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African plains game question.

Discussion in 'Lifesize Mammals' started by Duckslayr, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    I commonly run into a lot of extra skin in the throat area when mounting African animals with the nose down. I often end up cutting a relief cut behind the jaw to allow the skin to slide up far enough to fit on the back of the head and tuck the extra throat skin. I don't see these creases in reference pics. Any suggestions?
     
  2. LordRusty

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

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    Then you need better references, and you need to look more closely! That extra skin ends up as skin rolls under the jaw and throat latch. Additionally, many of the Ungulates have a very pronounced 'Adam's Apple', and not many of the headforms on the market have this detail! African game is notorious for having all that 'extra' skin. Knowing how to handle it is half the battle ... and half the fun! ;)

    Lots of skin rolls/wrinkles running the length of this relaxed Blesbok ...
    [​IMG]

    On this Gemsbok bull, you will note the double skin flaps along the bottom of the jaw, Adam's Apple, and dewlap, as well as an overall 'loose' ... fitting of facial skin ... achievable with properly applied and sculpted clay onto the face of the headform.
    [​IMG]
     

  3. Yep the skin in the raw stage is amazingly thick, so when you do get it tanned you can have a lot of extra so called rolls or wrinkles.
     
  4. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    Thanks for the replies. I'm specifically working on a Bongo, and using John's Breakthrough in depth study along with a bunch of photos from a PH friend. Most of the pics I see seem to have little to no rolls under the chin that I can see. I have a ton of extra skin. Am I just not seeing the skin "tucked" between the back of the jaw and the neck? I'll post a pic from the Internet as an example.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

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    It's a common problem, and not always an easy fix. First off use a good tannery that will shave your skins thin enough you can work with them. If your skin is tanned properly you can compress WADS of skin into small areas.
    Watch your hair patterns closely, we can get into "deerhead" mode so easily it messes with our heads on other species. We have a tendency to pull the skin back wanting it to fit perfectly like a deer form and you end up with too much on the neck underneath the jawline.
    One solution is to compress the bunched up skin up onto the cheek muscle areas, work this forward compressing as you go. This is required on nearly all of the large antelope, Especially Eland, Kudu, Gemsbok, Buffalo. Look very closely at your bongo pic, below the jaw connection, the are slight vertical lines, the skin is compressing there, and up on the cheek. See the slight vertical lines in the white cheek patch? Look at the skin bunched up on the cheek of the blesbok. A little thick hide paste or mache in this area will make it easier.
    Another way is to cut into the neck parallel with the jawline about 3/4" increasing the jawline length, reshape the jaw and neck then you have more area to move and compress the skin forward off the neck onto the jaw.
    Look at the Gemsbok picture , that black hair pattern back of the jaw should always line up with the black on the neck. You will see many mounts where that black line in back behind the jaw, thus creating too much skin under the jaw .
    Do you compression with a wallpaper roller tool. I never tuck behind the jaw.
     
  6. LordRusty

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

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    There is a lot of so-called 'extra skin' around the neck and jowls of this Bongo, and as with many African Ungulates. Notice the vertical bulge right behind the roundness of the Masseter or cheek muscle, as well as the vertical masses of flattened skin rolls along the side of the neck.
    [​IMG]

    When the head and neck turn, the rolls become much more prominent.
    [​IMG]

    It must be remembered ... the headforms are sculpted to the dimensions of the actual muscle structure of the one particular specimen they are being sculpted for, and do not take into account the layer of the skin and subcutaneous fat that exists on all African specimens. It is up to the Taxidermist to recreate that feature in the mount, with the use of clay, or hide paste thickened with clay, or even a slow setting mache'. Also - as Jerry correctly explained - working the skin back into itself will be a big help as well.
    [​IMG]

    Notice in your photo ... located right behind the eye, and running vertically at a slight forward angle ... the roll of skin that is visible! ;) There is also a dewlap under the jaw, and an abundance of blubbery-like skin hanging below the bottom line of the neck starting at the bulge of the cheek ... right there in the photo! ;D ;) It's a lot of, if not all of that 'extra skin' we have been discussing. It's like I said ... you have to learn to pay CLOSE attention to your references. ;)
    [​IMG]

    Hope this helps!
     
  7. Riverland

    Riverland New Member

    What jerry is saying is you need to learn how to reduce big wrinkles into to little wrinkles that will tighten up and almost disappear when they dry. Big obvious wrinkles are easy. Small ones to compact skin so that the animal does not look bloated,stretched and hard are not as easy.
     
  8. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    Thanks! This one is going to be a wrestling match! One I intend to win!:)
     
  9. LordRusty

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

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    Go for it, Jared, and best of luck to you!
     
  10. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    Re: African plains game question. - update

    Well, I didn't exactly "win" the battle (lots of room for improvement) but the client, and a lot of people at our sportsmen's show love it, so I'm calling it a draw! Thanks again for the help.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. LordRusty

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

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    Looks good in the photo + satisfied client = well done, Jared!
     
  12. TIMBUCK

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    Yup you nailed it Jerry. Good write up.
     
  13. Museum Man

    Museum Man Well-Known Member

    it came out great.....good placement on the tail...it looks to be in motion....