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Armadillo Help?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by PessimisticSharkie, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. PessimisticSharkie

    PessimisticSharkie New Member

    So turns out there's armadillos in Kansas, and right near my house, they like to cross the road and they get hit. First one was extremely eviscerated, but the second is very in tact, so I want to mount it. I don't think I can get a form, cant find any within my price range in a pose I like. How would I go about skinning, fleshing, tanning/drying/preserving, and then mounting? And how can I clean the skull too?

    Yes I know about leprosy and I take extra care with sanitation. I don't think they carry leprosy in my area, and even then it's very uncommon iirc.
  2. 1stturkey

    1stturkey Member

    Found this is the archive search:
    have done several, and the skinning can be tricky. The head, be careful! That face plate does not bend or turn, so the trick is to use your scapel carefully and try to seperate the skin around the cheeks and chin carefully down far enough to get that face plate to flip over without stretching the skin around it to the point of ripping. If possible, do not skin out the lips and nose until you get the face plate flipped. Them suckers have nearly no lips, so try scoring the skin from the outside along the gum line and then tackle it from the inside to try to get as much lip as possible. Either way, you will probably need the assistance of super glue gel when "tucking" what little lip you get.

    The legs tube easily, but again, there is a plate of armor on the top of each foot that does not turn, so dont try. Skin out as far in as possible to the toes I used the assistance of powdered borax and some needle nosed pliers to pick, scrape, cut etc. out as much meat as far down as you can to the toes. Scrape/cut out as much of the foot pad as possible, too. It s thick, and deceiving, get it thin.

    The skin can be cut along the very edge of the shell on the underside, cut all the way around and remove the shell as one piece. From there, you can skin out the rest of the animal. The tail, that is another story... After dealing with the tail you will be convinced the animal is not from this world... [​IMG]
    You will probably only get one or two vertibraes in. The bone is fused to the tail shell with cartlidge that you will swear is bone from vertibrae to outside shell. Dont cut yourself, break blades, etc, you will get fustrated trying to get between the bone and the shell! Go far in as you can, scoop out as much meat as possible. The get the drill. I use a large hole drilling bit to start, 1-1/2 inch or bigger depending on the size of your dillo. CAREFULLY drill out bone. Switch bits to a smaller bit, and drill again. Repeat til as far down as you can. Use borax to help remove meat. The ears dont really need turning, just remove meat off the earbutts and later put a small ball of clay in there and merge it to the form.

    I use DP, it is easiest. I coat the skin and shell well, put in a ziplock bag, and refridgerate overnight. Before doing so, test fit your form. I have found the commercial forms are WAYYYYY bigger and fatter than the adverage size armidillo. You will need to see what amount of sanding/altering needs to be done, then DP the skin and put in the fridge overnight while you fight with your form. I have even had to cut off two side legs front and back and thin the whole darn form and then re-attach the legs.

    Once the form is ready, mount up the bottom of the dillo FIRST. Stretch and pull that skin as far up the sides of the form as possible, so the edges dont show around the underside of the shell. The skin WILL SHRINK. Therefore, i highly suggest, after mounting the head, feet and tail, use some epoxie along the sides of the form and attach the skin as far up the sids as possile. The first dillo I did was not done this way, and the shrinkage of this thin side skin made the form show along the underside of the edges. For the ears, put the ball of clay in the ear butt area, and from the outside, gently merge it to the form and smooth up into the ear. I pt a piece of wire, 16 gauge, into the ear canal and into the form to hold the ears up. Let it sit overnight or even a few days, freezing the shell. That way, no problems will occur while dealing with the final part of the back shell.

    The back shell is more or less simple, coat the shell with bondo or epoxie, whatever you choose to stick it on with, and slap it on. I hold the sides in TIGHT while the epoxie sets up. You may want to run a strip of epoxie along the very back of the shell first, allow to set up, then do one side at a time, drippng the eopxie along the inside of the sides, holding it tight against the body, and moving on to the other side. This will make it look like the skin attaches tightly to the shell, even though it dont. Tip,... do all this with the armadilo UPSIDE DOWN, to prevent any adhesive from oozing or running down onto the skin.

    Here is a little tip on carding the ears.... no cards.....
    Get yourself some children's Playdoh. Make two balls of it, place on each side of the ear, and squish together. Mold and shape the ears with the playdoh. Use that wire inserted in the ear to hold the playdoh in place. Get that nice curve in the ears going to the base of the ear. The playdoh will dry hard as a rock, holding the ears in place for several days while they dry flat and hard. the Playdoh will crack and crumble away, leaving a perfectly shaped ear!

    Quite simple, no sewing, lots of glueing. My 9 year old daughter did these steps on her own last year and entered her armadillo int he state show. It looked great, and she won many awards with it! Hope this helps! [​IMG]

    Robert Baker and Micah Howards like this.

  3. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    You went over and above the call of duty! Excellent response! You should post this in the tutorial section!
  4. 1stturkey

    1stturkey Member

    I wish I could take credit but it belongs to Anne. I found her post while searching for help as I also am working on my first armadillo. Her tips are awesome and after skinning one out today I can only add that I was able to tube the front feet all the way but not the back. Those I had to follow her instructions above. One last thing...they have a very uniquely bad odor. Must be the leprosy;)