Thanks for the compliment! having much fun with these things.
head finish - am using two coats of Griffin's Thick head cement. have been really happy with it. first coat does a really good job of soaking into the thread and making a good solid base. the second coat fills in all the bumps and crevices from the thread and makes for a nice glossy look to them. am really happy, also, with how this particular cement really brings out the color in the thread.
have experimented with griffin's thin head cement. the bonus is alledgedly it soaks into the thread much better, but it takes 3-5 coats to get the smooth glossy look. suppose you could use the two in sequence. thin first, then thick to seal the deal.
to take care of the soaking in problem, i usually dap a drop of cement on the head portion as i am securing the collar/throat stem, the hackle wing stems and the crest and "eyes" if i use jungle cock nails. haven't had a feather or head fail as a result. of course, the thinner cement could probably solve that as well....
oh well, it works!