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Some trout that got left in the ice box to long

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by IAtaxi, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. IAtaxi

    IAtaxi Member

    Here is a picture(if I can get it to work) of a couple stream rainbows I took in. They were both freezer burnt and now have some messed up markings. Anyways they are dry now and ready to paint. Here is my problem, this is the first this has happened to me (I haven't been in business for a way long time). How do I go about painting these. ( I always like to use little paint and the natural markings on my fish) Do I run my white right up past the lateral line over the unatural markings? I hate the thought of putting that much paint on a fish but I don't see any other way out of it. I wonder if a silver color would be better than white, as I have to paint pink over it. Thanks for any advice.

  2. IAtaxi

    IAtaxi Member


  3. B.Fish

    B.Fish Good excuse not to get my work done!

    Cool, you have an opportunity to learn and enhance the skills you already have. I try to look at new problems as challenges which keeps me motivated. By no means am I an expert, but it seems as though you have options:
    1). Try and match the original skin color. You can do this lightly and you see some of the spots as some will be darker and bleed through. Then add your spots with a medium that you think represents the spots (i.e. charcoal pencils, colored pencil, paint) once you have it the way you want then tint your fish like you would normally.
    2). White out the fish with a base color and paint what you see from reference photos.
    3) Try both. If you have an extra specimens give it a shot.

    Either way you have a great opportunity to improve. Good luck.
  4. spraying a light coat of silver pearl or white pearl over the blotchy marks will help hide it a little, but, whats there is there. Next time , BEFORE skinning a fish with dicoloration, try this...wet down some excelsior also know as wood wool. (looks like very course steel wool only made or wood) and rub this gently over the markings until they fad or start to blend. be careful not to rub too hard or too long.Now that it's too late for that though, careful blending with pencils may also work.I like to use an antiqueing wax that is now hard to find on the market.
  5. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    If you're going to use some white to fog up the side for blending use the silver first and then white. That way you won't have to use as much white. That's a little trick I learned a long time ago and it has served me well. Looks more natural. I also use off white vs. any other white.
  6. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    As Marc said the excelsior is one method to attempt to rid those water marks. Another (also before mounting up) that may help is to take a soft brsitled scrub brush and powdered borax and scrub the skin down.

    Did the mounts dry like the pics? If so, I wouldn't try pre-blending those blotches. Too many of them and it'll be noticeable. If it were me I'd do much like what Cecil describes. This out some silver pearl and hit the side, but don't plow it. Still alllow some of the underlying markings show thru. Then shoot some thinned white on the belly and blend into the sides. I wouldn't "opaque" it out. I would still leave just a little of the skin tones to show thru. They should be much more even at this point. You can always add more silver/white later if you're not happy with it. But you can't go the other way around...
  7. Jim McNamara

    Jim McNamara Well-Known Member

    Just an idea that some of you may have seen or heard of, Can't you bleach the skin a little? I tried this on a real dark salmon years ago and it lightened it up quite a bit. Just a thought.
  8. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    I did it on a big brown once and it worked. But I would suggest doing it right after mounting vs. after the skin has dried. I did it the like the latter, and the skin warped on me but it shrunk back down. I was worried! Used 50/50 clorox bleach and water, and only put it on for less then 20 seconds. Quckly rinsed with with plain water ASAP. If you use the bleach method make sure you rinse well. Any bleach residue can interact with your clear coat. Been there done that!
  9. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    AND it'll eat that skin if you don't get it all off. (Have you ever seen what bleach does to clothes IF you use too strong solution and/or leave it in too long???) Personally, I've never used bleach because of this. I would paint it if I were you, but that's just my opinion...
  10. IAtaxi

    IAtaxi Member

    Here is how they turned out thanks for the help guys!

  11. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    I see you got rid of the blothes just fine. Not a big fan of the real heads though. Just my opinion.
  12. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    That's the very first thing I noticed too Cecil. Now that you brought it up, I'd have to agree. Lots of shrinkage...
  13. IAtaxi

    IAtaxi Member

    I cut the top of the heads off on trout to get rid of the grease and shrikage areas. I have no experience with artificial heads yet.

    Just curious do you guys tell your custemor you use artificial heads?
  14. Chad See

    Chad See Certified "Fish Head"

    I use artificial heads on every fish I do. Be it a bass or a brook trout. I just feel you get a better looking finished product. As for telling my clients, they all know I use the artificial heads, and none seem to mind as I cast my own from the customers fish. This way they are getting an artificial head that is an exact copy of thier fishes head. Using a cast head really isnt all that hard. You should try it on one of your own fish and see what you think. I am willing to bet you will be more than happy with the end results.

  15. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Whether I tell my customer or not depends a lot on who that customer is. If it's an avid fisherperson that seems to have some knowledge about taxidermy, I usually tell them. If it's somebody that doesn't know much, I usually don't. I don't believe it's being deceptive either. Using an artificail head on salmon and trout is pretty much the industry norm and typifies quality work. It's sorta like your customer expectng a Chevy and you give them a Lexus instead. If things were the other way around, then it would be deceptive...
  16. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    I couldn't agree more Marty.

    Have you ever had anyone tell you they want the "real" head on trout or salmon? I tell those people if they want me to do their fish it will have to be a cast head or I won't do it. I tell them the quality is better and they won't be back in a year's time asking me why there is grease bleeding out of the head. That's usually all I have to say.

    Yes, I know there are some that can do a great job with a real head with no grease bleeding, but personally I can't see why one would want to go to all that trouble.
  17. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Cecil, I couldn't agree more with you agreeing with ME - LOL!

    The silly thing about it is there's NO WAY anybody can recreate all that shrinkage as good as an exact copy (cast head) of the un-shrunken original. Admittedly, I've gone to the Bruch or Caribou/Leach heads unless I must cast my own. Usually though, I can find a head within an 1/8" or so of all measurements. Which is close enough IMHO. If I can't locate a quality head close enough in size, I then will cast it. It IS amazing how much shrinkage those things have. That was the very first thing we both noticed in the pics. Maybe some customers want that. But I'm with you, it's not for me. To me, it looks like a fish head that has sat out in the sun for a few days - that "Skelator" look...
  18. Mace

    Mace New Member

    I agree with the artifical heads. I cast my own from the customers fish. None have complained, most don't believe me anyways, but at least they know. Gotta worry about the grease and oil in htose heads now. Looks like you figured out the problem just fine.