Eventually as a Taxidermist, you'll have to
make some alterations to forms. Quite often a
client likes a particular pose but the specimen
he or she has is either larger or smaller than
the available form.
The method to increase size, making a minimal
structural change is demonstrated in this
series of photos. We alter the Cougar 905 to
fit a larger animal.
After the cuts are made and the form is
reassembled using the required spacers, the
gaps are covered with plastic and then wrapped
with duct tape to secure it in place. Carding
held in place with screws will be needed in
depressions etc. to secure those points.
Foam is then mixed and poured into a fill spout
(i.e. using an empty toilet paper cylinder),
the spout is removed, then the opening is taped
When the foam has set, the tape, plastic and
screws are removed and the form is reshaped
using a knife and a Stoutt Ruffer or rasp.
Extra clay may be added to bulk up some
The length can be increased by adding a piece
of foam between the front and back sections of
the form. and possibly a small amount to the
neck length. A larger change-out head may also
be required to complete the process.
Since we have only widened the form to this
point it is now necessary to add some clay or
do a free rise pour of foam(which is then
carved to shape) to the chest and belly areas
to restore the natural aspect of the body.
Reducing the size of a form is a similar
process, except that material is removed. A
small amount may be also be taken out of the
length of midsection and neck. Unlike in the
enlargement process however, where extra is
added to the outside radius of the neck, there
needs to be a portion taken out of the inside
When all of the cuts are done the pieces can be
reassembled using either bondo or foam as
adhesive. Any voids can be filled with mixed
foam after using plastic and duct tape in the
same manner as was used in the enlargement.
Once the tape, plastic and screws have been
removed the form can be reshaped with a knife
and a Stoutt Ruffer or rasp. You may find that
the lower legs may need a slight reduction in
size. A test fit will reveal the answer. A
smaller change-out head may also be required.
Back to Tips and Tech
Box 37, Longview, Alberta, Canada T0L 1H0
Phone: 403-558-3615 (Calgary area- toll free)