I'm doing a widgeon for an upcoming show and was wondernig what eyes were recomended. I want to use tohican eyes but I don't have an artifical eye-lid (which I think it needs). Flex doesn't make an eye for a widgeon but all I need is the lid portion because I'll cut out the back and insert a tohican eye. Does Flex make any bird eyes/lids that are close enough to use on a widgeon for competition. Other than size I wouldn't think there would be much difference in the lids for different species.
Does anybody else have any suggestions. I know there are some judges that read these forums. What do you guys like? I did a comp peice a couple of years ago and used the flex lids and eyes that came with them. That was a big mistake as the judge really frowned on those plastic eyes!
Return to Category Menu
I myself like using Frank Newmyer eyes. He has studied the birds and he knows what they look like in side and out. So if you are palnning on using an artificial head you could just use a newmyer head. I like his eyes better, and they come with the head. About eyerings, they are pre-made into the head, but if you really wanted to, you can always make you own with a different artificial head and use the Tochican eyes you like.
I also think that the Newmyer acrylic eyes are the best bird eyes on the market. Try not to overdo this eye ring thing. Eyelids should be plump but not look like a ring of plastic. Try a very small roll of clay under the natural eyelids.
If you were knocked for those plastic eyes in the past, why would you use them again?
I would use glass eyes given my druthers. Acrylic eyes may look infinitely better, but I would wonder about the long term viability of the clearness of them. The plastic and acrylic eyes have only been on the market for a few years, and it is unclear (Pun intended) if they will remain so in 20 yrs, 40 yrs. etc. The future methods for fumigation of specimens is unknown, and there may be an interaction between the acrylic eyes and the mode of fumigation, or ozone, etc. I intend any taxidermy I spend the time on to last at least 100 years. Glass is about as tested an eye material as there is, but even that is not infallible. If you read in the post on the Field Museum a couple weeks back that Jim Mariso noticed a glazing on many of the eyes of the old taxidermy mounts. I am not completely sure of the cause of this, but have two ideas pertaining to the reaction that occurs - which is not simply dirt, but a reaction of something in the environment with the glass. One suggestion is that the leaded glass (if it IS leaded glass) reacts with arsenic in the specimens and since lead is very similar to arsenic in its chemical make-up (check the periodic chart) the glass becomes glazed over. The second possible cause would be interaction with some fumigant used in the last 100 years - be it dowfume, DDVP (Vapona), Ethlyene oxide, etc. I have seen a number of our bird eyes also glaze over, but there are other eyes here over 130 years old which are as clear as the day they were made. I haven't taken apart enough pre-1900 specimens yet to acertain any clue to if it was arsenic - I have dismantled a number of pieces and sometimes the previous taxidermist didn't use arsenic soap, but instead the "old shovel" method of adding arsenic.
Any ideas or comments?