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Let's Never Flesh Another Peacock Train

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by allis, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. allis

    allis Member

    So, I'm sure someone out there has been doing this technique or something like it, but I had to do a Peacock rather quickly recently and also wanted to improve on cleanliness. In my experience fleshing trains on Peacocks, the skin inside the back pallet and the feather follicles are so inundated with fat that they can never be truly rid of it. So, I decided to de-construct it.

    This method took me about an hour and a half.

    First, remove the back pallet and the actual tail. (If you haven't done a Peacock before, I refer you to this tutorial on doing a removable train. It has photos of the areas I'm talking about. http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,247326.0.html)

    Now, some geometrey:
    The train is a grid of feathers roughly 13-17 rows and about 10 columns that window each other. Each feather follicle enters the skin on a pallet of fat. The pallet looks kind of like this graphic I made here:

    Start from the bottom row and use a sharpened wire to thread through the quills below the skin line.

    Now, cut the above fatty quill / follicle off. Yes, you'll loose a tad bit of length, but the pest prevention and time save is worth it.

    Label them by number and which side is the underside or top of feather. Hang them:

    Do the same threading method for the tail. Then, cut a piece of wire mesh to create a tail base and cover in bondo.

    Insert tail exactly where it would go on the body. This (and the gap from the back feathers) will help you figure out a size for your back-pallet mesh. You could also trace it first, however the pose of your peacock can effect that. Dont attach the mesh yet, just make sure the shape and the size are accurate.

    Hang the wire mesh up and start attaching the wires with the feathers on them. You can window the feathers some as you go, but they will slide on the wire. This is good because it makes the train still 'groomable'. You could bondo the feather butts like the tail if you want to create a very specific train look that is permanent.

    Attach to your peacock with wire, screws or even foam/bondo. I leave my trains removable by setting with upholstery pins hidden throughout.

    My client ended up wanting the peacock on a higher base at the last minute. I was able to completely change the train very easily because it was just wire and mesh. Took me 5 minutes.

    I hope this is helpful. Again, I just kind of thought about it based on necessity. I'll may make some slight changes, but I couldnt be more pleased with the time I saved fleshing & drying and the cleanliness.

    dale65 and FORTMEEKS like this.
  2. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Awesome tutorial! Very creative, and a beautiful mount! Thanks for sharing!
    allis likes this.

  3. Nancy C

    Nancy C Well-Known Member

    It doesn't look like it helped to retain the fibonacci curve in the eyespot positioning or the transition between the train and the back, but it certainly looks like it left everything clean and free of grease.
    Peacocks are a pain no matter what method you use.
    allis likes this.
  4. DakotahRose

    DakotahRose Member

    This is amazing!!! Makes so much sense!
    allis likes this.
  5. 1stturkey

    1stturkey Member

    Wow. Awesome tutorial (thank you) but makes me hope no one ever brings me a peacock. Had no idea they were such a pain.
    allis likes this.
  6. allis

    allis Member

    Thanks, Nancy. Obviously this is not a competition technique, but as this is going in a restaurant I thought it was a good idea to be very very clean. Can you explain the Fibanocci as it applies here? I'd love to know. I'm familiar with that mathematical sequence and it's application in biology but I'd love to hear the specific here. Thanks!
  7. Nancy C

    Nancy C Well-Known Member

    The Fibonacci pattern relates to peacocks because it accurately defines the location of the eyespots when they display their trains. It also affects the location of the eyespots when their train is folded, although not as perfectly since some of the spots get tucked under and hidden. Once upon a time I thought it would be a cool idea to mount a peacock in full display, but then I learned better. (It's nightmare territory!)

    allis, Wildthings and 1stturkey like this.
  8. What an innovative way to better preserve a Peacock!! Great tutorial, thanks for sharing with all of us. I will try this method when the day comes that I purchase a freezer large enough ~

    Also, that's one sexy bird!

    Wondering, did you cast those legs or use something like Master's blend to preserve them>?
  9. x2
  10. Ken 2

    Ken 2 Member

    Sheer genius. Thinking outside that box again.