Tip 1: Repairing
When attempting to repair a tear on the neck of a bird skin, it is particularly helpful to insert a dowel like object that is the same size as the original neck into the skin. This will help keep the skin in its proper place and ensure that the neck form will fit as you repair the tear.
Tip 2: Fleshing
While working on one of those super fat mallards or wood ducks that can fall apart on the fleshing wheel, to help toughen up the skin, smother it in damp salt and let it set overnight. It is best to fully skin and flesh the wings, legs and remove the skull before you salt the skin. The next day when you go to use the fleshing tool it will not be quite as hard of a task and the wheel will be kinder to you.
Tip 3: Building
For a good strong tail junction on birds, a tail groove cut into the foam body and filled with Magic Smooth will work excellent. There will be plenty of time to adjust and tweak before the Magic Smooth sets.
Tip 4: Carding
Carding feathers with masking tape, is easier to do if you sandwich a fine wire between two pieces of tape. This will give you the ability to bend the tape and make it stay where you want it to. This will also give you the natural bend for the feathers that you are looking for.
Tip 5: Detailing
Blow drying an assembled bird while holding it upside down and vigorously shaking will help the skin gravitate into its natural position. This will also help avoid back curling of the feathers.