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Injectable Filler

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by LordRusty, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. LordRusty

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

    Many have asked me about this "mysterious" method of injecting a mount. Well, it's not mysterious, and it is not even my own. In fact it is a very old method. I've simply updated it a bit.

    My 'modern' version employs WASCO's Sallie Dahmes Ear Base mix. I prefer this product over plain Potter's Clay, as this product has more body than Potter's Clay alone. I mix it until it is a bit thinner than needed when used for rebuilding ear bases for Lifesize, Game Heads or Deer. I would say it is a slightly thickened mixture. You don't want it to be able to "pour" out of the container ... you want it so you can lift it out with a spoon or a craft stick to work it into a large 6cc syringe.

    Before stuffing it in a syringe, I like to add some dextrine base hide paste ... in this case the Sallie Dahmes Hide Paste. I mix it by first boiling a small pot of water, which is then poured into a plastic container - a washed and cleaned out "Smart Balance" or "Country Crock" container. Next I mix in a couple cap fulls of Brown Bottle Lysol. Finally I add the powdered hide paste, and mix it using an old Dormeyer Electric Hand Mixer ... it's what I have and it still works. I add more hide paste until it is as thick as peanut butter. Then I let it cool in the fridge.

    I guess you can add plain yellow Dextrine, but I like the body and texture of the Sallie Dahmes Hide Paste, and it adds to the overall injectable ear base mixture. It is what I use, and have been using for several years, and with that, I know that it works ... as do others who have tried it!

    Use a 6cc syringe with a ⅛'' plastic tube secured over the end tip. Remove the plunger from the barrel of the syringe, fill with the mixture, and inject is where needed, shaping it as you go, and further shaping it when you reach a fuller size. Be sure to start the mixture on its way down the tubing, nearly filling it with the mixture to avoid pushing air under the animals skin, trapping it there.
    The syringes are available from any Ag store - Tractor Supply, etc., or from your local Veterinarian.

    On African mammals - lauded and cursed for their skin wrinkles and rolls - a small incision is carefully made with the grain of the hair in the center of what would be the valley or low point of a skin wrinkle or roll, and the end of the plastic tubing is inserted and worked to the location needed to begin injecting the mix. Depress the plunger and add as much or even a little more than is needed ... any excess can be worked into another wrinkle. With the tubing in the same hole, it can be moved to other locations for additional wrinkle filling. You simply need to refill the barrel of the syringe as needed. You can also enter the tube in through the ear opening.

    Prior to this I used a formula from one of John Rowley's Taxidermy book. Very similar, with Potter's Clay as the base, whiting, asbestos for body (cringe!) formaldehyde (they used that in everything!) and some other ingredients that escape me right now. I did not use the formaldehyde, instead used Phenol while it was still available. At the time I added some of the Dextrine hide paste I made up ... again ... from John Rowley's book. I also added Liquid Hide Glue, which is a carpenter's glue ... very sticky! I was all about the sticky!

    When these products were introduced I tried them and found they not only eliminated much of the fuss of mixing from scratch ... they worked very well! Using trial and error I developed the mix into an injectable paste. I used it then, and I use it still. I like it because it can be placed anywhere it is needed at any time during, or after, the mounting process. Not only that, but unlike other soft fillers - cotton, excelsior, tow - once it is installed and shaped where needed, it dries hard as a rock, becoming a permanent part of the mount!

    The "elephant snot" mixture of vermiculite and hide paste lauded by others is not applicable in this instance. The clay mix is smooth ... the vermiculite is not. The Ear Base mix - 'clay' will flow through the syringe. Clay will always sculpt better. This I know from experience ... all 44 years of it. The smoothness of the clay filling will make a huge difference in the short haired specimens from the African continent.

    So, there you have it. My injectable solution to areas on a mount that need filling out for whatever reason. This mixture I recommend is good for everything from "soft-filling" for the fat pads in small mammal mounts, wrinkles in African mammal mounts, to filling out mammals that were captive raised. This includes Dogs.

    It is the way I filled out the Black Leopard I mounted for Cheryl. I wanted her mannikin to be readily useable for a "general" Leopard mount, yet "Tessa" was very fat ... having only one foreleg and being captive raised ... so I filled out her fatty areas with this very mixture.

    The nicest features about this method ... you have more than ample time to work the material under the skin; it produces a smooth finish under the skin; and again, when it dries, it is rock hard!

    As I have stated about this method ... it is not new ... it is not mine ... it is a time proven, museum method that still works. That makes it still relevant.

    I hope it works as well for you as it has for me.

    Good luck to all,
  2. sarahdj

    sarahdj Active Member

    Thanks much!!!

  3. LordRusty

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

    You're very welcome! ;) Best of luck to you!
  4. hunt hard

    hunt hard New Member

    Thanks John
  5. brelo

    brelo Winchester

  6. Thanks! I assume you can have this premixed and ready to use? Just store it air tight or possibly in the fridge?
  7. absmithtaxidermy

    absmithtaxidermy New Member

  8. theguyyouknowtaxidermy

    theguyyouknowtaxidermy The Guy You Know Taxidermy<Daniel Elkins>

    I am about to mount a long horn steer and I plan on using this method for the majority of the wrinkl work. althogh I think I am going to have to use a caulk gun and tube due to how much I am adding. I hade another thought off trying to add the mixture to the form and build up my wrinkles prior to pulling the cape over. any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated.
  9. LordRusty

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

    Hey Guy,

    I just bought a Kemper Industrial Clay Extruder Gun, from our local 'United Art & Education' store.
    We had a coupon, so I paid about $32.00 for it instead of the $49.99 list price.

    Obviously, they are sold at other locations ...


    I've some big - and average - African gameheads, and I think this will be a boon to the way I add wrinkles!

    You can add clay to the headform ... especially if you open the steer all the way down the neck ... as the cape gets pulled 'up' onto the headform. I would still inject the clay mix under the skin to create additional nice, soft, wrinkles.