as a beginner I have done a number of whitetails but have just finished a mule deer. Looking for suggestions on finishing tear ducts
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is not in the finishing... it is in the beginning. You cannot cut them open when you cape the deer -which is very easy to do. Leave PLENTY of material to work with when you cape it out, which is easier said than done because you are real close to the eye and so forth. It is much easier to take a scalpel and skife and remove the excess material after you have the cape off the skull. The vets on here have gotten so good that they have probably forgotten the joys of tear ducts when you are just starting out.
As far as finishing goes, you need to cut your groove in the form and fill that in with apoxie sculpt and then tuck your tear duct into the apoxie sculpt, making sure to form it up nice. If you have split your tear ducts open to far you can kinda hide a pin in the seem you push into the apoxie scuplt, but that is kinda a poor way to do it. Just make sure it stays put while the hide and the apoxie sculpt dries.
Thanks griz, I've done everything you suggested. They ducts are not split and I used apoxie sculpt but now that the head dried they look like they need to be painted. I guess that is my real question. How to paint or should I leave as is.
I have to disagree. its not a sin to cut one open. It will be tucked, and if done properly you want see it anyway. The best advice I can give, is thin them down paper thin, and then thin them a bit more. Place a small amount of critter clay, or filler in the duct. SINK a T pin down into the duct, and then model your duct. As for as you saying since it dried they need to be painted; Your finish work should always be done after adequate drying. Around 9-14 days for a deerhead. Try not to over fill. The object is to finish them, not fill them. I use Ivory white, and a hint of flesh, or dusty rose. This color can vary from deer to deer. you can also overtuck them just a little, to allow for any shrinkage. This should be minimal if you thin them properly.