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I hate acrylic eyes ..

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Amy, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. Amy

    Amy Mammal artist

    I had to use acrylic eyes in a competition piece for the first time because I just couldn't find any glass ones that looked competition quality (I needed a dark eye with a pupil and a white band). So I got the acrylic eyes which looked very nice. But boy have I had to be insanely careful around these eyes. For a customer piece it wouldn't matter, but for competition ... First, I had to be very very careful while mounting so as not to scratch them. After it was mounted, the eyes just didn't look shiny. So I glossed them with some clear gloss. Everything looked good. Today (one day before the show) I noticed some dust had settled on the eyes and they didn't look as shiny. Tried to buff them first with water, then with windex (Heard not to use laquer thinner - plus it would eat off the gloss). Didn't look good. I decided I'd just put a fresh coat of gloss on them. First eye looks great ... second eye ... the gloss runs !! Aaah!! Try to fix it real quick, it looks worse! At this point I have a horrible nausea feeling. I take a q-tip with windex and start rubbing the heck out the eye. Managed to remove both coats of gloss after some time of trying. Tried again with the gloss... Looks better this time. FOR the moment!

    But WHEW! What a close one. With glass eyes, I typically never even need to gloss (I prefer to just leave them clean). A light cleaning with windex makes them shine. But if I do gloss, I know that I can take a q-tip of laquer thinner and start over as many times as I need if it doesn't look right at first. These acrylic eyes, not nearly as user friendly .. You can fix many things on a competition mount the day before a show, but one thing you can not fix, is dissolved acrylic eyes. Thank God it did not come to that ! :-\
  2. :p

  3. bill@hogheaven

    [email protected] New Member

    They shouldnt need to be glossed. Use denatured alcohol to clean them if windex doesnt work.
  4. Amy

    Amy Mammal artist

    I would like to have not glossed them, but they just had a hazy look no matter what I tried to clean them with. Although I did not try alcohol. A light colored eye doesn't show haze nearly as much as a dark brown, almost black eye. The slightest streak shows, when a flashlight hits it. I really like the look of them with the gloss but it was just so nerve wracking to do it.
  5. EJ

    EJ Proud Member of: Unaffiliated, Free Agent

    On the Acrylic eyes I use Future Floor wax. It's liquid Acrylic. It has always worked good, But if I put on glass it gets cloudy?
  6. Sorry for all your trouble Amy.... :-\
  7. Amy

    Amy Mammal artist

    I will have to try that, EJ. Hey I'll see you at the show tomorrow .. with my piece that almost got ruined!! haha
  8. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller New Member

    Future Floor wax is the ticket. I have been using Acrylic eyes for competition over the last 3 years with great results. If they get cloudy I just put on another coat. Then if you do have to scrape them use a tongue depressor cut to a point with side cutters. That works great.

    Yes, they are a pain in the tookis, but once you are use to them your eyes will look awesome.
  9. Skywalker

    Skywalker Well-Known Member

    Amy, future floor wax IS the ticket.
  10. Amy

    Amy Mammal artist

    Well I'll definitely be using that next time!! I was using polytranspar waterbase gloss, applied with a paintbrush.

    I don't understand how it works though ... it is an actual WAX that stays soft? If you want to remove it and try again does it just peel off (kind of like eye protect)? I guess I'll have to try it to see what it's like!
  11. Amy you can remove the future with windex on a q tip. it really shines on the acrylic eyes. you can use oin glass eyes as well just make sure they are clean and dry if you have any and i mean any moisture left on them like from cleaning with windex, then they will cloud.
  12. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Amy, the real ticket is spelled T-O-H-I-C-K-O-N. LMAO I hate acrylics as well.
  13. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    Ha ha, I used to dislike the Acrylic eyes as well. Then I used more and more of them an I learned they actually looked better to me. The ones I use are the Eppley Pre-rotated for deer. Some things I learned...

    1. Keep metal away from these eyes. Model and clean them with wood tools. I like to use those wood nail sticks.....some call them orange sticks.

    2. In my experience glossing these eyes does NOT look good. In the past I always hit my glass eyes with a coat of gloss. However glossing the plastic eyes makes them look bad. I just make sure and clean them really well with AMMONIA(Eppley's suggestion).
  14. Nancy C

    Nancy C Well-Known Member

    Tohickon's bird eyes are nowhere near as good as Euro-eyes' acrylic eyes for birds. I will refrain from commenting about mammal eyes since I don't know diddly about those.
    If Tohickon made a glass eye that was accurate in contour and looked good from all angles the way that acrylic eyes do, I would switch back in a New York minute, but they don't.
    One good thing that I found out about acrylic eyes, necessity being a mother and all that, is that they are relatively easy to custom paint.

    I have always used Liquid Crystal for a top coat but I will have to give Future floor wax a try. (I used to use Future to make my own airbrush paint. It works well as a transparent medium, but it was too shiny for use with birds and I eventually gave up on it.)
  15. James Marsico

    James Marsico Well-Known Member

    I tried acrylic eyes once and hated them. They looked awesome in the package and that was the end of it. I used them on a big mulie buck my wife shot as a showroom mount and after a year I finally had to soak up the eye area and tear them out and replace them with good glass eyes. My opinion is that acrylic eyes are way to high maintenance for the very small difference in look they make that nobody but examiners with flashlights would really notice anyway.
  16. Missouri Creek Studio

    Missouri Creek Studio Black buck Walnut pedestal

    One of the tricks I use on working /modeling with any eye to avoid scratching them, is to secure a supply of wooden corndog sticks from a restraunt supply. Soak them in water and push down and broom the ends they work great for mounting and finish work. They won't scratch the glass as metal modeling tools can.
  17. strutinh

    strutinh Member

    OH crap !! I was doing my finish work this morning and dipped brush in thinner and not water !! now have lifted sealer on acrylic eye !! this the first time I had thisd happen, so do I just clear over now ? thanks Scott
  18. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Sorry folks, but Scott's predicament is typical of what the AVERAGE taxidermists puts up with when using the POS acrylic eyes. They're in the budding stages of development, but I can say with some sense of history that the makers of acrylic eyes had BETTER get their act together and perfect these roadblocks or the glass eye makers will capture their technique eventually and they'll be history as well. For my money right now, I'm NOT wasting it on acrylics.
  19. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    Aren't you overstating just a little bit on this one George?? Scott's problem is NO different than DROPPING a glass eye and watching it shatter into a zillion pieces. No way to fix that one.

    Using the Eppley Eyes(the only acrylics I have experience with) you have to alter your techniques a little. SO WHAT every new product requires "change".

    I guess since I use Acrylic paint I never have "thinner" anywhere I don't have to worry about that. In fact there is not any laquer or acetone anywhere in my studio. I use WATER or Ammonia to clean the eyes.

    So if a guy mixes tries to use EPO-Grip Waterbased Adhesive on a dry preserved hide and it turns to cottage cheese the GLUE STINKS?!?!? I am more inclined to blame the operator.

    By blaming the EYE for Taxidermists inability to properly use the product you are like the lady who sued MacDonald's for Hot Coffee.

    I used to have disdain for the "plastic eyes". After I saw the BEST WT guys I know using them I gave them another look. I figured it was MY PROBLEM and not the eyes. Tried them again and they work great.
  20. Eppley true eyes are the best on the market. I don't know why they don't come out with some other mammal eyes, especially a good coyote eye and bobcat with the enlarged pupil. It must be a super expensive process.