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Second Bird

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by Raspy, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. Raspy

    Raspy New Member

    Below is my second bird...first mallard. Critique away, dont hold back I need to learn. I know some of my problem areas...the neck and neck/head junction the face had some holes in it so I had trouble grooming it. I tried a chanllenging pose for a second bird and overall I am happy with it but I feel I can do much better. Hopefully with a bit of help from the proffesionals I can improve on the next one. I had trouble injecting the feet with MB so they are not as plump as they could be.

  2. Smeja

    Smeja New Member

    ya master blend takes some getting used to thats forsure. nobody ever told me it would take some practice. i ruined a few needles along the way and over and under injected some feet, i still struggle with it from time to time. you just gotta work fast.... looks like your feet werent hydrated when you tried to inject them, sometimes you have to fill with water to get that cardboard feel and look out before injecting with master blend. looks like you hit on both your problem areas. looks good for your second or tenth besides the one foot.

  3. mark11

    mark11 now accepting new wholesale clients

    a couple of things i see. first it looks like you posed the neck by giving it a couple of sharp bends instead of a series of flowing bends throughout the neck, remember a birds neck is made up of a series of vertabrea that work together to allow a smooth range of motion and flow, when they turn their head and neck in this position it requires movement throughout all of these to accomplish it not just a few hard bends in places, also maybe move the breast skin up towards the neck a little more. the other thing i see is that it looks like the wings are set too far back on the body and need to be moved forward towards the shoulder, this would help take away the dip between the neck and the wing and this would soften up the twist in the neck that you have, from the back they look to be set a little wide also which is allowing the scaps to droop onto the side of the bird instead of flow and lay over the back. after moving the wing forward and together a little then you need to pull the scaps forward and pin them back to the point of the shoulder and if you lift them up and make a small incision under them you can add a small amount of caulk and a thin layer of fill to reconstruct the muscle that you removed from the bone to give a nicer rounded look to the back. overall, it is a great mount for your second and it is a difficult pose. to help learn neck anatomy and posing try wire wheeling the neck from your next bird removing all of the meat but not destroying the tendons that hold it together and then wire it and us it in your mount, it has a hole running through the center that easily accepts a wire and you can use cotton or fiberfill to wrap it and rebuild the muscle then you just reattach it to the body and the head the same as you would any other neck. don't borax it or wrap it til you are ready to mount your bird as it will dry out and stiffen very quickly once borax or preservative is applied. good job and keep at it.

  4. alan webfoot

    alan webfoot New Member

    great idea on neck ,that was in a predatory bird book I once had a guy[can't remember his name] used it for a falcon or small hawk ,like the old song goes ''aint nothing like the real thing baby'' then after you learn you'll make accurate CURVES in those necks not bends
  5. Raspy

    Raspy New Member

    Thanks for your comments..and encouragement. Mark..I see what you are talking about on the neck and wings. I will have to try fleshing the neck sometime to see how it articulates thats a great idea. I did not notice the wing position until you said something, they do need to move forward a bit. This one is already dry so I will have to chalk this one up as a learning expierence. I guess I will just have to get used to the masters blend. My main problem I think is I was using to small of a needle. I thought I had read somehwere that an insulin syringe would work but I had a hard time drawing the MB into the syringe. What size needle do you all use?? Thanks for everyones comments and help again and keep them coming.
  6. txoutdoors

    txoutdoors Active Member

    i use a 22ga for most birds, 18 for large geese, etc.

    Also, if you put you MB in the fridge for a while before you are ready to use it, it will slow the kick and give you more working time.
  7. Ittybit

    Ittybit Member

    I mix my MB in a 12cc syringe then put a little in the insulin syringe. I also use a 22g needle I get from Rural King
  8. GeorgiaCans

    GeorgiaCans New Member

    good for second bird, you nailed your problem areas. With the head and neck junction being off, it also make your bird appear to have its wings sitting too far back. Also a little feather work and grooming and your on your way!
  9. mark11

    mark11 now accepting new wholesale clients

    i have always used insulin syringes and have never had a problem with them, if the feet were freezer burned and you injected them with water it makes a lot of extra holes for the MB to leak out of. on the next one try filling a heavy plastic cup with enough lacquer thinner to cover the feet and when you shoot a needle full of MB into the foot drop it into the thinner and this will help control the leakage and keep the foot clean of the MB. you may have to come back and spend extra time injecting smaller areas to fill the foot out but you can get it done. if i have a set that are really bad i will inject the whole foot as best as i can with MB and let it set overnight then i will re inject the areas that need it and let that set up then i will shoot some formaldahyde into whatever areas are still showing signs of needing it. obviously the best feet to inject are fresh and plump already and if you do it as soon as possible you can get a lot of them to hold a lot of their natural color. when you skin your next bird make a carcass tracing and transfer all of the important measurements to it to be used for later, mark the hip joint, the knee joint (if you take a compass and set it at the distance from the hip joint to the knee joint and then draw an arch this will show you the range of movement from the front to the rear that the leg can and does rotate), mark the shoulder joint from the front of the breast to where the wing attaches (make sure you take into account the amount you cut off if you remove the ball of the joint) also mark the distance from the center line of the body to where the wing attaches so you can set the shoulders at the right width. other measurements i take are the neck attachment from the tip of the breast so that i can know i have my neck the right length, neck length (if i don't use the real neck, i always use the real neck in a comp mount). the next time you get a meat bird before you clean it pluck it and move things around and watch how it all works together, as you skin your birds take the time to look and see how things go together and especially look at the front and rear flight tendons and where they attach, move the legs around and look at them, move the wings. so many taxidermists skin it as fast as they can cut it apart and get rid of some of the best reference available.