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Seams on Repro

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by wushizfishin, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. I have searched and didn't find what I was looking for. What is the very best material to finish seams on repros for competition?
    Thanks
     
  2. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

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    Paint.
    If you can get the seam even and smooth, paint is all that is needed, and the very best material to make an invisible seam.
    Best,
    Scott
     

  3. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Well said Scott, if you can't baffle them with brilliance you do it with bull crap. It's called an illusion and that's how you can hide it.
     
  4. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    LOL!
    How true...well said Frank!

    I agree Scott....

    DougP
     
  5. squid

    squid hunt hard or go home

    Grind seam down and put a thin layer of apoxie sculpture down smooth in into rest of the reproduction and than create scales, than paint like normal.
     
  6. naturalcreati40

    naturalcreati40 Active Member

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    Reeeeally, just painting them in is good enough for competition? wow...
     
  7. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Yes just painting in is more than good enough for competition. Why? You never really feel scales on a live fish cause it's covered with slime. So by making them and giving a good coat of gloss does in fact recreate a live fish. If I feel scales when I'm judging generally it's a dead fish skin I'm feeling and not seeing a live fish.
     
  8. I can see how that would work on small scaled fish but what about large scales?
     
  9. Harum

    Harum Active Member

    I work the seam to the point that once I paint it with primer the seam is undetectable. I do this with a combination of epoxy, press molds and at times carving. Now when I paint the illusion of scales over the seam it looks correct and as accurate as the rest of the fish.
    Then again, I did read where molding skin mounts for reproduction, as I do, is considered a bad idea... so, maybe my methods are less then desirable ;)

    -Pete
     
  10. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

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    I empathize Pete. :D

    Wush,
    You've heard from competitors that have achieved the highest honors in taxidermy competition (not me). Probably what is best is to match your method to your skills and style to achieve the result you are after.
    Best of luck in competing,
    Scott
     
  11. Brian W

    Brian W Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I agree if the seam is small enough, paint will suffice. I know that Rick and Gary have drawn them in too where needed. I have taken it a step further and used a scale mold to do that. Once the seam is smooth enough, I highlight the scale edges or outline of scales on the mold with charcoal and lightly press where needed. That idea I got from just experimenting with the "illusion".....my personal ahha moment.....and depending on the paint I use, I do this before or after I paint. With any trans paint, it's before.........
     
  12. dougp

    dougp Active Member


    Pete, I'm wondering where you may have read that molding skin mounts is considered a bad idea. Who considers that bad and what's their reasoning? I don't compete but I agree with Scott and Frank about painting the seam, along with other methods, being very convincing if done well.

    DougP
     
  13. Harum

    Harum Active Member

    The people that have made that statement know who they are. It was not you Doug ;)
    You may agree with Frank and Scott and it can be convincing (on a 2 dimensional plane), but if I’m your judge you best believe I will notice it.

    Thanks for the empathy Scott :D
     
  14. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

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    That would be a great opportunity, maybe someday.

    Also agree that 2 dimensional painting will look 2 dimensional ;)

    Best, Scott
     
  15. Kerby Ross

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

    I prefer ...........

    I prefer to make a silicone press mold from scales of that fish, then apply some apoxie sculpt over the seam, use the press mold, then clean it up. I have painted scales in as well. But I usually have other issues besides my seam line. :)

    Kerby...

    [​IMG]
     
  16. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    Thnx for the reply Pete....as I mentioned, I don't compete and guess I would agree that 2 dimensional may not be convincing enough for a judge in competition. At the expense of overreaching with my opinion since I don't compete, I think it to be very important for the repair of the seam to match the definition of the scale detail [or lack thereof] of the fish itself. If the fish has some raised scale detail showing through the clearcoat, the 2 dimen. paint of course would be noticeable because of the lack of the raised scales. This scenario would make it very important as you mention to use press molds and carving or sculpting to match the surrounding scale texture.

    However, IF there is no scale texture in the mount because of a heavy clear coat mimicking the slime coat of a live fish as Frank has mentioned, would/could 2 dimensional painting of the scales to match the surrounding scales be good enough to win in competition if it were very well done.

    In your opinion, is some texture desirable/neccesary in a competition mount to do well in judging?

    Actually this question is open to anyone who would care to answer. I don't mean to limit it to Pete only.... :)

    BTW Pete...I'm glad ;D you don't believe I was part of saying your methods were a bad idea.... ;)

    DougP
     
  17. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    Kerby I was typing as you posted....nice job.

    :D
     
  18. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

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    Pete is saying that starting with the texture of scales is essential to making the seam invisible; in other words, that painting by itself doesn't achieve appropriate dimension to appear realistic especially considering the opposing textured blank. He hasn't commented on whether painting alone over a smoothed seam would/ could win in competition, which of course it has, only that he'd be able to identify the seam and method. He'd have to further comment on whether or not he'd prefer some scale texture showing through the gloss coat, but I think he's written before that by the time he is done painting scales don't show through or barely so.

    I don't have any competition credentials, and am amazed at what the comp guys have done and continue to do. Pete's method here is a very good method; it has to be the most intuitive method. Certainly I cannot build on it or improve upon it. I just disagree that steps cannot be taken away. Pete doesn't, and has made that clear. I'm amazed at what problems judges are able to identify, with some of these entries being so well done. Ultimately, it's whose fugazzi is best and I'm sure mine would be obvious.

    If I were judging a competition, I wouldn't give too much consideration to thickness of clear application, or sheen for that matter. How thick is a slime coat.....it depends. How clear is a slime coat....it depends. With my own painting, I find the scale definition is pretty well gone before I gloss and it sort of takes care of itself. Scales are pretty thin and clear to begin with in most species.

    Best, Scott
     
  19. Harum

    Harum Active Member

    Words for thought; Without light there is no color. Color is the manipulation of the reflection of light. Light will appear different when reflecting off a smooth surface as opposed to a textured surface. Turn this reflection into color by applying paint. Now, you will see a difference in the color variables between the smooth (painted) surface and the textured (painted) surface. Now, add your gloss and you are again changing how the light reflects. This change is called refraction. Basically the light bounces within this layer of gloss and a portion of that light reflects to the viewer. A metallic surface will refract even more.
    Add gloss until the final surface is as smooth as glass and you will still have this equation of Light, color saturation, refraction and initial surface texture. Not hard to see for the trained eye.

    We all know the basics of how a fish mount goes together. With this knowledge we know exactly where to look and what to look for on a mount. One thing I strive for is to create a piece that does not look like Taxidermy. This means that in areas such as seems and fin bases I try to eliminate what would be obvious to the educated viewer. Achieve that and the attention will move to the overall appearance of the piece and maybe just a bit of how did he do that...

    Looks good Kerby :)

    -Pete
     
  20. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

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    But.......why does paint have to produce a smooth surface? We all have our own methods, and surely I could improve mine, probably I should, but it's not like I'm laying down flat paint. And we are talking about areas where scales are so thin to barely add texture to begin with and where light usually hits a mount in the most predictable way. I'm just not going to over think it. I don't see any unintended difference in the effects I get on my seams compared to the rest of the fish. You maybe can, Pete, you've a keen eye, a competition eye. Maybe I'd have an even more consistent result starting with no scale detail.

    With color under clear scales you've got scales creating light effects, that differ where they overlap, where part of a scale is under the skin, with the angle of light incidence, and then there is the mucous. That is a lot to worry about and get right., indexes of refraction, angles of reflection; not to mention properties of the colors beneath. I can't keep it all straight, so I just try for a couple basic illusions. You'd be right to say there are limits to that for certain, but it gets me in the ballpark, perhaps is even considered "convincing."

    You give a good explanation of light effects Pete, and I understand what you are pointing out. I know your seams are as seamless as a taxidermy piece can have. One keen difference between us is that my attention is to the overall appearance of a piece first before I would put a microscope to it. I can still be amazed without perfection, maybe because I haven't competed, maybe because perfection is the biggest illusion of all. You've done one of the mounts that, for me, comes closest to what I would say is a perfect mount. And I didn't even need to examine the seams. :)

    Best, Scott