enlarging a mannikin

Submitted by jerry on 9/18/04 at 6:29 PM. ( )

I am mounting a LS coyote using a VanDyke form which is a bit thin. Can I use mache and paper to make the chest walls a couple inches larger in circumfrence?
I have a dorsal cut and I would use it primarily on the bottom and sides. The archives deal mainly with wrapped bodies, so I need some help. Thanks for any advice.

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This response submitted by George on 9/18/04 at 11:49 PM. ( )

Do this. Take some 10 gage wire and stick it through the form horizontally through the ribs and gut area. Remove the wire. Cut the neck off the form flush with the shoulders. Now take a saw and cut the form right down the backbone to belly from the neck to the butt. Cut about a dozen wires 2 inches long. Reinstall your long "rib" wires so you have the form aligned, but pull it apart about 3 inches. Install these small wires in one side and then sandwich the form back together until they form a bridge between the two halves. Remember, if you gap is one inch, then you've increased the circumference by TWO INCHES. Use masking tape to tape the gap shut on the bottom. Mix some two part foam and pour into the gap. Don't compress it, but allow it to expand freely. When it hardens, cut off the excess and reattach the neck. Taper the junction area with some clay or some more foam.

Papier mache and or paper do not make the best foundation for a hide. If you don't have foam already, order some in a quart kit. It comes into use in a world of ways anyway and I can't imagine my shop without some or without Bondo.

Thanks, George

This response submitted by Jerry on 9/19/04 at 12:44 PM. ( )

I saw that done to a bear form in one of the catalogs. I had forgotten about it. Now that I think about it, I realize it can be done to most any form.

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