First go at preserving deceased specimens..

KezyGLA

Arachnoking
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
3,033
So this morning I made my first attempt at casting a couple my deceased Ts in resin so that I could make them immortal.. well not immortal obviously because they are dead. I wanted to see how it goes and I could use them for display.

I read up about it online before giving it a bash and it was all good until when I removed them from the mold tonight. I noticed that that had leaked hemolymph into the resin while the resin was curing :banghead::banghead:.

The page I read about 'preserving insects in resin' did not mention anything about removing the internal stuff. I did think for a moment that I should remove all the internal fluids and fill them back up with something. Though seeing as I knew nothing about casting anything in resin up until yesterday(and the page never mentioned to extract anything from the subject) I thought it would be ok just tossing them in. :embarrassed:

I noticed that the colours were kind of drawn from the specimens too. On the left (MM M. Balfouri), the blue had turned brown. On the right (Juvenile female P. cautus) seems more brown but still has some violet shine to it.

So my questions are

1. Does anybody that has done this before have any tips on how to remove the internal fluids and how and what to replace with so the subject keeps it's shape?

2. Is there a specific resin that I can use that won't ruin the colours of the specimens?


I would love to be able to keep my specimens forever so any help is much appreciated.

Here is a photo so you can see how bad I messed up. I will be keeping them anyway, but instead of mantle piece maybe paperweights :rofl:

IMG_0106.JPG

First time for everything I suppose :D
 
Last edited:

Venom1080

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
4,584
ive done my old H spinifer before, (RIP) didnt turn out too good, but better than throwing it out.
 

KezyGLA

Arachnoking
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
3,033
ive done my old H spinifer before, (RIP) didnt turn out too good, but better than throwing it out.
I feel it would be a shame to throw them away. I can fix the shape next time but I gotta get my game plan sorted for next time round. Having little to no colour is not good.

Did your spinifer get keep its colors?
 

Venom1080

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
4,584
I feel it would be a shame to throw them away. I can fix the shape next time but I gotta get my game plan sorted for next time round. Having little to no colour is not good.

Did your spinifer get keep its colors?
it remained jet black, yes.
 

KezyGLA

Arachnoking
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
3,033
Ahaha. I thought spinifer was red? I am not on the ball today at all ahah

I suck at scorps anyway.
 

Teal

Arachnoemperor
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
4,112
Freezing them for a few months removes the liquids. I have heard of people cutting open the abdomen and filling it with a cotton ball to keep the shape.
 

KezyGLA

Arachnoking
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
3,033
I had frozen them for a week or so. Good to know there my be a simple solution. Thanks for the info :)
 

Graves6661

Arachnosquire
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
86
Ill be trying my hand at preserving my MM C. cyaneopubescens in the next month or so. He hasnt been looking so hot lately. Ive read differently things about freezing which I would like to try but my girlfriend is absolutely against the idea of me putting a dead spider in the freezer... lol

So my only option is to try to open him up and clean and stuff his abdomen. I want to try the resin but I want to preserve the colors as much as possible so I may just mount him in a shadow box if all goes well.
 

KezyGLA

Arachnoking
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
3,033
If you find a resin technique that doesnt ruin the colours be sure to let me know:p
 

M Denae Etter

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 5, 2016
Messages
2

Castin'Craft Clear Polyester Casting Resin.


I do artistic entomology mounts for a living so I thought I'd offer up some tips.
Sorry I copied the resin name from a website to make sure I got the it right and it decided it needed to be screamed. It's the only casting resin I could find that consistently dries clear, assuming it's not old. Most craft stores and amazon carry it. Its a 2 part resin, but you dont mix 50/50 so I strongly suggest to experiment with it first! The humidity and temperature of the room can effect how much catylist you need to mix and whether it cures correctly or not. I've ruined many specimens...

The other thing is you have to make sure the specimen is completely dry before you pour resin on it. I had a black widow I thought was dry.. then when I poured the resin her abdomen shrunk and it was all ruined.

Mostly I just do dry mounts these days so I dont have to deal with resin.
 

Bugmom

Arachnolord
Joined
May 28, 2012
Messages
650
Castin'Craft Clear Polyester Casting Resin.

I do artistic entomology mounts for a living so I thought I'd offer up some tips.
Sorry I copied the resin name from a website to make sure I got the it right and it decided it needed to be screamed. It's the only casting resin I could find that consistently dries clear, assuming it's not old. Most craft stores and amazon carry it. Its a 2 part resin, but you dont mix 50/50 so I strongly suggest to experiment with it first! The humidity and temperature of the room can effect how much catylist you need to mix and whether it cures correctly or not. I've ruined many specimens...

The other thing is you have to make sure the specimen is completely dry before you pour resin on it. I had a black widow I thought was dry.. then when I poured the resin her abdomen shrunk and it was all ruined.

Mostly I just do dry mounts these days so I dont have to deal with resin.
How do you know when/if the specimen is dry?
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,290
1. Does anybody that has done this before have any tips on how to remove the internal fluids and how and what to replace with so the subject keeps it's shape?

2. Is there a specific resin that I can use that won't ruin the colours of the specimens?
1. You shouldn't need to. I think you just had bad luck.

2. Unfortunately, as far as I know, all resin works basically the same way. They all produce an exothermic reaction, meaning it produces heat as it hardens. Since much of a tarantula's color comes from their setae and not their exoskeleton, the heat denatures those proteins and turns them black/brown. This is why most insects and scorpions can be cast with no problem, since their coloration comes from the exoskeleton. So, unless your spider is already black/brown, it simply won't turn out.
 

KezyGLA

Arachnoking
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
3,033
1. You shouldn't need to. I think you just had bad luck.

2. Unfortunately, as far as I know, all resin works basically the same way. They all produce an exothermic reaction, meaning it produces heat as it hardens. Since much of a tarantula's color comes from their setae and not their exoskeleton, the heat denatures those proteins and turns them black/brown. This is why most insects and scorpions can be cast with no problem, since their coloration comes from the exoskeleton. So, unless your spider is already black/brown, it simply won't turn out.
Good to know. Thank you very much for the information. Looks like the colorful ones will need to be preserved another way hmm..
 

Marijan2

Arachnobaron
Joined
Oct 21, 2012
Messages
505
Just a though, did anyone tried to varnish T with multiple layers with a spray before putting resin on it? Would that help with color-keeping?
 

KezyGLA

Arachnoking
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
3,033
Just a though, did anyone tried to varnish T with multiple layers with a spray before putting resin on it? Would that help with color-keeping?
I have lackers about but I would think that they have the same sort of chemicals as the resin formula. Maybe it works the same. I dont really wanna try incase I ruin my next one. I may just stick to drying and framing.

I wonder if it would work .. hmmm.
 

Marijan2

Arachnobaron
Joined
Oct 21, 2012
Messages
505
I have lackers about but I would think that they have the same sort of chemicals as the resin formula. Maybe it works the same. I dont really wanna try incase I ruin my next one. I may just stick to drying and framing.

I wonder if it would work .. hmmm.
yea but thinner layers would not generate that high of heat, and after drying it would hopefully preserve setae, especially if you put 5-10 layers of it
 

KezyGLA

Arachnoking
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
3,033
I may give it a go on the next one. Hopefully that is a long time from now
 
Top