Bison Diorama Restoration Project
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Bison Cracks and Prairie Dogs

May 15, 2018

There has been lots happening today. Collin is recoloring the prairie dogs. We went up to our bird and mammal skin collections and checked out a Black-tailed Prairie Dog skin and a Lark Sparrow study skin. After getting the airbrush set up, Collin went to work with the Orasol dyes. The need for recoloration on the prairie dogs is subtle. The prairie dogs painted in the background painting have more contrasting dark colors-especially in the face than the mounted specimens.


Collin w dogs II

Collin darkened the face and tail, painted toenails and the nose. Last I saw of him, he was using a variety of Pitt pens to add a “brindled” look to the back and head.

I went up to the Bison enclosure and patched cracks in the female with spun-bond polyester and Beva adhesive. (we decided Beva looks like some kind of nasty, canned vanilla pudding.) On my back, I finished one of the forelegs and the three inch crack in the underbelly that runs completely from fore to aft. I had to remove some old repairs, which showered me with white dust-probably arsenic. It was nice to have the tyvek suit and a full head protector to keep it all off my face and clothes. I prepared the other foreleg by adhering the polyester sheeting to one side of the crack in the leg and then I moved to the final, most visible crack running down the show side. And that's where I left it today. Tomorrow, I will glue the opposite sides on the leg and same with the side crack. That will finish the female!

Female Bison repair

I forgot to mention that I brought the Lark Sparrow study skin to check the colors of the mounted bird in the diorama. It turns out there has been no fading of the colors and all I will do is dust it off and make sure the bill and legs are the right color.


Lark Sparrow comparison: Study skin on the left, mounted bird on the right. They are very similar in color.

Avangrid Foundation

Posted on May 15, 2018 by Michael Anderson

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Taken from the following blog: Museum Model Making at Yale Peabody