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Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by shawn9106, Mar 27, 2014.
So much for being "obvious".
I've posted this before but it was to make the same point.....I dont use Archie Philips blanks but bought one a few years ago to show that it IS possible to make them look half way decent.......I use Randy B's, L Country, Bevs, Arps 3D or Warrens now..
I never suggested they couldn't be improved with a better paint job, and I hear a lot of "can be made to look" "half way decent" and "respectable." As a fish taxidermist, those signature series blanks do have significant anatomical issues that need to be corrected before they'll ever look like they can swim to me. And to me, correcting the issues isn't a quality use of my time. If you are a fish taxidermist and can't see the issues, I doubt you are a very good fish taxidermist. If you are, you're truly a natural.
Paint em up, sell em, practice on em, doesn't make a spit of difference to me. I don't have any gripe with Archie or anyone who uses the blanks; but a dog ain't a cat and those signature series blanks are anatomically bad.
Just to be clear here, because I think Scott is getting the wrong idea, I'm not condoning AP blanks, only reiterating a past argument I responded to previously. AP blanks ARE anatomically subpar IMO but I originally responded or posted from a comment I had heard about. It was a statement to the effect AP blanks are junk and in no fashion can they look even remotely average to which I had to disagree with or at least, in my mind, challenge that statement.
I bought a blank to see for myself and posted the end result, that's all. Make your own observations and opinions from there, I only added my 2 cents to offer my side of the equation.....
I'm sure I'm not alone in tiring of the ego thumping bulls pit about " if you can see the anatomical errors, you aren't much of a taxidermist." Why not go on and impress us with how many ribbons you've won.
Some of us were man king money while you were building egos. How many of you have used the half cast? How many of you know what the "sock method" entailed? What is the best stitch to use when sewing up a skin mount? Even an overt compliment isn't good enough for you prima donnas.
I totally agree.
I have seen an AP blank or two modified by one of the most respected fish gurus out there and the paint was really great and I'm certain the customer was thrilled. But I could tell the AP apart from this taxidermists usual work instantly and, again, there was some pretty significant modification. Does it make the mount bad, never said so; probably the end product is much better than most of the higher end (anatomically) blanks that just get antiqued and hit with a few airbrush colors. Did it look like it could swim? To me, no, it looked like an AP blank in the hands of a phenom. Does it make me an egoist that I can sometimes recognize flaws in a blank? Isn't that my job?
I've learned a ton from the folks on this forum, many who post very little anymore. I enjoy learning and hope others do as well. I don't always agree with everything that is posted and, George, this is one of those times. Am I right? Am I wrong? Like Brian suggests, take the AP challenge and make your determination. Get a blank and get your corresponding fish and compare. Now all the ribbons and all the money everyone's made won't make the errors in that replica instantly disappear.......but AP will be $50 richer, and that should make a few of you all the happier.
I have done several of the older AP Blanks.
No issues yet.
Here is a big Gill I finished. I was very surprised by the quality, better then some of the high price blanks on the market.
This is the older line and not the newer ones they made. Some of those have issues, mainly the sculpted scales.
Why they feel they need to compete with the lake country or arp blanks I dont understand. Just do what you do.
Only mods I made was a shorted gill flap to match the customers fish and a replacement paired fins, because I stepped on the originals
Josh, that's nothing short of spectacular. Thank you for reaffirming my faith in true artisans. I'm sure Archie would thank you as well. LOL
Josh is certainly one of the best ever. I trust what he has to say.
Terrific piece Josh! I have used AP blanks in the past, especially some of his catfish and crappie. These had very good anatomy especially the rib detail. I would use the "old blanks" as Josh mentioned, without hesitation.
Superb Josh! End of discussion! It would be nice if Mike Kroessig would post a pic of his carp he painted from Archie……..I loved that one so much I used if for reference!
Nothing like a little crow served cold to bring inflated egos crashing to earth. If Josh will sell me that bluegill for $50, I want about 100 of them.
I think you'll find the smallmouth blank that started this whole post is indeed an AP Signature series (AKA the new blanks). If you review my posts, you'll see I have been specifying Signature Series in all my posts, except my last because I thought by then it was redundant. Thus, Josh's comments on the "sculpted scales" also falls in line with what I've said. Your the one with the ego George, I would never make one of those "eat crow" comments.
Actually it's a 2008 blank.
Yeah...SUPER job Josh....those "older" blanks look pretty good. The newer one I worked on is quite different as you can see. My only mods on that one was reposition the original eyes and pelvics, re-size and shape the pec, and touch a dremel to the trailing edges.
Fins were very thick and the overall anatomy needed tweaking. If I was going to take that blank and really put some time into it (hence the argument for the value of your time), I would have reshaped the caudal junction (smoothed transition, add scale pattern), the body line above the anal fin to better articulate proper anatomy, and replaced the fins and eyes. I wouldnt have purchased that blank if I was planning on doing all that.
The test I was after was keeping it all original with no body mods (other than reshape, reposition fins/eyes) or replacement parts, throw a paint job on it, step back, and see what the end result would be. I can only speculate the reason the newer blanks are different (not as good), is tied in to the cost structure direction the company has taken..........
Does anybody believe the lmb blank is an Arps?
Well, there isn't much of a photo anymore. I'd say it is an Arp, based on my experience with Arp blanks and how similar the dorsal fins (with the spiny slanting back at the last spine and abruptly ending) and pec fins look to those I've used and the gills. But, hey, I still say it was an AP Signature smallmouth bass.
What happened to the Smallie pic?
Shawn for your next fish try a skin mount to me they look better. Some guys can take repros and make them look slamming, but im an old school guy living in tadays world. I like skin mounts that just my op. If you put enough time into anything you can make chicken salad out of chicken squat. I like the feel of the real thing. Everyone on here is right cause we all have to make our own choices. I have not been doing taxidermy long, but a bad paint job is a bad paint job. And I take enough pride in my work that even if I have to brake even or loose some $, im going to give the customer the best job I can possibly give them. Cause thats my name on the work going out the door. Maybe sometimes all some of us think about is the $ and not the memories for the customer. So if your a fish guy or animal guy or both give your customer something they will be proud to talk about, not something we will be glad to talk bad about. Cause in the end thats why we all chose to do this for a living.