Up until very recently we offered kits for cork-bodied Black Ducks and Bluebills. Unfortunately, our old supplier is no longer with us and we have yet to find a comparable source. Since we elected not to increase the price of the kits substantially we have changed over to using wooden bodies.
Be advised that these bodies are laminated. Why? Because a moisture meter is unreliable when thickness of the piece of softwood exceeds 1", and we need to be assured that our decoy blanks have a moisture content of 12% or less. Never fear, we use the same laminating process for our restoration decoys, and we have made hundreds and hundreds of them with no delamination problems.
These are hunting decoys, and the parts included in the kit are: pine or cedar body block, bottom board, head, eyes, keel, and lead ballast. The body is sawed to the side and top outlines. Your job is to shape the body, carve the head cutout essentially removing everything that doesn't look like a duck), and join the two. Then you can finish your decoy as a Black Duck or a Mallard–same anatomy, different paint scheme. If you would rather display yours, you can dispense with the hollowing out and leave off the ballast keel. A plan and instructions are included. Why do these cost more than the Bluebills? It's a much larger duck, so requires considerably more material..and the plan alone is worth the $10.
The photo at the top of the page is of a simply painted Black. For hunting purposes, you don't even need to detail the head. The burnt umber crown and eye channel stripes are sufficient to attract other ducks.
Of course, you can paint your decoy to look like this if you are so inclined. To attract ducks, anatomy is of primary importance. Deks finished like this are intended to attract onlookers. Either way the base coats are the same. The body and the head stripes are burnt umber darkened with black, and the head is white with just a touch of burnt umber. The speculum is purple on a Black Duck and blue with a white edge on a Mallard. The bill is yellow oxide warmed with a bit of red. Bill color varies with the season, by the way. The one above would be as seen during Summer and then in the Fall hunting season. During Winter and Spring the bills are greenish-yellow, and quite drab in comparison.
One of the best ways to get started making decoys is with a kit. We don't sell kits for all sorts of birds, just a select few to get a beginner headed in the right direction. To really get a beginning carver headed in the right direction, you'll want to order the kit(s) together with Basic Decoy Carving.