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Sunday morning questions(SMQ's) part 28

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Rick Krane, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. Rick Krane

    Rick Krane Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor

    Week 28 of the SMQ’s and here we all are in a place and a new space! The possibilities now are much improved in the question and answer department. In future weeks I will add question which pictures will be involved as part of the questions. Also next week we will have a very special surprise. More to come on this during the week. As in taxidermy we learn more and progress to higher quality and better work so be it with out beloved WASCO forums! Mr. Ken Edwards has done nothing short of than once again in what seems to be a single sweep of the broad brush take us all to the next and higher level of learning! Photos and more opportunities to share with one another this new site will provide many great days of learning and sharing and friendship for all!

    I thank you and WASCO for letting me share in my passion "FISH! As long as you keep answering the questions, I will keep writing them.
    So with out further ado! Lets Get the morning stared to a new week with some fish/ taxidermy talk! The good people at WASCO give us the free opportunity here to share information so we can be better-informed taxidermist! So in the spirit of WASCO generosity we share freely with each other!

    1. When painting a reproduction how do you go about creating the markings on a fish that is involved with lots of detailing marks? Lakers, Muskie, Bookies tell us how you about creating this effect on a reproduction to give it a natural look?

    2. Cast Heads! How do you go about this task? Tell us how you create the mold and the cast? Let us know why you find the way you mold and cast to be the best for you!

    3. Have you ever used other mediums other then airbrush paint to color your fish? Tell us what you have used and what works well for your techniques? List a few examples if you please and explain how and why it works for you?

    4. You’re new to taxidermy or try to remember when you were. A customer brings you a fish and a picture and wants you to paint it just like the photo. The customer tells you that he choose you because you did a nice fish for a friend. Tell us how you make the deal with the customer? What special things may you need to talk about to assure that you won’t be setting your self up for failure in the customers eyes?

    5. Finish this thought. I would charge more for my work if I could?

    6. How and when do you go up in your pricing? What are the deciding factors that you go through in this decision making?

    7. What are the pros and the cons for carving a body or purchasing on from a Vendor? Tell us what you think about both and why?

    8. How do you set and eye? Tell us how you create the angle or what you do to make the shape and choice the size?

    9. A customer comes to your business to pick up a fish he hands you all but 20 dollars of what he owes you and tells you he’ll be back in a week or so to pay you the 20 dollars. How do you handle this?

    Bonus question #10
    10. How do you like the new forum? Tell us what you like and dislike about it and what if any thing would you like to see that would make it comfortable for you as the original?


    I would hope it goes without saying that I may not have a an answer your looking for but some one on here will! Feel free to write me or call if you have a question and maybe it will end up here to others who want to know the same information as you.

    Give it a shot!

    Any one who emails me personally with the answers will get a few free reference photos from my personal collection. I still want you to answer here so other can benefit form your input on this topic line.

    It is all because of you and your awesome replies this has become so successful!
    From beginners to the seasoned pro's every one contributes and all benefit from your great experiences! Let see if I we can get more responses on the forum as well as in my email. I will give you some free fish reference photos for the asking just for contributing! As always I just think your answers are so good more and more contribute on here for all see!

    My Best and have fun with this! Yes! Welcome to the new look SMQ’s

    Rick Krane
    Anglers Artistry
    312 Chesterfield Rd
    Hinsdale, NH 03451
    603.336.7296
     
  2. Rick Krane

    Rick Krane Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor

    Heres a reference Picture to get this started!

    Rick Krane
     

  3. den007

    den007 Active Member

    3,467
    11
    1. It is all different, but all paint. I will occasionally use a finger or Q-tip for metallics or shimmers, esp. between musky stripes. Lots of yellow ochre. For replicas,layering of base coats, followed by hand brushing of shimmers and metallics works. All in layers.

    2. Buy 'em whenever possible for commercial work.

    3. Watercolor washes, hand tipping, and even pastels followed by gloss. I will try anything. More and more painting of scales by hand, then softening with airbrush.

    4. Only to explain I will normally try to accentuate colors, not tint what is there. No lateral line markings, I will paint them in, unless the angler just wants me to glass the entire blah dried color. (No, I don't do that.)

    5. Listen more to Rick K.....just raised things a notch, and I am sure I will not regret it.

    6. Every once in awhile, somebody kiicks me in the head and makes me see what is going on around me. When they charge the same, I will now up it a bit.

    7. For commercial , speed is paramount for me. I only carve under extreme circumstances. That urethane foam is not cheap.

    8. Fill socket, push eye in, base more so on bottom than top. Check angle of pupil. Next day, build the capsule and lid. More so on trout and salmon. I can do this easier with glass eyes.

    9. I am a chump, and understand financial and health woes, but hold the fish until it is paid for.

    10. Well, for someone who already got censored for using the word Poop, I guess it is not the Springer Show it used to be at times, but it does stick more to taxidermy, which is good. I can see how to put up a pic, but would like advice on having it show right in with the message, not just as an attachment. I guess I should read more, but am busy. Il love being able to post pics like the ultimate skin mount shark.lol
     
  4. Mark V.

    Mark V. Chinook Salmon replica

    Its late but kids went to bed so here goes.

    1. On detailed reproductions it all depends on the fish On most all fish I use a base coat of silver or dark brown and use the steel wool technique. For a Lake trout I do all the markings with an airbrush usually in layers. On Muskellunge I first get my basic markings with silver and highlight around each with black and dark brown. With a brook trout I do a combination of airbrush and handpainting.

    2. For about 20 years I always cast and made my own my own trout and salmon heads making the molds of plaster and the actual heads out of fiberglass/bondo mixture. These days I only do a handful of skin mounted trout and salmon per year and buy most of them stock unless its a personal project.

    3. I have tried a few other techniques in fish painting one being glass stains which work well in that they have a vivid color to them and are very transparent. I have also used fingernail polish in the past with a paintbrush. Some of them work very well in that theres a ton of colors not covered in the spectrum of taxidermy paints. In a pinch I have used pigments from a local paint store and mixed my own colors. I have done this for large quantitys of Blue such as for a marlin or sailfish.

    4. Having pictures can be good or bad and I always tell the customer I use pictures only as a base and in most cases they can be good or bad pictures. Some are overexposed and make the fish look like something it may not have been. I always ask if the fish was out of the water for a long period of time? I tell them I will use my best judgement when using the pictures and ask them if they may or may not have seen a certain color that is not shown in the pictures. I tell them to take a look at the mounts I have on the wall and determine if any are close to what their fish may have been.

    5. I would charge more for my work if I could? Not sure how to answer this one maybe get people to pay more but I usually go up some every year or 2.

    6. We usually go up every year or 2 but base it by the amount from the year before. If it starts out being a slow year we won't go up until the middle of each season. This year has not been so good in the fish department so we didn't actually go up on the fish themselves but tacked on to the extras such as driftwood and bases. We used to include wood on most fish but are charging for all species now being we collect our own. It seems the economy and gas prices have bitten pretty good this year and folks aren't traveling far for their catch so we try and keep our price within reason or price ourselves out of the market alltogether.

    7.In my book all pros go to carving my own mannikins. I get the right fit I need for the particular fish I'm doing and I don't have to wait around to recieve the mannikin. And the price paid for a commercial mannikin is also a big factor. I can get a big sheet of polyurethane and carve far more fish than paying way more for just a few. We get our foam locally at a place called Diversifoam products in Rockford,MN. and it still is far cheaper even factoring the time it takes to carve them.

    8. I set most every eye in paper mache when I mount them doing all adjustments and angle when they are wet.

    9. 20 bucks is 20 bucks and I never let a customer take a mount unless its paid in full. Never fall for it period. I have been taken numerous times by this and for far more than a 20. I work too hard for my money and so does everyone. Its a hard lesson to learn but you have to do it.

    10. I love the new forums. It took a little getting used to but it is awesome and I love all the photos people are posting. Theres some mighty fine mounts out there guys and gals i'm glad to be a part of it. Thanks for all the great questions Rick and thanks to all who give on this mighty fine forums, Mark V.
     
  5. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    1. When painting a reproduction how do you go about creating the markings on a fish that is involved with lots of detailing marks? Lakers, Muskie, Bookies tell us how you about creating this effect on a reproduction to give it a natural look?
    I'm a backwards guy when it comes to painting. I like to out line what my marking are and then go about painting everything else in.

    2. Cast Heads! How do you go about this task? Tell us how you create the mold and the cast? Let us know why you find the way you mold and cast to be the best for you!
    LOL come on Rich we can't be writing books here :D So here's a quick one. I cut the head off, set it up on bedding. Having taking caliper measurements from before I make sure the head is set up the right way. Dry the head off with a hair dryer and tape the mouth open to make my cast of the mouth, I can use alginate or RTV for this. Next is to cut the tape off trim around the mouth and then recheck and reclean the head. Then I seal it with lacquer and pour a 50-50 or so mix of bondo and resin mix over the head and all. Let this set up and then make another layer with straight bondo when this sets I split it from the top of the mouth to the head of the fish. Take the head out and clean. Seal with wax (mother's Gold) and then you can use any material you like to cast heads with.

    3. Have you ever used other mediums other then airbrush paint to color your fish? Tell us what you have used and what works well for your techniques? List a few examples if you please and explain how and why it works for you?
    Always, make-up, powders,pencils. First off I blend the fish first to get all the epoxy work to same or as near as to the skin color of the fish. From there I start with metallic to get a base down. This reflects color back at you. Here you can use powders pigments or mix it with water, base or whatever medium you like. Seal the fish afterwards and begin painting. From there and during the process and it all ways depends on the fish when I may apply more metallic to the fish. I do this through out the whole process. Play with it, you'll be surprised with what you can get but I'll say this much it's time consuming......

    4. You’re new to taxidermy or try to remember when you were. A customer brings you a fish and a picture and wants you to paint it just like the photo. The customer tells you that he choose you because you did a nice fish for a friend. Tell us how you make the deal with the customer? What special things may you need to talk about to assure that you won’t be setting your self up for failure in the customers eyes?
    You have one of two things to do. One is to call www.tohickonglasseyes.com or learn to paint your one.

    5. Finish this thought. I would charge more for my work if I could?
    If the taxidermist would start going up in their price instead of seeing how cheap they can get it LOL

    6. How and when do you go up in your pricing? What are the deciding factors that you go through in this decision making?
    Every year you should be charging more for your work. It's economy. it's your living expenses plus I have to pay for some collage.

    7. What are the pros and the cons for carving a body or purchasing on from a Vendor? Tell us what you think about both and why?
    The same as before, you get a correct fit all the time. No gaps, no waiting plus you can do what the client wants to the fish if they want a different pose. You can't do this with a commercial body.

    8. How do you set and eye? Tell us how you create the angle or what you do to make the shape and choice the size?
    I set mine in epoxy and shape the look on the fish. Now to get the angle I want,I need to know what the fish is doing. This calls for the base to be set up in a manner so the fish is doing what you want.

    9. A customer comes to your business to pick up a fish he hands you all but 20 dollars of what he owes you and tells you he’ll be back in a week or so to pay you the 20 dollars. How do you handle this?
    Never ever let the client leave with out paying for the whole fish. I just tell them in a nice manner that when the fish is payed in full I will then take it of my wall. I don't let any thing leave until all is payed for. If they say why? I just say do you pay for your food at the check out or do you pay for it later LOL. The same goes here.

    Bonus question #10
    10. How do you like the new forum? Tell us what you like and dislike about it and what if any thing would you like to see that would make it comfortable for you as the original?
    I would hope it goes without saying that I may not have a an answer your looking for but some one on here will! Feel free to write me or call if you have a question and maybe it will end up here to others who want to know the same information as you.

    So far so good no dislikes but I'm still learning it when I have time to work with it. ;) Thanks Ken
    Also a Question for the Man. I want to know if we're prejudice that we have to send it to you to get all this reference photo's ? It is what you say right LOL Had to do it buddy. Hopefully I can get with you some time this week. I've been real crazy here with everything going on.
     
  6. DaveT

    DaveT "But with God all things are possible"

    283
    0
    1. I use graphite pencil or block and then use turpentine with Q Tips to remove where I want lighter markings.

    2. I have made clay cones and fish head blocks and I simple position the head on that and use alginate to make a fast pour. Fro competition I would pout a plaster positive, chase the details, and then pour with silicon.

    3. Yes, I use createx, I use make up blushed, pastels, color pencil, etc... If something looks like it may work I try it.

    4. I always take measurements in front of the customer and I take a digital pic of the fish.

    5. I already charge what I want for my work.

    6. I really have no set time, I re-evaluate my prices every year based on rising cost of living.

    7. caved bodies are far more accurate and are not limited to pose. Yes you can alter a form but it takes just as much work to sand and fill seams as it does to carve a body. Of course carving a body is a learning process that requires studying the fish. I will give a caution, bought forms are not always accurate. Just because a big name carve and sells a from does not mean it is accurate. One manufacturer in my humble opinion, constantly overdoes the throat latch.

    8. I measure the eye pupil and I set the eye in epoxy and angle it based on what i am trying to represent.

    9. I show him our contract and remind them that the balance is due at time of pickup.

    Bonus question #10
    10. I like it but I am afraid like most things it has far more capabilities then I possess.
     
  7. Rick Krane

    Rick Krane Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor

    From our good freind In Georgia Mr. Ken Darville at www.internationalwildlifedesign.com Email [email protected]

    1. When painting a reproduction how do you go about creating the markings on a fish that is involved with lots of detailing marks? Lakers, Muskie, Bookies tell us how you about creating this effect on a reproduction to give it a natural look?

    I brown out reproductions first and come back with steel wool to get some of the general depth and detail to come out. Special markings may require me to come back with a contrasting or possibly even a darker color and highlight or halo where they would be and then hitting it with the steel wool again.



    2. Cast Heads! How do you go about this task? Tell us how you create the mold and the cast? Let us know why you find the way you mold and cast to be the best for you!

    I have a couple of ways that I will use…I can make a quick mold with thinned bondo or a reuseable mold with RTV. Ill pour the head with Por a Kast or Fantastic Cast. Ive been doing it that way for a number of years. For years, I mostly bought commercial heads for the sake of time and efficiency but I am a little older and wiser now…I probably wouldnt do that except in anymore except in a jam.



    3. Have you ever used other mediums other then airbrush paint to color your fish? Tell us what you have used and what works well for your techniques? List a few examples if you please and explain how and why it works for you?

    I have varying mediums but as I can recall, its all been through an airbrush, other than tipping or rubbing.



    4. You’re new to taxidermy or try to remember when you were. A customer brings you a fish and a picture and wants you to paint it just like the photo. The customer tells you that he choose you because you did a nice fish for a friend. Tell us how you make the deal with the customer? What special things may you need to talk about to assure that you won’t be setting your self up for failure in the customers eyes?

    Apparently, if he chose me, Ive already made the deal. As a new taxidermist, Im certain that I didn’t have the wisdom to realize that I was putting myself into a situation that could impact my reputation in the future. In hindsight, its probably best to let the guy know up front that your experience is limited and that you would doing everything possible to live up to their expectations, however, don’t guarantee that it will be perfect. A new taxidermist will often go to great lengths to get work that he has no experience in to gain experience…but you had better have a plan to make it right.



    5. Finish this thought. I would charge more for my work if I could?

    …get folks to pay it!!LOL…But seriously, I do think I charge more than pretty much anyone in my area.





    6. How and when do you go up in your pricing? What are the deciding factors that you go through in this decision making?

    I align my indirect and direct costs according to my suppliers and my labor charges I will adjust at or slightly above the rate of inflation. At the very minimum, I adjust annually but if a supplier goes up or the cost of doing business increases then that cost is adjusted and reflect in the my price.



    7. What are the pros and the cons for carving a body or purchasing on from a Vendor? Tell us what you think about both and why?

    I used to mount a pile of fish and I liked the commercial bodies for time sake, but it is an unnecessary expense. I can get a more accurate fit with a carved form but foam blocks aren’t cheap either. Ive started making quick casts from plaster of some of my fish…then waxing it and making a hollow positive with thinned bondo. I can pour foam into the positive and I get a pretty accurate “form”…just a little touch up carving and not a lot of waste…plus the positive makes a great reference tool and is reuseable. Im going to stick with carving for the most part.



    8. How do you set and eye? Tell us how you create the angle or what you do to make the shape and choice the size?

    I first set it in centered then push it in slightly. I push on the bottom slightly to bring the bottom of the pupil closer to the lower edge of the eye socket and then adjust the forward or rear edge depending on which way I want him to be focusing..



    9. A customer comes to your business to pick up a fish he hands you all but 20 dollars of what he owes you and tells you he’ll be back in a week or so to pay you the 20 dollars. How do you handle this?

    Im a pretty nice guy…screw me once, shame on you…screw me twice, shame on me!



    Bonus question #10

    10. How do you like the new forum? Tell us what you like and dislike about it and what if any thing would you like to see that would make it comfortable for you as the original?

    I saw it for the first day or so and then it was down and being moved to another server…mine hasn’t comer back up yet!
     
  8. Chad See

    Chad See Certified "Fish Head"

    1. When painting a reproduction how do you go about creating the markings on a fish that is involved with lots of detailing marks? Lakers, Muskie, Bookies tell us how you about creating this effect on a reproduction to give it a natural look?

    1. Currently I have not completed any replicas so I am probably not qualified to answer that question.

    2. Cast Heads! How do you go about this task? Tell us how you create the mold and the cast? Let us know why you find the way you mold and cast to be the best for you!

    2. Currently I use Jel Trait(spelling??) Plus Fast set to make my fish head molds. One the mold sets up, I then use bondo and fiberglass resign to make the actual head. The only reason that this method works best for me is because it was the first method I was taught. I am planning on trying to cast the heads in bondo in the near future.

    3. Have you ever used other mediums other then airbrush paint to color your fish? Tell us what you have used and what works well for your techniques? List a few examples if you please and explain how and why it works for you?

    3. I have used rub on paints, stick paints, and am working on expanding to using some make up and powder paints.

    4. You’re new to taxidermy or try to remember when you were. A customer brings you a fish and a picture and wants you to paint it just like the photo. The customer tells you that he choose you because you did a nice fish for a friend. Tell us how you make the deal with the customer? What special things may you need to talk about to assure that you won’t be setting your self up for failure in the customers eyes?

    4. Well, to start with, I would tell the customer that I would do for him as I do for all my customers, and that would be to paint his fish to the best of my ability to make it look the way that it does in the pic. However, if the picture is of a dead trout that is blotchy and faded, I would go over this with him. I would show him live reference and fresh reference of fish of the same species so that we could agree on how this fish should be painted. By showing him various reference, all that contain details you can recreate, you are allowing the customer to see fish as we see and paint them. When he gets his fish back, you can bet he will look for those details that he saw in the reference you showed him. As long as you are competent in recreating what you see, you should not be set up to fail, in your or the customers eyes.

    5. Finish this thought. I would charge more for my work if I could?

    5. I would charge more for my work if I could in some way educate the public on just what is good fish taxidermy and stress to them that you DO get what you pay for in this industry.

    With that being said, I am one of the highest in my area when it comes to fish and a price raise is just around the corner.

    6. How and when do you go up in your pricing? What are the deciding factors that you go through in this decision making?

    6. For starters, I feel everyone should raise their prices according to the general inflation of prices. This can happen yearly or every couple of years, and it is pretty much expected from customers. This is not a large raise, but simply a cost of living adjustment. Now if I have learned some new techniques and feel I am now doing fish on an totally different level, then I should probably charge extra for the time and better quality that my customers will be receiving. Also, any time a new overhead comes into play such as the addition of a room to your shop or a major remodeling expense, this increases your over head and can be factored into your price to help cover those expenses. These are all things I consider when making my pricing decisions.

    7. What are the pros and the cons for carving a body or purchasing on from a Vendor? Tell us what you think about both and why?

    7. Lets go with a bought body first. You take the measurements and order the body. It comes and fits close, but not perfect and you find yourself spending an hour to make it fit they way you think it should. Now you have to cost of the body and the time it took to make it fit.

    If you pattern your fish and carve your body you know you are getting a body that is custom fit to the fish you are working on. There is not wait time on the body to arrive, there is no reworking the body to make it fit because the form is the wrong size, just a nice custom body to fit the fish you are mounting. Now this does take more time to carve this body, but that is factored into my price! ;D Also, the carving of your own body allows you to get any curve, any pose that you can think of. If the fish can do it, you can carve a body that will show what he can do. You are limited only by your abilities!!

    8. How do you set and eye? Tell us how you create the angle or what you do to make the shape and choice the size?

    8. I try to set my eyes with an eqaul downward cant. However, the eye set changes with how the fish is positoned. A fish that is upright in the water and a fish that is on his side will have VERY different eye sets.. As for size, I use calipers to take measurements and order eyes of the appropriate size.

    9. A customer comes to your business to pick up a fish he hands you all but 20 dollars of what he owes you and tells you he’ll be back in a week or so to pay you the 20 dollars. How do you handle this?

    9. I have a STRICT policy of nothing leaves until it is fully paid for. All of my clients know this as they sign a contract when they bring me the fish. They are reminded of the balance upon notificaton of completion and reminded of the policy again. I would have to tell him in a week or so when he brings me the other 20, he can take his fish with him.

    Bonus question #10
    10. How do you like the new forum? Tell us what you like and dislike about it and what if any thing would you like to see that would make it comfortable for you as the original?

    10. I LOVE the new forum!! The ability to post pics is awsome! I am a member of a few other boards and they are all set up in this fashion. Glad to see we are catching up with the times. THANKS TO ALL WHO MAKE THIS POSSIBLE!!! I will admit, I would probably get more work down without this site though! ::)
     
  9. UFD

    UFD New Member

    Well, it's not Sunday morning, but it could technically still be considered part of the (holiday) weekend. :)


    1. I tend to approach a fish with lots of light colored markings by painting my lighter colors first and then proceed to define the shape of those light markings by applying the darker colors around them. As I said last week, at first those colors are more starkly applied with clear differences, and then throughout the remainder of the painting process I'll tone and highlight both the dark and light areas with contrasting tones to make everything more subtle and blended.

    2. MOLD, Glove style: Remove the head, trim off the gill filaments and put dampened paper towels at the rear of the gill arches to curtail the flow through of excess molding material, place the head on a carved foam stand shaped like the fish body with a wire into the brain cavity and foam stub, nail that foam body section to a piece of plywood so that the head/mouth is straight up, bedding material around the gill covers and back head margins, tweak the alignment and positioning, clean off with water, thin silicone brushed and flowed over the head including the mouth, second thin pourable coat if necessary, 1-3 coats of a thixotopic silicone, rigid supporting mold as a backup made from bondo/resin and fiberglass. Demold original head by separating the rigid and flexible mold sections, clearing bedding, trimming any excess silicone that has flowed through the gill arches, separating any undercuts before removing the real head, then clean the flexible mold with water and trim excessively deep undercuts with scissors, cut and grind the hard supporting mold at the rear margin and mouth area. CAST, Hollow Shell style: Spray some release in the mouth area for easier separation, pour multiple coats of bondo/resin, thinner first for detail and then thicker with chopped strands for the last coats. Demold after the cast is hardened but while still warm by carefully separating the mold from the outside shell of the head and then carefully pulling out the mouth plug by holding onto the rear of the cast at the gullet and at the front of the mold at the jaws. One piece heads are the way to go in my opinion. I made a vow to myself a long time ago that I would never make my work harder or less accurate by having to deal with a seam at the gum line, especially since access to silicone has become more affordable over the years.

    3. Yes, I use wax based tipping mediums, iridescent powders, and acrylic artist's paints in conjunction with lacquer airbrush paint. The majority of fish that I do are chrome bright salmonids, so that kind of drives what I select to paint with. I use the Treasure Gold silver wax to lay down scale patterns, the iridescent powders mixed with water based Wet Look Gloss for tipping over the top of additional airbrushing, and the artist's acrylics such as Liquitex to do thin washes, dry brushing, setting up texture, and some hand painting of scales.

    4. I'd explain that the painting of the fish is essentially an artist's rendition of the picture that is supplied of their fish, and as an artist I am not perfect and cannot get the fish exactly like it was. A fish has coloration that can change dramatically depending upon the light source and viewing angle and using the materials and techniques that I have learned with I am not capable of capturing the original fish as well as in nature. I work in illusions, and with what I see in the fish I may place extra accent on some features and less accent on others. However, with that said, I'd let them know that I am up for the challenge, and will do the best that I can within the time frame that is allotted in regards to the price I am charging.

    5. No comment. (Apparently there is already some controversy with prices in my area.) :eek:

    6. I covered aspects of this question in detail last week, and I stand by what I wrote then. ;)

    7. The pros for a purchased body is time/money saved and use of the knowledge that went into making it, while the cons are having to deal with a generic fit, finding the right size for many types of fish in the pose that you are looking for, removing the hard crust so that hide paste will stick well, and difficulty in fitting a cast head to many bodies. The pros of a carved body is a perfect fit and your choice of custom pose and a cast head, while the cons are having to spend the money for the foam in conjunction with the time that you spend carving it and the fact it can be messy to work with. I like to use a vendor's body once in a while on a warmwater fish just to take advantage of the the research they may have put into it if I can find something that will work, but for the most part I have gone to such a custom approach with my work that it is far more beneficial to carve all of the bodies that I need.

    8. I use cast heads on pretty much everything, including warmwater fish. As such, I grind out the eye orbit of the cast head and set it from the back side, which allows me to roll the eye to the position I want it in before I glue it in place. I prefer eyes with a sclerotic capsule, but many times I still have to build the capsule up with epoxy. I also will resculpt the ridge below the eye if necessary for a proper look to the eye.

    9. This happened to me once when a guy was $26 short, and you can guess whether I heard from him again or not. I will do my very best not to let that happen again. But I still do work for some of his buddies, and in comparison they are great clients.

    10. I like the new forum very much with all of the features, and we are indeed lucky to have someone like Ken Edwards in charge of the whole thing. The forum is still pretty new to me, and Ken fixed my only complaint so far (the navigation speed on the first server). But, as much as the original was a breeze to use and very comfortable and user friendly, I'm sure this one will become that way soon enough. A minimum of two thumbs up!
     
  10. Rick Krane

    Rick Krane Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor

    Great responses last week! This week I'll try some picture questions? What kind of questions would you like to see posted?

    My Best!

    Rick Krane
    Anglers Artistry
     
  11. JC_118

    JC_118 Guest

    1. When painting a reproduction how do you go about creating the markings on a fish that is involved with lots of detailing marks? Lakers, Muskie, Bookies tell us how you about creating this effect on a reproduction to give it a natural look?

    Air brush and work it much like a sewing machine needle, up and down and time the release of paint to help create the markings.

    2. Cast Heads! How do you go about this task? Tell us how you create the mold and the cast? Let us know why you find the way you mold and cast to be the best for you!

    I use several different methods. most include carving a block of foam to mount the head on. I still use Chicago 501 casting latex and plaster molds in many cases.

    3. Have you ever used other mediums other then airbrush paint to color your fish? Tell us what you have used and what works well for your techniques? List a few examples if you please and explain how and why it works for you?

    Many of what has been listed by others.

    4. You’re new to taxidermy or try to remember when you were. A customer brings you a fish and a picture and wants you to paint it just like the photo. The customer tells you that he choose you because you did a nice fish for a friend. Tell us how you make the deal with the customer? What special things may you need to talk about to assure that you won’t be setting your self up for failure in the customers eyes?

    I simply showed them my work, it spoke for itself.

    5. Finish this thought. I would charge more for my work if I could?

    I already am the highest in my half of the state,hehe!!

    6. How and when do you go up in your pricing? What are the deciding factors that you go through in this decision making?

    Sometimes if the client is demanding I send him to someone else. I don't have to deal with the average Joe because of my prices. I also nolonger have to turn twenty mounts per week to live.

    7. What are the pros and the cons for carving a body or purchasing on from a Vendor? Tell us what you think about both and why?

    I carve all of the fish and bird bodies, have for the past 20 years. I always have foam on hand, I can carve fast and accurate.

    When I did twenty fish per week, mostly bass, I kept an assortment of sizes, I would skin twenty fish on Monday test fit the bodies, order the bodies I needed and mount that twenty the next week when the bodies came in. In other words I kept a master set of bass bodies.

    8. How do you set and eye? Tell us how you create the angle or what you do to make the shape and choice the size?

    Use an epoxy and I use only the iris size, sulpting the rest with a paint brush

    9. A customer comes to your business to pick up a fish he hands you all but 20 dollars of what he owes you and tells you he’ll be back in a week or so to pay you the 20 dollars. How do you handle this?

    They are informed by mail the final payment is cash only and this is the amount due. It's also in the contract.

    Since doing this I never have anyone try to beat me out of the money!!!

    Bonus question #10
    10. How do you like the new forum? Tell us what you like and dislike about it and what if any thing would you like to see that would make it comfortable for you as the original?

    It's fine, for some reason my pass word never works, so I reset it.
     
  12. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    All right, I know it's late in the week but this is the first chance I've had the computer!!!

    1. When painting a reproduction how do you go about creating the markings on a fish that is involved with lots of detailing marks? Lakers, Muskie, Bookies tell us how you about creating this effect on a reproduction to give it a natural look?

    First I create the skin tones via a dark color and steel wooling off as most do I'm sure. Then it all depends on the species and their colorings. Light markings typically get created via rubbing off paint with Q-tips dipped in denatured alcohol. And then manytimes I'll come back and add paint to these markings (silver for instance with a laker). I actually think replicas are easier in many ways because of the fact that you can get back to the white background if need be.

    2. Cast Heads! How do you go about this task? Tell us how you create the mold and the cast? Let us know why you find the way you mold and cast to be the best for you!

    I do a single pour with thinned bondo if I need to cast a head. BUT, I try to purchase either a Bruch head or a Caribou head as their quality is great! (In fact, I don't know if I got the first pour or what, but the last two heads I purchased from Gary had superior detailing in them. MUCH better than I could do!!!

    3. Have you ever used other mediums other then airbrush paint to color your fish? Tell us what you have used and what works well for your techniques? List a few examples if you please and explain how and why it works for you?

    I use whatever it takes to achieve the effect I'm going for. There are no rules. Prior to painting I sometimes do a lot of pencil drawing/blending. Using my fingers to rub in paint or wiping off paint with denatured alcohol/Q-tips to achieve other effects. I also use powders, acrylics, bronzing powders and waxes amongst a few more techniques I'm sure I'm forgetting. I'm also always experimenting with new techniques. Lately I've experimented with plowing on the metallics pretty heavily, laying the fish in it's side and letting the paint fall in-between the scales/crevices via gravity. Then, depending on the effect I'm trying to achieve I may take a clean rag dipped in D.A. and wipe the metallic paint OFF the tops of the scales. There's probably a name for this technique, but that's it in a nutshell

    4. You’re new to taxidermy or try to remember when you were. A customer brings you a fish and a picture and wants you to paint it just like the photo. The customer tells you that he choose you because you did a nice fish for a friend. Tell us how you make the deal with the customer? What special things may you need to talk about to assure that you won’t be setting your self up for failure in the customers eyes?

    When I was "new" I had already practiced on my own stuff for two-plus years so I was confident when I started taking in fish for customers. I have a painting background so that wasn't the intimidating part for me - mounting up a clean mount on the otherhand was the challenge back then. I paint everything to customer's pics, so the above scenario was and is the norm for me. I provide many examples of my work and they're in my shop for a reason. I've yet to have a dissatisfied customer now in the 9 years I've been in business so I must be B.S.'ing pretty good - lol!

    5. Finish this thought. I would charge more for my work if I could?

    "If I could"... win the Lotto. Then, I'd just do this for fun and charge outrageous prices - lol!

    6. How and when do you go up in your pricing? What are the deciding factors that you go through in this decision making?

    I'm constantly re-evaluating my pricing structure. I don't have any set times for raising my prices. The main reason I do it is to slow down the workload. Second consideration is my costs - have they gone up? Am I due a cost of living raise too? Also an annual "atta-boy" raise as well? I raise my prices at least every other year - if for anything to motivate me to keep working hard. This year alone however I raised my prices TWICE (Thanks Rick for the advice here!!!) and things seem to be leveling off just fine as far as workload goes

    7. What are the pros and the cons for carving a body or purchasing on from a Vendor? Tell us what you think about both and why?


    Well, I've never purchased a body yet so I'm not so sure I have the experience to answer both sides of this question. I will however explain WHY I prefer carving my own bodies. There's several reasons. Perfect fit-up and the ability to continue working is a major plus. No limitations on positions. No back-fitting a generic body. Customer gets a tracing of THEIR FISH. And lastly, COST (Yes, cost) I can do a carved body for most fish quicker and cheaper than if I were to mess with a generic bought one. I can carve a bass in less than 15 minutes to fit-up. And that chunk of foam is only running me about $2 bucks.(Although I haven't purchased foam since BEFORE Katrina so who know's what the cost is now?) So I conted that IF you get good and fast at carving bodies via practice it is indeed more efficient and cheaper than purchaseing a body.Especially if you consider all that time locating, ordering and altering that generic body.

    8. How do you set and eye? Tell us how you create the angle or what you do to make the shape and choice the size?

    I grab a set of eyes and test fit them after mount up time. If they look too big, I go one size smaller and/or trim (you get the idea). I use a LOT of close-up reference pics to set eyes. I also never "bulge" them - even though many fish DO have bulging eyes. I choose an angle/position based on the position of the mount and what I'm trying to achieve. Usually I find a good reference pic if I'm going to do any serious eye-tilts.

    9. A customer comes to your business to pick up a fish he hands you all but 20 dollars of what he owes you and tells you he’ll be back in a week or so to pay you the 20 dollars. How do you handle this?

    "No problemo" is what I say! I figure if the guy has already paid me 90% of his bill, if he wants to stiff me out've $20 bucks then let him go for it! I'll bet that 99% of the folks out there would make good on their word. If not, it's the last time I'll do business with them! I'd tell them to "mail it and save a trip..."

    Bonus question #10
    10. How do you like the new forum? Tell us what you like and dislike about it and what if any thing would you like to see that would make it comfortable for you as the original?

    The original forum was a dinosaur waiting for the asteroids to hit - lol! Although I haven't spent much time on here with only a couple of posts (How does Cecil get a hundred and something posts so quickly??? Geez Cecil - GET A JOB!!!) I have however spent considerable time on another website that I advertise on that has a very similar format. I still need to play with the photo posting thing. And my avatar (Britney Spears is a joke btw to those that do NOT know mw - lol) needs to be much cooler! At this point I cannot critique too much. However the "applaud/smite" thing seems a bit silly. Heck, I made one post basically saying I liked the new forum and I had 2 applauds and 2 smites from it - lol! One post. These numbers obviously can be manipulated to warp a true rating. I believe it's totally useless and I'd dump it. Other than that I love it! I can actually spend some time on here commenting or researching something vs. sifting thru multiple posts w/o any responses. Now i KNOW if a response has been made with the new forum...