Altering a deer form

Submitted by Brad on 9/2/04 at 8:36 PM. ( walkingwind3315@aol.com ) 152.163.253.38

I have searched the archives and didnt find the answer to my question.I am trying to learn to alter a form.here is what i want to do.THe form has a 19 inch neck and is 2 inches big for the cape but the brisket on the form is to small for the cape.what is the best way to make the neck fit?as for the brisket i was thinking of cutting some slots to tuck some of the skin in.would that be a good idea.if not should i just order another form.thanks

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Deer form

This response submitted by Aaron Honeycutt on 9/2/04 at 8:48 PM. ( mhoney"AT"mindspring"DOT"com ) 207.69.5.193

Brad, This sounds odd to me. Seems like maybe the cape might not be properly thinned down. If the cape does not have much stretch, thinning in the neck will help. You did not say if this is a tanned cape or dry preserved. In short, if the neck is too tight and the briskit too loose something is not right. Figure if you reorder to fit the neck the briskit is likely to be even a poorer fit. Which brings me back to the cape. While the briskit skin is naturally thin and easily stretched the neck will only stretch to original size if thinned down. My thoughts- enjoy, Aaron H.


thanks Aaron

This response submitted by Brad on 9/2/04 at 8:57 PM. ( ) 152.163.253.4

I was thinking the same thing about ordering a new form.The cape is tanned but was not thinned down at all.I was just trying to test fit the cape to a form that i already had.I was planning on altering the form anyways to get a different pose.If the cape is thinned down would it fit on the form better.if so then what do i do with the brisket area.thanks


My .02

This response submitted by Griz on 9/2/04 at 10:11 PM. ( ) 69.66.87.77

I was just a little curious how many deer you have mounted. If you haven't mounted any or many deer, especially if you've never had one that was too small, it can be very deceptive in the brisket area. It will fold right up in the back and fit real nice as long as you get it on the form. If it is two inches off i figure you haven't had it all the way on the form. When you get it all the way on the form it will fit alot better than you think. You don't have to thin capes but if you don't you will lose detail which you probably don't care much about right now, but you do need to make real sure you have it tanned all the way through especially if it is a thick skinned northern deer. And on unthinned deer you need to make sure the form fits perfect as you are finding out.

If you modify the form to take two inches off it will look odd- trust me on this one :) The shoulders will be big the nose long and the neck tapered and skinny. But maybe this is just a practice deer and you don't care how the first one looks.

In short worry about the neck, the brisket always fall into place- but be sure to position it right


taking two inches off the neck will not look odd

This response submitted by Stan Halumn on 9/3/04 at 10:29 AM. ( ) 64.12.116.146

Don't be afraid to ever take two to three iches off the neck. Start at the back of the head and work your way down to the shoulders going around the sides of the neck. Never take any off the front of the neck. Reshape the mussels on the sids of the neck. Just keep in mind how a deer looks. Altering forms to fit the skin is a big part of taxidermy. Never take a form out of a box and expect it to work perfect every time. Nature never made a perfect deer, just like god never made a perfect human, we are all different and so are deer. Griz you need to go back to school.


Stan....

This response submitted by Griz on 9/3/04 at 2:02 PM. ( ) 69.66.86.89

To take a 22" form and make a 19" cape fit on it, you have to be really good with shaving and putting back in the neck muscles to make it look right. Taking that much off the neck will also force you to take some off the shoulders, and maybe even panel, and probaly the nose- if you want it to anatomically proportionate. Way more work than it is worth, especially for a rookie. Sure we all have to modify forms but 3 inches? Just get a form that fits and it will be alot more enjoyable and look alot better. I don't need to go to school to learn to take off 15% of a deer's neck, because i know how to measure a cape right the first time. Good Luck- Brad :-) Never hesitate to ask, You'll get plenty of differing opinions sometimes but that's what you are looking for. Stan is probaly a great taxidermist so i respect his opinion but he probaly likes sculpting alot more than me, but i don't mind having an extra form around if i order the wrong size.


griz, I did not mean it that way

This response submitted by stan on 9/3/04 at 3:05 PM. ( ) 64.12.116.146

sorry griz I did'nt mean for it to sound the way it did. Tom Weikum did a class awhile back ago on shaving the form down when the neck size is smaller than what you can get. This is certain on early season deer, that the the form companies don't sculpt forms for alot of them. A deers head does not change much from early season to full rut, but the neck will drasticly change. You have to adjust for it. That is all is was trying to say. It only took him under 15 minutes to do this, and yes he did take more than 3 inches off and when the deer was mounted, it was realistic. I have been doing it ever since and it works fine. I know we all like doing things in our own ways, trust me I do, but trying new ways of doing things never hurts. Sorry Griz, I do owe an apology. Sorry


thanks to both Griz and Stan

This response submitted by Brad on 9/3/04 at 9:05 PM. ( ) 64.12.116.146

I value both of your opinions.Im sure both of you are great taxidermist.The cape fits onto the form most of the way but it is really tight.The cape hasnt been thinned down at all yet.I think it will fit good once i get it thinned down.But what about the brisket.I tried to test fit it again and the form has a shallow pit area.the middle of the brisket will fit but the real thin skin hangs over the edges were the legs should be.i fooled with it for awhile tonight and noe matter what i do i cant get it to fit right.I have mount 4 deer and never had this kind of trouble.I know on a live deer that skin is tucked away.Thats why i wanted to make relief cuts and tuck the excess skin up in them to make it like a real deer.Does anyone think that would look stupid.


Brisket Area

This response submitted by James on 9/13/04 at 5:34 PM. ( ) 68.158.134.207

It seems that the form you bought isn't like you wanted it. Probaly it is a shorter form than most and doesn't so where the legs start to come down on a deer. Just put the skin on and fit the brisket right and try a different form next time. It is hard to help you decide what to do since we can't see what's actually wrong.


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