I'm in the middle of making a crow's skull for a ballet (about 3 feet long). I didn't have time to use sticks - I've used wire, but I'd like to do some more papier mache using a wooden armature next time. The head I'm doing is for the front of a carriage that I've had welded up out of a wheelchair and the front wheel of a bike. Effectively becoming a kind of steampunk-trike-bathchair for an evil queen. The skull is made and is getting painted at the moment. It will have the dark crow beak at the front, bone for the rest of the skull with some black feathers at the back. I'll do a kind of monk hairline for the feathers. (I haven't reached that part yet.) I've found that using linen dipped in wallpaper paste with UPVA glue added makes it very strong but if you do that, only do it in stages once the base is all hard, and make sure you squeeze off all the glue you can or it can collapse with the weight - and will never dry. The draping action of the linen is very nice though. B.