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Mountain Lion forms VS Leopard forms

Discussion in 'Lifesize Mammals' started by BDrake, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. BDrake

    BDrake Active Member

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    Looking for some advise on form selection for a Mountain Lion. Customer wants a certain pose, and he really does not want to pay extra for alterations. Besides the head would a Leapord form work with a Mountain Lion skin? Should, Right or is there something I`am missing?
     
  2. Jim B

    Jim B Active Member

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    You can interchange mountain lions and leopards if you make a few changes.As far as the head,a leopard has a longer nose to eye,and the back of the head may be a little longer.The cheekbone under the eye,is a little weaker in the leopard than the mountain lion.Easiest way to go on the head is to use a mountain lion changeout head.As far as body and legs are concerned,compare a mountain lion and leopard of equal length and the leopard will have shoorter legs and the wrists may be thinner.This may sound complicated but it's not.If I want to mount a 48" mountain lion on a leopard form,I buy a 50" leopard form and the appropriate sized mountain lion changeout head.Cut 2" out of the body length and you have a form the right length and the leg lengths should be good.Attach the head and then try the skin on.You may have to beef up the wrists or feet a little and often you can even do that with clay when you mount it.Leopard tails are longer and thinner so make sure you get a mountain lion tail.It's a simple job if you just understand a few differences.
     

  3. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    BDrake, as Jim says, it can be done, but IN MY OPINION, they don't look right.

    On a completely different subject now, your statement about the customer not wanting to pay for alterations. You need to set your charges to ALWAYS include alterations. Ask "*" how many animals he mounts where he DOESN'T alter the form. When you get into lifesizes, I charge a fee that's going to, at the very LEAST require breaking and resetting at least one if not two legs. Turning heads, changing poses, all should be a part of your price plan. ESPECIALLY with African work, you can expect alterations on almost any animal in any pose you need. It's just a way of life and anticipating that and adding it to your prices just takes the aggravation out of completing the mount.
     
  4. Jim B

    Jim B Active Member

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    George.i agree with all of the above except "they don't look right".Most don't look right because they don't make the simple changes outlined above.Many don't even change the head.A skin is just forced onto the shorter or longer legs and that's it.Many of the leopard and mountain lion forms you are already buying are actually a form sculpted for the other species with a changeout head installed by a supply company and nothing else is done to make it correct.Cutting 2" length out of a form and adding a changeout head is as simple an alteration as you will have with lifesize forms.I don't choose a leopard form for a mountain lion because I know how to change it.I choose it if it is the fastest way to get the size and pose I want.I factor in money for alterations too and I still use my head to get the job done with the least alterations possible.Even at today's high material and shipping costs,my time is my most expensive cost.Ask Catman how many times he swaps leopards and mountain lions.They look pretty good to.Great advice on alterations.I agree with it all but I also remember what it was like at that stage in my career too.Here is a lion on a leopard form with only minor alterations.[​IMG]
     
  5. ed150

    ed150 deer city time

    Jim b that cats aw some,i did a lion and used a leopard form also,every thing went fine and looked nice also,guys do it all the time with excellent results and accurate anatomy
     
  6. BDrake

    BDrake Active Member

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    I`ll give you a little background on my experience. I bought a couple of Van Dyke videos and started doing taxidermy in 1988, I tried to do it full time for about 3 years, and as so commom I was not charging enough, (yes I was once a hack) so I got a real job. I kept a few customers and would mount a few deer and small game peices a year. About 4 years ago I started advertising again. I have inceased each year on the number of mounts that I take in, and most importantly my pricing is in line to make money on this. I have alot of customers coming in that are oooohhhing and aawwwing over my work (most judges would be appualed) and telling me that it looks better than the other taxidermists in the area, my work is not the greatest but it aint bad either.
    On the life size pricing, with the species that have a large selectionof forms, I `am pricing those out so that if the customers skin fits a form that they like, there would be a set price, if they want a certain pose then I charge 25% more for custom work.On the species that there is a limited amount of forms availiable I set the prices for any alterations, like African.
    I thought that the Leopard forms would fit (except the head) the Lion skin, I was mostly concerned about the length of the legs, if I have to cut and lengthen/shorten the I would have to charge extra, and if that was the case I would just steer him to the appropriate Mountain Lion form. I am not concerned about the circumfrence of the legs, that is a simple fix, and at looking at this Lion, the back legs look very small, so I can tell that there will be some shaving/sanding involves.
    I`ll take a pic before skinning. I have no experience on Mountain Loins but I feel that I can put out a good mount that the customer will be pleased with.
     
  7. What would be the difference between a Bobcat and a Lynx form?
     
  8. Jim McNamara

    Jim McNamara Well-Known Member

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    Bobcat and Lynx, leg length,body length, face length. A lot of differences.
     
  9. Jim B

    Jim B Active Member

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    BDrake,that's exactly why I order a leopard form 2" longer than my lion.That way I shorten the body.If you go the other route and order the same length leopard form as your lion,then you will have to lengthen the legs.You won't have any problems with that project.The only hitch to that formula is that some of the forms are a little hybrid to begin with and you don't need to shorten or lengthen.If you get close to picking your form and have a specific one in mind you can PM me.I haven't used every one but have used a lot of them and might be able to tell you something about a specific form.
     
  10. Jim B

    Jim B Active Member

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    sdoomed,I agree with Tim,there are a few differences in lynx and bobcats but you would be surprised at the similarities.PaulK and I were talking about this the other day and I dug out some reference,mainly carcass tracings and measurement charts.Regarding the head,the muzzle may be a little shorter on the lynx and not as tall,as the canines are shorter than a bobcats.The back of the head may be slightly shorter but near identical in shape.The measurements I'm talking about were carcass measurements from cats I've skinned,not mounted cats.Regarding the front end,they are almost identical except the toes are 1" longer on the lynx and the forearm is 1/2" longer on the lynx.These particular measurements are from a big lynx,1 3/4"X32"X20",compared to a bobcat carcass of the same length.The bodies are the same.Some lynx have skinny bodies but so do some bobcats.This is the actual carcass tracing of that lynx where I made notes detailing the difference between it and the bobcat.[​IMG]
     
  11. Jim B

    Jim B Active Member

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    Regarding the rear leg differences between the lynx and the bobcat,the toes are 1" longer in the lynx,rear foot is 1/2" longer and the lower leg is 1" longer.From the elbows and knees up,the body and legs are virtually identical when comparing cats with the same length and girth.You can see why a lynx is taller in the back than the front.His front leg lengths are almost the same as a bobcats but the rear legs are 1 1/2" longer.These days there are several pretty good lynx forms so I don't usually have the need for changing a bobcat form to lynx but it wasn't always that way and I could see where someone might want to do it to get a special pose.At any rate,it helps to know the difference between similar species in case you need to step outside the box-and it happens.I have mounted lynx on coyote forms and you'd be surprised how close those bodies and legs can be.That's for another day.[​IMG]
     
  12. BDrake

    BDrake Active Member

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    Cat
     
  13. BDrake

    BDrake Active Member

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    skinning
     
  14. BDrake

    BDrake Active Member

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    This is my only cat experience. It was mounted about 2000
     
  15. ed150

    ed150 deer city time

    that cat looks fine bdrake