skinning, salting, fleshing, washing, tanning, shaving, rehydrating, mounting, finishing, base/habitat
taxidermy reporting forms, federal duck labels
how to make an icicle starts with an argument for why to make an icicle.
we like icicles because they accurately portray environmental conditions in an understated manner. you can make people think "cold" and "snow" by going the obvious way and making whole drifts out of batting, or you can build a subtle, and sometimes more believable scene, by making a rock and some dirt and adding "cold" details. a rift of "snow" drifted in beside a cleft in your fake rock suggests wind and cold without the actual snow and without the high maintenance factor of keeping mounds of "snow" from yellowing or getting dusty. a rift of "snow" and an icicle hanging from driftwood or wire is a great frigid touch.
however, when a white base is desired or required, icicles are the most convincing detail to add to your batting/artificial snow base. the contrast of clear and hard texture against the fluffiness of the snow is very convincing.
and the following method makes great, drippy, clear icicles.
material needed: quilt batting, casting resin, wire to hang icicle on, drip pan to mix resin and to catch resin drips, gloves. and a popsicle stick.
mix resin according to container instructions.
tear off a piece of batting and twist it to approximate the size and shape of an icicle (something longish, and wider at the top than at the bottom).
spoon resin over batting with popsicle stick until enough resin clings to batting to make it sticky and drippy. wrap the dry part of the batting that you're holding onto with your fingers over the wire and down, letting the dry part drift down into the wet resin and glue itself. you've made a "loop" at the top that will hang on the wire, and with which you can attach your icicle to your habitat later.
continue spooning resin over icicle, either until it looks like you want it to or you run out of working time and the resin sets.
let icicle set. if longer icicle is desired, fresh resin can be mixed and poured over basic icicle until the suitable dimensions are achieved.
attach icicle to habitat with super-glue or hot glue. leave the fuzzy batting loop on if you are attaching it to a snowy limb. dust artificial snow over transition. trim fuzzy batting loop off if a harder look is desired.
habitat hint: in real life, gravity, water, and cold air make icicles. to make your icicles look best, be sure to hang them pointing straight down, as if they actually froze in place while the water was dripping straight down toward the ground. wildly-angled icicles aren't so convincing.