I am looking for a muskie paint schedule for a 55" replica. Are there any listed in Breakthrough or Taxidermy Today? If you know of the schedules please list the issue they are contained in. I have pictures of the actual fish but would like the basic colors.
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Clear, barred, spotted, tiger musky?
Here's a schedule for a tiger: http://www.rmi-online.com/paintschedules/tigermuskie.pdf
But if you go to "Suppliers" above and then "Taxidermy Suppliers with Web Pages" and then "Research Mannikins" I believe they have a Lifetone schedule listed. Whoops just checked. They only have one for a Tiger Musky listed. Seems to me someone said you can get the Lifetone paint schedules from Dan Rinehart's supply company if your fish is not a tiger musky.
The trouble with regular muskies is some are greenish, blue greenish, yellowish, bronze, spots, no spots, bars, bars and spots etc. You really need to look at a picture you want to reproduce and be able to know what colors to use. It takes time but at some point you should be able to do it. Practice, practice, practice.
I just did one typical regular musky for my area as follows:
(If you're doing a repro you should put scale detail in by painting dark brown over the scales areas of the head, fins and rest of the fish minus the belly area and take off the high spots with fine steel wool before painting.)
The muskies in my area are kind of an irridescent bluish green with finely detailed spot/bar patterns. They also have a silvery/green sheen to them. However the colors are subtle and they do vary even from the same body of water.
1. Off White: inside mouth, lower jaw, branchiostegel rays, just behind mandible, and the belly. Also udner the gill covers.
2. Chrome Pearlescent: Very lightly on lower boney jaw, branchiostegal rays, and belly. Feather lightly up the sides of the fish. Also moderately on the cheek and gill covers.
3.)Dark Brown: This color is used to fill in the modelling compound on the head if you are doing a skin mount, and the bottom lip of the fish. Also any light areas that need to be blended in on the skin and any fin repair areas.
4. Black. Use this to darken these areas if necessary but very lightly.
5. Bright Yellow: Top of back feathering down to get a greenish coloration on the top and side of the fish. Just enough to produce the green. Also heavily on the caudal fin, and the rest of the fins but use it more sparingly as you move forward to each set or single fins.
6. Sailfish Blue: Use this lightly to get the green on the top and sides of the fish to give more of a blue green tint to it -- where you used the yellow to get the green tint -- on the sides of the fish. Use very sparingly.
7. Dark Green: Use this to enhance the bar and or spot pattern on the sides of the fish. Use retarder to be able to apply this very lightly without clogging your brush. You just want to enhance the patterns --not make them bold. If there are any markings on the fins you can enhance them with this color.
8. Gill Red: Pack the mouth and upper inside corner under the gill cover with with paper toweling and paint the gills. Be careful of overspray.
9. Gill Red & Bright Yellow: Mix with Bright Yellow to make a red/orange color that leans more to red. Paint this over the fins to get an orange tone. It's brighter on the caudal fin and is not so intense as you move anteriorily up the fish on the fins.
10. Black: Darken the back and head a little and any other areas if needed.
11.) Clean the eyes off with a Q-tip and lacquer thinner or acetone. Be sure to dob the excess off of the Q-tip so you don't run your solvent off of the eye.
12.) Apply a couple of flash coats and one heavier coat. Then if your fish has a silvery sheen over it apply Chrome Pearlescent over the sides of the fish (only the sides not the fins or head). Fishing clear coating your fish. The reason for the barrier coat of clear coat is if you don't do this the underlying colors will bleed with the chrome pearlescent and not give you the effect you want.
Remember! Reference is the key. Learn how to use your colors and match good clear photographs. It's easier than you think!
Cecil: Thanks for the information. We don't get many muskies in Kansas! I really appreciate your assistance.