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Wrapped mounts only

Discussion in 'Lifesize Mammals' started by snowhare, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. dale65

    dale65 Active Member

    Back in the 60s my grand dad learn and did taxidermy out in California and got a diploma from out there at some school he wrapped all his mounts and I learned doing it that way in the late 80s and it doesn't take that long to do a bobcat wrapped if you know how and it look as good as one today on a fome form and I think it still has it's place in taxidermy and is really satisfying when you do a good job on it. All of the work looks really good glad to see some still do it couse it's a art in its self to do it that way
  2. Im extremely new to the wrapping method, but I absolutely love the freedom you have with it![​IMG]
    Heres a monster swamp rabbit I killed and decided to have some fun with.

    ps. snowhare, your dvds are lifesavers!!

  3. Micah Howards

    Micah Howards Active Member

    May I ask what the wrapping method is? I am guessing that it is the string ball that you would put in the animal to mount it.
  4. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Sculpting the inner body contours and making a mannequin out of wood wool and wrapping with twine to make the shape. The old fart way. :) Unlimited body positions.

    magicmick likes this.
  5. Micah Howards

    Micah Howards Active Member

    Okay That is kinda what I was thinking. Thanks
  6. LordRusty

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

    Here's how I did the wrapped Red Fox shown on the first page of this thread ...
    Whoa! Digging through an old photo album, and I came up with this job. I was working for another Taxidermist, and a good client of his came in with this big old Red Fox, and wanted "something unique". "I have just the guy working for me who can do something with this!" was his answer. Then, he handed it over to me!

    I had a neat little photo of a pouncing Red Fox that I clipped from a Ranger Rick Magazine. After skinning it, I took a full set of measurements, then made a contact sketch - a tracing around the posed carcass, which I then transferred to a pine centerboard, and cleaned the skull.
    The leg bones came next. Each one was posed where I wanted it, and had contact sketches made of each side. After that they were measured. stripped of meat, and preserved.
    The leg bones were wired and fitted to the centerboard. The left hind leg was secured to a threaded rod instead of a plain wire, as this would be the main support leg. I later discovered I should have used a bit heavier threaded rod! The skull was also attached to the centerboard, and small brads were partially tapped in along the entire perimeter of the centerboard. These will aid in wrapping the body as an anchor for the string as each side is wrapped.
    I began wrapping the legs, using fine excelsior and Baker's string, with the supporting hind leg.

    Notice the missing section of the Humerus of the left foreleg. This was replaced with a tightly wrapped roll of excelsior wrapped to the leg wire, and the entire leg wrapped in the usual way.
    This was followed by the raised right hind leg.
    For my own curiosity, I compared the natural teeth to those of an artificial set of jaws available at the time. The natural jaws won out!
    Here the remaining legs and the body have been wrapped, as well as partial wrapping of the skull.
    More views of the wrapped mannikin.
    Notice the height of the bottom of the left hind foot ... the Fox on tip toe in this pose.

    Once the body wrapping was complete, the brads were hammered in flush, the small flat heads locking the wrapped string in place!

    One or two coats of Clear Shellac were brushed on the mannikin and allowed to dry before applying the skin.
    When I was happy that the Fox body was up to my recorded dimensions, I place it upside-down to rest in the shop vise. This allowed me to fit the skin fairly easily. As you can see, the Fox was skinned dorsally.

    At this point, hide paste was applied to the lower sections of the forelegs and hind legs.
    After placing the skin on the mannikin, and pinning the legs in place, it was turned right-side up again, and attached to its temporary base. Here you can see the paper maché modeled onto the skull.

    Hide paste was brushed onto both the lower portion of the hide as well as the mannikin, including up along the legs, just before pulling the hide up onto the mannikin.
    The skin now pulled up onto the mannikin, with hide paste added along the lower and upper sides, and held in place with T-pins. The tail was wrapped with fine Jeweler's Tow. Try and find THAT anymore!:(
    Sewing commenced from the base of the tail forward. Before fully closing the neck, I added more paper maché to the juncture of the head and neck, and modeled it in place. I also added ear base clay to rebuild the ear butts of the Fox.

    Back in the day, ear base was made by mixing dry Potter's Clay, with paper pulp, water, and Liquid Hide Glue! Man ... was THAT ever sticky! ;)
    As alluded to earlier, to get the feeling of 'elevation' to the movement, the foot of the left hind leg was deliberately set up on the tips of the toes, with the claws making contact with the base - in this case a thick-ass half log! And this is where the mount proved to be a bit unstable. Instead of fully balancing on just the hind foot, it was necessary to have a foreleg making contact with not only the bird - a Woodcock - but with the base as well!
    The tongue was first carved in Balsa Wood, then coated with paper maché, and shaped and textured, using the real tongue and photo references from magazines as reference. When it was dried I secured it in the mouth, modeled the gums and mouth interior in maché, then painted all the parts when dry.
    The white corners on the Fox eyes were painted on with gloss enamel white paint. There were no white banded eyes in 1977, so we made our own as needed!;)
    Not too worry! The client was extremely happy with his uniquely pose, big Red Fox mount!
    The next hunting season, the same client brought in another Red Fox, and told my boss he wanted another custom pose ... but not quite as dramatic as the first!
    I wrapped the body as before, but this time I used one of the artificial heads my boss laid up in paper from his many plaster molds! Yes ... the client was again very happy with his mount!
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
  7. Allie

    Allie Active Member

    Very cool. Thanks, John!
  8. Micah Howards

    Micah Howards Active Member

  9. Allie

    Allie Active Member

    That is great, trappersteph! I love the free-standing mount, too. Do you put anything on the body besides hide paste to make it smooth before you put the hide on?
  10. trappersteph

    trappersteph now you can have it...

    I just used hide paste in the chest and belly and it turned out fine.
  11. Love those foxes.
  12. creepers

    creepers natural history preparator

    Australian Greater glider, female mounted for the national park service.
    A few pics of the process.

    FB_IMG_1591002304403.jpg FB_IMG_1591002309131.jpg 20200315_110106.jpg

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 7, 2021
  13. Codi

    Codi Well-Known Member

    Keeping this thread alive!


    Bob, LordRusty, John C and 4 others like this.
  14. Tnrandy

    Tnrandy Active Member

    These are cool...never seen anything like this before. Great work!