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

Earliners for small mammals?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Arinaca, May 8, 2014.

  1. Hey!
    I've done a few deer and made my own liners with the sheets you get from Van Dykes where you add hot water and shape as needed. I want to do more small mammal work, foxes, rabbits, cats, possums etc - animals with much thinner, some "transparent" ears that show light through them. Whats the best method for making ear liners for animals like these? I've never tried bondo'ing ears, terrified of messing it up and not being able to seperate the bondo from the ears. I've seen people mention ice cream bucket plastic? How do you shape it? that could work for some things, but what about animals with even thinner cartilage in their ears? say something like an opossum that also has the transparency.
     
  2. buckmasters243

    buckmasters243 Active Member

    Ive heard of people using 20 min epoxy.Never tried it myself.
     

  3. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Let me ask you a question: what do you do with fish fins? You soak the in featured alcohol and card them. WELL? I inject them and card them.
     
  4. :p honestly I've never looked into how to do fish - would that be with turning the ears still and leaving in the cartilage? surely over time they would still curl and without cartilage they would look too thin? I actually thought with fish that you made replica fins haha
     
  5. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Grasshopper you have much to learn. Remove the EAR BUTT. Leave the rest of the ear alone. Inject it and card it. When it dries, IT'S DRY. Unless you wet it, it won't change. This method is used by John David Ellzey and the master of small game, Henry Wichers Inchemuk on squirrels. Nothing you out inside the split ear of confrontations, possums or armadillos is going to look better than a carded ear.
     
  6. That's why I'm here! Makes sense, I've always thought even after cartilage dried it had a tendency to curl. Whats the largest sized animal you can use this with? I might be doing a cat soon, and while I know it would probably work for the kitten I have at the moment (though, that's being tanned) would it be possible to just card the ear seeing its being tanned and just leave the cartilage in and card it?
    Once you get something larger in that you cant inject, what do you normally use as liners?

    featured alcohol, you mean denatured/methylated spirits right? :p
     
  7. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    6,253
    2,129
    MN
    George's suggestion works for many but I tend to overdo some things. I use liners for everything, it gives the ear stability. I have used ice cream buckets to make liners, I have used fake fingernails on small critters such as squirrels and skunks. On critters with transparent ears I use magicsmooth with a drop of red food color to glue ear liners, that I have made with the things listed.
     
  8. wow, fake fingernails is fantastic!
    with the ice cream buckets, how do you shape them to give them a nice curve?
    Thanks for the ideas!
     
  9. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    If you're going to do liners, use soda cans. Nothing is more thinnerand rigid than an aluminum soda can side. Fake fingernails are permanently molded and waxed paper is no different than any other paper. But remember, they're ALL OPAQUE
     
  10. opaque would be what I am going for, then tinting it pink with hide paste or whatever I glue them with. Possibly something like milk containers if they didn't have the bubbled texture, though I might try sanding that out and shaping it.
     
  11. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    6,253
    2,129
    MN
    I try to trace the cartilage on plastic and cut them out, then you can heat them with a hair dryer and shape them to your liking and then either glue them where they overlap in the ear canal or staple them, depending on size. Where was wax paper brought into this? Yes soda cans will work. Yes plastic finger nails may not be completely accurate but they can be altered as well, if you like.
     
  12. Awesome! Thank you! This is fantastic. I think the main thing I'm after is a nice opaque look for rabbits and things like that. This gives me some ideas to test out :D
     
  13. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    You're confusing "opaque" with "translucent". You see THROUGH possum ears (or at least AMERICAN possums you do) I don't think that's true with yours. But rabbits certainly are translucent. You're also going to find when skin dries, it turns brown. You may pick up some pink bleed through, but I'm not a big fan of that. You'll still need to paint it to give it that appearance.
     
  14. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    George ..............

    George, what are you injecting the fish fins and animal ears with?

    Thanks

    :)

    Kerby...
     
  15. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    6,253
    2,129
    MN
    George, skin often does dry dark but having some color where it belongs makes for a better and easier way of making it look correct, in my opinion. I won't say that some color may not need to be applied to the outside on some critters, just often times it isn't much.
     
  16. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Kerby, I inject ears with Stop Rot. I don't inject fins but spray them on warm water species only. Cold water fish get repro fins and heads.
     
  17. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    I thought ............

    I thought you were injecting the meaty part of the fins with something like Masters Blend or something. It also sounded like you were injecting the ears instead of using earliners ..... thought you were onto something. :)

    Kerby...
     
  18. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Nope. I inject the ears and card them. With fins, I remove all the meat and bone from underneath the skin and rebuild it with Apoxie Sculpt. Then the fins are sprayed with Stop Rot and carded. Once dry, they're painted with Fin Flex (and Silkspan if necessary) they they remain semi-transparent.
     
  19. Do you need to inject carded ears (on, say, a cottontail) if you either had it professionally tanned or did a pickle/home tan?
     
  20. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    No, at least I wouldn't.