Finish Work?

Submitted by Andy on 5/24/01. ( )

I have a few questions. What do most other taxidermists use to finish
filling around your eyes. I use scalp-all. I have some wax but does it work
good or what other types work good? I also use critters clay for setting
my eyes and its not suppose to crack and it does what else is there?
Im looking to improve my heads for show quality. Any little tips
will help! What to watch for things not to do anything?

Thanks Andy

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I use.....

This response submitted by Bill Gaither on 5/24/01. ( )

All-Game which is my favorite. I have used Apoxie clay and it is not as consistant, at least in my hands. The last type I bought is called Sculpt-All, I believe, and it seems to work as well as the All-Game. (I actually believe they are the same product from the same maker and just repackaged and labeled by the distributors.) It seems to stick to just about anything, and I have set some huge eyes in large display fish many times life size, up to eight inch eyes, with it with no cracking or problems. I like to tool the compound around the set to sculpt the soft orbital membranes and then wet the eye itself repeatedly with a soft, flat sable brush, removing excess clay and thinning the transition from the clay to the eye material. The material takes paint very well and has hundreds of uses in my studio.

I use it to press mold small objects, dress wood and other decorative items and have even done some impressive sculpts with it. Last year, the NWTF requested a change in vegetation on a turkey base I had sculpted for them. Since it was late in the game and I didn't want to re-do the entire 1/3 life sized bird, I used a foredom tool to take the base vegetation off a casting and redid the entire base log and vegetation with the All-Game compound, re-molded the work and no one was any the wizer.

It is used to tough pin-holes and air bubbles in our resin castings. I personally use it to sculpt fish heads over casting jigs to put a "real" shad's head on the cast lead. Some of the "Shigs" as I call them are fifteen years old and still look good as new, which says a lot for the durability of the material. I press it flat and shape and detail it to build model flowers for my song and garden bird originals......I have even used it to repair my carved duck decoys and to replace a chip in a shotgun stock. It is probably the handiest single material I have ever had in the studio......OH! Did I mention it is also good for many taxidermy purposes?

He's right!

This response submitted by Sid on 5/25/01. ( )

Andy, Bill is right! That stuff is great for just about anything. I use Apoxie-sculpt for my fish, however. It has a smoother consistency than All-game, and I like that for my fishies. My Mom was telling me one day that she needed to fix an antique clock and didn't have a clue as to what to use. She was fixing a cast iron arm on a statue clock, I suggested All-game. Guess works great on clocks also. I can't think of a greater "fixall." Have fun.

Not Wax!

This response submitted by Headhanger on 5/29/01. ( )


I would strongly discourage you from using finishing waxes on your mounts. It has been my experience, due to temperature & humidity changes within the area where the mount is being displayed, the skin around the eyes, nose, lips, etc, will shift. This will cause cracking and separating because the finishing waxes will not hold the skin in place. I use colored apoxie sculpt for all my mammal and gamehead work and it has worked great for me so far with lasting results. Good luck.


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