1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

Bobcat fitting issues

Discussion in 'Lifesize Mammals' started by josh s., Mar 21, 2011.

  1. josh s.

    josh s. Active Member

    I started today of in hopes of completing my first lifesize bobcat and am irritated to say the least. I just have one question involving the fit. My bobcat measures 1 5/8x16x30......and the form is 2x181/2x31. Obviously its too big.....so I set out to adjust it....i made the length ok.....girth is on.....my problem is the hide won't come up over the shoulders. my guess is that the chest and shoulder area are meant for a larger cat.any pointers on this would be appreciated.....this is my first lifesize using a dorsal insision. I bought these as a pair of taxi net and have no complaints there.....just wondering if I am doing something wrong.....and I didn't adjust for the eye to nose because I was just fed up for the day.....lol!! Thanks for any help!!
  2. Steven .B

    Steven .B New Member

    I think when they sculpt these forms they use there pet cats which in return are larger over feed than the average bobcat..
    I sanded mine down but becareful to keep everything equal.. I would use a change out head in it as the form is 2 and your cat 1 5/8 eye to nose I don't think i would try to make the head small just buy a change out.. Just my thoughts... GOOD LUCK!!

  3. bubba z

    bubba z New Member

    I used to have a lot of bobcat fitting problems with the southern bobcats which seem to not be as husky as northern and western cats. Your easiest way is gettiing a smaller form that fits your girth and lengthening it and if necesssary changing out the head to fit. It will be hard to sand it down enough to fit and still be proportional .
  4. LordRusty

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

    You'd better think again! That is a ridiculous statement! Sculptors do not use their Housecats as guides for sculpting Bobcats. They go by the measuremetns of the particular specimen they are working on. I have seven cats here, and when I sculpt for a Bobcat I sure as hell do not look to them for inspiration or proportions!!!

    In the first place Bobcats are so far removed from the Domestic cat it's unreal. Domestic cats more resemble the African Wildcat - the Great-Granddaddy of all Domestic Cats. The Bobcat developed separately off the evolutionary branch of the Felid tree.

    Sculptors know better than to use the Housecat as the blueprint for the Bobcat. Even if they are not into the ancestral backgrounds of mammals as I am, they can visually see the differences, and would not choose that combination.

    That being said, you must realize that not every Bobcat in the world will fit the existing mannikins perfectly. A mannikin is a tool, and it is up to you to learn how to use those tools.

    I will say that there is too much overscompensation going on in the sculpting of most mannikins, giving the animals more bulk than they should rightly have, making them too large and ill-fitting.

    Cats chests are shallow ... even those of the Domestic Cat. Meaning they are higher up between the forelegs than most realize, and they do not have large pectoral muscles either. Using a half-round file, start rasping away the chest area between the forelegs. Rasp some away, clean it up, fit the skin. Repeat until the skin fits the mannikin.

    You can also use a round file, and file out slight leg slots where the legs meet the mannikin, then narrow the chest to make a natural transition from the slotted areas to the chest. I will be having just this very information in an upcoming article in Breakthrough covering the Small Cats of Africa. I don't know when it will run, but it has been submitted. All these features are explained in the article.

    In the meantime, reduce the bulk of the chest area, and fit the skin as you go, until the incision closes with a little bit to spare, and you'll be good to go.

  5. bearrug48

    bearrug48 Active Member

    I havent found too many forms that are right on. Most need some tweeking.Thats where your artistic skills come into play.things are very seldom easy in this area.all animals are individual just like humans. best to all .............
  6. josh s.

    josh s. Active Member

    Thanks everyone for the tips.....i feel I am pretty artistic but after looking at it again.......i need about 4" to get the seam to close.....i think I will set her side and order the smaller form....john.....i do get breakthrough and always read every but of your articles so I will be looking for that one a well. I think this form was just to far off to start with. House cats...lol.....i must say I studied the nostrils of our cat!!

    TIM DUNCAN surry county va

    josh let me ask you have you cut a slot under the front legs so the skin can get up under the arm pit and give you more room to come around the shoulders sometimes people forget to cut out slots for the skin the skin needs to be taxied properly to help fit just checking if you have disregard what i am talking about
  8. josh s.

    josh s. Active Member

    I have cut the slots under legs but I think in general it is just not going to work
  9. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    Every bobcat form I've ever ordered is too big in the chest and too small in the belly/hips. I just figured the bobcats in this region differ from the ones back east.
  10. josh s.

    josh s. Active Member

    Well actually the bobcat is from kentucky. The chest is definitely my problem area here.....and if it was close I would just rasp it to fit, but its not even remotely close.
  11. strub

    strub New Member

    I started on one today & I have no choice but to cut the form down, that the pose the customer wants. I done it before it just takes time.
  12. josh s.

    josh s. Active Member

    Well, I ordered a new form yesterday that is more towards the size of the skin so I am hoping that I well be closer and more in the range so to say if I need to file the chest down. Does anybody have any bobcat forms they prefer over others???

  13. I think you were a little to quick to judge there John. I think he was implying people with pet bobcats and the likes not your average house cats. I will agree with him on that part cause I bought 2 that were pets and one weighed 73 lbs and the other 52lbs...very well fed to say the least!
  14. Daniel M.

    Daniel M. Tongo, the best dog in the world. (Saarloos)


    I have also got some pet bobcats in the freezer and they are.... well chubby, lol! :D

    I agree with Mr. Steven, It wouldn't surprise me at all if some sculptors used domesticated bobcats as reference, and there is a huge difference between a cat that always has food and one that goes from being hungry to full every few days.

    And Mr. Josh, good luck with your bobcats, hope you have more fun as they come together :)
  15. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    Sometimes bobcats are posed so the shoulders ride high while the "carriage" is still set low. Simply slot that much deeper on the leg slots and youll see some improvement. The only other thought is that the form just might not be too accurate, theres some rough forms out there!
  16. josh s.

    josh s. Active Member

    Thanks dan....all in all it was just a bad day in general...lol. When I get the new form I will make it happen. I guess I just thought I was doing something wrong......hey bill...as far as the relief cuts under the legs go.....i would say they are about 1 1/2" deep on both sides. We are still talking 3"of gap to make up and that's with no rasping of the chest area or shoulders for that matter.
  17. Steven .B

    Steven .B New Member

    John, Slow down and take a breath for a moment and listen!!! replying to over feed pet bobcats!!! Bobcats in captivity tend to be a little bigger than the average wild cat... But none the less you probably never find a form that doesn't need a little altering.. Just my thoughts on it..
  18. LordRusty

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

    What in the hell are you talking about? ??? You know ... if you "meant" PET BOBCATS you should have mentioned PET BOBCATS, instead of PET CATS ... which is what you wrote. What ... I'm supposed to be a frigging mind reader now? I'm supposed to know what you "intended" to say? Get off the jump on John boat! :mad: And it's 'over fed' ... not 'over feed', when used in the context you have it in. ::)

    And not all pen raised Bobcats are overweight. One of the first pen raised Bobcats I ever mounted, came from a dealer in Florida. The client bought it sight unseen, and when he brought it to me it was a huge animal and extremely undernourished ... nearly emaciated. I measured it, made a death mask of its head, skinned it, and while it was in the tannery, proceeded to sculpt its mannikin - clay and bones - using measurements from a similar sized wild-shot Bobcat. I then made a multi-piece plaster mold, and cast the mannikin in paper, with plaster and burlap backup. After relaxing and stretching out, the hide actually fit the mannikin. A mannikin that was fuller then the cats actual body, but one which was sculpted correctly for a cat.

    Whether a PET BOBCAT is used as a guide or not - and no, not every sculptor owns a pet Bobcat - the tendency is to give the Bobcats rounded rear thighs and large over-muscled legs, which is incorrect, as well as a full and deep chest, with powerful Pectoral muscles, which is VERY INCORRECT! Cats have a shallow, "sunken" chest. They are not "98-pound weaklings" (just an old saying) by any means ... they just don't have the physique so many sculptors like to give them.

    It's the same problem seen in so many "popular" Deer headforms. Overexagerrated muscular details, and facial veins a-poppin', given to a creature that is very delicate in appearance in real life. Popping facial veins generally occur after heavy exertion, when the heart rate is pumping high, and the animals adrenaline is coursing through it system.

    So, I guess to mount Deer correctly on such forms they should all be alert with flared nostrils. Or ... one can just alter the form to achieve the look one wants. Sand down the veins, and soften the hard muscle lines ... unless one prefers producing inaccurate Deer heads.

    The same holds true for lifesize mannikins of Bobcat and Bear ... the two species whose mannikins need the most alterations to make them fit.

    And remember PROPORTIONS!!! These are even more important to a mount than the linear measurements. Linear measurements can be spot-on, but if the proportions are off, then the skin will not fit, or will not fit well ... not without a lot of work to make it fit. Are there any manikins that are proportionately correct? Yes ... the one that was created for the specimen it was originally made for! All others must be altered for fit ... all the way 'round. Not just the measurements, but the proportions as well.

    You can order a smaller mannikin, and sometimes this will help, but unless it is made to fit the proportions of the specimen in question, problems will still exist.

    These proportional problems occur mostly when a female specimen is mounted over a mannikin that was created for a male. The males are larger ... in cats this is especially so. No matter how large a female Bobcat is - for example - her proportions are not that of an equal sized male. If one refuses to learn this, then one will always have the inevitable problems.

    You have to take the time required to study the subject at hand in order to succeed. It really is that simple. ;)

    Good luck to you,
  19. I know for a fact that none of the forms are sculpted after skinny assed Texas cats. I made the mistake of buying the correct form for a big Texas cat ONCE. Nothing fit! Then a buddy of mine told me to buy a form that is 2'' shorter in length and the skin will fit everywhere, everytime. Ya know what? He was right!
  20. josh s.

    josh s. Active Member

    John, this is a female bobcat and that thought crossed my mind early on. We dont have a season for bobcats where I live nor do we have them around. I wanted to do this one because of the experience and two I just think they are awesome looking animals. As far as reference goes I have downloaded so many pictures ober the last month that I will probably need some more hard drive for my computer!! After looking back at some of those pictures I can clearly see the shallower chest.....so maybe I jumped the gun on a new form??? However factor in the female side of things and mayble a smaller form is better off.......if I rescuplt a form......also being my first cat.....the results might be ok at best. I have a feeling when I get the new form I will have a better platform all around......as I stated my measurements will be alot closer to the forms three measurments. I amgoing out of town for a week and will be back April 3 or so.......when I get it mounted I will post for everyone to see and critique most likely.