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Body Size Slack

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by jots, Aug 17, 2022.

  1. jots

    jots Member

    How much slack do you all like to have between the body and skin? I always try to get the artificial body exactly like the real body but to many times it is to tight to taxi the skin. I was thinking of ordering a body 1"-1 1/2" smaller circumference this time. Do you see any benefits or problems with that?

    Same with the artificial head. I get it very close to the real head but many times the entire skin is to tight to taxi. Do you make the artificial head smaller or just use it as is without these kind of problems? Thanks
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    order the form that matches your carcass. bird skins, when properly fleshed often times let out some. I found that using Shane Smith forms and ordering it the size of skinned carcass has about eliminated any issues of fit like when just ordering another form that goes by species and or sex. Heads can be a different story because many only come in one size and that often times works fine but if I have options Ill order the size of what I take out.
    jots and Wildthings like this.

  3. BrookeSFD16

    BrookeSFD16 Well-Known Member

    Make the body and head match your carcass. If you don't have your head, necking and body available when you skin, save them (freezer) and thaw out when you do. Keep in mind that artificial heads are casted from Trophy birds, and real duck bodies are squishy. Pose your carcass how you want your pose and sand/carve your foam to match that. Smaller than what you took out is always better than bigger.
    jots likes this.
  4. Leonard "Tazman" Qualls

    Leonard "Tazman" Qualls Active Member

    Sound advice from both above. (as usual)
    That being said, loose is always good. No form is perfect.
    I like Shane's forms (despite of McKenzie prices and service) but I also like the Summit forms and Final Gen forms from Corey. They actually do give a slightly different look for the same bird mount. It's a good idea to have a few of both brands in standing and flying on hand. When I pull one, I set the tags aside and place a re-order of what I used. Very easy to keep track of your inventory that way.

    Keep in mind, that some really fat birds are going blow out when fleshed to seem very loose at first. If this happens to me and I have a very loose cape, I dry preserve it, stick the form with necking in the cape, bag it, and set it in the fridge over night. You'd be amazed how tightly that skin can rebound.
    Jim McNamara likes this.
  5. jots

    jots Member

    Thanks for the advice y'all, I'll take it all into account next time! I was about to order a form an 1 1/2" smaller the other day, glad I asked the question! I'll order a body that's closest to my carcass.
  6. jots

    jots Member

    I believe I may have found another part of my problem. I remeasured my Canvasback carcass today and it occurred to me that I have been measuring the circumference with the side pockets fairly open. I compressed them into body (not tight) and found an 1" to 1 1/2" difference.
  7. Wildthings

    Wildthings Well-Known Member

    Are you measuring before you skin it, over the feathers? All my measurements are done on the skinned-out carcass
    jots likes this.
  8. jots

    jots Member

    No, the the skinned out carcass. I watched my Matt Smith flying Mallards video last night and saw that he laid the bird on its side and then measured the circumference. I have been holding the carcass up with breast facing me to get a smooth symmetry and measuring with a vinyl tape. I saw that this allows the sides to be to open.

    Yesterday in the shop I placed the body breast down and compressed the sides into body (not tight) and found an 1" to 1 1/2" difference. That's probably close to the same measurement as if I laid it on its side like Matt did.
    BrookeSFD16 and Wildthings like this.