Stuffed & framed molts + preserved deceased MM geniculata

Stuffed & framed molts + preserved deceased MM geniculata

Got a lot to finish this weekend....
This must have taken forever! What's your process? Take pics, write instructions, and post it!
Do you soak the abdomens to make them pliable? What do you use to bond the thorax "lid" to the body?
I'm gonna guess you stuff them with cotton balls and use gel Super Glue to seal them off with a dish soap and warm water solution to make them bendable?
@bryverine @WillyNilly418 I pull all my molts as soon as the T is free and has flipped back over and are out of the way. They are so much more durable and easier to work with when super fresh and still wet. The exo is very malleable and harder to rip when fresh. Sometimes for the Ts that molt in places I can't see, if I happen to retrieve a complete but dry molt, I soak in warm water before stuffing with cotton. Abdomen takes forever when its not fresh and is very easy to rip but patience is key. If you rush it you will rip the skin and you're pretty much screwed. Basically when wet and malleable, you just place the molt in the desired position, then very carefully, open and unfold the abdomen without ripping anything. Next, get a cotton ball and tear small thin chunks off it and work from there. the thinner you make the cotton, the easier it is. afterwards, just very carefully straighten out and fold the top of the abdomen back over and pull the sides together. use thinned black paint to paint the cotton black around the edges where the skin meets so you can't see white through the small gaps if there are any. For the carapace, just put some Elmer's glue and secure it in place. Elmer's glue dries semi clear so you won't be able to see it at all if you do it right, and doesn't dry as fast as superglue so if you mess up its still salvageable for a short while. Finally, let the completed specimen dry out for a few days until completely stiff and either hot glue or pin in a shadowbox.
Those look absolutely amazing. Definitely will be using your process once mine get bigger... How long does it usually take you to finish one?
@Gossamer when I first started it took about an hour but with practice, you get a lot faster. The auratum took me around 35 mins. It also takes drastically less time and effort if you pull the molt immediately after shedding while it's still wet as opposed to waiting till it dries and having to soak it. The key is not to rush as the abdomen should be handled as if you're performing brain surgery.

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