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Fox in Progress by nikkiburr Fox in Progress by nikkiburr
I really have got no clue how this is going to come out, but this is the manikin for my gray fox pelt. It's not quite done and needs a little bit more muscle build up and some fortification around the joints to make sure he doesn't come apart...and a lot more work on the face... but this is him so far. His body is made out of foam (which is hell to work with in case you were wondering), his legs and tail are wire wrapped with wood wool stuff and a whole ton of string and covered in paper mache to make them stronger. His face is sculpted lightweight clay to mimic his skull, which I was originally going to use but time contraints limited me a little bit considering it takes a while to thoroughly clean off a skull.

I measured out the actual body of the bugger so the legs are actually that long even though it looks ridiculous. The neck measurement I'm actually not sure on because I was stupid and forgot to measure that, but the front legs won't be 100% attached until the skin is halfway on him so I can move them back if I need to. That's not exactly ideal but if that's what I have to do then whatever.

This has taken me forever and a half to do and it's pretty much been a trial and error process....and I almost gave up in frustration a couple of times because for a while nothing was working out... but I think it's all finally coming together. Funny thing is I could have just ordered a pre-made form from a taxidermy supplier. Hah. I always have to make things uber hard on myself... But I do think the pre-made forms take the fun out of it, not to mention animal bodies aren't really one size fits all... I'd much rather make my own, even if it almost kills me. ;)

And whoever says taxidermy isn't art....
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wolves09492 Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Skybird99 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I think that if you didn't skin the animal yourself, and therefor don't have a carcass of that perticular animal to measure, a pre-made form is an amazing work saver, because otherwise all of your measurements will be wild guesses. But, if you have the carcass to measure, making your own is just as good, if not better, than ordering a almost perfect (measurement wise) pre-made form. :)

I must say that the finished product of this fox is utterly amazing for a first try, so i think you did everything right. Keep up the good work. ;)
trishmacdonnell Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2011
That's a lot of hard really do get to know the anatomy of the animal when you perform taxidermy.I like the loping gait of him. Did you have very much trouble with the paws?
Ivy100 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2010
my friend thinks it's scary...
lil-runt Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
"His body is made out of foam (which is hell to work with in case you were wondering)" i certainly do, i make the stuff for a living and it's just as much of a pain to make and the like
Marnaynna Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2009
awesome so far. keep going! :D
ashley-schoenholtz Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2009
Looking good so far ;)
Elfin-Grrl Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Wow, very impressive! Looks like a lot of work :heart:
BarHaifisch Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2009
looks good so far. :) the skull looks supportive enough.

Id consider giving the back lacks for width tho, they look a bit skinny. but i dont know what im talking about.
nikkiburr Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2009
The back legs are bothering me too...but I had the actual fox body in front of me while I was making them and kept holding it up to the fox's legs... they actually ARE that thin. Weird... I dunno if it's because maybe he was malnourished cause he was sick..? I'm afraid to make them thicker than the actual legs because I don't want the skin to fit too tightly. I do agree with you though...
SilentSoulsnet Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
You're right to go with what the actual carcass is telling you. Well done!
BarHaifisch Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2009
Hmm. Maybe use a removable substance, so you can test fit the skin then remove the substance if it doesnt fit or make it determinant.
Wolf-Shadow77 Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2009  Student Filmographer
So you don't use real animals for your taxidermy?
nikkiburr Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2009
Well it would take an awful lot more work to clean the bones off and rearticulate them and add fake muscle to them - it's a lot faster and cleaner to just carve or wrap the body out of some other material and the result it essentially the same provided you do it correctly. I WAS going to use the actual skull and add clay muscle to it, but I figured it would be 1) too heavy and 2) a lot of extra work and I didn't have the time to clean it off properly enough. So really the only thing that comes from the animal at this point is going to be the skin. Everything else I make with my own hands..except the eyes. I bought him some nice glass eyes :)
Wolf-Shadow77 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2009  Student Filmographer
Okay then c:

So...for a short answer: no?
Avyris Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2009
Awesome stuff. I never actually thought of taxidermy as art until I went to a local natural history museum, where they have a video set up to tell you how they mount the animals there. So, now I know all the sculpting and construction that goes on underneath, and has left me very impressed.

Good luck with your fox. I cannot wait to see him finished. Don't give up, hang in there. ;)
Iron-Fox Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I was too lazy to read the entire artist description,
it looks awesome. from what you have done, I have a feeling that this is going to turn out great. :thumbsup: best of luck
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Submitted on
January 15, 2009
Image Size
269 KB


43 (who?)

Camera Data

Shutter Speed
10/600 second
Focal Length
85 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Jan 15, 2009, 8:59:43 PM