More on Mannikin Sizes vs. Variations of Whitetail

Submitted by Mark on 2/8/05 at 12:04 AM. ( )

Thought I would continue this discussion by starting a new message with a title more might throw there to cents in.

I guess the last comment that I read was that a certain size form say 7x19x21 would fit a deer from Texas or the East Coast or where ever and that statement is true.....or is it? I guess the word "fit" comes into play here. Sure, most here can mount it and have it look pretty good, and many here have no choice because of their schedules and time, to get forms in, scratch and mount. BUT, if the word "fit" means that you are going to give it your best effort to correctly interpret the distinctive detail of the deer in that your mounting well, I believe you have a different situation.

Here's what I mean....
If you were to take an upright straight with the same standard diminsions we all normally order from let's say from McKenzie,Research,Jody Green and Hilton Epply, you will notice HUGE differences. Now I'm no sculptor but I have to assume that they use references that are close at hand.

I think you would notice that the head/neck juction on Hilton's forms are alot different than the other three (Ohio deer). The standard McKenzie form I believe was sculpted from reference of deer more in the southern region and show a much narrower muzzle than that of the Research and Jody Green forms.

Why are they so different? Keeping in mind that McKenzie forms were sculpted by MANY sculpters from many parts of the country their line has a little something for everyone, but give the same buckeye form to someone in Texas and someone in Ohio and see which taxidermist likes the fit better.

When studying live deer in my area, the "adams apple" area of the throat is very visible and because it isn't pronounced on most forms I have to....make that I choose to build that area up.

Danged if McKenzie wasn't nice enough to send me a great poster a few years ago to hang up in my shop to help my customers choose the pose they wanted. Great marketing tool for them and it would probably still be hanging there if it wasn't for that 9600 series. (I think I even made up a few choice words when I was trying to mount on a couple of those!)

I also believe that even in the same areas where food plots come into play, that you will find that deer with the same eye/nose, neck line and 3" below neck line....the shoulders and briscut area vary greatly.

Just my thoughts.....I could be wrong.

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Well now

This response submitted by Jack F on 2/8/05 at 12:46 AM. ( )

I know I just came into this one. I have to say one thing though. If the shoe fits wear it. There are lots of choices for manikins. Try different ones and figure out witch ones fit your deer in your area and stick with them. McKenzie forms make my deer look great.


This response submitted by George on 2/8/05 at 8:57 AM. ( )

Now you've changed the whole complexity of the question. Now I see your admission that you're really looking for a form that's esthetically pleasing to YOUR eyes. Nothing wrong with that at all as I'm sure we all do that.

But I'm a "commercial" taxidermist who makes a living by producing a volume output. Each deer is mounted tediously on the form that I prefer, but I don't take time modifying a form to nuances that my eyes might have interpreted. I'm buying into the notion that I selected the form because I liked that particular sculptors interpretation. So "fit" IS a major concern of mine. I'm aware that all hides shrink to the form or can be "packed" to the form. I know that if the form is too large, there's a liklihood of drumming, so, since like most of my peers, I actually order a form SLIGHTLY SMALLER than the actual deer carcass I measured. I'd imagine you do as well, and IF you do, then you've defeated your argument about "fit" already.

Fit and proportions are not one and the same.

This response submitted by Glen Conley on 2/8/05 at 11:22 AM. ( )

For example:

Uncle George could go to the store, buy himself a pair of Big Mamma Panty Hose, put them on, and have a fit.

The models would have had different proportions than Uncle George, so Uncle George will have a different "look". Uncle George's "look" may not be acceptable by the standards of some. Sorry, George, you just ain't gonna look right.

Cater to the customers taste

This response submitted by duckfeathers on 2/8/05 at 12:49 PM. ( )

Yes all the comments here have merit. Beauty is in the mind of the beholder. Listen to your customer. Hear their vision of their deer mounted. Have 8 or 9 heads of varied types for them to express thoughts on. I know what to mount for George because I listened to his thoughts from his response earlier. Make notes on the job paperwork.
Some may say this is not financially feasable. I've learned that a happy customer is all that matters and the money will follow. The people with the big money know what they want.

Glen, they're actually "QUEEN" size

This response submitted by George on 2/8/05 at 4:48 PM. ( )

I have some new Victoria Secrets on order,but you need to stop peeking in my lingerie drawer. LMAO

neck length

This response submitted by RonK on 2/8/05 at 5:24 PM. ( knight.ron@sbcglobal.nte )

I have just finished a shoulder mount that I had to shorten the neck by 4 inches just so the brisket was where it was suposed to be' the chest on the form was so huge I had an 8 inch gap'after downsizing the top of the shoulder area I lost my gap and .got my neck length back so it didnt look odd'I will never show that form to anyone again RonK

The measurement I always take is...

This response submitted by PA on 2/8/05 at 6:57 PM. ( )

Is the distance between the eyes across the head both in front and the back. If that distance is corrected for, then the slimness of the nozzel is correct. The first big buck I mounted I ordered three company manikins to just see how my caliper measurements held up (I took probably 12 measurements on the various face dimesions from the ears forward. All the deer were at 7 3/4 inches nose-eye measurement. But the distance between to front corners of the eyes were a full inch between the fattest manikan and the slimest. I prefer to make each deer look like it did in real life - I just don't have the time to sculpt all the individual forms, so I measure everything by every angle and adjust the form.

The best fitting form of any manikan I ever bought was a bear head from Buckeye. I was probably just lucky, but there wasn't one meaurement over 1/8 inch off. I didn't like how the mouth was so open, so did have to modify it, but boy it was great.

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