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Eye Sculpting With Epoxy

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by killdeer, Mar 7, 2022.

  1. killdeer

    killdeer Member

    Hello Everyone,

    Just wondering if anyone has had any success doing their eye work with epoxy? I was thinking that it may be possible to sculpt ahead of time, let set up for 15 min, then carefully make a tucking groove with a pin or tucking tool around the eye. Overnight, it would harden and wouldn't get messed up like clay can when the cape is pulled over.

    Just curious...thanks in advance!

    PS: I have the eye protectors that prevent the clay from getting messed up (look kinda like a shoehorn), but this would eliminate them.
  2. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Try this on your clay work. Apply glue to the face and upper neck, slip the cape onto the form, attach antlers, then do your eye setting. Touch up with glue, the sew him up. I do this every day. My dislike on using apoxie for eyelids is that there is no room for tweaking the final adjustment. It's locked down, and you have what you have, like it or not.

    BTW, ears are bondo-ed, and clay earbutts installed before I slip the cape on.
    Johnnyclyde, drob and Glenn M like this.

  3. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Yes I have and it can work but you have no adjusting and that can sometimes bite you bad . Just let your critter clay dry hard , i do all my form prep set antlers and such then clay my eyes in . Then I do my cape prep and let that clay dry hard . By the time I’m ready to mount it’s firm and hard , you can’t let it go over night as it will crack and flake . But it’s hard enough that you can pull a tight cape over it without messing your clay work up . Yet in a couple few hours it’s softens up so you can tuck your eye , your real eye shaping is done on the second day anyway. Hope this helps ya . Your original question will work, but it cost more to do , you have no adjustability and I’m pretty sure what I just explained will do what your looking for .
  4. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Same as 13 point. The appoxie Sculpt works great if you can do consistently perfect eye work. You will have no adjustment once it has set.
  5. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Are you using the short "Y" incision? Prep your form and install your antlers. Shape the skull around the antlers with Bondo and rasp it to the final contour. Remove the screws and the antler set will pop off with a sharp bump. Slide the hide loosely over the form allowing the "Y" opening to drape ever the crown and eye indents. Install your antlers. Now do your clay work through the open "Y". Pull the cape up, and use "T" pins to keep from pulling the hide around the eyes as you finish claying your ear butts. Sew your "Y" incision closed. Invert your form and roll the inverted hide up over the antlers. Apple glue up under the ear butts and cheek before applying it to the rest of your form. Roll the hide back set your anatomical markers and staple it to the backboard. Return your form to upright.
    Invert the mouth/nose up on to the face and apply glue to the face, forehead, under the eyes and under the jaw. Mount the mouth and nose.
    Now you're ready to work your eyes. With a tissue or Q-tip you can remove any glue that may have squeezed out. With a fine modeling tool, touch the membranes under the eyelids. Crease the clay through the skin with your modeling tool. Remove the "T" pins and taxi your facial skin with a register pin.
    I used four 3 inch japan pins on every mount. I sunk one in the front corner of the eye and covered it with an Apoxie sculpted nictitaling membrane. I snipped the head off the other pin, formed a quarter inch "L" and used it to hold the lacrymall gland into a preformed slot surrounded by a thin roll of clay. When set, I firmed a contour around it with my fingers so that the pin would never be seen.
    Westcoast, Johnnyclyde and joeym like this.
  6. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Here you go… 3605C932-0219-429C-8D2B-59362C69A357.jpeg FD1C86F8-0AE5-42FC-BDAE-523A166F85CC.jpeg
  7. Westcoast

    Westcoast Well-Known Member

    You can also do kind of a modified version. I like to do 3/4 shaping in epoxy. Advantage is eye is completely set and will not move. Basic shape will not distort due to heavy hands. Plus I am slower than most and require more time to reflect. Last 1/4 of eye and tear duct shaped with clay just prior to cape being applied.
  8. whitetails and fish only

    whitetails and fish only Well-Known Member

    I can't add much to the excellent advice already given. I have used clayshay to model the eyelids, groove in the tucking slots and let harden. If done right it seems to work ok. Critter clay will pop right off if left to dry uncovered, clay shay will stay put. The only advantage of using clayshay over epoxy is that after hardening the clay could be removed easier if you wanted to redo.
  9. Heath Cline

    Heath Cline Well-Known Member

    I do my eye work with Apoxie Sculpt. But its the last thing I do. And I do it through the eye opening. Even sometimes if I use clay, I will still do it through the eye opening.
    This way you dont have to worry bout messing your clay work up or leaving it sit over night or whatever.
    RWTAXIDERMY likes this.
  10. Bruledrift

    Bruledrift Active Member

    No epoxy for me around the eye's, sounds like an issue when needing to tweak during drying as stated above. I made some metal shields that I screw in that cover the eye enough to slide the hide over without bunging up my clay work. Someone on here mentioned it years ago.
  11. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Well-Known Member

    I use apoxisculpt on eyes but I dont tuck any eye skin. I prep the form in advance, so it's hard when i mount. Use the lay method.
  12. killdeer

    killdeer Member

    Thank you everyone for taking the time to post the detailed photos and procedures. It is greatly appreciated! I guess that I will continue to use clay, but adapt the process to include some of the above techniques.
  13. livbucks

    livbucks Well-Known Member

    Two part recipe for disaster if you ask me.
    George likes this.
  14. Westcoast

    Westcoast Well-Known Member

    Experiment with any and all techniques to find yours. Despite what many people state, understand that you have the freedom to do whatever you want. Clay, mache, foam, epoxy sculpt, old socks, who gives a crap.The end product and quality of your work is all that matters. How you got there does not. Worst case scenario is that you have to take something apart and start over, big deal! I sometimes do that just for fun. Hope this helps