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New Carcass Casting Project

Discussion in 'Molding and Casting' started by HondaXR250, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. HondaXR250

    HondaXR250 Active Member

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    Ohio
    Ok so i have never casted anything, or used foam to make a form. I just got in a brazilian porcupine and a juvenile wallaby. I have to use both carcasses to cast forms being i cant get forms for them. I also have to ship the carcasses back to the owner for maceration when im done casting. I have no clue of what to use to cast, and what type of foam to use or how much. I probably wont be separating the body parts, and will be casting the carcasses whole. I was thinking of using a plaster for casting, then a two part foam for pouring the form. The porky is about half the size of an adult american porky, and the wallaby is about 2 squirrels ;). Would 2 quarts of foam be enough, or should i go with a gallon? And any tips what so ever from start to finish would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
     
  2. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Purchase the carcass casting DVD from McKenzie supply company. Then purchase the carcass casting DVD from Taxidermy Training Unlimited. All your questions will be answered and they will show you how to do it.

    You don't have to carcass cast, though, If you would like to carve them out of foam. I have done both carcass cast and carved in foam and found each to have their own pros and cons.
     

  3. HondaXR250

    HondaXR250 Active Member

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    Ohio
    I dont really want to buy any dvds. I get the idea of it, and im extremely good at figuring things out. Just was looking for some pointers, do's and dont's. And maybe good brands to use for the casting and foam, and volume of foam.
     
  4. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    Carve them, Trace as much as you can without dismembering the carcass or if you do need to separate, do it at a ball joint. Cut out the shapes and carve to match carcass and limbs, really not that hard. Casting works but not as a whole.
     
  5. HondaXR250

    HondaXR250 Active Member

    125
    64
    Ohio
    I was debating on carving. Im just afraid itll have one side of the face right and the other side totally off
     
  6. Rausch

    Rausch Well-Known Member

    So cast just the heads and carve the bodies
     
    Chippers and 3bears like this.
  7. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    Yep I forgot that part
     
  8. TIMBUCK

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    But the DVD's will show you all of this, what you ask..;)
     
  9. Good DVD's are worth their weight in gold. They will allow you to skip years of trial and error to get to where you want to be. Molding and casting are a little complicated. A lot to know to get the job done right.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  10. HondaXR250

    HondaXR250 Active Member

    125
    64
    Ohio
    Ill give casting the heads and carving the bodies a try. I might just separate all the limbs from the body too.

    Im more of a trial and error kind of guy lol. I am pretty good at figuring stuff out. I was originally thinking of casting the bodies, then using minimal expanding foam as a filler. Im sure it would work
     
  11. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    How does canned foam react to moisture? Foam uses a chemical reaction to expand, cure, which produces heat. What was your plan for that? Being good at figuring things out can be a good thing in taxidermy but also cause one to do things very bad to begin with. If these mean nothing to you, do one your way and one the way I suggested and see which one turns out the best.
     
  12. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    This isn't really rocket surgery guys. Just ATFQ (Answer The Freakin Question). You need a large box, a pail of fine sand, some large marbles, 5 short pieces of 1/2 inch PVC or vinyl tubing and some plaster of Paris. Carefully remove the legs at the hip/shoulder joint. Once removed, run wires down each leg and pose the leg close to the position you intend. Freeze the animal solid. During the freezing, if you intend a bend, elevated the animal so it freezes that way.

    When froze . Put a layer of sand in your box and lay all the body parts atop the sand. Then add sand until all the parts are HALF buried. Tape the ends of the tubing and lay the PVC up against each piece. Point the tube to the closest edge. Then put several marbles near the edge. Sink the tube and marbles in half way.

    Mix your Plaster of Paris as directed. Pour it all over the body parts 3-4 inches deep. Let cure.

    Once cured, carefully lift the plaster cast and set it, negative side up, aside. Take you animal parts out and toss the sand and marbles. Lay the cast back in the box, negative side up. Paint the plaster thoroughly with a thin coat of vaseline. I'm sure ALL the plaster is covered.

    Lay all the body parts back into their original half mold. Paint vaseline on the tubing and lay them where they came from. Mix another batch of plaster and pour into the box CAREFULLY so you don't dislodge the pieces. When cured, lift the top off carefully. Remove the carcass pieces and send them to laceration. Discard the PVC but insure you have an open channel to the outside of the mold. Rasp any blockages away so this can act as a sprue to pour foam in.

    Paint both halves of your mold with Vaseline. The marble imprints will align your mold. Put the halves back together. I suggest cheap cargo straps be used to hold your mold together tightly. Mix your foam and pour it into the spruce holes. When the foam cures, open your mold and lift the pieces out. Run wires through the legs and attach it to the body.
     
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  13. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    George, it isn't "Rocket surgery", you are correct on that. From your directions, it sounds like a PIA to cast a form that you will likely have to carve parts of after you pour it. I have used similar methods for casting carcasses, as well as carving them, and felt it was much easier to carve them, especially for one use forms. Hence my suggestion.
     
  14. HondaXR250

    HondaXR250 Active Member

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    64
    Ohio
    Canned foam expels moisture. It will run and bead right off. The expanding foam, comes out and hardens to look just like the forms we all buy. It has a harder/denser exterior, and a thinner/softer interior. I wouldnt doubt it if its the exact same as any other foam used to make forms. I see no reason why it wouldnt work, as long as the minimal expanding is used..

    Thanks George. I will see what i can do. From everything ive read and tutorials ive looked at, it doesnt seem hard at all. Freeze the body in position, cast it, pour it.
     
  15. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    Carry on, I wish you luck.
     
  16. AZ~Rich

    AZ~Rich " Africa" never fails to satisfy

    Moisture will catalyze two part Urethane polymerization (intensifies it) and will do the same with the canned product. The canned stuff usually gets enough moisture from the ambient air to kick and expands slowly. It is more like gorilla glue which is essentially a very dense Urethane foam. The only thing you might want to consider is if that canned foam will be dense enough for the form you want to create. It will be somewhere around a 1 lb foam or less whereas most manikins are poured with 3 lb foam (under pressure which keeps the cell size minimized). Once you carve or sand off that outer skin, canned foam is rather light and brittle. You can get denser foams all the way up to 10lb which by their nature expand less. a 2 lb foam expands ~30x its volume 3 lb ~20x and so on.
     
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  17. TIMBUCK

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    Moisture(humidity)and temp can have drastic affects on how expanding foam acts......
     
  18. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    AZrich and Timbuck, thanks for answering my silly question, I already knew the answer but was attempting to make a point. I must have failed. My point was, it is unpredictable when coming in contact with moisture
     
  19. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    George is spot on. It works and easy to do if you have a one piece carcass like I did with a loon years ago. Experimented with casting the body, just as George said and the foam body came out perfect. I also cheated and used the spray foam in a can that you use for home insulation.