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Almost Want To Cry

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Trapper2016, May 20, 2016.

  1. Trapper2016

    Trapper2016 Thanks for this awesome forum!

    Hello guys and gals,

    Hope your doing well. In this case i just have to vent, and maybe find a solution for the future. I have been practicing for the last 2 weeks or so on half cast cheap fish blanks, using Ricks brook trout repro dvd as a guide. And its a great dvd i might add. So i decided i would try a proper blank, and saved up some money. Thanks to member, Sbaker, i was able to obtain a nice brook trout blank for around the normal price for a high quality blank. This is a lot of money, especially for a broke beginner like myself. But it was worth it, and the painting was tons easier on an actual fiberglass replica. The water based paints i use went on much smoother, and it was pretty fun to paint the fish. I put on the vermiculations, and it actually was turning out really nice. I was actually kind of proud of it. So i did a little pearl ex powder work, and then decided to seal the fish. What happened next though, made me want to cry, and im 30 years old! :)

    I let the paint dry, and once it did i applied craft store acrylic gloss sealer. I used a thin coat and walked away and came back about 10 minutes later to check on it. Like i said, i almost started to cry i was so frustrated and angry. The vermiculations on the face, back, and dorsal fin were completely messed up. The crisp vermiculations patterns that i took so much time in making were now messy and almos smeared, and it looked in some areas along the back like the gloss had turned cloudy almost, and there appeared to be little bubbles or something of the sort above most of the back vermiculations.

    I spent litearlly about 16 hours painting that fish, both sides. And in one fail swoop, i ruined it for the most part. And to say im P.O.d is an understatement. So what did i do wrong? This has happened on everyone one fo my fish blanks before this as well (half casts). I attributed it too the half cast material and didn't really care because they were half casts and practice, but this is just devistating to me. I am going to try and save it by repeatedly going over with coats of paynes gray with the airbrush. It isnt going to help really, but i dont know what else to do. Could it be that the water baed paint and this sealer were incompatible? Was the paint not completely dry when i applied the sealer? I just don't know, but it makes me want to never paint a fish again.

    I am going to take off a few days and cool down about it, and come back to it. It was just a personal project and i am an amateur, but still, it really takes the wind out of you.

    P.S., if anyone out there has a brook trout blank that they would be willing to part with, that maybe need work or is an old blank or something, that they would sell at a discount. Please PM me. I don't want to mess up another expensive blank if i try my hand at this again. Dag on this sucks! Feel like chucking the thing out the expressway at an obamacare sign.

  2. Jim McNamara

    Jim McNamara Well-Known Member

    Just strip the paint off and repaint. Don't use water based paint myself but am guessing you are applying too heavy a coat and/ or too soon after the first coat.

  3. The acrylic sealer sucks.

    Use Krylon Matte finish for mid coats and then a simple lacquer gloss from true value, its $4.49 a can at the local store. later when you are better at fish stil use these to see what the paint job is going to look like and then an automotive gloss.
  4. Steve.J

    Steve.J Member

    Wow! If something like this bothers you so much and you thought it would be perfect from the start you might want to consider a different hobby or profession.
    All you have to do is either strip the blank with some lacquer thinner or give it a couple coats of white primer and start painting again. Pretty simple.
    As I think most folks on the net will tell you, nobody got it perfect on their first fish. It takes lots and lots of practice and failures. Just relax and enjoy the process.
    Sounds like your gloss coat was way to heavy. The solvent vehicles used to deliver the gloss will dissolve your paint work if applied too heavy. If sealing, just apply a very light tack coat and then use a hairdryer to set it before walking away. The cloudiness is more than likely moisture and air trapped in the gloss. This is common in humid areas. Again, hit it with a hairdryer to purge the air and moisture out of the gloss before walking away.
  5. Definately nothing to be pissed about, This happens to everyone. I am willing to bet a few different things happened. 1. it sounds like you certainly put on way too heavy of a coat of sealer, all you really need is a quick misting blast to seal it or lock in your powder work. 2. It sounds like you also held the spray can too close to the blank and didnt get enough of a chance for the solvents to start to evaporate before hitting the paint job. try to stay 12-18" away from the fish when spraying gloss. 3. The beauty of a reproduction blank is if you dont like it, A. either strip it and start over or B. prime it white, hit it with black umber and antique it again and start over. Just an FYI this is not going to be the last time something goes wrong with painting a fish. you gotta get used to it and learn how to handle these curve balls when they come up. That is where you are really going to learn how to paint. As Rick always told me, the difference between an amature and a professional is how you react to problems that come up.
  6. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately some of the best lessons in this industry are learned the hard way. Been there done that. Eventually you will figure what works and eliminate what does not work. The idea is to learn from others mistakes, but unfortunately that isn't always the case.

    Here's a few things I've learned about painting:

    1. I stick to lacquer paint as I seem to have less issues with it.
    2. I don't use any of the sealers or glosses sold by the supply companies or glosses in a spray can. All junk IMHO and some of this stuff has been on the shelf too long. Some of these items have a shelf life.
    3. My sealer comes from Ace hardware. Mostly green colored can of clear lacquer sealer.
    4. My clear coat is an automotive clear coat. No fish eyes, no runs, no fogging, no problems. (But be sure you have a spray booth if you use this stuff!)
  7. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    Only "Artist types" could shrug off ruining 16 hours of work without being frustrated or pissed. Good thing you don't have to be an "artist type" to make it. You got some good trouble shooting. You just got to take a deep breath and start over.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    I must not be an artist type. ;D My head used to explode when something went wrong -- especially since taxidermy was my sole income. :eek:

    O.K. back to painting fish. Breaks over.
  10. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    You and me both Cecil! Spending some time at the range with above poster is great therapy in such situations!
  11. Trapper2016

    Trapper2016 Thanks for this awesome forum!

    I appreciate the comments everyone, and will try the Matt finish/clear coat/ automotive gloss in the future. I think it probably was too heavy a coat, and me being too close to the fish as well. I worked on it the best i could this evening and will probably finish it tommorow. I know i could clean it off and start again, but as its for me, i am just going to keep it as is and know better next time. I dont think it will look so bad in dim light, but a good lesson learned.

    Thanks for the advice

    Here is what he looks like now. I was able to salvage some of the vermiculation pattern with charcoal and candy paynes gray. And no Steve J, this is the hobby for me. I like taxidermy and its fun, but it gets to me to put so much time into something and then mess up and face starting over again. But thats the way it goes. Never will do it professionally, i dont have that much talent, so no need to worry about it being the job for me. But i do like it as a hobby. Thanks for the advice again guys. I will certainly use your advice.

    Attached Files:

  12. den007

    den007 Active Member

    Almost hard to believe this post. I have never, ever in 35 years of this had issues with….

    A. Painting with both lacquer and water based paint (both dried).

    B .Gloss……..Rustoleum 2X clear……never an issue.

    If you choose to use slop glos that takes forever to dry and is auto based……..good luck. Envirotex Lite……worst crap on the planet. Gloss the fish, no need to turn it into glass..
  13. Trapper2016

    Trapper2016 Thanks for this awesome forum!

    Hi Den,

    No doubt this issue is from my own ignorance. I think the problem was that i was holding the sealer way too close to the fish, and putting on too heavy of a coat. Improper technique is the core issue, and i will work on it.

  14. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

    You're only about 2/3rd done painting the fish. Another couple hours anyways.
  15. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Don't have much talent? Come on! That repro is coming along really well. Never, ever, ever, put yourself down. There are folks that do taxidermy for a living and couldn't even come close to that. You should see the crap people bring me begging me to repaint them. Sadly it's not usually just the paint job. And these are commercial taxidermists! They do decent gameheads but it seems you would have to actually try to do the piss poor job they do with fish.

    For the life of me I don't know why they even do fish. It only pisses off their customers.
  16. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Hey Den what are you talking about? The automotive clear coats I have used dry fast and hard as a rock. No fogging or smudges from handling like the other stuff out there.
  17. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    No way. 45 minutes tops!
  18. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

    30 minutes for me, but for that guy that took 16 hours to paint the body would surely take at least a couple hours to paint the fins.
  19. Steve.J

    Steve.J Member

    And this thread just ended up another self gratifying measuring contest between the regular locals with no help offered to the original problem. Or wait a minute, there was no real original problem - just a complaint about something not going right for the first time and wanting to cry about it instead of figuring out how to fix it and move on and paint the darn fish.
  20. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    Gloss coats pretty much are a pain I the rear. Get used to it. Find one you like and pray every time you use it