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Need artificial head advice for hybrid

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by boone90, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. boone90

    boone90 Dan Hastings

    So I know that I can always mold and cast my own but I am trying to save the time and expense if I can get away with it. The head is a mallard/wigeon hybrid, in the center position in the photos. I placed it between a mallard/pintail head, which is the size of a normal mallard, and a eurasian wigeon for reference. The question I have is what commercially availabe head is going to be the closest match?....the overall length is 3 7/8", I was thinking a drake gadwall might do the trick but I don't have one on hand for size comparison, let me know what you would do. Thanks for your time and help.
     

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  2. boone90

    boone90 Dan Hastings

    Another view
     

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  3. nate

    nate Active Member

    Gadwall bill is way more slender than that. I know you said that you don't want to, but the only proper way is to mold it. There's a tutorial on molding using silicone caulk. I've even casted them using bondo thinned with fiberglass resin.
    Another option would be to use the real head. Being you have it out, I'd clean it up, let it dry, then rebuild with epoxy sculpt and use it like an artificial head.
     
  4. EHile

    EHile Member

    I agree^^^

    If you'd like to use the real head, I've used these methods a few times with great success:
    1) http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,247212.0.html
    2) http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,171204.0.html
    3) http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,77359.0.html (I lean toward using this one with waterfowl)

    Good luck!
     
  5. idbatman

    idbatman Active Member

    If you dont cast it and use the correct head ... you just as well guess on the body too. :D
     
  6. whitetails and fish only

    whitetails and fish only Well-Known Member

    You could carve the head out of foam and attach the real bill to it. I have done that and it doesn't take all that long to do. Use the same method as carving a fish body.
     
  7. boone90

    boone90 Dan Hastings

    I appreciate everyone's replies, I'm not entirely sure which method I will use at the moment but I appreciate the exposure to a variety of ways to achieve my goal. Thanks for your time and knowledge
     
  8. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    The expense of a tube of silicone and some Bondo and resin shouldn't be that much. It really isn't that difficult.
     
  9. aweiss44

    aweiss44 New Member

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    agree with 3bears. had an oddball goose I did with an in between size head, so I did what someone on here had done a post about.
    froze it, coated it with a thin layer of silicone til it dried. then mixed up a thick batch of silicone with acrylic paint mixed in. the acrylic makes it kick a heck of a lot faster. globbed that on, let dry and voila. good to go. the mold isn't as rugged as say using smooth on to cast it, but being a one time use, its definatly adequate.
     
  10. boone90

    boone90 Dan Hastings

    I have also done the silicone/bondo resin method but I had mixed results, a couple turned out great and a couple really looked like hell...for that reason I was exploring the use of smooth cast and dragon skin and was a little turned off by the price....normally I would offset the cost of something like that by charging for the extra cost and work but it's for a friend who has sent a fair bit of work to me and I couldn't bring myself to do it. I will likely give the silicone method another go.
     
  11. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    6,188
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    On occasion they don't turn out perfect but I just fix them and move on, also the second pull often turns out better, less air pockets and such and like I said, the materials are cheap enough. If I plan to make more pulls from a mold. I fix the imperfections on the cast and remold it.
     
  12. finazducks

    finazducks EJ is not the only one to have two Wasco Awards

    If you want , you can send it to Me and I'll match it to a head that will be real close. I have a lot of crosses cast. If I can't match it I'll cast yours for you. FREE
     
  13. TXBuckhorn

    TXBuckhorn New Member

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    Hard to beat that offer!! ^^^
     
  14. boone90

    boone90 Dan Hastings

    My apologies for the late reply, that is an extremely generous offer and I thank you for it. I have already molded the head and will cast it soon to see how I did. I have saved the head in the freezer, if I am not satisfied with the cast I will let you know. Not sure about shipping a duck head internationally anyways? Perhaps a diagram with measurements would suffice? Thanks again finazducks!
     
  15. Just curious, how did it turn out?

     
  16. boone90

    boone90 Dan Hastings

    Marginal, most of it was ok but there are several areas which require repair with Apoxie Sculpt which unfortunately includes the nostrils and a portion of the lower bill and lamilae as well as a number of holes from bubbles. I will be able to fix all of it but I will invesg in superior products the next time this comes up. The cost will hopefully be offset by saving time on repairs, at least I will be more satisfied and less frustrated....hopefully lol