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Beginners, Training & Tutorials => Tutorials => Topic started by: jeremy on September 12, 2007, 12:39:33 PM

Title: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: jeremy on September 12, 2007, 12:39:33 PM
Good Morning from OR. I thought I would post a primer here on casting heads using bondo. I know some of this is old news to some and a waste of time to others but for those that still have questions this maybee helpfull. I know its a heck of alot cheaper to cast your own heads than to buy them and its kinda fun. Plus if your still using the skull and peanut method, this will be a step up as your are putting the correct anatomy back into the birds skin that came out. Plus the bill detail and longevity is a real plus. a word on casting compounds. I still think something like smoothcasts products are a bit better than Bondo for detail and will use them on open mouth cast due to its ability to run almost like water {SMOOTHCAST 300} is what Ive been using. But bondo seems to work well for commerical mounts. By the way I'm not a expert and am still learning myself but I think this may help some on here. So here goes.

(http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t61/uplanders/Tutorials/100_1908.jpg)

Here are 2 frozen heads {Redhead & Bluebill} with eyes injected with water. Been in the freezer for 5 hours. A note on feezing the head, be sure everything is where you want it. { my first duck head had a crooked lower mandible that I didn't notice until it was too late and molded }, also spray with a release agent on the bill or the silicone can stick and cause issues.

(http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t61/uplanders/Tutorials/100_1911.jpg)

Squirting the silicone on trying to avoid as many air bubbles as possible.

(http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t61/uplanders/Tutorials/100_1912.jpg)

Smooth silicone with a latex glove and dip your fingers in soapy water to keep it from sticking on glove. Work out any trapped air pockets. Use clear for this so you can see through it. Keep it as thin as possible so it will dry quickly.

(http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t61/uplanders/Tutorials/100_1918.jpg)

 Here it is 22 hours later completely dry and ready for the reenforcement coating.

 I may have to pick this up on a 2nd post, sorry.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: jeremy on September 12, 2007, 12:47:43 PM
 Ok, I'm back.

(http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t61/uplanders/Tutorials/100_1919.jpg)

 Mix silicone with any color acrylic paint

(http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t61/uplanders/Tutorials/100_1920.jpg)

Move quickly this will set up with in 5-10 mins. at least to the point you cant work it any more. Scoop it on.

(http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t61/uplanders/Tutorials/100_1921.jpg)

Smooth it on with latex glove and soap water. [ Get your minds out of the gutter] :o

(http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t61/uplanders/Tutorials/100_1922.jpg)

Here it is 2 hours later, The silicone sets up that fast with the paint. The head has been removed, the mold washed with hot soapy water,acetone and blown dry with compressed air, Next I like to squirt synlube in it for X-tra releasing ability but its not a must as silicone wont stick to any thing now that is dry, except more fresh silicone
7.photobucket.com/albums/t61/uplanders/100_1921.jpg[/img]

Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: jeremy on September 12, 2007, 01:01:58 PM
Last Post

(http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t61/uplanders/Tutorials/100_1924.jpg)

Next I mix 50/50 bondo/fiberglass resin with both hardeners so it is pourable. The benefits are that it cost 1/3 the price of smooth cast,and no shipping cost as I can get here at any one of 4 auto supply stores. {I hate paying shipping >:(}.Anyways be quick and as I pour it in I am setting the mold on my bench grinder to move the air bubble to the top. Starbucks optional but will help you to move faster ;)

(http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t61/uplanders/Tutorials/100_1926.jpg)

(http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t61/uplanders/Tutorials/100_1932.jpg)

 There it is, I will still need to sand it, grind out the eyes and fill the rough areas. When it looks good you have the option of making a Rtv mold out of this head. That has most of the finished work done on it.

(http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t61/uplanders/Tutorials/100_1927.jpg)

Here is some of the other stuff I been working on. The white casts are smoothcast. The light pink mold is a rtv mold. I just label the molds and weigh the heads so I know the app amount of material to use next time I pour one and minimize wasted compound. I will make rtv molds of birds that I do alot like woodies and mallards and such. I hope this helps some one get the confidence to step it up. Thanks to some of the guys like jknuth, bw,J Parish, my mother and producer for sharing there info to help me achieve this great state of bird consciousness. Jk out
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: daniel on September 12, 2007, 01:06:08 PM
thanks jeremy but looking at the last pic it is difficult to keep my mind out of the gutter  ;) DANIEL PS ON THE THIRD PIC YOU SAY KEEP IT AS ??? POSSABLE I THINK THERE IS A WORD MISSING THANKS AGAIN  ::) ::)PPS MIGHT TRY A PUFFINS HEAD LOOKS GOOD
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: jeremy on September 12, 2007, 01:34:32 PM
Fixed it Daniel, thanks.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: Moose5222 on September 12, 2007, 02:03:01 PM
Jeremy,

Very Helpful and easy to understand...thanks for the pics!  I love the $ saving tips as well.... ;D
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: Jknuth on September 12, 2007, 02:10:20 PM
Fantastic! Thanks for doing tho photo essay.
I am glad It is working good for you. It appears your success rate is up there as well :D
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: BeckyBird on September 12, 2007, 08:03:04 PM
Awesome post! I too am tired of the lousy peanut-head method! And I am too cheap to purchase artificial heads, so making my own heads is going to be the answer. What a great tutorial.
P.S. Thanks for the good laugh!
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: SteveP on September 12, 2007, 08:24:06 PM
Yes, Thanks Jeremy! I've had the stuff sitting here waiting for me to get up the nerve. I'm one step closer. ::)
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: jeremy on September 12, 2007, 08:28:33 PM
Your welcome all, lord know Ive gleaned alot from this site.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: rnviper3 on September 12, 2007, 08:36:52 PM
thank you Jeremy.  i too have been wanting to try making my own heads for fish, but haven't had time to go catch my own.  i wont experiment on customer work.  i guess ill have to find time to suffer getting out to catch some.  woe is me.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: wigeon whacker on September 12, 2007, 09:02:46 PM
 really love to do that, my question is do you need to inject that eyes if you took them out could you mold it like that? and have them already out so you could just put the eyes in there?
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: jeremy on September 12, 2007, 10:20:59 PM
Ethan you could go that route and it should work out. If you fill your eyes when you freeze it and then mold it you can then dremel out eye sockets, but before I do this I take my small dremel bit and make a slight horizontal and vertical refernce line on the skull for both sides of the eyes, so when it goes into the rtv mold your eye sockets are molded in with slight eye reference lines. But like I said Im not the expert so give it a try you might like it and all it will cost is 1.00 worth of silicone.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: wigeon whacker on September 12, 2007, 10:24:39 PM
thanks  ;)
id love to do this i cant spend all my money on those artificial heads anymore
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: bw on September 13, 2007, 09:49:50 AM
you have come a long way jeremy.  when you first brought this up several weeks back...we told you how easy it really was.  even though its intimidating at first.....and now look at you.

that was also a grand effort on your part to take everything that you have learned from weeks of post from all of us and forming it all into a tutorial complete with pictures for everyone else that is scared to try it.  now they can see what is really involved.  it wont be long and all the suppliers will be wondering why they cant sell cast duck heads for $10 a piece anymore.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: jeremy on September 13, 2007, 10:37:31 AM
Thanks bw. To me it just feels like I have more ownership in the recreation of the mount with the cast head that I did, rather then buying it, mind you not that there is any thing wrong with buying them. I just think is fun to do.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: Rick RR GBirds on September 13, 2007, 10:59:33 AM
Very nicely done Jeremy!
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: daniel on September 13, 2007, 11:32:48 AM
 just a thought are these heads a bit on the heavy side causing the head to drop maybe a little when useing fine wires for the neck if you dont keep an eye on them while drying just a thought  ??? ??? DANIEL :)
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: Tereza Revis on September 13, 2007, 12:44:47 PM
I've been casting my own waterfowl heads for a year now.  I got tired of spending $10 for a head that I had to reshape down to a smaller size or remove any bumps or fill any holes on the bills.  I now only buy Cory Caruther's pheasant heads.
I use the mold all kit.  Seeing your post and Jknuth's, it gave me an idea to go cheaper for the first mold.  What kind of 100 % Silicone do you use.  I went to Home Depot and their 100% Silicone 1, says low shrinkage, 100 % Silicone 11, doesn't, and then there are other 100 % Silicone. 
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: Jknuth on September 13, 2007, 02:16:24 PM
Just so it says 100% silicone.
you will be able to smell the ammonia when you open it.
It runs about $3-4 a tube
what ever you do DONT use the stuff that says Siliconized! Its not the right stuff.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: bw on September 14, 2007, 09:30:22 AM
daniel,  yes...bondo heads are pretty heavy...but they will work if you use a heavy enough wire.  the casting plastics are much lighter.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: jeremy on September 15, 2007, 12:17:17 PM
Tereza if you have a Wallmart nearbye { who doesnt? } they sell a brand called Mainstays that I think is there own brand. It is 2.69 a tube and works just as good as the GE silicone for 3.79 a tube. It says silicone on it but as Jknuth said dont get siliconized acrylic latex caulk that would be bad.

 Daniel I use pretty much fill my necks with latex caulking so when it dries {2 weeks later ;D} its a solid union and the weight isnt a 
 issue, im also using 14 g on necks unless I have some pose that needs some major manipulation like a sleeping/preening pose. The 14 is stout enough for the heads
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: kirkp on November 28, 2007, 01:32:46 AM
For some reason I can't see any of the photos.  Anyone know why?  I'm logged in, the photos are just missing.  No red x or anything.

Kirk
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: lee, tees valley on November 28, 2007, 09:46:28 AM
 all i'm seeing is a red x..
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: Creepy-Crusty on November 28, 2007, 04:54:55 PM
all i'm seeing is a red x..
Same here. Maybe he had them in Photobucket and moved or renamed them? I would like to see the pics too....
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: ledford01 on November 28, 2007, 05:54:28 PM
also a red x
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: taxos on November 29, 2007, 08:16:01 AM
nothing but red X
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: Todd B on November 30, 2007, 12:16:42 PM
For some reason the photos are not working on my computer.  I would love to see them.

Todd B
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: arkfisher on November 30, 2007, 12:35:10 PM
Not working here either...I'd like to see them as well.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: mvernelson on November 30, 2007, 05:52:58 PM
What the heck is a peanut head?
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: RDA on November 30, 2007, 06:00:10 PM
Why-its the other end of a peanut ;D ;DHows it hangin Mike? 
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: mvernelson on November 30, 2007, 09:20:26 PM
Simply put Ron, I think your right ,he-he.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: jeremy on December 02, 2007, 10:58:38 AM
Hey Ive been on Vacation since the middle of Nov and I just got back and saw this post. I screwed up and deleted the pics from photobucket without knowing that they would delete them from here also. I will cast some more heads and take pics of the process and install them back to this post in the next couple of days, Ill let everyone know when I get it done. My bad, sorry all.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: Turkeyman04 on February 11, 2008, 04:08:31 PM
Can you use this method on turkey heads?
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: Avian Art on February 11, 2008, 04:59:49 PM
Can you use this method on turkey heads?

I would love to know this answer too. Also, I was wondering if this method would work with pheasant heads? Those little bits-o'-foam are high priced!

If I may add yet one more question to the list:
Jeremy stated:
...Next I mix 50/50 bondo/fiberglass resin with both hardeners so it is pourable...
Could you tell me what exact product of "bondo" and what exact product of "fiberglass resin" I should look to buy? There was a few bondo products where I shopped. I didn't get anything for fear of buying the wrong product. I thought I would look it up here, but have not been able to find the info.
Thanks,
- Dave
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: illinibowhunter46 on February 11, 2008, 06:06:39 PM
That is a very helpful and informative post. I am about to use and artifical hear for the first time. I think i will try that some time though looks fun.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: Todd B on February 12, 2008, 08:39:30 AM
Dave,
It is just the regular Bondo Auto body filler and regular fiberglass resin.  Both can be bought at an Auto body parts store.  Just tell the clerk you need bondo body filler and fiberglass resin and he should know exactly what you need. 

Todd B
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: Avian Art on February 12, 2008, 09:16:47 AM
Thank you, Todd!
-Dave
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: taxos on February 13, 2008, 05:49:04 AM
Avaian Art: there seems to be some good and less good bondo. The not so good bondo gives a less detailed structure, but because a bill is usually not so bumpy (besides the lamellae of a duck´s bill) a regular bondo should do!
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: j_scott on February 13, 2008, 02:00:01 PM
just wanted to say thanks for the info, i will try casting some this week just to see how they come out, i agree with those you buy are just to expensive and havent had the courage to attempt to do them myself yet but will try now.
thank you for sharing that info it is much appreciated.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: Avian Art on February 13, 2008, 02:52:22 PM
Thanks yet again for the great info, taxos!  :)

I have a couple of pheasants coming that I want to try casting the heads on. I figure since I am learning everything, and all aspects of bird taxidermy are new to me, what can it hurt to start out by learning how to cast my own heads right from the beginning? After casting, I think I may even try to clean the skull, and leave a bit of it attached to the original beak. Then, I will reinsert the beak into the mold, and use the actual beak combined with the cast head. Is this a good idea?

For my first duck (when I get to that point), I was thinking to use a cast head, including the cast bill, that first had the lamellae removed. I then intend to use the real lamellae, replacing them on the artificial bill, as so excellently demonstrated by wingman in his thread "Wing 'Tips' #23: Lamellae 'Transfer'".
http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,46407.0.html (http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,46407.0.html)

It has been asked by Turkeyman04, and I also wonder, would this casting method have satisfactory results on casting turkey heads? Has anyone tried this?

I can't thank you all enough for the tremendous amount of information, inspiration, and help provided in the posts of this forum! After extensive study of the information so generously shared here, I actually have a bit of confidence that I may be able to pull off a successful self-study in bird taxidermy. I hope so at any rate. And if not, I am sure the fault will be mine, and not due to a lack of resources provided. The info is here, it just takes some searching, and occasionally asking to get it.

Thank you,
- Dave
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: jeremy on February 13, 2008, 03:11:02 PM
I have not tried this method with a turkey head as I love the freeze dried, as do my customers but that being said It would work but you will need to do something with the hairs on the head and the neck feathers as they will get trapped in the silicone and lock in the head, also be sure to spray on your syn-lube release. Do one and post the results for us.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: Turkeyman04 on February 13, 2008, 08:44:15 PM
ok i will
-thanks
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: wildwings on April 08, 2008, 10:40:59 AM
Just want to say thanks for doing this again Jeremy. Right now I am in the middle of casting my first bird head. I got a swan in and the bill was pretty much still fresh so I figured what the heck lets try it. I know in the back of my mind then if something goes wrong atleast I can find a head for it. Any how so far the only thing I can see wrong is I got White silicone vs clear. Not too big of a mistake. Any how will I have to make a small cut on the underside of the head to get it out ? Thanks Again
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: jeremy on April 08, 2008, 05:32:30 PM
Your welcome, im glad this post has helped so many. JKnuth is the one who inspired me to try it. Yes you will need to make 2 cuts down either side of the jowels and stop them before you get to the bill junction. Post up a pic when its done. Good luck.

                                                                 Jeremy
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: Jubela on April 09, 2008, 04:10:22 PM
Fantastic tutotial!  I'm going to try this out!
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: mark c on April 10, 2008, 07:25:45 PM
you do rocks and logs same way  mark c
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: jeremy on April 10, 2008, 08:37:27 PM
Mark here is link to a rock I did awhile back using the same method.
http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,70234.0.html
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: Lisa M on April 11, 2008, 12:48:57 AM
Totally nominated this for the (hopefully coming sooner than soon) Tutorial Category Jeremy.  This is VERY helpful & I'll be doing a couple next week.  Thank you SO much for taking the time to share your methods with us!
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: jeremy on April 11, 2008, 11:40:09 AM
your welcome, let us know how it worked out for you.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: DropTine on April 11, 2008, 04:46:59 PM
Thank You for the wonderful post. I will have to try it out. Have you ever done any open mouthed Pheasants? Thank You Mark Binnebose
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: jeremy on April 11, 2008, 06:01:06 PM
Hey Mark, your welcome. On all upland Ill use the real beak/skull, and on a open mouth I install a repro tounge. I get mine from Research Mannikins. Although I did cast this roosters head last month using the same method.
(http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t61/uplanders/dop.jpg)
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: jeremy on April 12, 2008, 04:02:44 PM
I modified the post as some folks were having trouble with there pulls. I had a pic of the synlube in the thread but had failed to say it needed to be sprayed on the bill. Sorry for the confusion.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: wildwings on April 16, 2008, 10:34:56 AM
OK so like I said I gave er a try and this is what I got. I got 2 rather nice Tundra Swan heads how ever on the 2nd head it kind got stuck and I got a little eager and ripped my mold which is fine I plan on sometime paying the big bucks for the RTV Rubber and cleaning up the better head and smoothing it out and making a Master mold. Any how here are a couple of pics the camera didn't like the plastic. Also I used the Smooth Cast 300 cant believe how expensive it was $25 for a Pint kit next time I will get the bigger one.

(http://www.wildwingsstudio.com/swan1.jpg)
(http://www.wildwingsstudio.com/swan2.jpg)
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: jeremy on April 16, 2008, 12:49:35 PM
Welldone wildwings, I found if your not in a big hurry then dont mix the silicon with paint because it weakens it quit a bit. Instead just reinforce with straight silicon. You will get a stronger mold, also be sure and use the release on the bill and I squirt it into the mold before I cast it, this will help. One other thing remeber to pull straight out and use a slight twisting motion rather the trying to peel the mold away. I have a couple of silicon molds that I have pulled over 20 times and stillgoing strong.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: wildwings on April 16, 2008, 01:41:03 PM
Yeah I got in a hurry I pulled the 2nd head pretty much right after it turned hard. It was late and I was wanting to see if the 2nd pull was better. (I had a little bubble spot) Also I wasn't sure about using the lube in the casting part so I didn't use any since I didn't know if it would effect the Smooth Cast or not. Any how I would rather clean the 1 up and cast the master mold again anyhow the other is going on the Swan. Next time I will do something a bit smaller :)

Ps I don't know about you guys but I screwed a screw to the back of the head to pull it out easier.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: Jeff Hunter on April 18, 2008, 09:28:05 AM
hey Jeremy, I trie to cast a fowled up repro duck head that I had laying around the house and the silicone stuck to it like glue, I had to shave it off piece by piece with a knife. I followed your instructions word for word step by step and even let it cure for two days instead of one. What went wrong?
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: jeremy on April 19, 2008, 11:23:11 AM
Hey Featherhorn, here is a link that may answer your questions, you must have missed it. http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,80287.0.html
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: Gobblingfever on April 20, 2008, 01:14:08 PM
Anyone tried turkey heads? I would like to for decoys for myself. Would be neat to learn and play around with. Also My 6 year old wants all my turkey heads so I could make and paint them for his room.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: Jeff Hunter on April 21, 2008, 09:32:15 AM
Jeremy, read through your post again, didn't know you had to make the cut down the sides, but Ialso read where you said that the silicone would not stick to anything except glass and something else that i can't recall right now. I sprayed the head with a good coat of release agent and like I said, I had to pry it off in little pieces. Are you saying that the head I tried to cast might have had glass on another product in it so you would have trouble making a cast?
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: jeremy on April 21, 2008, 10:39:26 AM
Featherhorn, my statment about silicone not sticking to anything was not correct, of course silicone sticks to stuff, we use as a everyday sealant and adhesive. What I should have said is that many things will not stick to silicone when it has dried except its self.
If you are using synlube as a release and are using the plain old silicone ( not siliconized accrylic or the newer elastromastic types that are  out there then it should be working for you as it has for myself and many others. What brand and type of silicone are you using.
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: Jeff Hunter on April 22, 2008, 09:20:40 AM
I used the GE 100% silicone like you said in your tutorial right?
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: jeremy on April 22, 2008, 11:15:20 AM
Yep, thats the stuff. Have you tried to cast a fresh frozen head yet? Give that a try and see how it works for you. Its possible the cast head that your trying to recast has something in it that silicone really wants to stick too. But even with a good coat of synlube on it, it should be releasing for you. I usually recast a cast in a RTV silicone once I'm happy with it, but I have recast a headcast using the plain old Wallmart silicone without issues. Sorry I don't have a better answer for you. Let us know if you get it figured out
Title: Re: For those that want to try to cast heads but havent yet.
Post by: Jeff Hunter on April 22, 2008, 12:10:48 PM
Thanks for the help :)
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: Derek Plaisance on May 15, 2008, 10:53:46 AM
jeremy where can i find synlube? i'm going to try and cast a few next week. is there anything else that i can use as a release agent?
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: jeremy on May 16, 2008, 12:21:07 PM
I get mine from Van dykes. I havent tried anything else but the synlube, its not expensive and will last a long time.
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: Tyler J on January 04, 2009, 11:57:17 PM
hey im planin on makin decoys with the geese i shoot, havnt done one yet but am readin up on everything before i get one. would i be wise to do this for the heads or try and mount the full neck and skull instead.
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: redbluffcustoms on January 06, 2009, 04:57:19 AM
jerremy, thanks your mold and casting tutorial are great surplus of information, thanks for sharing them  with us!!!
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: jeremy on January 08, 2009, 07:18:28 PM
Your Welcome.  ;)
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: Nancy C on February 26, 2009, 02:13:48 PM
Well, GE has two kinds of 100% silicone. Version I and version II. Version I seems to work okay, but I don't know about version II.
I don't know what caused my latest attempt at casting a head to fail, but it MAY have been the fact that I mixed the two different kinds of silicone together, or it may be that version II will not set at all if mixed with paint ... I dunno. But what a mess. (My Walmart only had one tube of GE silicone version I left.)
I have to try to salvage this mold, regardless, because this stupid bird is too huge to use a commercial head.
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: 2wbdft on February 26, 2009, 04:07:01 PM
Nancy, i could have sworn the latest mold i made is of the GE II stuff (didnt have a problem)...i'll check when i get home tonight and reply back. Maybe you have a bad batch on your hands??
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: 2wbdft on March 02, 2009, 01:06:07 PM
yep, it was the II stuff, i cant imagine what may have happened with your mold???
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: Nancy C on March 02, 2009, 03:37:55 PM
I don't know either, but I managed to scrape off all of the goo and then I scrubbed it good with xylol.
I re-coated it with version I and it set up properly. 'Just got my first pull out of the mold and it's a keeper, although I don't know if a second pull will be worth the trouble or not.
It was from a 27 year old mute swan - huge and gnarly as all get out. His beak knob was so texture-y that it grabbed a lot of the silicone and tore it loose. I don't know if it's worth bothering with making another one or not. What a pain in the neck this thing has turned out to be!
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: 2wbdft on March 03, 2009, 09:04:21 AM
good deal, glad it worked for at least a one off!

...now im hesitant about my four new tubes of version II?

Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: jward on March 29, 2009, 03:48:33 PM
the head will just slide out of the silicone I assume?  How many times can you use the mold or is it a use and discard?
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: Rocky Mtn Robert on March 01, 2010, 05:12:36 PM
it is great that the veterans are helping out newbies thanks. i have been talking to locals that pour there own heads they were telling me they use epoxies/bondo mix is this better than fiberglass? what kind of epoxy would be best? is their a price benefit either way?
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: northernmontana on March 08, 2010, 03:19:13 PM
good post.  have done a few and they work good
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: Rocky Mtn Robert on March 08, 2010, 09:18:55 PM
fyi....i ordered some of the synlube from WASCO on it was expensive  with shipping $22bucks and its been a week to ship and its still not here.    have to wait tillnext week to try.
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: Ptrrorem on March 19, 2010, 03:31:00 AM
I did two merganser heads with this method...my first try and they turned out great as far as detail.  I didn't use the 50/50 blend of bondo to fb resin and they came out a little sticky, we'll see if they dry out over time.  Do the tutorial EXACTLY like Jeremy wrote it and it works.  Good job Jeremy!  Also, when your in the auto supply store buying fiberglass resin, make sure to buy an extra bottle/can/tubes of fb resin hardener.  They only give you a little dinky tube with the resin and it doesn't take much but I needed extra for the mix to harden.  Also, a piece of scotch tape around the bill and a spritz of water in the mouth before freezing helps keep the mouth shut.  Also, my molds weren't as thick as Jeremy's but they still came out great.  I kept it thinner with the small pointy bill of the mergansers.  I taped my molds back together with duct tape but I think hot glue would be better now that I've tried a couple.  Hope that helps a little.
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: tobo on March 01, 2011, 05:42:53 PM
Hello

Is it possible to do artificial body this way?

Tanks
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: Redneck Express on August 23, 2011, 01:10:54 AM
I just tryd my first one the other night I didnt use the release I had to cut down to the bill I had to twist alittle to get the teeth and nosterl out didnt look to bad details on the tip of the beak not as sharp as I wantd and also the bottom jaw was also croockd and I usd rtv mold maybe I cas use a cast head I bought to get better detail?
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: chivy on December 23, 2011, 08:14:31 PM
excellent tutorial, just what i was looking for. some of the materials you used are not named as such in the UK, but I'm going to give it a go any way, the principles are very sound. and your tutorial clear.

I make full body forms for small mammals, using sculpted clay, and plaster moulds, with boot polish as the mould release, then filled with gungrade polyfoam, they work very well, (i may post a foto or two later) but Ive just restarted bird taxidermy, after a 30year gap, and so much has changed.
and in that time the UK seems to have lost its suppliers, at least all the ones i knew, and the ones left, haven't really kept apace with newer ideas as far as i can tell.

i look forward to more of your posts in the new year
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: Mackenzie on January 15, 2012, 10:06:24 AM
Very helpfull, Thank you!
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: osbornetaxidermy on January 27, 2012, 08:18:04 PM
Can't wait to try this on a ring neck duck I was gifted!


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Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: ncdeerhunter2002 on July 03, 2012, 10:15:02 PM
Looks like this same process will work for Turkey heads too,I'll try it and see, using for decoys.
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: bamaslamma on March 31, 2014, 01:12:13 AM
ive got a quicker methoth. spray duck head with wd-40 and coat in bondo. let dry 15mins. take a dremel with a cutoff wheel and go vertically around the cast, pull apart and remove duck head. take a few pins and pin the two pieces back together. spray inside with wd-40, pour bondo into bondo mold,let dr 8mins and cut very shallow around the cast vertically and pull the two pieces apart. wala! presto! similar method just a couple days fater with same great results!
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: Quackaholic on July 18, 2014, 01:48:13 PM
Does anyone know where to find a release agent at a normal store outside of a taxidermy supplier?
Title: Hobby Lobby ..........
Post by: Kerby Ross on July 18, 2014, 02:21:18 PM
Hobby Lobby or any other craft store.

:)

Kerby...
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: Quackaholic on July 18, 2014, 02:31:37 PM
Thanks for the quick response
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: Wild zone on January 13, 2017, 11:41:17 PM
This is a very informative topic and  I am glad that I found it!  Thank you jemery for posting it and all who have replied. Most of the questions that I was having were answered as the pages unfolded except one question that I hope you can answer, here it is .  What is the ratio of silicone and  acrilic paint for the final coating of the mold ?  I read twice and either over looked it or ?  Any way I would appreciate the answer.  Thanks to all ... Phillip Hall
Title: The ...........
Post by: Kerby Ross on January 14, 2017, 08:09:46 AM
The water based acrylic paint acts as a catalyst for the silicone and makes it set up faster.  So the water in in the paint is the catalyst and the color allows you to see that it is mixed well with the silicone.  The more you use, the faster it kicks.

:)

Kerby...
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: Wild zone on January 14, 2017, 02:19:12 PM
Thanks Kerby,  that's helps to understand how it works.  Would you recommend using maybe 50/50 or more or less . I am to take a guess that  more like 25 to 35 percent  acrylic paint should be about right or am I off base?  Thank you for your explanation of the acrylic paint mixture makeup and how it works .
Title: I prefer .............
Post by: Kerby Ross on January 14, 2017, 02:38:01 PM
I prefer to use Innovative Polymer GI 1100 silicone, so I am not sure on your percentage.

:)

Kerby...
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: Wild zone on January 14, 2017, 09:49:14 PM
Thanks Kerby. I maybe someone else can tell me what the ratio of silicone and  acrilic paint for the final coating of the mold would be  ?  I read twice and either over looked it or ?  Any way I would appreciate the answer.  Thanks
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: Wild zone on January 23, 2017, 01:00:04 AM
Thank you  Kerby ,  I tried this method and used just enough to add a good color base and it turned out really good !!  I used this method to form a male mallard head  and I was really pleased with the results!! And by the way , I don't believe you when you say that you just "play" like a taxidermist on the internet,  you are far to knodlegeable for that !!😀  Thanks again, Phillip Hall
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: sgt_franks on January 10, 2018, 02:58:29 PM
So how do you get the real head out of the Silicone? Does it just simply slide out?
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: Kerby Ross on January 10, 2018, 05:29:51 PM
It does when using GI 1100.  Sometimes you have to make a relief cut..... but not necessary if you are pulling it out from the back.

:)

Kerby...
Title: Re: Molding and Casting Artificial Bird Heads
Post by: sgt_franks on January 11, 2018, 06:41:47 AM
ok, Thanks. I am definitely going to try this out. Been reading these tips on this forum for hours now. OMG there is so much new information. Very cool site and very knowledgeable people