I just started waterfowl taxidermy this year and I have mounted several ducks already. I am currently working on a hooded merganser(drake) that I have already skinned and fleshed (currently in freezer). The pose I am going for is standing with the hood fully open. I was looking for several opinions as to what is the best way to keep the hood open during the drying process. Any suggestions from people who have done this before would be greatly appreciated.
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after you are done mounting it, try hanging it upside down while it dries. i may get some laughs off this suggstion, but i've seen it work.
massage the feathers forward while it drys every day or until it fully dries
it works good use a tool or t pins work good.
Put a thin layer of latex caulk under the skin and move the feathers and skin forward a little. check it each day till dry. This is not difficult to do. You just need to check it occasionally and adjust as needed.
Silicone caulk sets a little faster than latex so you will get them to stand up and stay with less effort.Time is money.You could also use some epogrip clear paste thinly applied and slide the skin up over the head and reattach to the bill either on the real head or an artificial.It won't frost the feathers like superglue.
I just finished a hodded maganser 2 weeks ago and i just positioned the feathers as it was drying.