Sunday morning questions(SMQ's) part 34
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Author Topic: Sunday morning questions(SMQ's) part 34  (Read 3988 times)
Rick Krane
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Location: Hinsdale NH
Posts: 2464


Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor


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« on: October 15, 2006, 01:35:56 AM »

These weeks we are going to try something new, lets have some fun and answer questions from a new perspective.  What I would like you to do is answer questions taking a look at your last mount or cast of your last fish.  This weeks bonus question #10 for the mega fish CD will be to post a picture of a recent mount or cast and numerically list as many critique statements as you can pertaining to what you see and what you would do differently.  The person with the greatest number of critique statements will be this weeks winner!

Last weeks big winners After long and hard discussion with the other members of the fish Syndicate as acting body for a non bias ruling Mr. Frank Kotula of PA and Mr. Ken Darville of GA. are this weeks Big Winners of the All things fish CD's. Great job guys and thank you again to all the other great answers! Check your mail this week!!!

I thank you and WASCO for letting me share in my passion "FISH! As long as you keep answering the questions, I will keep writing them.

So with out further ado! Lets Get the morning stared to a new week with some fish taxidermy talk! The good people at WASCO give us the free opportunity here to share information so we can be better-informed taxidermist! So in the spirit of WASCO generosity we share freely with each other!

1. How do you come up with your fin placements? Looking at your fish what do you consider when placing your fins to dry or to cast.  When you place them in final position describe what you consider for your placement of the fins.

2. Eye Setting: Take a look at your fish, how do you determine size, color (or do you paint your own) angle and do you put two eyes in your fish or just one?

3. Painting: Take a look at your fish, how did you know when you were done painting?  Do you ever feel like you could paint more?  What would you do differently to this fish paint wise?

4. Is there a difference, looking at this fish, as it would compare to a mount of your own, a competition piece, or another commercial fish?  Tell us about your standards.

5. When you rebuilt particular areas on your fish with the your epoxy of choice, how much reference if at all did you use and tell us how you go about attacking the rebuilding process of your fish.

6. Head position: youve put your fish head in the final position, what determines the top and bottom line for the head in alignment to the body?  Do you use reference, do you eyeball it, what are your methods or procedures for making your head attachment visibly pleasing to your fish.

7. Looking at your fish, what do you think are areas that were more difficult to do on this particular fish and why?  Did you have any struggles with this fish?  Tell us about the problem areas and what you did to overcome them.

8. What did you apply as far as techniques to this fish, which you may have learned on this forum?  Tell us what you have learned recently or over time from the forum that helps you with this fish and all fish that you do.

9. This fish did you buy the body, carve the body, use the real head, cast the head, use real fins or artificial fins?  Tell us how you go about mounting fish or casting fish using todays resources you have at hand.  What is good for you and not good for you?

Bonus Question 10
10. Post a picture if you can (if you cant just describe the fish) and give a critique listing as many aspects of what you see as areas that you could work on.  Tell us how you would do these areas different.   


Give it a shot!
 
Any one who emails me personally with the answers will get a few free reference photos from my personal collection. I still want you to answer here so other can benefit form your input on this topic line.

It is all because of you and your awesome replies this has become so successful!
From beginners to the seasoned pro's every one contributes and all benefit from your great experiences! Let see if I we can get more responses on the forum as well as in my email. I will give you some free fish reference photos for the asking just for contributing! As always I just think your answers are so good more and more contribute on here for all see!
My Best and have fun with this!

Rick Krane
Anglers Artistry
312 Chesterfield Rd
Hinsdale, NH 03451
603.336.7296



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Frank E. Kotula
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Location: wilkes barre
Posts: 1968


master, judge, instructor


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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2006, 06:55:58 AM »

This is going to be quick for I have done this three times and I've lost it all times trying to post a pic LOL. I have to run to church early mass for me so here goes

1. How do you come up with your fin placements? Looking at your fish what do you consider when placing your fins to dry or to cast.  When you place them in final position describe what you consider for your placement of the fins.
I get all my placements from my tracing for I put where all my fins are to go in there. I place fins in a relaxed but not a fully stretched position

2. Eye Setting: Take a look at your fish, how do you determine size, color (or do you paint your own) angle and do you put two eyes in your fish or just one? I measure the iris. As for anlge it goes with the way the fish in going oer the movement.

3. Painting: Take a look at your fish, how did you know when you were done painting?When I'm doing my powder work.
  Do you ever feel like you could paint more? Always
 What would you do differently to this fish paint wise? Nothing I just like doing it.

4. Is there a difference, looking at this fish, as it would compare to a mount of your own, a competition piece, or another commercial fish? Yes it's one sided that's all.
  Tell us about your standards. My starndars are of high quality only.

5. When you rebuilt particular areas on your fish with the your epoxy of choice, how much reference if at all did you use and tell us how you go about attacking the rebuilding process of your fish.
The reference I use is photos and reference casts.

6. Head position: youve put your fish head in the final position, what determines the top and bottom line for the head in alignment to the body?  Do you use reference, do you eyeball it, what are your methods or procedures for making your head attachment visibly pleasing to your fish.
I teach by using the patteren as to so folks on how the head flows from the body as to not get it tilted in an up or down position.

7. Looking at your fish, what do you think are areas that were more difficult to do on this particular fish and why?  Did you have any struggles with this fish?  Tell us about the problem areas and what you did to overcome them.
Through time I have worked through all of my problems so whatever is wrong with the fish , it's no longer a problem just someting that has to be fixed.

8. What did you apply as far as techniques to this fish, which you may have learned on this forum?  Tell us what you have learned recently or over time from the forum that helps you with this fish and all fish that you do. Sorry I  haven't but I do hope I gave some out to many of your readers Rick.

9. This fish did you buy the body, carve the body, use the real head, cast the head, use real fins or artificial fins?  Tell us how you go about mounting fish or casting fish using todays resources you have at hand.  What is good for you and not good for you?
Carve body
Cast all fins and head
Body was traced and then transferd to foam to be carved to all teh measuements. Head was molded in bondo and resin, mouth plug with RTV. All was then casted with bondo and resin
Fins cast with WASCO bedding and then molded with bondo and resin with epo-fin magic to make them.
Also after and now going over what Mr. Rick has claimed that I am one of the lucky winners I would like to say thank to my peers and of couse Rick for having this Q & A going every week. Also thanks to Ken and WASCO for this great site.

Bonus Question 10
10. Post a picture if you can (if you cant just describe the fish) and give a critique listing as many aspects of what you see as areas that you could work on.  Tell us how you would do these areas different.   


* Copy of bates bass.jpg (14.59 kB, 171x128 - viewed 780 times.)
« Last Edit: October 15, 2006, 12:08:26 PM by Frank E. Kotula » Logged

Frank E. Kotula
http://www.FranksWildlifeStudio.com
one on one classes 570-819-0391
All phases of taxidermy
Mark V.
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Location: White Bear Lake, MN.
Posts: 440


Chinook Salmon replica


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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2006, 11:53:21 AM »

1.I determine fin placement by what the fish may be doing. If ther tail is going up or down or straight. Some I give a more erect look or more relaxed depending on pose.

2. Size and color of eyes are determined after fish is mounted and in the finishing process. I install them just before buildup.

3. The customers kind of decide when its done. As fast as they can get it LOL. No really to make money you have to have standards for painting more of a commercial paintjob so to speak. I could always do more painting on all my fish but time does not allow it.

4. Yes there is a difference between my fish and this one that I would have more of a relaxed look to it than is seen in the picture. I would have positioned the fins differently Maybe casted my own fins and put the commercial ones in the trash. This is my basic everyday commercial replica walleye.

5. More buildup on skin mounts than the fish in the picture as it is a replica. I start at the throat and work my way to the top of the head and go to the fins. And repeat the steps for touchup.

6. I go about this by what the fish is doing or if it had a hump or other features to the head. It also can be determined by what pose the fish is in. I attach the heads with bondo or epoxy. I try and streamline top and bottom so not to give the fish a diappearing throat or lumpy look to them.

7. No real difficuly other than seams as this is a reproduction. I do these all in the same manner. Prep the seams. Install the head and fins and paint.

8. Not alot applied to this particular fish but I have learned oodles of information pertaining to fish from the forums from tools to casting fins to painting techniques. You name and you can learn it here especially now with the picture option. Plus you get to see what everyone is doing. A guy thinks he knows alot after 27 years but theres always something to learn in every aspect.

9. This is a repro so it doesn't apply. In my skin mounts I am old fashioned I carve all my mannikins out of polyurethane. I back most warmwater fins with laminating adhesive and flexible fin finish, I use real heads except trout and salmon and saltwater. On trout and salmon I cast the fins. All commercial fish are airbrushed with a little hand painting. I have never bought into the commercial mannikin trend as it takes away from the real artistry of fish mounting and they never fit right for me.

10. 1. I hate the way I put the fins on and think they should be closer to the body.
     2. Eye is sticking out too far should have angled it more.
     3. Should have blended the white more into the body its way too bright.
     4.Too white on the gillplate should have toned that down some more.
     5. White tip on the tail is too long and too bright it sticks out like a sore thumb.
     6. I should have angled the fish up more on the wood it looks kind of dead.
     7.  not enough blending on the lipline maybe darkened it up more.
     8. Forgot the black on the spiny dorsal
     9.Not dark enough on the top half of body maybe some more gold and brown
    10. Bottom teeth are sticking up instead of angling inward
    11. Man this fish has alot wrong but the customer loved it.
9.

5.


* Walleye_Repo_Small_web.jpg (24.16 kB, 320x205 - viewed 747 times.)
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Ken D
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Location: Pensacola, Florida
Posts: 608



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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2006, 02:48:21 PM »

Sorry so late! I have been in and out and got caught up earlier in a couple of other posts...I finally took the time to sit down and answer the questions. Thanks to Rick for bringing the SMQs to us each week and thank you to everyone who participates...Ken

1.   How do you come up with your fin placements? Looking at your fish what do you consider when placing your fins to dry or to cast.  When you place them in final position describe what you consider for your placement of the fins.
I will consider what that particular fins role is in the movement of the fish and what movement I am intending to replicate.

2. Eye Setting: Take a look at your fish, how do you determine size, color (or do you paint your own) angle and do you put two eyes in your fish or just one?
I first want to use the actual fish as a reference but if that is not possible, I select a size with an iris smaller that the socketenough so that I can rebuild the visible portion of the sclera and maintain a proper ball in socket look. I have actually built entire eyeballs in competition fish and rotated them from the inside until I got the proper pose and attitude that I was looking fora good learning tool for me at the time. I paint some and buy some prepainted. I put 2 eyes in commercial fish.


3. Painting: Take a look at your fish, how did you know when you were done painting?  Do you ever feel like you could paint more?  What would you do differently to this fish paint wise?
I just knowI go through my general paint application, detail work and application of a few other colors with differing mediums that depict shimmers, circulation or fleshy effects, slime or oily effects, etcI will then evaluate the fish and if something is missing, I do itotherwise, Im basically finished, unless the first gloss coat  reveals something I missed. I think we always want to paint more and work hard to resist the urge. I dont have the last fish I did to look at other than the picture, but I would definitely put more time into detailing.

4. Is there a difference, looking at this fish, as it would compare to a mount of your own, a competition piece, or another commercial fish?
Absolutelyfor competition it would be very differentno question about it. For other commercial fish, I think it is good but again, maybe more time in detail work. My objective here was to get a very basic understanding of the process.  Tell us about your standards. My standards have always been high, but I got to a point in my career that I was too busy and I saw my quality starting to decline. Thats when I had to back off for a whileto remind myself that building a standard is one thingmaintaining it is quite another.

5. When you rebuilt particular areas on your fish with the your epoxy of choice, how much reference if at all did you use and tell us how you go about attacking the rebuilding process of your fish.
I use 2 and 3 dimensional reference. I flatten out small portions of the Apoxie at a time and lay it into the areas I am rebuilding. I prefer to build up than to reduce so I do it in small amounts at a time being careful about blending, texture and softness. I dont want to overdo it.

6. Head position: youve put your fish head in the final position, what determines the top and bottom line for the head in alignment to the body?  Do you use reference, do you eyeball it, what are your methods or procedures for making your head attachment visibly pleasing to your fish.
I use math and geometrical shapes a lot to establish familiar relationships between my reference (whether it is 2D, 3D or live) and my subject. I do this to visualize what Im trying to accomplish with regard to pose and this allows me to, for example, recognize that I must carve or alter a form differently for closed mouth vs open mouth. Try to do a closed mouth bass with an open mouth carving or commercial form without modification and you will likely not get proper alignment or a pleasing look. Using a little simple methodology can help you see things that you may not otherwise seewhich is the problem with eyeballing anything! But yes, I too am guilty of that at times.

7. Looking at your fish, what do you think are areas that were more difficult to do on this particular fish and why?  Did you have any struggles with this fish?  Tell us about the problem areas and what you did to overcome them.
Again, not having the fish to look at, its difficult to weigh it against other jobs. I dont do a volume of work anymore at least not for the time being, but I will say that for me, smaller fish always pose more of a challenge than larger ones, primarily scale loss and the bases of the pectoral and pelvic fins are probably more difficult to separate from the body without damage. They are just more fragile and you have to take your time and have a decent understanding of the fishes anatomy.

8. What did you apply as far as techniques to this fish, which you may have learned on this forum?  Tell us what you have learned recently or over time from the forum that helps you with this fish and all fish that you do.
I have learned a lot of things here as well as from other sources and I know without referring to a single specific instance that I have applied much of it to my work over the years. The forums are very beneficial in this manner and whether we know it or not, we all learn something new here every week on the SMQs. We may not always think that it applies to our work directly but it most definitely helps us to grow more knowledgeable on our subject, which will sooner or later pay dividends in our technical and composition skills. An added benefit is knowing that someone else may have learned something for you!

9. This fish did you buy the body, carve the body, use the real head, cast the head, use real fins or artificial fins?  Tell us how you go about mounting fish or casting fish using todays resources you have at hand.  What is good for you and not good for you?
I use differing techniques. I used to use primarily commercial forms because in business it was more efficient with the volume I was working. Now I can choosecommercial, carved, castmy choice and I use all. Some is dependent on species and some on customer requirements.  The last one was for a bluegill article for Focus.I did a hollow positive method which is essentially carcass casting a fish (half cast), pouring a hollow positive bondo mold from that and then poured a foam body.carved it slightly to custom fit the skin and poofsuccess! I can use that same mold for multiple sizesjust carve it down, and the other side of the mold is a 3D reference cast!

Bonus Question 10
10. Post a picture if you can (if you cant just describe the fish) and give a critique listing as many aspects of what you see as areas that you could work on.  Tell us how you would do these areas different.   
I see some shrinkage in several areas of the fish that I did not bother with.
There is an area of the lower mandible that did not get rebuilt properly.
I did very minimal paint detailing on this fish. I could have used rubs to highlight scale detail and done some tipping to be more accurate.
The fins are very commercialno actionthe pectoral fin is probably too relaxed and the pelvic fins appear hyper-extended.
The eyes have minimal rotation and I used  precolored standard commercial eyes so, I could have done a lot better there.
There are other problems with this fish but I think I accomplish with this what I set out to do.




* Commercial BG Focus.JPG (35.18 kB, 384x268 - viewed 727 times.)
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longbow
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2006, 10:32:22 AM »

Rick I am going to try to answer your questions as best as possible but I warn you I don't have enough computer savvy yet to send pics or jump back and forth from questions to my answers. If you are left wondering what I am trying to say just please disregard this posting. So on with the answers...
1) Fin placement, I try to make everything flow together and create as pleasing of a picture as I can sometimes I have to hyper extend things in order to accomplish the overall effect.

2)Eye set, Most time I paint my own eyes (not because I'm a cheap ass) I learned a long time ago only the best eyes but every fish's eyes are different. I also always put in two eyes as my most often used pose is a "C" pose.

3)Paint, I have a tendency to over paint every mount I do and that's the truth just ask my wife. She says I am too obsessive compulsive to ever be satisfied with my work. She has been known to shut off my air supply just to make me stop.

4)Standards, I never meet my self set standards that's why there are no mounts hanging around my place, I give them away so I don't have to see my mistakes over and over.

5)Rebuilding, I have never done anything but skin mounts so there has always been rebuilding involved, I am probably a more accomplished sculptor than a fish taxidermist

6)Head position, I try to create a flow in my mounts while still making them look natural so the head is set using this criteria.

7)I'm sitting here looking at a Northern Pike I mounted for a customer 25+ years ago. Man talk about rustic, He is a good friend and was heartbroken when his nephews knocked it off the wall while rough housing during a visit. I will be rebuilding it  because he still loves it and it will be a new challenge for me.

8)This question doesn't apply to me according to my notation except that I am humbled by the work of some on here which only makes my mounts seem more miserable to me.(obsessive compulsive kicks in)

9)I have never graduated past skin mounts with natural heads so BONDO and I have become the best of friends. When rebuilding inside the mouth of toothy fish I use tools I make from old car antennaes, they are stainless, maleable, steel and can be formed to create whatever effect you desire.

10)No pictures yet but still part of my future. This repair is showing me how far fish taxidermy has come and shows me how far behind I am. A financial obligation took me away for the best part of 10 years but I am back now all I have to do is get going. I want to learn to cast my own heads  and learn the foil tecnique for the silver salmonids. I forsee a few instructional videos in my future.

Thanks to you Rick for this weekly posting  and to all the contributors who keep guys like me from tearing our hair out looking for answers and inspiration.
Hope someone gets to see my teflon work station someday....Dave.
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Rick Krane
Platinum Member
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Location: Hinsdale NH
Posts: 2464


Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor


WWW Email
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2006, 12:25:44 PM »

I want to take a moment and say thanks! Each week some folks get together and share their time and there talent with us here on the SMQ's! regulars like Frank, Ken, Marc and UFD(Dave) all spend time and give freely so we all can benefit! I do hope that some of the folks who were regulars on the old formate come back and join us. What is so cool that some may don't know id that every week folks write me and ask me if so and so is going to post or if one of our regulars miss a week folks ask where you are! Now that is cool to have that kind of a following! You folks are the best!

Longbow I thank you for taking your time to share and give of your self! If you can give me a email this week and I want to share some thing with you. I think you'll like it!

My Best!

Rick Krane
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