In-process mallards

I spent the weekend away from the workshop with the family. I did bring a few heads to carve and some almost finished birds with me though. This is a mallard that I needed to really spend some time giving a good sanding. At this point it's ready to seal up and paint, unless I decide to undercut those primaries.

The brown filler isn't really a mistake. It's more of a correction. I carved the edges of the primary feathers as a straight line tucked right into the side pockets. My friend Gary Hanson suggested that it would look better if I broke up that long, straight line by having the tertial feather hang over the edge of the primary. I agreed with him.

Here's a cork hen mallard I mounted the head on recently. This one just needs to have the neck cleaned up, and then a final sanding before it's ready to paint. I use a marine epoxy called WEST, which squeezes out of the neck joint and makes a mess when I clamp it, but it's super tough stuff and is really worth the clean-up effort. My plan is for this to be my first decoy painted in oils.