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Sunday morning questions(SMQ's) part 30

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Rick Krane, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. Rick Krane

    Rick Krane Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor

    Week 30

    Good Sunday Morning!
    Thank all of you for participating and sharing the awesome knowledge you have with the many who eat it up like candy! It is so cool to see how many folks actually get read or check out the SMQ’s how cool is it to learn from folks who have different or better was of doing what we all questions about!

    Week 30 and there are still more questions and answers for all the readers who partake in learning more about fish taxidermy! Again this week I will be giving away a Custom Photo CD set for the first person that can correctly answer the Bonus Question. You must participate in answering all the questions to qualify but it is worth sharing your knowledge with every one and you just may win a mega CD set! Over 100 of my personal fish reference photos! So go for it! Last week winner was CPT. Bryan Russell of
    Jacksonville FLA http://www.captbryan.com/! Way to go Bryan!
    Also like last week every one who gives of them self will get a + in the Karma department!

    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 deal with missing scales with a fish a customer brings in for mounting?

    2. Splits and tear or rough fin edges… what do you do if any thing for the customer and how do you fix rough fins?

    3. How clean is clean? Do you leave the white or the black shinny membrane on the skin? What is what you look for in a clean skin before mounting?

    4. Loose-scaled fish… Summer chrome fish or crappie what do you do out of the ordinary to get these type of fish skinned and mounted?

    5. What air pressure do you airbrush at and why? How did you figure this out?

    6. Give a little advice for someone trying to mold a fish for the first time? What did you need to know and what do you know that makes it a manageable process for you?

    7. Do you tip? How long does it take for you to properly scale tip these 3 fish?
    A Largemouth Bass (20-22”) =
    A Rainbow trout (18-20”) =
    A King Salmon (35-38”) =

    8. Tell us how you go about tipping a Brown trout? What steps do you take and what kinds of tools, colors and mediums do you use?

    9. How do you figure out completion time? When you set your times for your customers what do you consider and what do you think is reasonable?

    Bonus Question
    10. Name these 6 fish?


    Extra bonus for the advanced students folks. How about the proper classification names for the 6! Give it a shot and even if you look it up your still learning!

    I would hope it goes without saying that I may not have a an answer your looking for but some one on here will! Feel free to write me or call if you have a question and maybe it will end up here to others who want to know the same information as you.

    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
     
  2. UFD

    UFD New Member

    1. If it is a heavy scaled fish and there are a few scales or a few patches of scales missing, it is no problem to fill in those areas with sculpting epoxy after the skin is dry and sculpt or carve the missing scales in. If quite a few scales are missing on a thin-scaled fish, in a worst-case scenario (very, very rarely) I may remove all of them. But most of the time on thin-scaled fish with many scales missing I can camouflage those areas by scale painting the entire fish.

    2. My pricing isn’t based on a perfect fish, so most of the time I figure that there will be certain minor repairs that I will do without charging extra. Minor splits and tears will be spanned with tape or silk span and filled/sculpted with epoxy, or in worse case scenarios I’ll replace all fins with cast fins, and again that is likely part of my normal pricing structure so I wouldn’t necessarily need to charge extra. Occasionally we’ll discuss some of the damage on the fish in question, and may just leave certain types of damage so that it is present in the finished mount and can be considered “character”.

    3. A clean skin will not only have all traces of white or black membrane removed, but the skin will also be thinned to a certain degree (more so in some regions/sections of the fish skin). I use fresh scalpel blades liberally and scrape or shave the skin, most of the time not really worrying in what direction I scrape or shave as long as that section of skin being fleshed is firmly held down to a flat surface.

    4. I rarely do crappie, but I don’t handle them any different than any other fish. On chrome bright fish with very loose scales, I prefer to not wash the slime off of them but instead to apply borax to the slime, forming a gooey paste that helps hold the scale edges down while skinning and fleshing. I’ll wash the skin off after fleshing (before the skin is soaked in degreaser), and keep the soaking in water based solutions to a minimum.

    5. Depends upon which airbrush I am using, but most of the time it is around 25 lbs., and can range from about 18-30. It can also depend upon the type of paint I’m using and the consistency. Trial and error solves many problems, and air pressure is one of those.

    6. The biggest technical concept is to get familiar with the molding material you will actually be using, including its pros and cons in certain situations, before trying it on a very special project. The most important aspect though, would be to study live fish anatomy so that you can pose the fish in a naturally believable manner.

    7. I both paint and tip scales. (I suppose those two could be the same, but to me they are a little different.) Most of the time I go over each scale at least twice, sometimes three.
    A Largemouth Bass (20-22”) = approx. 4 hours
    A Rainbow trout (18-20”) = approx. 6-8 hours
    A King Salmon (35-38”) = approx. 10-12 hours

    8. I rarely do Browns, and each one that I did was a little different, so I can’t say I have a set system in place. Speaking generally, though, I would paint (using a hand brush) the shapes of the scales first using a wax based tipping medium or an acrylic artist’s color after my base colors were airbrushed on, and then after more airbrushing (to include spotting), I’d go back and further refine the scales with a different lighter color (acrylic artist’s paint) or an iridescent in a clear acrylic medium depending upon how bright (silvery) or colored the fish would be. Then more airbrushing may or may not take place depending upon whether I want the scale tipping accented with another color.

    9. I base my completion times (backlog) on how many total fish I have to do divided by how many I can generally do in a month. I take that figure and add several months as a cushion. To be honest, though, it’s a pretty lame system because I am always running behind on my schedule. After nearly nineteen years of doing this full time, my clients somewhat understand that my backlog system is faulty but the end product is worth the relatively “loose” feel of completion time estimate. I have some of the most patient clients around, and for that I am grateful beyond words.

    10. Clockwise from upper left corner: Atlantic Salmon – Salmo salar, Brook Trout – Salvelinus fontinalis, Rainbow Trout or Steelhead – Oncorhyncus mykiss, Rock Bass – Ambloplites rupestris, Pumpkinseed Sunfish – Lepomis gibbosus, Striped Bass – Morone saxatilis.
     

  3. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    My first time answering......

    1. How do you deal with missing scales with a fish a customer brings in for mounting?

    A little sculpall and then I use the woodcarvers scale tip.

    2. Splits and tear or rough fin edges… what do you do if any thing for the customer and how do you fix rough fins?

    Thin plastic backing with sculpall, recreate the rays. Sometimes on LMB I will not fix the caudal fin as it is a natural spawning result.

    3. How clean is clean? Do you leave the white or the black shinny membrane on the skin? What is what you look for in a clean skin before mounting?

    On thick skinned fish, I clean as best as I can, but I don't get to anal about it.

    4. Loose-scaled fish… Summer chrome fish or crappie what do you do out of the ordinary to get these type of fish skinned and mounted?

    I don't like doing crappie and haven't done that many :(

    5. What air pressure do you airbrush at and why? How did you figure this out?

    High enough tp prevent sputtering, but I live in Arizona with very low humidity (we complain when it gets into double digits, ya know like 11% or higher). High humidity is TERRIBLE when painting with an airbrush. You end up trapping moisture in with the paint!

    6. Give a little advice for someone trying to mold a fish for the first time? What did you need to know and what do you know that makes it a manageable process for you?

    Start with a fresh, clean fish. If it is your first time, practice on something else first. Have the sequence/steps rehearsed in your mind. Do a basic position first before something drastic.

    7. Do you tip? How long does it take for you to properly scale tip these 3 fish?
    A Largemouth Bass (20-22”) = Depends on what football game I am watching at the time. I do it with different colors and inbetween airbrush work. I never really figured the exact time, maybe around 2 hrs.
    A Rainbow trout (18-20”) = I've only mounted a few, and that was long before I was scale tipping.
    A King Salmon (35-38”) = Never done one.

    8. Tell us how you go about tipping a Brown trout? What steps do you take and what kinds of tools, colors and mediums do you use?

    Never done one.

    9. How do you figure out completion time? When you set your times for your customers what do you consider and what do you think is reasonable?

    My goal on big game was always August of the next year (beginning the cycle all over again). Fish would always depend upon when I got them in. I liked doing them in batches. I would always estimate the time longer than expected. 4-6 months.

    Bonus Question
    10. Name these 6 fish?


    Not playing here :(

    Kerby...
     
  4. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    1. How do you deal with missing scales with a fish a customer brings in for mounting?
    For me, it depends on what kind of fish. When it comes to trout I'll mount the fish and see how it dries. Those areas that have scales gone and leave a nice scale pocket I'll leave alone and hand paint scales in that place. If they leave no pockets and you have no idea on where a scale would be, I will generally paint the area with a mist of charcol and again paint in the scales to make it look just like the other scales.
    On bass or crappie I fill the area in that has some scale missing with sculpt-all etc. You let this get just about hard. I then take a RTV mold of a bass that I have casted from my other molds and press in the detail. Make sure you give a light coat of alchohol over the epoxied area before you press in the scale. After that, I'll take a soft brush and use some apoxie solvent and smooth the edges into the other scale and if needed just do a light re-sculpt of the scale that is there.
    Then again a spray or a mist of light charcoal and again paint all the scales with metalics.

    2. Splits and tear or rough fin edges… what do you do if any thing for the customer and how do you fix rough fins?
    Being that I cast my own this is a easy fix. When I lay the fin in the bedding I make sure I close up those splits and depending on how bad any ripped edges I can make the look into my bedding when I cast the fin to make it look like a real fin. So from there I mold them and can do any repair work on the mold as needed to make sure I get a fin that looks good.

    3. How clean is clean? Do you leave the white or the black shinny membrane on the skin? What is what you look for in a clean skin before mounting?
    It's a must to leave a white looking skin. Any thing that is shinny it needs to be removed. Now it can be had at times to do this for beginners cause the membranes can be tough to remove. What I like is to soak it in my zinc solution for about an hour to over night. The next day or so take it and reflesh it. You'll be surprised on how much easier it can be to get this stuff all off.

    4. Loose-scaled fish… Summer chrome fish or crappie what do you do out of the ordinary to get these type of fish skinned and mounted?
    Cover the fish with salt and let the salt draw moisture out from the fish. It may take an hour to 3 for this to happen. After that I skin them out real easy cause the salt will even pull the skin from the flesh real nice. Flesh them clean and soak in plain water to fully rehydrate the skin.

    5. What air pressure do you airbrush at and why? How did you figure this out?
    My main is 33psi. I do all my work from that until I get into detail work. Here is where it becomes tricky on what to do. We all know we need to thin our paint for this. With me I have used air psi from 20 to 50 psi to do what I'm looking to do.
    All of this is a trail and error. I don't mix paints in a separate bottle and save it till later. I do it in my cup but count the drops of paint, retarder, alcohol etc. in there for if I need a refill. I then check the detail on a slick surface to see if it's spraying what I want. From there I will adjust my air to either more retarder, alcohol, lacquer thinner.

    6. Give a little advice for someone trying to mold a fish for the first time? What did you need to know and what do you know that makes it a manageable process for you?

    I use WASCO bedding. I lay a thick layer down, lay the fish down and trace it in the bedding. Remove the fish and scoop out the bedding so that only half of the fish lay in the bedding. Then you need to make sure the bedding next to the fish so that no product goes seeps down under the fish. Make plenty of keys to looks to two halves at a later time and seal the fish with a light coat of lacquer.
    Now you can use a wide variety of molding material for this, bondo, RTV, plaster etc and the most common used today. After the first pour is make and the whole top mold has been completed you need to flip the mold clean it and then seal it with some type of release like Vaseline only on the mold not the fish and do that side.
    To learn different ways I have a book of Rick Morris on how to cast museum fish. In there they discuss different techniques on how to do mold. This is one of the best books for you read.


    7. Do you tip? Either fingers, pencils, or hand paint
    How long does it take for you to properly scale tip these 3 fish?
    A Largemouth Bass (20-22”) = 15 minutes
    A Rainbow trout (18-20”) =2 hours or more
    A King Salmon (35-38”) =3 on more

    8. Tell us how you go about tipping a Brown trout? What steps do you take and what kinds of tools, colors and mediums do you use?
    I use golds, greens, blues, violets, orange white pearls, plain pearls. I either dry brush them on or mix it with transparent base from wildlife colors.


    9. How do you figure out completion time? When you set your times for your customers what do you consider and what do you think is reasonable?
    For me I have to look at what comes in. I do all kinds of taxidermy and have to juggle from fish to life size and back to birds so it's tough. I usually give a two month period when I feel it will be completed, like 8-10 or 10 -12.

    Bonus Question
    10. Name these 6 fish?
    Salmon Atlantic, Brook trout,steelhead,stripper,pumkinseed, rock bass


    Extra bonus for the advanced students folks. How about the proper classification names for the 6! Give it a shot and even if you look it up your still learning!
    Atlantic Salmon – Salmo salar, Brook Trout – Salvelinus fontinalis, Rainbow Trout or Steelhead,Salmo gairdneri. gairdneri) – Striped Bass – Morone saxatilis – Pumpkinseed Sunfish – Lepomis gibbosus, , Rock Bass-Oncorhyncus mykiss
     
  5. Ques. #6 Molding Fish

    1. Select a nice Specimen, no freezer damage, missing scales etc.

    2. De-slime the fish. (dish soap and a tooth brush works. Never go against the scales.)

    3. Prep. the fish. ( I remove the fins & cast them separately. If needed fill the belly area with caulk, Using a thin clear tube on the end of the caulk gun, and inserting thru the anus. Also, I remove the eyes & pack the sockets with a little clay.)

    4. I use an adjustable mold box (from Polytek), to the proper size for the fish I am molding. The link below will show you some of the steps I am describing.

    http://www.freewebs.com/aquaticreproductions/featurepage.htm

    5. For bedding material, I mix up some dough / clay. (Flour, salt, water & cooking oil....mix to a soft play-dough consistency).

    6. I apply a little vaseline on the side of the fish that is going into the clay to the "parting line". (This is Important, because if any air is exposed to the skin it will cause wrinklng, flat spots etc.)

    7. Now I place the fish in the soft clay, up to the parting line. I make "key" impressions into the clay, all around the fish. Then I spay an mold release on the inside of the box only. (cover the fish while doing this. I do not put anything on the side of the fish being molded.)

    8. I use Reo - Flex 40 from Smooth - on for a "Flexible mold". For a 18"-20" trout, I will use a 1-gallon kit for the 1st pour and another 1-gallon kit for the 2nd pour. It 1:1 ratio follow the simple mix directions.

    9. Pour the reo-flex 40 over the fish, and let dry for approx. 3 hrs. (it will not be finished dry....it take 16 hrs., but you can carefully handle the mold half.

    10. Flip the mold upside down and remove the clay. I also remove the fish and Re-hydrate it, placing it in a wash basin and soaking it in water. Let it soak for 15-20 mins. while you are removing the clay. Remember to clean off the vaseline from the side of the fish that you applied it to.

    11. Now apply vaseline to the entire 1st half mold (also where the fish impression is. This way if any Reo-flex gets under the fish on the 2nd pour, it will not stick)

    12. Dry the fish off, and place it back in position in the mold, making it ready for the 2nd pour.(Do not place any vaseline or mold release on the fish).

    13. Mix up the Reo-flex 40 for the 2nd side and pour it on. Wait approx. 3 hrs. and open the mold....carefully, as it is not finished hardening. (but should be safe to handle). Remove the fish and lay the two mold halves on a counter to dry over night.
    This will give you a mold that can be re-used. It will be very easy to demold your cast as well. Just flex it a bit and the cast will pop out. In regards to the mouth area, you can cast it separate as well, or fill it with clay and sculpt the cast in by hand.....maybe this would work for you !
     
  6. DaveT

    DaveT "But with God all things are possible"

    283
    0
    You folks get up too early

    1. How do you deal with missing scales with a fish a customer brings in for mounting?
    I sculpt them in, paint them in, or remove scales from backside, trim and epoxy them in (large scaled fish)


    2. Splits and tear or rough fin edges; what do you do if any thing for the customer and how do you fix rough fins? Cast or use superglue and staples to close until dry, I do this before I card the fins

    3. How clean is clean? Do you leave the white or the black shinny membrane on the skin? What is what you look for in a clean skin before mounting? I try to remove everything with a scalpel and get a nice uniform white skin

    4. Loose-scaled fish; Summer chrome fish or crappie what do you do out of the ordinary to get these type of fish skinned and mounted? I skin the fish partially frozen and I work in very small pieces never bending the skin.

    5. What air pressure do you airbrush at and why? How did you figure this out? Depends on what i am trying to do, usually around 33 PSI but I go all the way down to 15 for some effects

    6. Give a little advice for someone trying to mold a fish for the first time? What did you need to know and what do you know that makes it a manageable process for you? DO not RUSH the process. Take your time and ensure your molds cure. Know your medium that you are using.

    7. Do you tip? How long does it take for you to properly scale tip these 3 fish?
    A Largemouth Bass = 2 hours
    A Rainbow trout = 4 hours
    A King Salmon = a couple sessions of 2 to 4 hours

    8. Tell us how you go about tipping a Brown trout? What steps do you take and what kinds of tools, colors and mediums do you use? loaded question as it really depend on the coloration and phase of fish. I use a lot of silver, gold, and I like using liqutex or createx paints

    9. How do you figure out completion time? When you set your times for your customers what do you consider and what do you think is reasonable? I usually set it by how much work I have in and my upcoming military commitments

    Bonus Question
    10. Name these 6 fish?
    1. A. Salmon
    2. Pike
    3. Steelhead or rainbow
    4. a striped bass
    5. Sunfish/Pumkinseed
    6. rockbass
     
  7. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    1. How do you deal with missing scales with a fish a customer brings in for mounting?

    Depends on how many and their location. With either however I use Apoxie Sculpt to rebuild them. Single missing scales get a small ball of epoxy formed into a tiny scale. Large patches get covered in epoxy until flush. I then let it set up about 45 minutes to an hour. Then I come back and sculpt in the scales with a modelling tool

    2. Splits and tear or rough fin edges… what do you do if any thing for the customer and how do you fix rough fins?

    Splits are brought to gether when carding via poking an upholstery pic between the cardings to bring the rays together. If it's irrepairable this way I later use smmooth epox to fill the void and I texture in rays f need be via an artists brush while still wet. Or I dremmel in the rays with a cutting tool. I must say that this method works for me because of the unique material I typically use to back my fins. And that is clear, .020 mil plastic. It gives a solid, clear backing to make repairs. Frayed edges with my method are obviously not an issue.

    3. How clean is clean? Do you leave the white or the black shinny membrane on the skin? What is what you look for in a clean skin before mounting?

    A lot depends on the specie and how thick their skin is. With some thin skinned trout, you have to get everything out otherwise things will show in the final mount. Pike and Musky however are thicker skinned and a bit more forgiving. If I understand the membrane part of the question (like the white inner "skin" on a pike???) this definitely stays on. Otherwise the outer skin will lose scales.

    4. Loose-scaled fish… Summer chrome fish or crappie what do you do out of the ordinary to get these type of fish skinned and mounted?

    With Crappie I just use TLC. With "Chromers" however, they get scales first. Then those scales get put back in after mounting via tipping every one of them with a silver of some sorts. The scales are SO THIN on these chromers that you woud need a microscope to see that they'e not there.

    5. What air pressure do you airbrush at and why? How did you figure this out?

    Almost always 35-40 PSI. I rarely go down below this even with details. I may come down to 15-20 to get it to "sputter" to create "dots" however. With metallics I tend to go higher - around 50 psi to keep the tip from clogging with the metal particulates

    6. Give a little advice for someone trying to mold a fish for the first time? What did you need to know and what do you know that makes it a manageable process for you?

    Not qualified to answer this one. Never done it. This IMHO is one of many things that separates me - a "taxidermist" from the "master taxidermists"...

    7. Do you tip? How long does it take for you to properly scale tip these 3 fish?
    A Largemouth Bass (20-22”) =
    A Rainbow trout (18-20”) =
    A King Salmon (35-38”) =

    I have a special method of tipping that speeds up the process considerably. And someday when I teach you can take the course and I'll disclose this method - lol! 15 minutes for a bass, 30 minutes for a Rainbow and about an hour for a big King

    8. Tell us how you go about tipping a Brown trout? What steps do you take and what kinds of tools, colors and mediums do you use?

    It's all about good reference. In fact I rely on my customers to help me via providing or picking a similar pic from my reference library. I'm just not that avid of a coldwater species fisherman to know much about them. I paint from pics and replicate what I see. If it's a Lake Michigan Brown, it's most likely silver. Anything else, I have to see a pic.

    9. How do you figure out completion time? When you set your times for your customers what do you consider and what do you think is reasonable?

    This is my weakest part of my business. I don't attack my backlog like a production oriented person that I should be. But I treat each fish more like an individual piece. And when I'm behind this accentuates the problem even moreso. Normally, I'm 6-7 months on my turnaround time. Use to be 3-4 but I've been innundated with work this summer. Estimating delivery dates is based on my estimates to complete each specie and how many folks are ahead of them. And then I now DOUBLE that estimate for a more accurate overall estimate - lol!

    Bonus Question
    10. Name these 6 fish?

    Clockwise starting at the top left: Atlantic Salmon, Brook Trout, Palamino, Rock Bass, Pumpkinseed and Striper. No idea of their scentific names ("fish"???) LOL!


    Extra bonus for the advanced students folks. How about the proper classification names for the 6! Give it a shot and even if you look it up your still learning!
     
  8. Thanks again Rick for the SMQs...I was up way too late last night posting the Fish Refinishing article and posting the pics...I saw the SMQ come up but I was too tired...I slept in this morning too!
    BTW...are you trying to trip us up with those pics?
    Have a great week everybody!

    1. How do you deal with missing scales with a fish a customer brings in for mounting?
    I rebuild them with Apoxie Sculpt and the appropriate tool…not really a big deal but it can be time consuming so depending on the amount of scales lost you may want to make it worth your time.

    2. Splits and tear or rough fin edges… what do you do if any thing for the customer and how do you fix rough fins?
    I begin to address that when the fish is still wet and I am carding the fins and will make repairs with coffee filters or any fibrous paper and Tuffin or Mod Podge after it is dry. I also save extra fins and can use these to repair missing or severely damaged areas. If the damage is severe enough, I will completely replace the fin with one of the extras or will use a cast fin.

    3. How clean is clean? Do you leave the white or the black shinny membrane on the skin? What is what you look for in a clean skin before mounting?
    It should be smooth and white and there should be no strands of membrane.

    4. Loose-scaled fish… Summer chrome fish or crappie what do you do out of the ordinary to get these type of fish skinned and mounted?
    I soak them in denatured alcohol for about 10 minutes and then put them in front of a fan for about 10 minutes to surface dry them. After that…skinning and fleshing is no problem. Sounds crazy but it works.

    5. What air pressure do you airbrush at and why? How did you figure this out?
    About 20 for detail and 35 for general paint application.

    6. Give a little advice for someone trying to mold a fish for the first time? What did you need to know and what do you know that makes it a manageable process for you?
    Take your time…don’t rush the set up. I learned the hard way that rushing it makes for a miserable experience that may not yield the desired results and could waste a perfectly good fish and a lot of money. Also, know your materials and the relationship of those materials to moisture.

    7. Do you tip? How long does it take for you to properly scale tip these 3 fish?
    If everything goes perfect…
    A Largemouth Bass (20-22”) = 20-30 minutes
    A Rainbow trout (18-20”) = 1+ hour…too long!
    A King Salmon (35-38”) = A long time!

    8. Tell us how you go about tipping a Brown trout? What steps do you take and what kinds of tools, colors and mediums do you use?
    Clearly it would depend on the fish but generally I prefer wax or acrylic mediums applied with a small artists brush.


    9. How do you figure out completion time? When you set your times for your customers what do you consider and what do you think is reasonable?
    I look at it from a historical perspective and adjust based on how full my freezers are. Usually about 8 months.

    Bonus Question
    10. Name these 6 fish?

    Atlantic Salmon Salmo Salar
    Brook Trout Salvelinus Fontinalis
    Golden Trout Oncorhynchus Aguabonita
    Striper Marone Saxatilas
    Pumpkinseed Lepomis Gibbosus
    Rock Bass Ambloplites Rupestris
     
  9. Rick Krane

    Rick Krane Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor

    Hey I just have to say that the answers so far this week are among the best! I just got and email this morning that I have to share with all who particape and to let you know your generosity is well received and immensely helpful toothers!

    Rick
    Each week I wait for the questions to come out sometimes I wait up when I can past midnight when you put them on so I can read the new questions. It gives me some thing to look forward to. A big thank you for asking the questions I want to know to learn how to do better taxidermy. It is like fish collage where I get and all star group of teachers tell me there secretes to the questions. Every week guys whop are the best like just give real answers and don’t hold it back. Man I have learned so much for you and the others guys! Every week I learn ho to do some thing better and save my self a lot of time and struggle. Thank you thank you and thank you again. Please I hope you never stop doing this it makes me mad when people slam each other on the computer for the sake of big egos or what ever but the Sunday questions are always the best of the week for me. No one can say they don’t learn if they only bother to read. Maybe guys like you Dave “ufd”and frank don’t need to learn much more but I have along way to go and what you do is invaluable to me! You guys give for free all your knowledge and skills to help people like me. Thank you for all you do and have done for me!
    Geoffrey H. Greenwood PO3 USCG


    Thank you Geoffrey and thank you to all who share there gifts!
    OK Back to work!
    Rick Krane
     
  10. Rick Krane

    Rick Krane Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor

    From our good freind in MN


    These answers are not for reprinting. I'm still groggy from my bear hunting adventures. Or should I say bear "skinning" adventures.

    Clockwise
    Brown Trout. This looks a lot more like our Lake Superior Browns than any atlantic salmon I've ever seen. But then they've all come in frozen!

    Burbot. This is a tough picture to read and I'm bucking the odds, cause everyone else says brookie.

    Rainbow. Or at least the rainbow family of trout subspecies. Here again it probably is something I've never seen fresh.

    Rock Bass. Too easy!

    Pumpkinseed. Again, too easy! I suppose it could be some kind of hybrid that you threw in to make us look stupid. LOL

    SAtriper. Cause everyone else says so. Again I've never seen one.
     
  11. Mark V.

    Mark V. Chinook Salmon replica

    1 . I may take a scale from the backside of the fish and glue it on after mounting with super glue or use a scale tool. I have used a nail also or scratched them in with a modeling tool.

    2. I use silkspan and flexible fin finish. I choose what weight silkspan by how bad the splits are. I do 2 coats or more and trim cleanly, no rough edges. On larger trout and salmon especially summer run great lakes I will now use artificial fins. I don't like the rough look I see on some fish mounts but thats my opinion. If a fin is really bad I will back with plastic or cardboard but try and stay away from that if at all possible.

    3.It depends on the fish alot of times it is impossible to get all of the membrane on smaller fish and you will end up doing more damage to a fish than its worth but the more the better. You want to get all of it off on trout and salmon as most of it is fat deposits. On smaller fish like crappies and sunfish it just dries out with no ill efects.

    4.Everyone has there little things they do to get these fish skinned out without losing scales. I have used salt on crappies and it seems to tighten them up a little bit or alcohol. Chromers seem to be the worst but I sometimes use stopslip from knoblochs and it works good tighten up the scales on chromers. Most of the time though just being careful and laying them flat while skinning can go a long ways of keeping them intact. I like the newer skinning knives versus the old ones for skinning larger species. I got a couple of the ones Paul Borkowski made and I just love them.

    5. Variable air pressure. 20-40 If i am doing small minute details I turn it down. If I'm doing wide spray I crank it up to cover faster with a #5 tip in the airbrush. I think everyone is different though like my dad likes his at a constant pressure usually 35-40.

    6. Take your time when molding would be the number one key especially if its something you are going to use more than once. When I first started casting I was always in a rush to get it done and usually my molds turned out like junk and some were useless. I didn't have alot of patiece and I could only use them once or twice. I did mostly trout and salmon heads when I did cast but alot of times it was disaterous. Take the time to learn about the materials you are using and read all directions and plan out what your doing before making any attempt at molding. Casting and molding can be a expensive propostion and you will waste alot of time and money if not done properly. I speak from experience. LOL

    7. Largemouth bass some gold and green and yellow tipping less than an hour. Rainbow trout various colors 1-2 hours or more depending on size. King salmon various colors but mostly silver 3-4 hours or more. Glad to not have the pleasure of doing alot of the kings anymore. LOL

    8. I do very few browns and out of all species to me are one of the hardest fish to paint next would be a Lake trout although I used to do 30-40 Lake trout a year and got pretty good with them. Anyway when I do browns I get the basics with the airbrush and do the multiple layered spots with a combo of airbrush/paintbrush. I do some gold and silver tipping also.

    9.This I a sore subject with me and everyone varies. It all depends on workload with me usually on fish I can get them out in 6 months or less. Its really the deerhead people that get to me . Some want it tommorow and others will drag until the next season. Its hard to please everyone and in this fast pace world its hard to get anyone to wait a year or more for anything.

    10. 1. Atlantic salmon,- Salmo Salar 2. Splake (Lake trout brook trout hybrid) Salvelinus Namaycush X Salvelinus Fontinalus - 3. Steelhead- Oncorhynchus Mykiss 4. Stripped bass- Roccus Saxatilis 5. Pumpkinseed sunfish- Lepomis Gibbosus 6. rock bass- Ambloplites Rupestris I had to look up the names but I learned along the way maybe I'm right on the splake LOL
     
  12. Rick Krane

    Rick Krane Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor

    From our friend in MT!

    #7 A 1 hr B 1.5 hr C 3 plus hrs
    #10 Brookie, Striper, Cut bow, Warmouth, Atlantic Salmon, Pumpkinseed.

    Sorry Rick I didn't have tome to pout into the questions this week I just got back from a trip in Alaska! Righteous Fishing Dude!

    I will send you a picture to add into the Q&A next week! It will be a real stumper!

    peace!
     
  13. Rick Krane

    Rick Krane Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor

    Well Sorry for the delay! I'm in NJ working with George Dante on a big fish project! I want to say congratulation to Mr.Marty Shimkus of Fish Specialties Taxidermy in Shorewood, Illinois! Our good friend Marty correctly answered question #10 and participated in sharing with other! Way to go Marty! Let see who will win this weeks bonus question!

    My Best to all who participates and who read the SMQ's!

    Rick Krane
    Anglers Artistry