??? :(
Title: Re: Squirrel form making and poses...
Post by: Redwolf on January 26, 2009, 05:21:51 AM
I'm interested to see how this project comes out.
Title: Re: Squirrel form making and poses...
Post by: Tony (T- Factor) on January 26, 2009, 07:44:19 AM
Me too. I think that's pretty cool.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies in any poses....
Post by: LionHeart on January 26, 2009, 04:21:43 PM
Next step.
Once the spine, legs and arms have been wrapped once, I now make the body, matching the references I took earlier. When wrapping the body, don't build it around the spine, instead, wrap it below to keep the spine just over the body.

(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0059.jpg)

Couple other pics of work in progress.
(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0058-2.jpg)
(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0061.jpg)

After the main body is wrapped, I now start to wrap the legs and arms, and make the neck to fit the head.

(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0064.jpg)
(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0063.jpg)
(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0062.jpg)

One almost done, still need to make the tail and a couple of adjustments, will keep it update as soon as it's done.

Thanks
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies in any poses....
Post by: Tony (T- Factor) on January 26, 2009, 04:48:58 PM
Nice  :)
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies in any poses....
Post by: Jerry on January 26, 2009, 06:01:56 PM
Very cool! Thanks for sharing
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies in any poses....
Post by: LionHeart on January 26, 2009, 10:24:27 PM
 :)
Here it is now, no tail yet but I just wanted to show the flexibility but still solid of the body and members. It is still my first try at these "prototypes"  ??? but I find that they move well without loosing too many anatomy feature. The legs and arms move fairly easy and when I built the body skeleton by attaching the shoulder and pelvic lower then the spine, kinda in recess in the body helped with it. I am happy how it turned out and the cost is very minimal and they make good practice. Once mounted, I was thinking of injecting a bit of glue in the articulations to lock everything in place, don't know yet if it will be necessary  ???. :-\.
Another thing I like is that I can make the body even if I am not sure what exact pose I want, it is easy to fit on any habitat and ooops, last minute change of mind... no problems.

There is still much much place for improvement, if you have any questions or tips to improve, please feel free to comment.  :)

Scratching ear pose.
(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/CopyofIMG_0001.jpg)
(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/CopyofIMG_0002.jpg)

Playing poses.
(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0003.jpg)
(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0004.jpg)

Survival, loll
(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0006.jpg)
(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0007.jpg)

(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0005.jpg)

And last, my wife said to me, Wow, your mounts are "mountable", ......lolll

(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0010.jpg)

By the way people, they are playing together, don't get bad ideas  ::) ;).

Thanks to all, if it can help one of you guys, I will be very happy. Have fun and experiment.

Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Redwolf on January 27, 2009, 05:04:15 AM
Not bad. I'm impressed.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Uncle Harley on January 27, 2009, 07:03:49 AM
that's very cool  I like it!...............but what is your time worth?


lets' say $35h. x 2  that's  a $70 squirrell form.

I can find squirrel forms on sale sometimes as little a $15 shipped sometimes less + 1 hr to alter to pose you want.  You just put enough money in your pocket to feed a family of 4 at your local pizza joint.   Now I'm not saying that this is something that shouldn't be learned because you may find the need for an extream pose but if thats the case you should adjust your price accordingly.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Redwolf on January 27, 2009, 07:14:25 AM
Come on Harley......live a little :D
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Uncle Harley on January 27, 2009, 07:15:45 AM
Come on Harley......live a little :D

I said I liked it!  LOL  just not very cost productive to do for EVERY mount.  LOL
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: George Roof on January 27, 2009, 09:23:11 AM
OH NO HARLEY!  Have I converted you or what???  LMAO  You know I agree with you.  I gave up wrapping bodies for Lent in 1976 and never bothered to go back.  How many Easters did I pass???  LOL
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: The Ojibwa on January 27, 2009, 11:21:39 AM
Squirrels are my favorite mammal to work with and I think you have a pretty sweet concept. Both sides have good points as you have the ability to do whatever pose but it is also labor intensive. I think your hind legs need a little work...they have pretty beefy legs  and to me, your's look a little skinny. I really like the "barely hangin' on" pose!
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Uncle Harley on January 27, 2009, 11:25:56 AM
George, You didn't convert me  I have a juvenile possum that I had to wrap the body for and I learned for myself THE HARD WAY ( like I always do)  ROFLMAO!.   But like I said it's a good method to know I just wouldn't want to do it everyday.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: RoyalOaksTaxidermy on January 27, 2009, 12:04:52 PM
I think for those one of a kind poses that is just awesome... I like the one that is hanging like its about to fall..
 Great job and thanks for the tutorial. 
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: LionHeart on January 27, 2009, 12:51:27 PM
Not bad. I'm impressed.
Thanks a lot man, I wasn't sure how they would end up looking like.

that's very cool I like it!...............but what is your time worth?


lets' say $35h. x 2  that's a $70 squirrell form.

I can find squirrel forms on sale sometimes as little a $15 shipped sometimes less + 1 hr to alter to pose you want.  You just put enough money in your pocket to feed a family of 4 at your local pizza joint.   Now I'm not saying that this is something that shouldn't be learned because you may find the need for an extream pose but if thats the case you should adjust your price accordingly.


Loll, you are right for these 2, I was experimenting and didn't take time into consideration. Just wanted to see if it would work and I am happy how it turned out. As these 2 were my firsts, they sure were time consuming like you mentioned but after building a couple more, it should be quicker and cut down on time.
Thanks for the comment.

Squirrels are my favorite mammal to work with and I think you have a pretty sweet concept. Both sides have good points as you have the ability to do whatever pose but it is also labor intensive. I think your hind legs need a little work...they have pretty beefy legs  and to me, your's look a little skinny. I really like the "barely hangin' on" pose!

I agree with you, the legs need some "beef" added to them lol now that I look at it again, I see what you mean  :o
Thanks for the input.

I think for those one of a kind poses that is just awesome... I like the one that is hanging like its about to fall..
 Great job and thanks for the tutorial. 

My preferred pose also, I will try one like it, and the other one, probably scratching its head. Thanks a lot, it was a pleasure posting. I get so many tricks, tips from this forum that I am glad if I can give back a little.


I agree that it would be time consuming doing all the bodies using this method  :o but for a special pose, I think it might do the trick. As I mentioned on the first post, I couldn't sleep and this "popped" in my head so I had to try no matter what  ;).

Thanks again to all for the replies, I appreciate and if you want to add something else, either be tips and/or critics please do so.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Redwolf on January 27, 2009, 12:55:07 PM
You should of posted this one in tutorials. I think a lot of people would want to try this and it would be easier to find.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Uncle Harley on January 27, 2009, 01:00:42 PM

I agree that it would be time consuming doing all the bodies using this method  :o but for a special pose, I think it might do the trick. As I mentioned on the first post, I couldn't sleep and this "popped" in my head so I had to try no matter what  ;).
Thanks again to all for the replies, I appreciate and if you want to add something else, either be tips and/or critics please do so.

lol aint that the truth I hate it when that happens but usually love the results!
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: LionHeart on January 27, 2009, 01:01:04 PM
Redwolf,   how could I move it to tutorial section  ???  New post with a link to this one?
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Redwolf on January 27, 2009, 01:07:04 PM
Send a mod. a PM, and ask them if they can move it. You've got my vote ;)
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: redbluffcustoms on January 27, 2009, 08:56:10 PM
pretty impresive lion heart, thanks for sharing
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Mustang 5.0 on January 27, 2009, 10:05:15 PM
LoinHeart, thanks for sharing. I'm going Squirrel hunting after work if i can sleep tonight.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Jared Adams on January 27, 2009, 10:36:23 PM
Great job, love all the different poses you came up with!
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: LionHeart on January 31, 2009, 12:21:57 AM
Thanks guys  :).

Just finished one tonight, well, not finished but it's drying, will see how it looks in a couple of days and post pics. I am learning new things everyday  8) now .... remembering them is a whole different game  :o  and it's not getting any better lolll, that memory of mine has failed me before. loll.

Good night, time to go sleep.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: LionHeart on February 02, 2009, 08:14:43 PM
One done, it still needs a bit of drying and grooming, the final touch but it gives a good idea how it turns out with these "flexible" bodies.

(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0017-1.jpg)
(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0019.jpg)
(http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d46/Lion__Heart/IMG_0016-1.jpg)

Thanks
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Redwolf on February 14, 2009, 05:15:38 AM
After seeing how LionHeart did his squirrel, I figured I'd give it a shot with a rabbit. It worked great.
It took about a half an hour to do it, and I only have about $3 in material into it.

(http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn29/redwolf2008/001-19.jpg)

(http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn29/redwolf2008/005-11.jpg)

Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: LionHeart on February 14, 2009, 01:17:16 PM
Redwolf,

Niiice rabbit  8), I am very glad it worked, super  ;D. I have 2 hermines to mount ( soon I hope), will post pics once done. As for the cost, like you stated, a couple of $$ is all it takes for building the bodies.

Again, great work  ;D
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: George Roof on February 14, 2009, 05:03:01 PM
I'm not about to go into telling you guys the anatomical inaccuracies in those mounts, but I will say this is just one more reason people should use commercial manikins.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Redwolf on February 16, 2009, 05:24:29 AM
I'm not about to go into telling you guys the anatomical inaccuracies in those mounts, but I will say this is just one more reason people should use commercial manikins.

George you may see a problem, but everyone who has walked in here and see it, love it. 9 out of 10 customers don't know the difference. I'm not about to enter a wrapped body mount in a competition though.
We all know your against wrapping body's mammal, or bird.
But then again your against Krowtann, and white gas.  :P ;)
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Mustang 5.0 on February 16, 2009, 12:38:42 PM
I have 10 squirrles  to mount for myself and @ $20.00 Bucks a form is too much money for tree rats. Nice looking rabbit redwolf.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: George Roof on February 16, 2009, 12:56:27 PM
Well, then SOMEONE isn't charging enough for the squirrel mount.  It would take more than $20 worth of my time to wrap a body when I didn't have to.

Whether I like or dislike anything has no relevance to the accuracy of the mount I want to produce PERIOD. I know lots of people who refuse to mount squirrels because even AT BEST, they're a difficult animal to pull off. CHARGE ACCORDINGLY, but never forget that the guy willing to pay you to do the squirrel is going to look at it and see if he wants you to do his deer mount, his elk mount or his moose mount.  Everything you produce is a calling card of your talent and I simply don't try to bargain with that.  Those squirrels look exactly like the ones I did in 1958 and I'm simply not going backwards in what I do.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Mustang 5.0 on February 16, 2009, 01:08:31 PM
Yea, george you have a good point. That is why i have them skin out and in the freezer. Time is money and wrapping will take me along time plus making the head.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Redwolf on February 16, 2009, 04:11:42 PM
It took me a half hour to make the body. It takes a week to get a form mailed to me. It cost $3 in material. How is it not time/cost effective?
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: buckwounder on February 16, 2009, 04:37:17 PM
I may just have to try this one day... but carving  a head from foam and rying to get it correctly shaped and proportionate may take me weeks :D
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: George Roof on February 16, 2009, 05:33:09 PM
Bob, I apologize for telling you that you have an ugly baby.  If YOU can justify it and the results you get, then who am I to say you shouldn't.  I often hear this about "It takes 3 weeks to get the form in", but it only takes me 3 days.  Since I make an order 6 months in advance of any work I'm doing, that doesn't bother me at all.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Redwolf on February 16, 2009, 05:36:42 PM
No need to apologize George. It's your opinion.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: brushwolf on March 08, 2009, 06:47:52 PM
you know what . im going to give this a shot.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: PickledLex on March 17, 2009, 11:45:06 PM
Haha, those are awesome. Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: brushwolf on March 18, 2009, 10:30:15 AM
Redwolf nice drum seat lol
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Redwolf on March 18, 2009, 11:26:05 AM
Redwolf nice drum seat lol


 ;D Ya like that? :D
I had to get rid of the set I had, but the seat still still comes in handy. ;)

Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: miguel1253 on October 24, 2009, 07:58:07 PM
mui mui good I think your work interesting for beginners step by step to start up their own jobs, but they say a picture is worth a thousand words, thanks for all please see if I could put a tutorial on the same system for birds. thanks (SPAIN)
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: snowhare on November 08, 2009, 02:28:43 PM
IF YOU HAD THE LEGBONES IN , THAT WOULD HAVE SAVED YOU A HECK OF A LOT OF TIME MAKING THAT FRAMEWORK INSTED YA NO

AND THE LEGS LOOK SO TNIY AND THIN , MABY A BABY SQUIRREL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Matt on November 08, 2009, 03:07:57 PM
I kinda half to agree with George again, man, I am saying that alot these days!(LOL) You need to be charging for your time, 20.00 a form isn't much if you are charging enough. I get 300.00 for my squirrels and get more to do every year. Some guys don't even get that for their wts. I didn't used to like doing them, but if I am going to take them in, my clients are going to get a good squirrel mount. God know we all have seen bad ones. This was an interesting turtorial though, thank you for sharing.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: snowhare on November 08, 2009, 05:10:04 PM
IF YOU GET 300 HUNDRED FOR THEM , THAN ILL MOVE TO THE USA SRAIGHT NEXT YEAR AND BECOME VERY RITCH  ;D ;D ;D

I DO LIKE 4 A DAY SO THATS 1200 A DAY NOT BAD AH , THAT TAKES ME ABOUT 7 HOURS TO FIX , MABY IF I WORK LONGER THAN I COULD MAKE THAT TIMES 2  2400 DOLLARS A DAY

JUST DONT BELIEVE IT  ??? ???

Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Matt on November 08, 2009, 09:18:46 PM
With all do respect, I don't care if you believe me or not. I just mounted a few up the other day and have a few more to do. I don't do alot of squirrels and really don't care to since I can usually mount up 2 wts for the time I have in one squirrel. Like I said, I get paid for my time, and the time I have in one squirrel is alot longer than most I'm sure.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: George Roof on November 08, 2009, 10:18:00 PM
Snowhare, you missed Matt's point.  We DON'T like doing them but if we're going to HAVE TO DO THEM, then we're insisting on getting paid for it.  We don't GET a lot of squirrels because we're controlling our workloads by inflating the prices.  Marcus Zimmerman is on the Super Seminar video  along with brother Ken and Jason Snowberger when someone in the audience asks him what he charges for a squirrel.  As if on cue, all three men say "$375".  Why should I do a whitetail for $475 that takes me 6 hours but only charge $100 for a squirrel that takes me 3-4 to do it right?
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Matt on November 09, 2009, 09:55:45 PM
George, maybe he doesn't believe you either!(LOL)
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: snowhare on November 10, 2009, 05:17:08 PM
NO I DONT , I AM ALWAYS A BIT ON MY GARD WITH PRISES , SO EVERY BODDY JUST CAN SAY WHAT THEY WANT , NEED PROOF SORRY , MABY IT IS THAT I AM FROM THE GREAT EUROPE , EH GEORGEY

WE DONT LIKE THEM BUT WE HAVE TO DO THEM  , WELL THAT DUS NOT GOOS AT MY SHOP , IF I SAY I DONT I NEVER EVER WILL , JUST A LACK OF BACKBONE , I WILL NOT MOUT A FOX IN A MILJON YEARS , SO YOU CAN PAY ME A FRIGGING FORTUNE , NO NO NO , MONEY IS NOT ALL THERE IS MAN


BUT ON THE OTHER END THE US DOLLAR IS SO LOW IN VALLUE , THAT I ASK ALMOOST THE SAME HERE BUT THEN IN THE GREAT EURO S 200 EURO IS NOW A FINE 299, US DOLLAR
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: lee, tees valley on November 10, 2009, 05:26:38 PM
 ;D ;D ;D  :o ;)
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: WLdLfeArt on November 13, 2009, 03:46:24 AM
Thanks LionHeart, that was a good tutorial. The only thing I will add that nobody mentioned is use good reference materials, and you will be able to get a good lifelike pose. Don't let the nay sayers tell you different. There is no difference between a wrapped body and a form, its basiclly the same concept. Use reference material and you will have a good quality mount anyone will enjoy. Yes I agree, in a shop when you don't have time to wrap bodies, its much more cost effective to buy forms to save on time. But if you enjoy wrapping your own bodies, I say go for it. Its a good way to learn.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: RileyBaxter on December 22, 2009, 03:47:30 PM
Looks neat, I might have to do this for my first mount.. Which will propably be a squirrel, if I ever get around to it I will post pics.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: racksandriverstaxidermy on December 22, 2009, 06:57:28 PM
LMAO nice
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Crimson on September 12, 2010, 09:36:58 PM
I'm marking this for sure - sooooo helpful!
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Teh_Saccade on November 07, 2011, 03:58:17 PM
The way that I have prepared my wire-boned mounts is to simply poke the same wires that I use for bonsia through sections of polystyrene that I have carved into the 'correct' shapes for the muscles and bulk between the joints.
I've soldered some thinner wires at the ends, after trimming right down, to allow for the 'flexi-pose' - one reservation that I've got is that if I mess with them too much, the wire will become brittle and may snap... I'm hoping that this will allow for fine tuning of the attitude once the pelt is mounted.

For the body, I have made one with a solid piece (as the forms you can buy) where I can poke the appendages' terminus into the foam to hook 'em up; I've made another one that is a tube of chicken wire, with heavy gauge wire for spine and wrapped with raffan, to allow for 'scruntching'; the other way I will now try, after reading this, is to use wood-wool (or whatever that stuff is...).

So far, I'm not too happy with how the body is shaping up to be, apart from the solid piece - they all look a bit "bubbly" and too curved and unnatural...
However, the "Action-Man/Barbie" method of crafting solid pieces for the limbs, neck and head (and, to a lesser extent, tail - which is just a few pieces of different gauge wire, gradiating out), seems to look okay.

You know, I don't know why the body forms that you can buy do not have more adjustibility, but I guess you can do that so long as you are careful and can find a pre-formed piece that is along the same form as you want.
Then, it's just a case or a little hacksaw and bonder action, huh?

A few questions I have about this stuff are:
Do you also remove the bones in the feet? I have just snipped them at the ankle and injected formaline 30-1 solution, then pinned them into position. What would you use to 'fill' these with? I suppose you could inject glue, or plaster?

Which leads me onto the other question I have:
I was gonna try to make my own form, by molding the body, and then pouring plaster or some latex with hardener (don't want it to be all jelly-like!) into that, onto which to mount the pelts...
Has anyone any experience with that - I can't seem to find much relating to it around here - because I've thought about just sculpting or molding body forms from modelling clay but I think that may make it damp inside, which probably isn't a good thing?

Thanks for the ideas, man ;)
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: April Payne on December 04, 2011, 02:33:08 AM
Very cute poses. I like your idea about making the joints movable for easier posing. Even if it is an old idea being refreshed. I'm not very keen on wrapping bodies, but if I ever do then I am definitely using this method. 
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: George Roof on December 04, 2011, 07:04:18 AM
Did either of you look at my method in the tutorial? Its "Mounting tube skinned small game". Why does anyone NEED a "flexible" joint? Would you feel that way about a life-size large animal? Excelsior will work but there are so much better mediums out there. Plastic foam is one but us old guys started out with carving balsa wood.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: Timber Ghost on December 04, 2011, 07:44:04 AM
You know that is impressive work.
However,
I accomplish very I mean very lifelike work using SAWDUST, VERY FINE SAWDUST TO FILL BODY AND SHAPE ANY WAY I LIKE.
IT IS A GREAT,FAST,ECONOMIC, WAY TO MOUNT SQUIRRELS.

Not putting your very skilled way down.
JUST SAYING, as an alternative.
Title: Re: Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....
Post by: George Roof on December 04, 2011, 09:06:36 AM
Timber Ghost, that too is an antiquated method.  Sawdust is too sensitive to humidity to be a viable medium.  Excelsior is bad enough. Today, vermiculite is better received and will not be effected by temperature or humidity. If you want a "cheap" medium, use what I used as a kid: SAND.  Sand works especially well and is completely inert, but I challenge any of you to match your best attempt with sand OR SAWDUST up against a quality wrapped form OR BETTER YET, a molded plastic foam form.