Mounting a Mouse

Submitted by Jeff Hughes on 12/21/99. ( )

Okay when you stop laughing . . .
I want to put a mouse in a rattlesnake scene and am wondering what the best answer is?
1.Belly incision and wrapped body, dry preserve and save the skull.
2.Freeze dry (boring).
3.Bondo and fiberglass resin w/original skull :)
Okay I am a sicko, but I like the bondo idea, I could get just the right pose, and it's small enough I think I could pull it off.
What do you guys think? Anyone ever put mice in scenes?

Thanks for any suggestions . . .I luv the bondo idea!!!

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This might be fun!

This response submitted by Rusty on 12/21/99. ( )


I read a Breakthrough article a while back about dipping a mouse in wax. The idea was that you posed the critter somehow and then dipped the little bugger in the wax a bunch of times until you had a thick layer built up. Then...(here's the cool part)...You let the thing rot away from the inside out. What you end up with is a hollow shell in the shape of a mouse...(or a moose if you have lots of wax)...with the hairs and other cool stuff imbedded in the wax. Then you put a little resin, Fantasti-Cast, or some other similar substance inside the mold, roll it around until you have recreated the shell and locked all the hair roots in place and then you melt the wax off. I've always wanted to try that method but seems that I can't get any mousies!

Good luck and Merry Christmas!


Mounting a mouse

This response submitted by Larry on 12/21/99. ( )

I'm not laughing, and don't you laugh either. Quite a few years ago I produced some mouse shoulder mounts on plaques! Sold all of them too!They were freeze dried, and I suggest that this is the fastest and easiest way to go. If you want to do a more conventional mount, I suggest using the balsa or Master Mache fill method. If you're not familiar with this method, I can mail you the info on how to do it. Lastly, regarding Rusty's response, try doing it with a thin coating of plaster instead of wax. The plaster is a lot easier to remove. Happy Holidays!

Another option

This response submitted by David on 12/21/99. ( )

In a book first published in 1973 titled "A Guide to Model Making & Taxidermy, There is a description in the first chapter that essentially describes the method described by Rusty, with the exception that the hair is coated with a thin coating of latex and the use of fiberglass to hold the hairs later. The book was written by Leo J. Cappel, who was the Preparator to the Auckland Institute and Museum in Auckland, New Zealand. Perhaps you can order this book from your local bookstore. Good luck and let us know how it comes out.

I read the same article in Breakthrough

This response submitted by Todd B on 12/21/99. ( )

Rusty is right it was in Breakthrough magazine. But I cannot remember the
year or issue. But it was a cool idea. If you try it let us know
how well it worked for you.

Todd B

you need some mice?

This response submitted by deer woman on 12/22/99. ( )

... come rent 2 of my cats- best pest killers around! They tend to leave little gifts on the porch.

Shoulder Mounts, eh?

This response submitted by Lianne on 12/22/99. ( )

Okay Larry,
There is a large pack rat playing havoc with the wiring on our vehicles. (The mechanic suggested throwing the old plug wires under the hood for decoys!)I have caught his mate and his children, so I think he is exacting revenge. This is war. When I finally catch this big buck rat, I will send it to you. I want a walnut panel and a brass trophy plate!

Been there, done that...

This response submitted by Bob Mead on 12/26/99. ( )

Try this on for size: I went to a Danny Owens seminar a few years ago when I was in Texas...he was showing his technique for mounting dead game birds in the mouths of predators (a red fox, I believe). Anyhoo, he would mount the bird on a shaped sponge (shaped with scissors), insert the bird into the mouth of the predator, then let dry.
I thought this was an excellent technique, and I wanted to apply it to reptile taxidermy. I shaped my sponge to the approximate dimensions of the mouse's body, left the real skull in place, and mounted the mouse on the sponge. Once mounted, I positioned the mouse half-way into the mounted rattler's mouth, then monitored drying for a couple of days. The sponge allows the mouse's skin to conform perfectly to the inside of the snake's mouth.
The results were more than satisfactory (I won two blue ribbons and a Best of Category with this mount, entitled "Midnight Snack"). I would highly recommend this method, with all credit going to Mr. Owens. Give it a try!

Guess what?

This response submitted by Bill on 12/27/99. ( )

If you like that wax method, I know who did it! It was Wayne Cooper from Florida. Ask the folks at Breakthrough, they will know....

save you the trouble

This response submitted by sm on 2/2/00. ( )

you can buy pre-mounted critters in Hide and Beak for about 16 dollars.This is the way to go unless you are pitucular about doing the job yourself.

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