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Discussion in 'Habitat and Exhibit' started by Bobbi Meyer, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. LordRusty

    LordRusty If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

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    Why has no one even suggested buying the Breakthrough Habitat Manual? And before anyone gets snarky with me ... NO ... I've not written a chapter in it!

    It is loaded with the information you are all looking for. Seems to me the reason bases are so weak is that no one seems willing to shell out a few bucks, buy an instruction book, and learn from the professionals who took the time to share their methods.

    There are also great habitat videos and now DVD's out there that take you through all the steps you need to achieve what you want. It just ain't free!

    rnviper3 ... the rock looks good, but yeah, the rest of the base is dead. You have a good "base" to build upon. You need to add other vegetation ... grass clumps with their base structures; leaf litter; and plenty of little stones. Just go outside and look down! What you need is right under your nose! Simply copy what you see ... it really is that simple. Add a mushroom here or there, some "green growth" such as ferns and whatnot ... it's not hard. You just have to apply yourself. And, apply plenty of accessories to your bases!

    Creating realistic habitats is one of the more fun aspects of creating a mount. It can be as important a finishing step as adding epoxy or paint to the finished specimen. The biggest thing to remember is this ... you want your habitats to look untouched by human hands. Far too many bases look very cold and mechanical ... man-made. That is what you want to avoid ... a manmade look. You want Nature to look ... natural.

    Again, take advantage of what's on the market. You won't regret that decision!

    John.
     
  2. Matt

    Matt Active Member

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    John is right, I couldn't live without mine. I will try and put some rock bases and ledge tutoriols together. I just have to get my wife in the shop to shoot the pics when she has time.
     

  3. Gobblingfever

    Gobblingfever 100% PEER GOBBLER ADDICTION!!!!

    I have the manual. Pretty good but there are so many ways to do things that are even better then what the manaul has in it. The more ideas the better. Oh and I like to see colors not just black and white.
     
  4. Bobbi Meyer

    Bobbi Meyer I luv to ride my tricycle, I luv to ride my trike

    I agree Gobblingfever...I have the book too, but there are a lot of ideas that people have that aren't covered in the book....I just like to SEE other peoples habitat work because I lack a lot of the artistic ability I used to have....lack of using it I suppose.
     
  5. aussiesam

    aussiesam I'm an Australian.



    I do have it but I'm more interested in seeing how people make the actual wooden bases which isnt covered in the manual. (I cant just go buy them here).
    And yes, I also like to see what others are doing.
     
  6. LordRusty

    LordRusty If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

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    I don't know if building the actual wood surrounds is covered in the habitat book ... I think I covered that part in my book, however. I show building a large rock base, with groundwork, grasses -- including choosing the grasses -- adding extras like pieces of bone, etc, and adding the wooden sides to the base.

    For the Black Leopard mount covered in the book, I had the octagonal base I used, built by a local woodworker/cabinet maker/carpenter ... yeah, he wears many hats! ;) Then it shows -- in depth -- how I built the tree from PVC pipe, hardware cloth, fiberglass, mache', and finally finishing it.

    It was also built in a "take-down"style, so it could be transported to shows and displays with ease. Everything comes apart: the tree is in two sections; the tree comes off the base, and the Leopard mount comes off the tree branch.

    Now, here's a lesson ... no one showed me a way to do this. I had to "dream" it up, plan and draw it out, without help. I understand everybody today wants help from everywhere because of the internet ... but come on people! You can't figure out what you want unless you see someone else's work? That's just sad! And it is really wrong-headed! As far as I'm concerned, the internet has really produced a spoiled generation!

    You need to get out and study Nature in the raw. That's the way you will learn what habitats look like. You need to get down and play in the dirt ... dig into it some, study the color, make notes, take photographs. It's frustrating to me, to see how far removed so many of you seem to be from the basics of "the basics!"

    And no ... this isn't just "another generations" view of what needs to be. This is part of the whole of Taxidermy. The sooner many of you realize this, the sooner your overall skills will improve. It is in you hands!

    John.
     
  7. rnviper3

    rnviper3 New Member

    lord rusty. i agree that the base i did is dead. I did a turkey for comp a few years back and how i made the base was to start by going out in the woods where i shot the turkey and I took a picture of the ground where he was. i did my best to duplicate the ground on that base. to this day that is the best base i have ever made. A plain dirt base like the one the rock is on, with everything i seen in my photo. but i put a lot of time in that base for the comp. when it comes to trying to do it like that on everything i do, i simply wouldn't have enough time in my day. granted it does give the mount a great finished look like you said. I have done habitat special per customer request, but i also charged extra for adding stuff. i have always wondered if I'm wrong there. maybe the extra decorations should be standard.
     
  8. Gobblingfever

    Gobblingfever 100% PEER GOBBLER ADDICTION!!!!

    lets see the comp. turkey base
     
  9. LordRusty

    LordRusty If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

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    Putting down leaf litter and forest floor debris is in no way "decorations" ... it is part of the whole. You can't seriously believe gluing down some plain dirt is calling a piece done!

    All right ... I'm putting together a tutorial -- a John Tuturrial -- on how to make a forest floor base. And after that, I don't want to hear any more excuses!

    Charge for the base in your main price. The price of a lifesize mount should include a simple habitat base. Now, there's simple, and then there's simply a waste. You decide what you want to give your customers.

    John.
     
  10. aussiesam

    aussiesam I'm an Australian.

    How about just a turorial showing how to construct an octagonal wooden base, no rocks no leaves no branches, nothing?


    ...thats all I would like! ::)
     
  11. Lisa M

    Lisa M Swing like no one is watching...lol

    Tutorials in general are a TON of fun!! I have a ton that I'd like to do, but can't, because so many things are techniques that I learned in school. Those things aren't mine to share. I also figured that I paid good money for the information...so should everyone else! LOL

    But...there's things I've figured out on my own...please don't laugh here...but has anyone thought of making ear liners out of hot glue?

    It's a wacky idea...but I'll be goll darned if it didn't work! You do NOT inject the hot glue into the ear. Please...don't do that, anyone. Just don't.

    I made an outline of the ear...in the first instance a bear ear that was for a rug. I literally laid the ear out on a piece of parchment paper and traced around it. Then I put the paper on a sheet of tin foil then put the foil on a tray for my toaster oven. I cut a chunk off of a glue stick and put it in the toaster oven at around 140 degrees for 5-10 minutes, keeping an eye on it. When the glue was melted, but not totally liquid like, I pulled it out and set it inside 1/2 of a paper towel tube cut long ways.

    Once it's cool, I cut the glue with scissors in the shape of the tracing. Putting it inside the paper towel tube curls the glue a little.

    I roughed up the glue...the paper is (of course) stuck to it...so rough that up too...then slip it in with hide paste.

    It has taken me longer to type this whole thing out than it took to actually make the ears! And they looked great! I don't know what ear liners cost...but hot glues cheap...paper's not expensive...and it was fun to make an earliner that 100% absolutely fit the ear it was going into! If you don't like the shape, get a heat gun/blow dryer out...reshape it. :)

    That's a tutorial I could do because I thought of it myself. Stuff like that...we all have things we do...we could all make tutorials.

    Then again...if we make them, isn't is possible that our future would be clients will find them when doing research on their taxidermist...and then they'll decide to do the mounts themselves? :D That'd be funny...us putting ourselves out of business! Oy vay...no it wouldn't! :eek:!

    Anyway...back to a world where all tutorials are all good...we should do more! :) My bases don't suck...but improvement is always good.


    Oh but I don't think I'd use the glue thing on any really big animal...deer ears would be much easier to just buy the liners. ;) But small stuff...heck yeah. :)
     
  12. LordRusty

    LordRusty If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

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    How about I'm not a carpenter. And I have suggested hiring a local woodworker to build your bases or buy them from suppliers. That's what I do!

    John.
     
  13. rnviper3

    rnviper3 New Member

    lord rusty, i agree 100%. my bases are not finished, and i need to improve them.
    gobblin, here is a picture of my comp piece with the octagonal base.
     
  14. Lisa M

    Lisa M Swing like no one is watching...lol

    http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,140701.msg963091.html#msg963091

    Tada! Thank you John! ;)
     
  15. aussiesam

    aussiesam I'm an Australian.

    lol, I'm not asking you Rusty.
    And if you'd read my original post in the thread you'd perhaps understand why i dont buy them from America or get a local carpenter to do them very often.
    I guess we should cancel our Breakthough/Tax Today subscriptions too and work things out for ourselves instead of being inspired by others?
     
  16. LordRusty

    LordRusty If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

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    You know what ... get over yourself and this frigging twelve-year-old attitude. "Maybe I should do this and maybe I should do that and then do it all by my little old self. Waaaa!!!" ENOUGH! Enough with the self whining pity party! Jeez don't you people ever stop!?

    I've got news for you. Long before there ever was Breakthrough or Taxidermy Today, that is exactly what we had to do. Figure it the hell out for ourselves. So that crap don't fly with me! If we wanted inspiration, we went to the great museums, or out to Mum Nature herself. There's some inspiration for you! We also inspired ourselves because we were -- and thankfully many of us still are -- self reliant! So get off the sympathy wagon! I don't want to hear it!

    John.
     
  17. aussiesam

    aussiesam I'm an Australian.

    lol you crack me up, Rusty. [​IMG]
    This thread isnt about you. Not asking for sympathy, just reponding to an earlier post.

    Um hello, you are not the only one to have done things before Breakthrough either.
    You say people are sad for asking for tutorials and should work it out for themselves and the internet spoils us, but then you post one anyway.
    Gee, Im headed off to the bush to see if I can find an octagonal base in its habitat.

    12 yr old attitude? ......I dont clog the bandwidth with pictures and silly captions.
     
  18. LordRusty

    LordRusty If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

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    Too bad you're one of the few that don't enjoy them. Glad I'm not YOU!
     
  19. Gobblingfever

    Gobblingfever 100% PEER GOBBLER ADDICTION!!!!

    Loks nice. Leaves and pine needles?
     
  20. LordRusty

    LordRusty If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

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    Hey rnviper3,

    Nice looking habitat work on that big old Tom there. Looks natural, and "Untouched by Human Hands!" Good work all around!

    Is that a Research Mannikins base?

    John.