Anybody used these to add to an open mouth Largemouth bass mount? Are the painted ones done very well or should a person buy the unpainted and airbrush yourself or is it not worth the extra time?
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I recently used some of the new Don Frank repro sunfish. They have excellent detail and no shrinkage like I've seen on many freeze dry ones. Give them a try, you'll be impressed!
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I thought the Van Dykes blue gill were very nice. The sealer was a little thick and the silk span on the fins wasn't trimmed really neatly, but it is an accent to a mount, people shouldn't be staring at the sunfish anyways. But they are definitely nice enough to add to a mount, it's not going to distract from the mount because of poor quality that's for sure. I was a little disappointed in their replica "bait fish sized" walleye though. Lacked realism and detail and a good paint job. So in the future I will definitely go with their freeze dried fish.
The Bluegill mounts themselves look pretty good, but those big glaring gold eyes are all wrong. True...smaller fish (Panfish, bass) do have large eyes that they eventually grow into, but they are not just big gold staring eyes like what is shown in their catalog. Maybe if you toned them down a bit with an airbrush and light mist of some brown. Maybe I'm just too picky about realism...
that I painted the repros myself and replaced the eyes. They were fun to paint. You can get them from McKenzies and Van Dykes. It seems about everyone has them.