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Adding Fullness After Mounting

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Kate Lacour, Sep 29, 2020.

  1. Kate Lacour

    Kate Lacour Member

    I'm getting my feet wet in on small mammals using dry preservation and carved foam/wrapped bodies.

    I find that it's hard to model a nice full shape, especially the eyes, but still be able to pull on the head skin without squishing the clay. I'm also still learning through experience how much shrink to anticipate.

    When I don't use quite enough clay, I get a slightly sunken, haggard look as things begin to dry. Is there a way to cheat by adding a bit of fullness at this point?

    I considered injecting caulk to plump things up a bit around the ankles, cheeks, etc. But searching shows that people really only use caulk for bird wings and feet, which makes me think it must be a terrible idea to use for mammal plumping.

    Any tips and feedback appreciated!
    Robert Baker likes this.
  2. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    For one , the manikin or form should have all your details and muscles built in from the get if not u can use some clay when mounting . If you still need to fill in you can use caulk but I prefer pro 1 hide paste, but try to avoid that ahead of time by having your form/body correctly detailed to begin with.
    Robert Baker and Kate Lacour like this.

  3. Westcoast

    Westcoast Well-Known Member

    Let your clay harden up a bit if you are just pushing and distorting it.
    When you skin things out, whether it is a deer, squirrel or whatever. Start taking notes of exactly how much muscle and tissue there is around eyes, ears or anywhere that is going to need to be rebuilt, minus the actual skin obviously. I don’t think that enough emphasis goes into the study of the carcass. Just my two cents.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
  4. whitetails and fish only

    whitetails and fish only Well-Known Member

    I had the same problem with deer eyes. The wet clay always got messed up while pulling on the cape no matter how careful I was so I have started using clayshay to do my modeling and let it harden before applying the skin. If you need tucking slots for the skin put them in while the clay is still soft. Also caulk is used a lot inside the head area of birds so should work for mammals
    Kate Lacour and Robert Baker like this.
  5. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    First off it starts with your blue print of making the right markings and or measurements for either your carvings or wrapping the bodies.
    Next is how thin are your hides , face etc.
    When using DP it’s actually a must to get them thinned down to slow the shrinkage.
    So saying this you need to : work on the right measurements and getting those skins thinned enough down. This also goes for tanned skins as well. Tanned skin gives more room for error and things are easier to fix.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
  6. Kate Lacour

    Kate Lacour Member

    Thanks, this input is all very helpful!
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.
  7. Retain your carcass after you skin. Take the time to either sketch or photograph the carcass. Print out the photo and take multiple measurements, mark them on your photo, especially where your having issues so you have a baseline size to go by as you make your manakins. Remember that you have to take into account the carcass is limp and has no blood pressure expanding the muscles back to their original size. Dry preserve is all well and good but I believe you will find you will like tanned skins much more because of the stretch you can get. Either way, like Frank said, you need to thin appropriately to control that shrinkage. Krowtann works great for small mammals and is easy to use.