In this tutorial we will be explaining the benefit of ordering life-size mannikins without the rods installed. In this first photo, notice the mannikin has been made deeper from top to bottom by 1 1/2 inches. The mannikin was also widen by 1 inch. This gave me 5 inches more circumference that was needed.
Notice here, there are no rods installed. I needed to lengthen the leg between the first digit and the second digit. I also did the same between the second and third digit. Not having the rod installed made this a very quick and easy task.
I recently spoke to a representative at one of the major supply companies asking him why all mannikins were not made without rods. His reply was that there was only a hand full of taxidermist that order forms without rods. I found this to be very puzzling. I then posted a thread on one of the major taxidermy forums stating this fact and how I found it was puzzling. Sure enough, there was some egotistic ass that said that I was new to this forum and that they had been doing this for years. According to the supply companies this is very uncommon to order mannikins in this manner. Ordering mannikins with the rods installed is unacceptable in our business.
Here I have cut a slot so a thread all can be inserted in the mannikin once the alteration for size and shape has been completed. Notice the front legs have also been altered for length and size.
Notice in this photo that there has been a 2x4 about 14 inches long foamed into the belly of the bongo. This is how I mount it to my stand. This way I do not have to fight to alter and mount the bongo as I move forward.
Again, using the skull with the eye sockets attached will allow for perfect alignment. Removing the eye sockets from the skull just causes the taxidermist to guess at skull placement.
Here we are with the rods installed and the skull screwed in place. We have altered for shape and size.
At this point, the skin should fit perfect. If it does not, small alteration can still be made.
The average alteration is 2 days. Some times it may go three, but in two10 hours days the job of alteration can be completed.
Here I have started with the head first. Notice that there is plenty of skin to move around and get all the detail I am looking for.
To form the winkles on the neck, I use paper pulp and body paste as a very thick slow drying product to form my detail.
Things are beginning to shape up. The skin moves very easily. When the skin begins to dry, The stitches will not come apart because I have not stretched the skin. The skin fit the form correctly and the stitches have been glued down with epoxy.
Taking the time to order mannikins without rods will save time in the end. Also the skin will fit correctly and be able to be taxied into place. Leaning these steps will put more profit in the bank and attract more good clients.