casting fish from a rubber master
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Taxidermy.Net Forum  |  Beginners, Training & Tutorials  |  Tutorials  |  Topic: casting fish from a rubber master « previous next »
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GulfcoastWF
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« on: August 30, 2008, 12:51:11 AM »

couple of people asked me how the castings came out from molding a rubber fish.  worked really well so I will share what I did.

ok, so here is the low down on casting a rubbber master copy for a production silicone mold. the first half of the process is no real news, takeing what I learned from tutorials from this fourum (i.e. Mr. Knuths tutorial on casting a crappie. :) ).

1.  Fish is layed into a bed of high fiber.  Fish is essentially posed in an almost flat position. the flat pose gives you the option of alternate posings in the production mold assembly.

2. in a mixxing cup, mix 1 part polyester resin and 1 part bondo (both pre mixed with their catylists). pour over entire fish with a light brushing over the surface to remove bubbles.

3. after initial coat has set up, repeat process with 1 part bondo/3 parts resin.  sandwhich in fiberglass matting. 

4. demold the fish, clean the mold thoroughly, and let dry.

5. drill a hole in the upper most portion of the mold (ie, tip of bottom mandible) BE CAREFUL NOT TO BREAK THE MOLD!...  or you will be super glueing.  :-\

6. brush on a thin coat of your liquid rubber of choice over entire surface of fish and fins in the mold and close the mold up. hotglue or tape up the seams making sure there can be no leakage. I use CHROME tape.

7. while standing the fish mold on its tail (head up).  pour in liquid rubber with a shore of 20A - 30A (mold max or vitaflex). depends on how flexable you want your fish to be. let stand over night.


    from here you can remold the fish in a number of different poses useing     the original process.. or, for something quicker....

8. If you want to mold the fish in the exact position as the initial cast, just demold  one side of the bondo/resin shell.  the other half is to stay in place and used for the dams needed to separate the production mold. otherwise repose in high fiber as if the rubber fish was the real thing.

9. hotglue a border all the way around the fish to catch the material. apply the propper releases and use a brushable silicone (I will try mold max stroke next go around) . feather in a few pieces of material/fiber to allow the moter mold to "grab" ahold of the rubber.

10. once this silicone has dried, a bondo/resin mother mold can be applied over the surface of the rubber.  make sure to work materials into the fibers imbeedied in the surface of the rubber for a good bond between the two.

11. remove the other half of the origial bondo/resin shell or if repositioned, high fiber, and repeat the process from step 8 through 9.

12. demold the rubber casting and re-assemble back in the original bondo/resin mold for storage.  now you can make a ton of casts from the new mold without any loss of detail from the actual fish.

here are a few pics

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GulfcoastWF
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2008, 12:53:29 AM »

castings are perfect
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GulfcoastWF
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2008, 12:56:25 AM »

here is a little guy to show just how flexable these fish are.

cast in vytaflex 40.
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GulfcoastWF
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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2008, 12:57:24 AM »

nother
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GulfcoastWF
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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2008, 12:58:56 AM »

multible poses???
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Travis Jones
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2008, 07:59:47 AM »

LOWELL!!!!!! I really really think your on to something really innovative here!!!!!!! Man this is really cool.
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RDA
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2008, 11:53:14 AM »

LJ  creative and interesting!! couple o questions though,   first  will paint stick??  what about flexability  and chipping/cracking of the finish??  Hot/cold also has an effect-  movement of the soft rubber and such...   Just wonderin??
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Dave Smith
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2008, 12:48:34 PM »

Beautiful work! Great idea, too. You know how largemouth bass grow to a certain length and then stop getting longer but start getting fatter?? It would be neat to making the rubber casting hollow and fill the stomache out as much or as little as you want- you could make multiple poses AND multiple weights. I do that with real bass, but you are pretty limited with a real, dead fish- he he. Nice work!!
Dave
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Jknuth
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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2008, 01:46:38 PM »

NICE!!!!



RDA
the goal is to use the Rubber fish as a master fish to make more molds from.
this eliminates alot of the issues with molding the dead fish directly.

Its a cool Idea!
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RDA
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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2008, 02:01:14 PM »

well  color me  DUH!! ;D  thanks for steering me correct Josh ;) ;D       And Yes,  a GOOD  idea!! :D
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NEVADA WILDLIFE STUDIO

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GulfcoastWF
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2008, 12:15:35 AM »


Beautiful work! Great idea, too. You know how largemouth bass grow to a certain length and then stop getting longer but start getting fatter?? It would be neat to making the rubber casting hollow and fill the stomache out as much or as little as you want- you could make multiple poses AND multiple weights. I do that with real bass, but you are pretty limited with a real, dead fish- he he. Nice work!!
Dave

Oh dave...lol. you have to stop that. :)  I dont need any more challenges right now, believe me, my plate is full. hahaha.  my brain is working overtime.  seriously, to an extent though, one could possibly beinfit from an adjustable girth.  maybe if the fish was molded with a "cavity" or "void" using an inflatable device....possibly with an air inlet for an air needle? might be way more troubel than it is worth though, and plus... larger fish have so much distortion due to  size, it might be hard to replicate with air.  makes me wonder if something could be placed inside that was plyable or shapeable liek polyclay. oh boy...I need to stop thinking, lol. 


anyway, here is the third cast made from the production mold. this one was by far the best pour and couldnt resist the temptation to paint the sucker. :)

he is 22 1/2" and weighed somewhere around 6 1/2 lbs. 

used 16 ounces of smooth on roto to make the cast and backfilled it with poly foam.  outside curve showing.

LJ
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Dave Smith
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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2008, 01:22:48 PM »

flippin spectacular!!!!
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brushwolf
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« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2008, 01:27:31 PM »

this is awesome .. this should be moved to the turtorials section
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den007
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« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2008, 06:06:04 PM »

LJ.........See? You ARE onto something. Thanks for these pics and your out-of -the -box thinking. Most of all for sharing. Smooth-on is sending me a cartload of stuff to play with thanks to you.
Subscribe to Breakthrough! You're a star!
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Dennis Murawska
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To fish is necessary."   Latin inscription
phutch30
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« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2008, 07:14:53 PM »

Would it be possible to insert heavy gauge wire in to the silcon cast. To bend it into differnt turns/ pose's and then pour the blank?
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