In a few days I'm going to mount my first seatrout (Salmo trutta trutta), which is a form of the brown trout. I've carved the body in a slight curve, and when i was test-fitting the skin i noticed that some large vertical wrinkles appeared on the "hollow" side of the fish, which i could't smooth out. Before I'm going to mount the fish i'd like to know if these wrinkles disappear when glueing the skin on the body with hide paste, or do I have to alter the body? I hope some of you can give me some advise.
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You need to alter the body. IF, when you mount things up you still end up with a few wrinkles you need to smooth things out on the show side and push the air out all the way to the seam. You can have a few wrinkles at the seam as these will be covered. BUT, if you have a LOT of wrinkles, you need to alter the form...
.....a wall paper seam roller to smooth out the wrinkles while your hide paste is still wet and then again on the second day. This should seat all the scales and smooth the skin to your form. Good Luck
For your reponse. Marty, what could be the problem with the body I carved. I took a lot of measurements from the trout and carved the body with the fish as reference,so I thought the body would be ok. Or is the curve-shape a bad idea?
Replicating a three dimensional object PERFECTLY w/o casting it is next to (if not) impossible. A tracing is only there for reference along with caliper measurements. We carve the body as best we can to the original size. But it will not be perfect. Trout especially vary SO much in their shapes and size that carving an accurate body is difficult. Keep fitting it up until all of the fins are lining up and that back seam has a consistent gap. If that gap is bigger in some spots then you KNOW that is the area that needs to be trimmed down. IF your fins are all lined up then you know that that trimming is to be done on the backside (and may not be all that important as this fluctuation is going to get covered anyway). So, I would say just ensure that all your fins are lining up and are in the right location. The tail area and the front area (head is removed, right?) need to be in position as well. Don't waste your time sanding until you'e carved the body down until it meets this criteria. Then any bubbles/wrinkles should push out when mounting up.
Lastly, I disagree with the above roller advice. You're trying to get air pockets out of a CURVED objetc with a (flat) roller that's only going to push a small area at a time. A better way (imho) is to wet your hands and cup them and work the air pockets around to the backside and push out all the excess glue. Working in all dirsctions but ultimately pushing the air out towards the backside. Don't staple the backside until you push the two sides together as closely as possible. I like to use two dry paper towels to help grab the slippery fish skin. Plop a few staples in IMMEDIATELY before that skin wants to move back (It WILL want to move back if you've got the skin on the form good and tight).
Once everything is mounted, spray down the fish and wet your hands and again smooth out everything as best you can. You can have issues rubbing off scales at this point if it's a very loose scaled trout. But if it's THAT loose, you should've removed ALL the scales prior to mounting anyway. (Some folks will attempt to salvage these Spring run loose scaled salmon and trout with various methods but the easiest is to simply take them off. They are SO thin in the first place that I GUARANTEE your customer will NOT notice anything missing. Plus, they will STILL knock off some, and repairing that PERFECTLY is next to impossible).
Get those fins to line up on their spots and ensure they are centered on the form. Ensure that the tail and head are are also in their proper locations. Then the rest will work itself out. Come back after an hour (once the skin is no longer WET) and check things. It's MUCH easier to see air bubbles once the surface of the skin has dried a little bit. Hold it up to the light to help see. You can push out any air pockets at this point with a dry hand. A little trick - push any air pockets to the fin areas as their fin bases will absorb the excess air. Usually I have a tear or two in these areas and the air simply comes out. If not, you can slit the backside fin base slightly to relieve the air pressure. You want that show side as smooth as a baby's butt!
Marty is dead on in his advise. One thing to keep in mind when carving curved bodys: outside curve will be longer than the inside curve. Follow Marty's advice,especially about keeping the fins, tail and head junction lined up. Keeping your glue layer thin will also help to eliminate pockets. If you have a small roller, try it. I smooth the skin with my hands too. Keep test like fitting like Marty advised. It will all work out for ya. Good Luck!
...never tried the roller method but I suspect that you'd be less apt of taking off scales because of less friction (vs. your hand)? It still seems more time consuming to me because you can only work a small area at one time. But it might be worth trying on those lossey gooseys...
I do sea trout all the time and absolutely do not have the problems you guys are speaking about. Try it, you may like.
Everyone should an iron or two, one in the house and one in the shop :-)
matt thompson has some great seatrout mannikens