I think one of the most important tools of a taxidermist is reference material. Maybe some of the experienced fellows here can share what they use. I personally am a waterfowl book collector. Whenever I am doing the "posing" portion of my birds I usually have around 6 books laid out in view. I also clip pictures out of magazines and print out pics on the web and my wife made me a scrap book. Raising waterfowl has really elevated my understanding of how birds should look, how they sit, rest, walk, etc. I could sit and watch them for hours.... One of the biggest mistakes "newbies" make is improper feather placement. Good reference and an understanding of how the feathers lay are important, study those pictures!