Taxidermy supplies and tips > Fish taxidermy > Mount turtle

Mount turtle

A simple method of mounting turtles, that will be found satisfactory for decorative work, is clearly shown in Figs. 27 and 28.

A light tow neck is wrapped upon the neckwire, which is cut about twice the length of the head and neck-skin, and has a small loop bent into it near its outer end, to set into the brain cavity and a loop by front and one by back end of belly opening to hold leg-wires.

The front end is run out through the nose. Legs are wired as in a mammal with wires bound firmly to bones with thread or cord. Bones are then covered with a light wrapping of tow, placed lightly and smoothly. This serves only as a core to the filling. Tail is wrapped upon wire to natural size.

Legs are now pushed back into place, wires of them and tail are passed through loops in body-wire and twisted around it once or twice, and then leg-wires are led to drilled holes in edge of shell and clinched in them as shown in Fig. 27.

Now tie or pin the mouth shut. Legs and head and neck are next filled with sawdust, tamped in with a blunt piece of rod or wire or
piece of wood shaped for the purpose. Fill in the front legs and head first and stuff some tow behind them to hold the sawdust in place when the specimen is reversed to fill hind legs. After these are filled, stuff the shell full of tow.

Position the turtle and wire upon a piece of board for a temporary base.

Finish shaping with a whittled modeling tool. Stuff the skin in front of hind legs into proper concavity with wads of tow or cotton and leave these until the specimen is dried.

Stuff the eye sockets with chopped tow. Wipe inside the eyelids a little liquid glue and carefully set the eyes, using care to preserve natural fullness of the ball under lids.

In drying, the tip of the nose will shrink away. When the specimen is dry and the nose-wire is cut off, a wax tip may be modeled on,
nostrils being punched into it with a bit of

To set the wax nose, with a sharp knife trim away the shrunken tip, place a bit of wax upon the socket, and melt it into firm contact with a heated wire. Shape the artificial nose with a small wooden modeling tool. Replace faded colors of turtles with thin tints of tube colors.

An ideal method of mounting turtles is to finish head, neck, legs, and tail in compo. No. II.

Use the leg bones and wrap them thinly with tow. Wrap a small, hard, tow neck upon the wire and a thin tow core upon the tail-wire.
Cover these cores, to natural size of muscles, with papier mache.

Cover the skull where meat was scraped from jaws. Push the neck, tail and legs into place and wire to shell as in Fig. 27. Stuff
shell with tow to hold papier mache filling of limbs in place until dry.

Turtles mounted in this way should be positioned upon a board, modeled with a tool into anatomical lines of neck, legs, etc., and allowed to remain wired upon the board until the compo. begins to harden.

When this is well under way, take the turtle from the board and finish drying, wrong side up in a well ventilated place. Remove the tow from inside the shell to allow of quicker evaporation. Turtles mounted with sawdust dry very quickly and usually very slowly when finished in papier mache.