Ive been using the peanut method for all my bird heads and im wondering if i should try to use the full skull. How does one get all the brains and stuff out if your not cutting the material away as you would by making a skull cap like in the peanut method? And what is the best stuff to use for rebuilding apoxisculpt or critter clay. I use critter clay but it has trouble sticking to the peanut wrapped skull espically after its been dusted with DP. It also loses its form when im working the neck wire up through the skull plate.
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Use your air compressor to remove the brains. First cut the neck off flush with the back of the skull. Then cut a small hole in the back of the skull. Put your index finger in one side of the eye socket and your air nozzle in the other and simply blow the brains out the back of the skull. When you get back to the mounting process fill up the brain cavity with hot glue. Your neck wire with a loop on the end will be glued inside the brain cavity. Good Luck
and I like the apoxie sculpt better than the critter clay myself, the clay has given me all sorts of problems.
I got tired of sewing neck incisions, but hated the cost of artificial heads. So I now make my on "artificial" with the skull.
I skin the head out from the bill, like with an artificial.
I then prep the skull just like you would with the peanut/half skull method.
I then rebuild with epoxy. Sometimes I will use a wrapped peanut of excellsior for the core to reduce weight. At any rate, I end up with a skull and bill that is tagged for later when I mount. I leave the eye socket unfinished so I can set the eyes and tuck on the day I mount.
I may add some caulk and cotton to fill it out on the day I mount.
No neck incision, perfect fit with solid anatomy, pre painted, and a clean product. The next step could be casting heads, but I prefer to give my customer a real head.
but one question are you having problems with glue seams as the bird dries. Is the skin pulling away from the bill?
I also use your method but I use Sallie Dahmes mache' from WASCO. If the first thing you do is clean the skull and fill it with this, then by the time you're done with the rest of the duck the mache will be dry. When dry it is very strong and light-weight.
No problems with pulling seams. I let the head dry a week or two at least- so the bill isnt moving. I even get some sculpting epox under the bill. Then I use a extra thick superglue gel. I pin the eyes which reduces movement in the skin. Just make sure you check everyday so you can reattach if needed.