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Looking for some good, honest feedback on my 36" Channel Catfish reproduction

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Steve.J, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. Steve.J

    Steve.J Member

    I finished up this 36" Channel Catfish reproduction this week. It's my first catfish and 5th fish so fire away with some good critique. I used a Lake Country Replicas blank with a few modifications and tons of grinding and fixing problems. I made the main whiskers and one of the lower pair out of copper wire since the LCR whiskers were flat and too flexible and Painted my own Still Life eyes. What do you think?

    Attached Files:

  2. I like the "mottling" of the skin! Too often I feel that reproduction catfish are "flat" looking. A few things that jump out at me are the "main" whiskers look a little "jumpy"... not sure of the descriptor. They just don't look like they flow, as I see in most of my underwater reference. Also, did your reference show spots for a cat of that size? As I understand it, they lose the spots at maturity, which of course varies depending upon latitude. However, that may be a generalization. Overall, it looks like a channel to me! Photos often hide the hard work of artists, but did you incorporate many pearls or interference golds beneath your opaque paynes gray and gray tones? I also assume that fleshy tones of the face have been washed out in photo, but I see tones that range from pink to purple along the leading edges of mouth in much of my reference.

  3. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I think you did an awesome job! Great looking fish!
  4. Sikk

    Sikk Member

    for your 5th fish excellent, paul
  5. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    It may be the angle of the picture but that upper lip, head area does not look like a channel catfish, it more resembles a flathead. I Have seen spots on channels up to and probably over 10lbs but they do tend to be less noticeable as they get larger. Outdoorzman had some great points on the subtle flesh colors and the iridescent golds and such. I don't see them, but have caught fish that didn't show them very much either. It depends on when and where they are caught. All and all I say nice job.
  6. Steve.J

    Steve.J Member

    Re: Looking for some good, honest feedback on my 36" Channel Catfish reproduction

    Thanks guys for taking the time to post comments. I appreciate all the feedback.
  7. torka

    torka Member

    when I lived in Maryland we used to catch hundreds of channel cats. have seen the odd large cat still have spots. some where I have a picture of a 38pounder that has a few spots.
  8. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    I love it.thanks for posting .
  9. den007

    den007 Active Member

    While feedback on here can be useful, if you are doing commercial taxidermy, there is nobody that will not be satisfied with that fish. I get sick of hearing nit picky crap like the "caudal peduncle is not aligned with the star system in Orion." Whiskers don't flow? Most are made from weed wacker line, wire, etc. And no, it does not flow exactly like real flesh. What do all you geniuses who are perfect use? Fins not correct? How many of your customers would know? Oh, Lake Country fins not quite up to your standards? Hey, cast your own. Market them. See if you can do better. I like clear, if you don't like that, try Krylon White Primer. So many don't have a clue of the early replicas with fins as thick as a brick, poses that looked like demon possession, etc. Most are still out there for sale. Part of what makes this site confusing, confounding, and patheic for any serious inquiries from new folks.

    Custom eyes, lenses? I am sure they are great for a few. I saved a few "custom" eyes painted at a high price from "icons" on here. Mostly overpriced garbage.

    Get a grip, most of this work is not going to hang in an art gallery. And most of us are not really artists. Okay prima ballerinas…….chime in and tell me how this is wrong. Is car repair an art or a technical skill? Painting a car? Usually not art. Airbrush on black velvet depictions of Elvis……….not art.
  10. JE

    JE Well-Known Member

    Got out the wrong side of bed Den ? lol
    I dont see anyone mentioning fins, clear or otherwise, and no one mentioned eyes apart from SteveJ himself. And what painting a car has to do with someone doing replicas is beyond me ? (I do get the body repair bit)
    I guess every single one of us on Taxi net would give a different interpretation of what an artist is Den, and I am pretty sure it has been discussed on here many many times. And like it or not most folk would probably think what you do makes you and artist.
    The guy only wanted a critic of his work, and a few chimed in with what they saw or thought. No problems there from what I could see ?
    We are back to "Jimmys" demise of this forum issues with rants such as yours, for no apparent reason ?
    Keep up the good work steve J
  11. den007

    den007 Active Member

    Actually John, I was not all that cranky yesterday, although my wife disagrees. I see a picture of a really nice fish anyone would be proud to receive, and tried to give this fellow a realistic attitude towards fish taxidermy. There is perfection, and there is commercial work. So many that have just started do not remember the days of really poor replicas that requred more carving skills than anything. He made a good choice with the LCR replica. I see nobody else out there that is producing both numbers and quality that they offer. I understand the quest for perfection through competition, just have never had any desire to do it. I have been awed by what some can achieve that I never have. But, the fact is, most folks who do fish taxidermy are doing it for a profit and are not totally concerned about absolutely correct pupil shape, fin clarity, etc etc. The fin comment came from another post I was thinking about at the time. If anyone can create a better mousetrap here…..please put it on the market. We all know putting too much into a mount can be counterproductive from an income standpoint. Archie Phillips has probably made more money painting fish and replicas than anybody. His painting, thick fins, etc have been lambasted on here for years. Yet, he prevails and prospers from a commercial standpoint. I would still advise any newcomers to figure out your ultimate goal in this, and proceed accordingly. Commercial, get proficient and fast at what you do, turn out a quality mount, and get it out the door. Competition……spend hour after hour striving for the artistic expression you seek. I see very few that can manage both worlds and prosper. Yes, they exist, but are rare birds indeed. Many, many folks contact me and still view fish taxidermy as persons who "stuff" fish, why is it so expensive, etc. Many would not care if I used marbles for eyes. Some are not even aware of the species of bass they have…as in largemouth or smallmouth. It is like anything else. For some, a cheap car will get them where they want to go………for others, it has to be a BMW.
  12. Steve.J

    Steve.J Member

    Re: Looking for some good, honest feedback on my 36" Channel Catfish reproduction

    Just for fun, here's a picture of work in progress and the finished Catfish.
  13. Steve.J

    Steve.J Member

    Re: Looking for some good, honest feedback on my 36" Channel Catfish reproduction


    Attached Files:

  14. Brian W

    Brian W Well-Known Member

    Dmn Denny...I thought you quit Red Bull...lol. I know what your point is though and does make some sense. When someone posts and asks for critiques though, no opinion is wrong unless there's a personal attack which I didn't see here.
    I believe Steve wants to hear any and all comments so he can filter what helps and what doesn't for him. I didn't find harm nor foul on any comments posted. I speak from a hobbyist position that competes so my opinion would certainly vary from the commercial guy that pays bills with their work. BOTH perspectives should be accepted and respected as collectively we all prosper from pooling ideas and encouraging others.
    So Steve, I WAS going to comment on the look of the head in the first pic being a little "flat" but your last pic REALLY shows the color and effect. To that I say NICE job!! I like it.