More on the Scorpions

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Printed scorpion coated with Krylon spray paint. Excellent adherence

After the sodium hydroxide bath and power-washing at the CEID, the spray paint adhered beautifully to the printed scorpion and will provide a secure foundation for oil or acrylic paint. Note: Stratasys has a website that covers how to paint these prints: http://www.stratasys.com/solutions/finishing-processes/painting

The next step is to remove the actual specimens from the Desert diorama, which we did yesterday.

New specimens were replaced in the diorama in the mid-1990s. They are still in fairly good shape though there is some evidence of dermestid damage. Several of the distal segments on the centipede are gone. A couple of the scorpions are also missing distal segments and claws. Someone asked why we don’t try to get rid of the dermestids from the diorama and the answer is that it is difficult to find a pesticide that works, doesn’t degrade the display (or me!), and lasts more than six months. It isn’t feasible to open all the dioramas every year to keep a pesticide regimen active. So, we have decided to live with it. Old no-pest strips from the 1970’s are evidence that Ralph Morrill and Dave Parson’s made attempts to mitigate bug damage, but Ralph told me while he was still alive that it wasn’t worth his time to keep up with it either.

As for the preparation for the digital work, the over-riding concern I have is that the specimens are very fragile. I have been very careful, but I have already knocked off several of the legs on the centipede and I accidentally dropped the smallest scorpion. It’s tail and one of it’s legs broke off. The tail on the larger scorpion fell off without even being bumped!

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Note the small tail-less scorpion and its missing leg. The larger scorpion’s tail also broke off, but was repaired and strengthened with an internal dowel.

I started using crazy glue to glue back legs, but I have found that the conservation-grade white glue works better. I quickly realized that our method of spraying white poster paint on the specimens won’t work on these fragile specimens, so I am reinforcing all the leg and antennae with white glue.

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Reinforcing joints with white glue

It is not clear whether they will survive the ultrasonic water bath, so I may need to prepare myself for removing the poster paint manually with a brush and lightly soapy water.

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Children’s poster paint applied. Specimens ready for scanning!

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