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Making Squirrel bodies adjustable to any poses....

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by LionHeart, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. LionHeart

    LionHeart New Member

    Hi all,

    I just can't sleep tonight, so went back to the basement and started to play with wires, thinking about wrapping squirrels bodies and that I don't like the fact that when you buy forms, you're limited from choosing your exact pose without minor and sometimes major alterations. And also to save a bit of $$$ as I am just starting ;). I have not seen it yet but it might be an old taxidermist idea that is been refreshed ;). I'd like to make the pose I want so after a couple of hours of having fun, the end product is not bad.

    Don't know if it is worth putting in the tutorial section because ... well, as I say, I am noob in taxidermy so here it goes:

    I start by measuring the squirrel, tracing, and taking note of the emplacement of the shoulder, where they connect to the spine and bassin, also taking note of the legs and arms lenght.
    Then, I take some wire, strong enough for a squirrel but easy to bend because it will be for making the bones and attach them together by making loops.

    As you see in the picture, I use the loops in the wire to join the legs and arms bones to the hip and back shoulders. Each bone have a loop so when you choose your pose, the legs and arms bend at the right place.

    Now, I put a bit of tape on the wire for the cotton to grip to the wire and to make sure it wont slip on it. I had duct tape but masking tape will do good. I now use thread and wrap cotton on the whole spine , arms and legs making sure to let a bit of play in the articulation so it will conserve its flexibility.


    Last week or so, I carved some squirrel heads from foam and I plan on using them on these forms, once finished.
    A couple of poses while playing. It is infinite, you can make whatever pose you want and always keep a good anatomy as you move a leg or arm for the pose. It bends where it should :).
    A dead squirrel pose

    What I like about it is it can easily be adapted to any habitat, you make with the pose you choose ;D.
    Another one with a worried squirrel standing loll ;)


    Well, that's it for tonight, it's now past 2 in the morning, good night every one. I will try to continue this "tutorial" sometimes this week or next weekend by adding some muscle to the "squeletton" .

    Unless I can't sleep again tomorrow night ??? ??? :(
  2. redwolf

    redwolf Active Member

    Re: Squirrel form making and poses...

    I'm interested to see how this project comes out.

  3. Re: Squirrel form making and poses...

    Me too. I think that's pretty cool.
  4. LionHeart

    LionHeart New Member

    Re: Making Squirrel bodies in any poses....

    Next step.
    Once the spine, legs and arms have been wrapped once, I now make the body, matching the references I took earlier. When wrapping the body, don't build it around the spine, instead, wrap it below to keep the spine just over the body.


    Couple other pics of work in progress.

    After the main body is wrapped, I now start to wrap the legs and arms, and make the neck to fit the head.


    One almost done, still need to make the tail and a couple of adjustments, will keep it update as soon as it's done.

  5. Re: Making Squirrel bodies in any poses....

    Nice :)
  6. Jerry

    Jerry New Member

    Re: Making Squirrel bodies in any poses....

    Very cool! Thanks for sharing
  7. LionHeart

    LionHeart New Member

    Re: Making Squirrel bodies in any poses....

    Here it is now, no tail yet but I just wanted to show the flexibility but still solid of the body and members. It is still my first try at these "prototypes" ??? but I find that they move well without loosing too many anatomy feature. The legs and arms move fairly easy and when I built the body skeleton by attaching the shoulder and pelvic lower then the spine, kinda in recess in the body helped with it. I am happy how it turned out and the cost is very minimal and they make good practice. Once mounted, I was thinking of injecting a bit of glue in the articulations to lock everything in place, don't know yet if it will be necessary ???. :-\.
    Another thing I like is that I can make the body even if I am not sure what exact pose I want, it is easy to fit on any habitat and ooops, last minute change of mind... no problems.

    There is still much much place for improvement, if you have any questions or tips to improve, please feel free to comment. :)

    Scratching ear pose.

    Playing poses.

    Survival, loll


    And last, my wife said to me, Wow, your mounts are "mountable", ......lolll


    By the way people, they are playing together, don't get bad ideas ::) ;).

    Thanks to all, if it can help one of you guys, I will be very happy. Have fun and experiment.
  8. redwolf

    redwolf Active Member

    Not bad. I'm impressed.
  9. Uncle Harley

    Uncle Harley New Member

    that's very cool I like it!...............but what is your time worth?

    lets' say $35h. x 2 that's a $70 squirrell form.

    I can find squirrel forms on sale sometimes as little a $15 shipped sometimes less + 1 hr to alter to pose you want. You just put enough money in your pocket to feed a family of 4 at your local pizza joint. Now I'm not saying that this is something that shouldn't be learned because you may find the need for an extream pose but if thats the case you should adjust your price accordingly.
  10. redwolf

    redwolf Active Member

    Come on Harley......live a little :D
  11. Uncle Harley

    Uncle Harley New Member

    I said I liked it! LOL just not very cost productive to do for EVERY mount. LOL
  12. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    OH NO HARLEY! Have I converted you or what??? LMAO You know I agree with you. I gave up wrapping bodies for Lent in 1976 and never bothered to go back. How many Easters did I pass??? LOL
  13. The Ojibwa

    The Ojibwa Member

    Squirrels are my favorite mammal to work with and I think you have a pretty sweet concept. Both sides have good points as you have the ability to do whatever pose but it is also labor intensive. I think your hind legs need a little work...they have pretty beefy legs and to me, your's look a little skinny. I really like the "barely hangin' on" pose!
  14. Uncle Harley

    Uncle Harley New Member

    George, You didn't convert me I have a juvenile possum that I had to wrap the body for and I learned for myself THE HARD WAY ( like I always do) ROFLMAO!. But like I said it's a good method to know I just wouldn't want to do it everyday.
  15. RoyalOaksRanch

    RoyalOaksRanch Royal Oaks Taxidermy- When Quality Counts...

    I think for those one of a kind poses that is just awesome... I like the one that is hanging like its about to fall..
    Great job and thanks for the tutorial.
  16. LionHeart

    LionHeart New Member

    Thanks a lot man, I wasn't sure how they would end up looking like.

    Loll, you are right for these 2, I was experimenting and didn't take time into consideration. Just wanted to see if it would work and I am happy how it turned out. As these 2 were my firsts, they sure were time consuming like you mentioned but after building a couple more, it should be quicker and cut down on time.
    Thanks for the comment.

    I agree with you, the legs need some "beef" added to them lol now that I look at it again, I see what you mean :eek:
    Thanks for the input.

    My preferred pose also, I will try one like it, and the other one, probably scratching its head. Thanks a lot, it was a pleasure posting. I get so many tricks, tips from this forum that I am glad if I can give back a little.

    I agree that it would be time consuming doing all the bodies using this method :eek: but for a special pose, I think it might do the trick. As I mentioned on the first post, I couldn't sleep and this "popped" in my head so I had to try no matter what ;).

    Thanks again to all for the replies, I appreciate and if you want to add something else, either be tips and/or critics please do so.
  17. redwolf

    redwolf Active Member

    You should of posted this one in tutorials. I think a lot of people would want to try this and it would be easier to find.
  18. Uncle Harley

    Uncle Harley New Member

    lol aint that the truth I hate it when that happens but usually love the results!
  19. LionHeart

    LionHeart New Member

    Redwolf, how could I move it to tutorial section ??? New post with a link to this one?
  20. redwolf

    redwolf Active Member

    Send a mod. a PM, and ask them if they can move it. You've got my vote ;)