Mounting a Gaboon Viper


This is a 50 inch African Gaboon Viper.  Since none of the taxidermy supply companies make a mannikin this big I chose to make my own.
I am going to do a carcass cast once the gaboon viper is skinned.  Once skinned I take out all the entrails and rinse the body cavity.  Then
I stuffed the body cavity with newspaper to help hold the shape of the carcass.  Position it the way I want it and then start adding clay to build up
the body so that the mold will be some what smooth.  I could spend more time getting the clay smooth or once molded sand the body.  I would rather
sand the body.  Once the carcass is clayed I then mix some plaster of paris and put on my first coat.  Once dried I apply another coat filling in the
curves for support and I also add burlap for the plaster strength.  Then another coat for added strength.

 

 


Once the plaster set I then turned over the plaster mold and removed the carcass from the mold and removed the clay from the carcass.

 


After letting the plaster mold dry overnight and most of the day I applied a coat of clear resin to the inside of the mold.
I let that dry and then applied separate coats of car wax as a mold release.  Once that was dried I mixed bondo and fiberglass resin
so that it would pour easy and did a coat on the inside of the mold.  I did not do the head as I already made a alginate mold and bondo
cast before I skinned the gaboon.  I filled in the head area with clay and then poured 2-part foam in the mold.  Popped the cast out of the mold and then added a layer of bondo to the cast and then sanded it down nice and smooth.

   

I attached the head with a dowel rod and 2-part epoxy glue and smoothed that junction with apoxy sculpt, then sanded it smooth.  I also attached a rod for the tail and then used critter clay to shape the tail.

 

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