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Best Way To Finish Waterfowl Feet?

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by Nick1176, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Nick1176

    Nick1176 New Member

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    I am planning on doing my first duck mount this season. I have watched a lot of videos and read a ton of articles and tips. I feel like I have a good idea of what to do from the videos. I by no means am saying it will be perfect but I’m excited to try! The one thing the videos overlook is finishing details on the feet and eyelids. If the feet are injected with master blend will they hold their color or should they still be painted? Do they need to be injected at all? The videos show placing a small ring of clay around the eye to secure it and give it a better look. Does the clay need to be painted or does the actual eyelid cover the clay? Last question lol. When sewing up the seam is it best to use actual thread or dental floss? I have seen both. Sorry for the lengthy post and hope I didn’t embarrass myself with the potentially obvious answers to my questions! I look forward to your responses!
     
  2. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I don't know what videos you have watched, but the ones I own show at least one of those steps in one or the other so that they cover most all of it. I ordered several DVDs from Research Mannikins and Taxidermy Training Unlimited. Yes inject and yes paint.
     

  3. Nick1176

    Nick1176 New Member

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    Videos I have watched were just YouTube videos. I have a DVD ordered just haven’t received it yet. Thank you for your response.
     
  4. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    First off in taxidermy, EVERYTHING needs to be painted. Unless the natural color is black or chocolate brown, it gets painted.

    For duck feet, the "best" way is to remove the leg, clean it and wire it to your manolin. Then pose it like you intend it to be, pin it dow to the contour of the base and let it dry. When dry, remove it from the base. If you arent using leg to leg I visions, remove it from the manolin as well and paint it according to your paint schedule.

    Now eye rings. YES, they need to be painted. The artists among g us roll out a fine like of Apoxie putty and build one. Us craftsmen arent that good. What I do is order a pair of Fex Eyes. (I know the bird brains are having an absolute stroke right now.) When I get the FlexEye, the first thing I do so throw away that POS flexible eye and the foam wafer. I sit down with my Dremel and a fine bit. I grind away the eye ring backing so that only the shell of the eye ring is left. Then I order the correct color GLASS EYE (order a pair one size smaller than the Flex Eye usually.) Then I use a spade bit on the artificial head to give me a shallow indent large enough to fit the Flex Eye. I set the glass eye in the eye ring and use Apoxy putty to hold it in place. The position and set the eye ring on the artificial head. Leave the real eye ring on the skin. When you mount it, the real ring will act as a locking band under the Flex Eye ring.
     
    rogerswildlife, jots and joeym like this.
  5. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Amen to George's response. I always spray waterfowl feet with Krylon Matte as a sealer, then paint them white as a base coat The desired colors are then used to finish them. In many cases, they dry so dark, that you color scheme will not correctly without lightening it first. You can use an artist brush or airbrush to finish them...that's up to you. After painting, seal them with matte. Apply a very light "flash" coat initially, then hit them a little harder once it dries. If you blast them with the matte initially, you'll wash your colors completely off.
     
  6. Wildthings

    Wildthings Active Member

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    All great answers! Being new to the trade I don't think you need to worry about the eye rings yet. Work on getting the correct shape of the eyes first.

    I don't use clay any more. I work up a small amount of black apoxie sculp, put a little in the eye socket and then bed my eyes into that. I then add an upper and a lower tiny roll around the just bedded eye. When setting the eye skin on the eye the original eye-ring is pushed into the rolls to achieve the correct shape. The only place any apoxie shows is in the front corner. When the bird is dried I roll out very fine fine worms of black apoxie (or the correct color) and place it around the eye to form the eye-rings.

    For feet - I pull all my feet, wire them, inject them and pose them to dry. Attaching them to the mannikins when needed. After they dry and before mounting I hit them with some type of sealer. Let that dry thoroughly and then paint them and sealing afterwards usually with Krylon matte,

    For the sewing I use a thread not floss. I used to use floss but got away from it
     
    rogerswildlife likes this.
  7. As wild things stated. Don’t worry about eye lids right away. Most ducks they are so small that it hard to replace them without looking real clunky anyway. Wood ducks and some of the geese should be replaced. There are some real nice commercial wood duck lids available. Or rebuild with sculpt all. Concentrate on getting your birds perfectly cleaned. Fluffy and well groomed. With good shapes and proper anatomy. I use clay and grind the eye socket out a little on a commercial cast head so i have a little latitude on moving eye. Set the eye making sure you have good symmetry. With clay I still can move them slightly if the cast head isn’t exactly right to my skin. Tuck the downy area under the eye into the clay.Get your eye lid skin well shaped with some reference. Very small pointed artist brush with a little water to shape. As for feet inject them for sure. Multiple things can be used. Whatever you use let them completely dry before painting. Clean them with soap and water to remove and grease or injection fluid. Clean again with acetone. Most people paint the feet with an air brush. Paint white first after sealing. Then your base color. Then darken webs. Keep paint going on thin so as not to fill scale detail on feet. Then put wash on with an artist brush. This fills scale detail and gives you life like depth to paint. Use reference to get your colors right. The wash is just water based paint and acrylic matte medium with a small amount of paint. Dirty water basically. Black,dark brown, even pinks and reds on some birds. On the foot injection topic there are many different ways to go about it. Experiment. No right or wrong way.
     
    Wildthings likes this.
  8. Here is a painted foot. Not saying it is the best by any means. But more than good enough on most mounts. IMG_0564-2.jpg