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Archie Phillips fish blanks

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by shawn9106, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. shawn9106

    shawn9106 New Member

    I'm a avid Fisher and I am by no means a taxidermist. I've read on here that people are not fans of the Archie Phillip blanks. My last fish I got 2 days ago was a almost 22 inch 6 pound small mouth. It was painted perfect and on the back it says Archie Phillips. I love themount more then I do my Dennis Arp 8 pound laregemouth. To me it looks more life like but the guy that done the large mouth didn't do the best painting it.
  2. shawn9106

    shawn9106 New Member


    Attached Files:

  3. Jim McNamara

    Jim McNamara Well-Known Member

    That's a nice size smallmouth. The blank doesn't impress me at all. Archie sells his stuff cheap for a reason. Look at a picture of a real, live smallmouth and see for yourself the issues. Head shape is one. Did you have a taxidermist paint the blank or buy it already painted?
  4. To each his own. Were you to put it side by side with a high-end smallie it might appear different, but if you're happy with it, that's what matters. The paint job on the largemouth appears... well, a pretty harsh, flat, and rushed.
  5. B Jones

    B Jones Memeber of - NTA,UTA,AIT.Proud Member of NZTA.

    all i can say if you are happy with either of those, thats all that matters. I am not impressed with either of them, the smallmouth lacks fin detail and the reproduction smallmouth lacks anatomy to say the least.
  6. Have you ever seen a well done replica? What I am seeing isn't even close!
  7. den007

    den007 Active Member

    I have seen Phillips blanks turned into very respectable mounts With an bit of work and With a great paint job. Mike Kroessig can pull this off. What I see here on these 2 mounts…..a droopy head on the small, very little in the way of detailing……the paint jobs are cartoonish. As was mentioned, compare what you see to a real fish or a well done replica.
  8. shawn9106

    shawn9106 New Member

    These are the only 2 mounts I've actually lhad and I've not paid much attention to one's I've seen in stores. I'm gonna say I'm happy with my small mouth. I am not happy with my largemouth. To me it looks fake or just a big version of Billy bass. My small mouth to me looks like the picture I gave him. It's just expensive to have the other repainted.
  9. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Look, I hate to break this to you fishheads, but the REPRODUCTIONS aren't the issue on these two fish. I do know the difference in the new "vinyl" replicas, but looking at the FORMS of those fish, it's not the form. As Dennis said, I've been able to use them in a pinch and make them look as respectable as I"m capable of doing simply by detailing the fins, working the eyes and PAINTING THEM with a more realistic schedule. These LOOK like Archie finished them with his favorite three colors of green, white and black. And I'd bet the farm that you top end fishheads could make both those replicas look like they were swimming. Now tell me I'm wrong.
  10. You are correct George. Some one could paint them up to look much, much better.

    shawn 9106, what did you pay for these?
  11. I agree with what George and Den said. A talented artist can lay paint down on a pretty sub par blank and make it look amazing. The paint jobs on these two (the largemouth in particular) are brutal.... There is such a spectrum out there when it comes to what "taxidermists" produce and what customers are willing to accept as "suitable." Quality reproductions are possible (Dave Campbell's stuff being proof!).... What I mean is that most old-school pancake molds are made off of dead fish and are produced with cheap materials. Therefore, the anatomy (realistic position of fins and the body) isn't easily accomplished on larger fish. There's just too much sagging and whatnot, not to mention scale detail seems to disappear. It seems reproductions like these are the standard that people are accustomed to (or willing to settle for) based upon what is cost effective for the company (or individual) producing the blank. So people simply assume that these fish always have there fins extended and their mouths open?
  12. Shawn,

    You love it, then that's what matters.

    I'm not good at sugar coating things like others In this thread so I hope you have a somewhat thick skin. To the trained eye You got what you paid for, a cheap mount and it shows on Both of them!
    Why do some like Archies blanks while others hate them? On this site we have beginners to masters and the hobby guy to the professional shop. Some put out cheap mounts while others are high end. Some like Archie's stuff and others don't. Your not a taxidermist so you don't see what we see but, Blanks are like cars, some are cheap and some expensive. The Yugo will get you to work but some what to drive a Mercedes. In most cases the guy using Archie is slinging out cheap mounts(Yugos) because he thinks thats all the customer will pay and the guy charging top dollar is trying to put out a quality(Mercedes) mount.

    You have two Yugos on your wall. Why? I don't know, maybe that's all you want to pay or Maybe you don't see the difference between a Yugo and a Mercedes.

    Posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire
  13. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking the LM Bass was the first fish the teenaged taxidermist every painted. You can't really compare forms and say one looks better than the other because it's painted better. If you're happy, keep it; if not have it repainted. Even if you have to send it somewhere, it might be worth it. If that were my trophy, I would be embarrassed to show it off. You want a trophy you can be proud of. Look up some respectable fish taxidermists in your area or even within your state or neighboring state that you can send it to. Only this time, look at examples of their work first. I'm hope I'm not being overly harsh, but you asked for opinions.
  14. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Look, if you guys have personal feeling about Archie, that's one thing, but If I'd never gotten a crappy repro from Arps or Star Fish or a coupld others, would be one thing. Archie's blanks IN FIBERGLASS are still selling today simply because he has sizes and species others don't. Archie , in not factual, certainly practically invented the mass production reproduction. I've watched Mike Kirkhart mold a fish to make a production cast and even with the modern equipment, there's still a limit to the production forms we buy. I'll be more pointed. On those replicas there, look past the paint job and tell me what's so drastically wrong that you'd besmirch anyone who uses them by claiming they do cheap work? If it had been a rooster fish instead of a largemouth, and Archie had the only one, which one of you is going to step up and tell me you'd sculpt your own before you bought Archies. Archie was making, marketing, and selling reproduction fish long before most of you were born. Up until the fiberglass repro came out, we were left with those sand casted, plaster of Paris reproductions we still see out of Mexico today.

    By the way, those prices aren't what I'd classify as "cheap". I know one well known fish taxidermist who frequents this site and who does one helluva respectable commercial fish mount who does wholesale for about what those fish cost.
  15. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    I use Archie blanks frequently. These 4 fish represent a $275 investment in blanks, driftwood, paint and gloss. Total time invested, 4 hours! Customer price, $1040. Income above direct costs, $765, or $191 per hour. Nothing else I do will make as much money as these blanks!

  16. shawn9106

    shawn9106 New Member

    Joey I love the large mouth on the right. It looks great to me! I love my smallmouth mount on my Archie blank. You have any more pictures of some of your Archie mounts lol
  17. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    My comments had nothing to do with the blanks. Just the paint job on the LM Bass.
  18. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

    I'll bite. Don't know if I'm what is considered a top end fishhead, but....

    You're wrong. A good paint job might satisfy some customers, but with the anatomical issues present in the blank it'd take enough work for me to make that smallmouth "look like it is swimming" that it wouldn't be worth my time and effort. If realism was my goal, I'd do much better in both product quality, hours, and money spent going with a better blank or making my own.

    Could I make it look a heck of a lot better with new paint, eye/eyeset, fin alterations, I hope so. Could I make money doing that, probably. Can I make just as much or more with a better blank, probably. Would I really be proud to put my name on that Archie bank, probably not. Just not what I'm about.

    With $191/hr potential, I can see why they'd sell like hot cakes. You guys have some great clients.

    Best, Scott

  19. What Scott said X2

    I used a Mcginnity blank once, never again. I will turn work away if I can't find a quality blank.
  20. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Well, at least two of you admitted you aren't nearly as good as you implied you were. Any more? I never said anything about "paint" when complimenting the "specialists" making the look alive.