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What am I doing wrong??

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by ryanstraw, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. ryanstraw

    ryanstraw my first brook trout on a fly 13"

    I keep trying to mold and cast fish to learn how to do reproductions and I can't get them right. I do everything I learned and still something doesn't go right where I have to throw away the mold and the fish. The last two I tried the mold on one kept breaking into pieces when I tried to pry it apart after I molded the fish. The second one didn't cast right. There were holes in the stomach and top which basically was just a shell. Can someone please help me I'm tired of seeing my money go down the drain. :'(
  2. Since you are from PA, I would recommend contacting Gary Bruch. If you can talk him into teaching a one or two day one on one class, it would be very worth while...

  3. ryanstraw

    ryanstraw my first brook trout on a fly 13"

    I actually wanted to find someone who would teach me but I don't have a car or money to be able to go anywhere or do anything like that :-\
  4. Manny

    Manny New Member

    I'd say do another and post pics of every step you are doing.
    Sounds like you are doing something very simple to correct.

    Post pics AS you are doing the fish, that way I or someone else can see where your going wrong.
  5. akairman

    akairman New Member

    have you looked at Jknuth's tutorial? i did my first one following his tutorial, and by no means was it on the same level, but it resembles a fish. i use bondo/resin for the detail coat, after it dries, i put the mat glass on it with another bondo/resin layer to give the mold strength. make sure your not putting in too much hardener, as i found from experience that the bubbles won't have time to work their way out. is that what you meant by holes? also, the mold that cracked into pieces, were your key holes a nice uniform circle? also make sure you work your mold release in very well after you clean the bedding off entirely. i had problems with the key holes sticking together and cracking the mold before i took more time to make them smooth and uniform. not sure if this helps, but if you have more specific questions, this novice would be glad to help
  6. ryanstraw

    ryanstraw my first brook trout on a fly 13"

    Manny I will post pics and show what I am doing and akairman I tried to follow jknuth's video too and I did everything accordingly but something just goes wrong. By holes I mean that the halfs didnt connect fully and the space in the center was showing through pieces in the belly and dorsal. And the keyholes were uniform the mold just kept chipping away tiny piece by piece and by the time I can get a small bit able to pry apart when I move down the mold it splits.
  7. Joey Arender

    Joey Arender big mouth alert

    are you using wax and PVA as a release...as far as the holes..if they are in the seam it may be your laminating coat isnt quite right x2 on the photos step by step of what you are doing...
  8. x2 dont skimp on releases. layer that carnueba up well and some layers of pva and run the mold under hot water when opening and as long as there are no underhangs you should have no problem ;)
  9. akairman

    akairman New Member

    now you are talking about the molding process, not pulling a blank right. you said you had to toss the mold and fish, so i assumed that the fish was being molded and that it broke when you were seperating the two mold halves. i use petroleum jelly before i pour the second half, and use alot of it. also i use a heat gun to make sure it gets into any cracks and spaces
  10. Joey Arender

    Joey Arender big mouth alert

    I think he is talking about both now that you say that, and I reread the OP...I missed that molding trouble. part . x2 on the petro jelly, just watch not to get it on the fins or fish...it will distort your details some if you do...Or at least it does mine... never had a problem getting the molded fish apart
  11. ryanstraw

    ryanstraw my first brook trout on a fly 13"

    Thanks guys ALOT! I will post pics of my process as soon as I get more PVA from WASCO its going to be a few days because they are on backorder but I will as soon as possible. ;D
  12. I learned molding and casting from Gary B's Breakthrough article as well as Josh's tutorials. You just have to practice and experiment until you get it right. Does sound like something simple is giving you trouble. Good luck and post some pics. I have started molding and casting my fish with Smooth On and Innovative Polymer products as explained to me at the Michigan show in March by Randy Desarmeou. I practiced and in July won National Champion reproduction using these products. Also instead of using several coats of wax's and then PVA it only takes me a few quick sprays of Sinlube 531 and can mold and cast fish in a third of the time. You have to be quick and on your toes using these products but it's well worth it. Good luck Ryan and that is a very nice Brookie on a fly rod.
  13. duxdog

    duxdog Active Member

    The polymer option is the best but is is pricey. Use the suggestions provided. Also, I always put my molds into the bathtub (doesn't make my girlfriend very happy) :D and run the hottest water I can over them and even let them soak. It will make your mold softer and help release it from the cast.

    I also had the problem you are describing around the seams. What I do is mix resin with cabosil to get it think like vaseline and put a rim around the edge all the way on both sides just before I clamp them together. Also, make sure you have it clamped tight.
  14. ryanstraw

    ryanstraw my first brook trout on a fly 13"

    Thanks Budzynski its kinda hard to find natives bigger than a foot anymore lol. And thank you everyone for the tips I'm going to have pics in the next day or two I'll just use petro jelly instead of PVA.
  15. rnviper3

    rnviper3 New Member

    I had troubles with the first few I did too. Keep at it tho. Its a lot of fun.
  16. GBRUCH

    GBRUCH "I am nothing without christ".....John 15:5

    I have a few fish to mold and if your interested and are willing to pay me $50 I would be willing to allow you to watch me mold and cast a fish. You can video and ask all the questions you would like.

    I can be reached at 717-756-8689 if your interested Ryan.
  17. franchi612

    franchi612 New Member

    That is one heck of a deal there!! I know I would take advantage of it if I could!
  18. 7-Point

    7-Point Active Member

    x2! That would be awesome. You should do it ryanstraw!
  19. ryanstraw

    ryanstraw my first brook trout on a fly 13"

    I am very interested Gary but i live 3 hours from where you are at and I don't know when I'll get the chance to go that far but I will contact you as soon as I am able to
  20. Jimmy Lawrence

    Jimmy Lawrence Well-Known Member

    When a world champion extends this type of offer, you don't say you live 3 hours away. You say thank you and ill find a way to make it happen. That is a once in a lifetime opportunity extended your way. Make an effort to make it happen. If you want it bad enough you will. I know if Gary said the same to me I would be there and I live slightly farther away than you do bud. LOL
    Just saying....