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First Batch of Ducks...feedback requested

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by KFLAH, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. KFLAH

    KFLAH Active Member

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    This is the first group of ducks I have mounted. The specimen's were not the best. The only bird that wasn't loaded with pin feathers was the goldeneye. A couple of the birds needed wings sewed back on and the wigeon's head was only hanging by a thread. There are many damaged feathers as well, which I did not have replacements feathers for. All of that being said, I know I have much room for improvement so please provide feedback on any or all.

    Thanks, Kevin

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  2. mallard1

    mallard1 New Member

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    Well you do have many of the excuses, often used in attempts to rationalize their poor mounts, down pat.

    :D :D :D

    I guess I'll start the ball rolling with ... IMHO ... The goldeneye neck dark head skin, where it meets the white, needs to be taxi'd forward and or the neck a bit longer. The widgeon's body is too long and the lower part of the neck is kinked. The redhead does not look properly cleaned, especially the head, neck and shoulders areas.The mallards, especially the hen's, eyes need to be more visible from the front - so they can see where they are going. Cannot tell for sure from the pic, but it looks like either the drake mallards scaps are not pulled back where they belong and or the wings are set too far back. Hope this helps.

    Nice job for a beginner.
     

  3. KFLAH

    KFLAH Active Member

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    Not making excuses... Just laying a foundation. I know there is a lot wrong, and if I didn't want the critical feedback I would never have posted.

    I have to say, one of my biggest frustrations with my birds is setting the eyes. I have trouble lining them up on the artificial heads and I have been using apoxie sculpt. Not sure if you have any suggestions.

    I appreciate the feedback.

    Thanks, Kevin
     
  4. mallard1

    mallard1 New Member

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    I do not see a difference. Seldom will you get a wild shot bird without such situations. And as you have already found, those situations really do not affect what is not correct about the mounts. Not saying it is only you: many here post with some caveat which really does not relate to the lacking of the final mount.

    About the eyes, make sure to take measurements, I take from top point of bill, lower point of bill, from ear to eye and from base of skull to eye (and measurement of eye diameter). And do not set the eye too deep into the apoxie sculpt. Fill socket to level with the skull, put a bit in the concave portion of the eye if there is one, and set. Look at the bird from the front for correct set. Also with caulk I attach the skin in between the eye and bill.
     
  5. KFLAH

    KFLAH Active Member

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    Thanks for the info. I bough the Cory Caruthers heads with the preset eyes. I really like the heads, but based on your feedback will probably get the eyes separate in the future.

    Thanks again
     
  6. mallard1

    mallard1 New Member

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    Cory C has some great bird heads for sure. And I would keep with those, just sans preset eyes. A little pricey with the eyes installed as $7 addition so that is one of the reasons I have not tried the combo. But perhaps the most important reason, is, the ability to place the eyes, with your measurements, exactly where they should be for each and every bird.
     
  7. Actually, that price is with the cost of the Europe eyes. They are only charging around a buck fifty to install. So it isn't real bad. But you can pop them in a few seconds if you order the separately. I really like his heads also.
     
  8. vmax

    vmax Member

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    I agree with Mallard1 about Cory C heads.....they are awesome heads with great detail. His molding and casting skills are off the hook.

    There is one thing that is important to know about his heads. I am in no way bashing his product....just something to be aware of. With his heads he sculpts all the meat and muscle detail back on and they are all cast that way which results in large heads that don't fit in a lot of bodies. This results in the skin being stretched to tight over the head. It's very important to take caliper measurements of the original head and transfer to the cast head.

    Personally I don't like this because it affords me less flexibility to achieve the look I want without having to go after it with a Dremal tool to make modifications. I start with a plain head and achieve my desired look using caulk and grooming.

    Again, Cory produces some awesome heads and like any manufacturer, they each have their own styles we have to get use to.

    Best Wishes!
     
  9. I havent seen the cory c heads . who sells them?
     
  10. Matuska is the only one I've seen.
     
  11. smitty0810

    smitty0810 Member

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    KFLAH I too am a beginner so what I say must be taken with a grain of salt. I try not to critique anyones work, rather I do my own personal critique of others birds, than go read what everyone else has said to see if I picked out everything. However I will add one thing I learned off one of Page Nethercutts DVD's and it pertains to the Wigeons feet mostly. A ducks feet dont "grip" like other birds do. (Maybe some do, maybe some dont, I hope that isnt misleading.) So perhaps that wigeons feet shouldnt be so contoured to the limb. Hopefully someone else will chime in on this and let me know whether that much grip is ok or if its too much.
     
  12. MallardsFowlLife

    MallardsFowlLife Well-Known Member

    Great job on your first batch of birds! It seems with the flying birds, I had the same problem starting out. Not sure if you are measuring your necks out before hand or just guessing, but you can see on especially the Goldeneye and hen Mallard they look blocky. By this meaning it looks like the bird goes from head to shoulders with no smooth transition. If you feel the neck is too long, just remember to move skin towards the head and a duck most all of the time has an "S" shape to the neck when in flight. To get rid of the "white" you see in the Redhead, backbrush the feathers from the neck towards the head. This will also give you a fuller look to the head. On the Redhead and Wigeon, work the neck skin up closer to the head and you won't get the kinked necks or long neck look. Overall the birds look very clean and you should be proud!
     
  13. mallard1

    mallard1 New Member

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    Agreed. As I noted, precise placement of the eyes from the actual measurements of the bird, is the most important reason, IMHO, to not use heads with pre set eyes.
     
  14. KFLAH

    KFLAH Active Member

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    Thank you everyone for the feedback.

    In regards to the neck size, I do measure and replicate the actual neck length and width. This leads me to believe that I probably need to pull the skin forward more, or need to adjust the polyfil in the breast area. I will definitely focus on this transition next time, now that you have pointed it out to me.

    This is all good info...keep it coming.

    Thanks again, kevin
     
  15. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

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    your best critique would be to google each species and find a pose close to what your mount is trying to convey...then put them side by side and check off each area...
     
  16. seaduck23

    seaduck23 New Member

    For what it's worth your birds look better then half the so called taxidermists ducks do.keep it up.you have talent.
     
  17. TIM SCHLOSS

    TIM SCHLOSS Member

    If those are your first birds, they are really nice. You are on the right track. Check the leg placement -balance better on the next ones.
     
  18. KFLAH

    KFLAH Active Member

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    Thanks for the comments guys. Will work on balance.