I am planning on doing a muskrat and I have a few questions.I have searched the archives and cannot find my answers.Can you buy reproduction tails already finished? If not what color should I use to paint them? Do you use like super glue on the skin around the tail where it comes on to the tail?Sorry for all the questions but it is my first muskrat.Any other help I would be greatful for if anyone has any little tricks that would help me.Thanks in advance
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Here's what I do and like. I can cast my own tail and let it rot out some in the mold. By doing this the fine gaurd hairs will stay in the mold. Next I cast it and the casting material will grab the hairs and stay on. Then you cna paint it with a dark brown followed by black umber and then black.
you can buy tails for this if you want and they look alright. As for attaching them to the skin use a good epoxy like epo-grip.
Van Dyke's has the most realistic looking, texture, color and shape. The come in 9" and 10". They work fine as is on small 'rats and kits. I run a piece of 14 ga. wire from the base to the tip with and additional 5 inches on the butt end to attach to the body. A little hide paste inside the skin and a few pins through the skin into the foam of the tail will hold it until dry. For larger 'rats I use them as cores inside the tanned tail. I insert the wire as with the smaller tails. I use a thin roll of critter clay along the top and bottom so I can form the upper and lower ridges of the tail when done. Apply some hide paste then use fine black thread and small sitches to sew up. Use your fingers to mold the clay to get the right shape to the tail. The wire helps hold the tail in any position you put it in. I leave the tail attached to ths skin most of the time but you can also cut it off where the fur on the butt starts and handle it separately. I sew it back on with the same black thread and fine stitches. A light spray of black umber followed by flat black will finish it off. Use the paint sparingly - it doesn't take very much to color the tails. Hope this helps. Good luck.