Does anyone have info on reproductions in the midwest? We have two customers that are claiming a shot gun kill and they want to get a repro and it really is a once in a lifetime buck.They would prefer to drive it to a place,given the handling when it comes to shipping.We made them aware that this will not be inexpensive and they are saving up the money.We gave them a figure of a (heavy grand or two,is this in the ball park?)if not, we don't want to mislead them.I tried going to search and could'nt find what I needed.We talked to Joe Meder's wife and she gave us a name of a guy in Iowa,but again,no luck of finding him.I apologize if this should be in the Wanted List,I was afraid maybe it would be too lengthy for it.Thank you for any help!
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I have no idea the mass of the antlers in question, but I can give an estimate of the input costs for producing a set of exact repros from a large set of antlers.
The molding RTV I use has increased in price to around $130.00 a gallon at my bulk wholesale cost. I would figure on a two gallon pour to make a good mold that would ease casting. That is $260.00.
Add to that our labor bill-out for damming and preparing to mold (jackets and the like)at $100.00 per hour times a mininum of six hours and that would put the costs at $860.00 and another $50.00 add-on for the fiberglass and other materials used in that process.
The cost of casting from the mold would add another $50.00 and about $200.00 in billed out labor for chasing and finishing the casting. Tack on our start fees and profit, and the cost comes to between fifteen hundred and two thousand dollars for that first piece.
If cheaper mold making materials are employed, a hundred or so dollars could be saved. Now that is for a typical rack. Freak racks, or non-typicals could run higher due to mold complexities.
That cost may seem high, but there is a lot of work involved here to arrive at the first casting. Cheap latex and other inferior materials will shrink, making the duplicate smaller than the original. My mold-makers aren't cheap labor, and I have no control over input material costs.
We can build the mold and cast the duplicate here at my studio, but would like to see photos of front, both sides and top and rear before bidding on the project. The above prices are outside, cold estimates. We do not normally do this sort of thing, but it is no problem for our technicians to do so.
Shipping is a minor cost for a project like this. If they wanted to cast multiple units and sell them to recoup their costs, that may be a possibility to take up with someone in the business of making and selling repros. We specialize in one of kind and limited edition reproduction and have no avenue for sales of antlers or reproduction components.
I have the name and number of a member of the Michigan Taxidermy Association, I have seen his work and it is excellent. Go to the State Taxidermy web sites on the Taxidermy.Net home page, go to the Michigan site and go to directors page, look up Terry Vining.
Good luck, rw
A former student of mine has a studio in the Cincinnati area. He is a mold maker and sculptor who is more than capable of doing this project. As far as I am aware, he is working alone, and would be a cheaper source for such a project. He does contract molds for Kenner Toy company and other specialty items as well as original work. Contact me and I will try to put you in touch with him. He made many wildlife molds in the past for me.
I have just finished reproing a Large 8 pointer, had hunters say they couldn't tell real one from the fake, even weighs almost the same. I live in NE Iowa. E-mail me back if you would like more information on my work
Your efforts are greatly appreciated!I will be in contact shortly,I gotta wash and prep,will be in touch soon. THANK-YOU!
Thank you for this wealth of knowledge!Due to the genetics of the deer in our area,I'm sure we will be getting more requests for this type of service.We are interested for more information on your former student.I will be in contact with our customers regarding this and to see how thier progress is coming along with the money.As we are not familiar with the shipping aspect(possible damage)with something this fragile,should this be a concern for us?
I tried to e-mailyou,but would'nt go thru.
Lisa, the all capital letters in WILDART are not an accident. My email address is case-specific as are all others. I am traveling to Cincinnati at the end of this month to visit my children. I am more than a bit familiar with the big O.v. gigas of the valleys there. Have done quite a few and have a number on my wall here. Try the email again and I will get together with you on details. The young man's (he is actually around 40) name is Kokichi Uchiyama. He began working in my Erlanger, KY studio in 1979. He studied sculpture and moldmaking in the Seto Yaki in Japan prior to coming to America. I recommend him highly. He was the best understudy I ever had.