I'm doing a hoody and want the hood up, whats the best way to do this? I'm useing a artifical head...just card it up or what.
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I blow dry the skin with one of those reduction or "soft" flow hair dryers, preening feathers up and into position until entire head is dried. You have to be careful of eye areas while doing this, 'cause when finished, what you see is what you get. After drying, use medicinal cotton and pin loosely in place to keep hood up while entire mount dries. It is best to dry the hood as high as possible, since there will be some relaxing after the fact. A lot of mounts that have been carded look like the hood has been spiked, or ironed into place. Have good photos if that will help.
On anything with a hood or crest I put latex caulk under the quills. [They are thoroughly fleshed free of all membranes, etc.] The caulk holds the feathers however you set them and they dont need to be carded. On hoodies it also helps in controlling the excess neck skin if you dont want to mount them with it inflated.
I too have wondered why some are against caulking. I have used it with no problems for a lot of years. I'm open to new input however, if there is a valid reason for not using it.
I've mounted several birds over the last few years that I caulked the top of the skull. I started out just using it on hooded mergansers but because it was a lot easier than messing with them for several days I started using it on wood ducks and all of my birds that have color variations on the head. It's a lot easier that carding or pinning and will give you a much smoother look.
As Nancy said before it will also help take out some of that extra neck room that all hooded mergansers have. I've also started putting a little caulk into that little flap of skin on the front of the neck. This keeps it from drying crooked as the caulk will dry quicker than the birds skin.