For the fish masters

Submitted by Andrew on 4/29/05 at 4:03 PM. ( )

Ok I have to ask if anyone will lend alittle advice on spot patterns on Bass. My pattern looks fuzzy and well just not right lol.
If you dont want to feed your tips out on the net email me.
I am just having a hard time getting a good spot and bar pattern that Im happy with any suggestions would be nice.
Thanks in advance , Andrew

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This response submitted by wetnwild on 4/29/05 at 7:02 PM. ( )

OIn tne bar pattern, it is the i9ndividual scales that are painted. I see so many bass where the pattern is done as a row of shadowed diamonds. This is totally incorrect. It is a random pattern where each individual scale is painted one at a time in a random but similiar pattern. Paint them indiividually and not as a shaded area and the results are much better.


This response submitted by Cecil - Baird Fish Taxidermy and Fish Farm on 4/29/05 at 8:39 PM. ( )

I have yet to see a largemouth with that diamond pattern -- at least in my area. I've see pictures of spotted bass with that diamond pattern and Florida's with something similar, but not northern largemouth.

Another one of my pet peeves is the "perfect railroad track pattern." Haven't see that one on a real largemouth either.

Use reference pics and duplicate what you see!


This response submitted by mike on 4/29/05 at 11:15 PM. ( )

heres how you make spots. this is with a h5 paashe air brush. first make sure tip is cleaned. you will probably need to add retarder to the paint. experiment on paper first. hold tip of air brush about 1/8" from surface, adjust flow on tip way down, experiment with tip ajustment till you get the size dot you want. hold down on finger button about a second a shot. the distance from the surface determines the size of dot along with the tip adjustment. practice on paper till you get what you want. you have to get paint to flow properly also...that sometimes depends on humidity, retarder, thinner, and on some days i think it depends on moon phase, alignment of the planets, my mood etc. good luck. ill email my no.


This response submitted by GB on 4/30/05 at 8:39 AM. ( )

Hi Andy. I sent you a critique and look forward to seeing you in a few weeks. You are taking steps to being a true Fish Master.

Good refernce is key...

This response submitted by marty on 4/30/05 at 9:14 AM. ( ) my opinion the horizontal "stripe" is pretty easy to pull off and make look realistic. The spots on the lower belly on the otherhand are much more difficult. In fact, on a skin mount I usually just tint the belly to mid-section transition just enough so that the original "spots" show thru.

The way I do the horizontal line on a largemouth is by first thinning the heck out of my paint to whatever color is necessary. You don't want to get too dark otherwise it will indeed look painted. Just highlight the existing markings. Or have very good refernce if it is a replica. I use a single action Paasche btw. And I turn up the air to about 30 psi or so. And I close down the number 3 tip almost all the way. This way I have a lot of air coming out but very little paint. If you drop the psi down too far it will spatter or too much paint will come out. Once I have my air brush dialed in perfectly I like to start at the tail - because this is usually darker and much more forgiving. You will gain confidence (and control of the airbrush) after the first few "spots". Don't paint "spots" btw. You want to hilite the markings. And if you look closely enough you will see that the markings are not solid and there will be "minor" dots surrounding the mian dots. The tail section however has more dense areas of darkness. And again, I think it's wasier to work forward from the tail section. I literally have my tip about an 1/8 of an inch from the fish. And I am moving the airbrush around very fast. This keeps me from hitting any one aea with too much paint. And you can always go back and darken some areas if need be.

After doing the mid-section horizontal "line", I then go back to the tail and do the same to the secondary markings in the upper back working towards the head. 3rd pass is the minor, random markings in-between these two rows. Tip - work the air-brush quickly up and down as you move towards the head slowly. Again, very close to the fish...

This is what I do

This response submitted by Aquatic Taxidermy on 4/30/05 at 10:53 AM. ( )

I use Black Green for my Bass markings. The middle bar pattern is easy to duplicate. The trick for painting the dots is to turn the bass on an upward angle. I use a Paasche number 1 airbrush tip for these markings. Practice on a sheet of paper before going to the fish and adjust your air pressure and tip accordingly. I find it easier if the fish is tilted to make these markings. Its scale tipping. I also break it up a little with golden yellow and silver pearl. I bought the book.........Tom Sexton's fish finishing system. You can purchase it from any taxidermy catalog. It has the most comprehensive in depth explanation of Largemouth Bass I've found. It shows you how to reproduce these markings and it will definitly improve your work. This book is a ton of knowledge and I highly recomend it to all fish taxidermist. Good luck !

I wouldn't get too set on...

This response submitted by marty on 5/1/05 at 9:36 AM. ( )

...any one color. Colors vary too much everywhere and even from the same body of water. This is why I think paint schedules are almost worthless. Learn to mix colors to what you see in a photo. Learn the techiniques to apply the colors and then vary those colors based on the photos. Pretty simple eh?

I've got the book Chris mentions. That book and the Breakthrough Fish Taxidermy book should be the bread and butter in any and all fish taxidermists sea of reference material. They are indespensible. They will give you guidelines for sure, but hands on experience and experimentation is really the only way you're going to learn...

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