I am about to begin creating my first custom fish repro. A 28" Redfish with a slightly open mouth. I'm pretty clear on the whole process with the exception of the mouth insert. What would be the most economical process in molding and casting the mouth insert? Again, this is not a competition piece but I AM looking for high quality suggestions. Was considering molding it in alginate and casting the positive in thinned bondo. Using the bondo positive, I would cast a negative using plaster and then apply latex to the plaster negative to create the finished latex insert. Am I on the right track here? Will latex set up properly on a bondo mold? I am looking to create a reusable mold from which to cast several latex inserts from. Thanks in advance.
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I do a lot of redfish here on the Texas coast. I have never used a mouth insert, since the underslung mouth of the redfish does not look very graceful when opened like that of a bass or other game fishes.
Here is what I do. I fit the upper and lower sides of the mouth with a block of floral foam (The soft foam that is used for fish bodies). The foam is glued into place with five minute epox and then shaped with a set of curved riffler files. Once the shape is correct, I smoothe the foam with a toothbrush and vacuum out the dust. I then coat the tongue and other oral cavity detail formed from the foam with a brushed on application of the five minute epoxy. Once the epoxy has set, it can be painted. The amount of detail formed is up to you.
The molds I have made of the redfish have a mouth opening that is around one to one to two inches wide, dependent on the size of the specimen. I recently showed this technique to Elmer in his shop and the whole procedure took about seven or eight minutes.
After the epoxy coating has set up, the vomarine teeth and esophageal plates can be formed by applying marine resin-gel to the ridges and then pulling it away with a toothbrush to leave the tiny teeth. I do the same on the upper and lower jaw, building the teeth with the brush by pressing it into the gel and lifting away. The final effect is very realistic. I hope this helps........email me if you have questions...
Thanks a million for your prompt response. The procedure you described is an approach I never even considered. I think I'll take you up on this procedure and give it a shot. Thanks again.
Works good just like its gonna work on this large muskie I'm doing right now with no mouth insert. Thanks Bill