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Almost Want To Cry

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

  1. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    Ya ya ya Steve, we got it. He's not near the man you are....does telling him that make you feel superior? Gratified perhaps?
  2. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Same goes for MT although we'e never ever seen pictures of his skin mounts he gets done from start to finish in under 12 hours! 8)

  3. Sooo anyhooo... Trapper, I know I have also spent a great deal of time on something I was enjoying and pleased with only to have it go south. Stick with fish painting/taxidermy long enough and you'll find you need to be a good problem solver. I find myself often saying "if it's not one thing, it's another." Rick Carter made a comment years ago along the lines of "if you don't enjoy solving problems, taxidermy probably isn't for you." Now, I'm paraphrasing and he may have borrowed that line from somebody else, but it has held true for me. Just consider it a valuable learning experience! At least it was a small brookie and is totally fixable. The loss of time is just part of learning something new. Nothing is free, and in this case you paid the price with time.

    I strictly use water based paints (airbrush and brush-able acrylics), and I have seen this happen (perhaps to a lesser extent) with a momentary lapse in judgment or when I am just moving along too quickly.

    As was mentioned and it appears you have correctly concluded, you likely applied too heavy a coat of gloss, as a result of holding the can too close and in one area for too long. When I am painting 360 fish, which I seem to do about a dozen a year, I prefer sealing my colors down quite frequently, so as to avoid smudging with my hands or cradle as I move the fish around. It can also serve to add depth to your paint job. I typically paint the fish and do the final gloss (automotive) with a threaded rod inserted through the belly and affixed by a variety of means. The rod can be used in the final mounting of the fish or removed at the end. I don't think the gloss you choose to use much matters. However, I would stay away from any of the rustoleum 2X thick glosses for this application. You want it to go on in light, even coats. I use rust-oleum specialty lacquer high lustre coating (in the green can). I wait for it to go on sale at Menards, at which time I order a dozen cases or so. It ends up costing less than $4 a can for a product that I trust. Worth it. However, I have substituted the green lacquer spray from Ace that Cecil mentioned and had no problems with that either.

    Here is how I typically seal in between colors:
    1. I quickly warm one side of the fish with a hair dryer (30 to 40 seconds on a small fish like your brookie).
    2. I then lightly dust this side of the fish; sort of what you would call a flash coat. I hold the can 12 to 14 inches away from the fish and spray over it in one even sweep. I start at one end (head or tail) and cover the length of the fish. I begin spraying before I am actually in a direct line with the fish and release the nozzle once I am past the opposite end. In this way, I do not build up excess gloss (and it's accompanying vehicles (in this case lacquer)) which can "dissolve" the nice paint job you've just done (perhaps reassemble is a better term than dissolve). I'm not sure what you saw happen, but likely, the excess liquid vehicle for your acrylic gloss loosened the paint particulates on the fish and re-suspended them. The paint particulates tend to gather in groups (attracted to each other in some fashion), which means areas become devoid of paint and others have more intense lines. I always call it alligatoring (not sure where I heard that term.)
    3. I quickly hit it with the hair dryer once more. Many times this is all I need to lock down color and protect it from being removed by fingers of the towel on my cradle. I usually only do this a few times, not between every application of color.
    4. If I will be using a color (i.e. detail black to frame the facial plates) that I am concerned I might over-apply or over-spray, I will do steps 1 through 3 a second time. This only takes about 2 minutes. The final coat of lacquer spray I put on can be a little heavier than the initial flash coat.

    Hopefully that helps. Just consider it a learning experience that required 16 hours of labor to discover!
  4. Trapper2016

    Trapper2016 Thanks for this awesome forum!

    Thanks for the continued replies, even the negative ones. This may not have been worthy of a topic of its own, but it did help me to solve this problem. Outdoorzman, thank you very much for that reply. I will try those methods. I worked on the fish some more today along with a leopard frog i am attempting. When i was ready to seal, i used a matte finish and kept back about 14 inches and when i sprayed, i more or less let the spray fall onto the fish/frog, instead of spraying it directly. I had zero problems with any type of paint issue. When im done, i will hit it with gloss and use the methods that everyone has suggested. Thanks again for helping me to fix this problem.

  5. MrCrabtree

    MrCrabtree New Member

    What a wonderfully refreshing post. If not for your caliber of person, this site would be abandoned and shunned by many.
    Thanks for being a decent guy, and a knowledgeable contributor, too.
  6. Steve.J

    Steve.J Member

    So, just think guys. If we all cried when we screwed it all up and everyone posted how to fix it for us using all of their learned knowledge from hours and years of screwing things up and learning how to fix it, then just think of all the great work folks would produce and bring fish taxidermy to a new, all time high standard of craftsmanship and decent prices that are commensurate with such work. But, that won't happen on this forum.

    Yes, very nice post Outdoorzman. I wish we could all be like you and share all of the trade secrets and build other's skills when they cry about it. Although it was a nice book on everything that was pretty much posted in previous posts. I think I even mentioned some of that, but I probably started off too direct.
  7. Calm down Steve. The guy was just looking for advice and opinions. And if you think what information I offered is trade secret... it's not... it's pretty basic stuff. I'd rather be encouraging than sarcastic and rude, even if it requires I spend 10 minutes on a Saturday afternoon writing a book that repeats what all the professionals already clearly stated. What meager knowledge I have is certainly going to propel readers to the top of the fish taxidermy world... not. Honestly, I know how little I know. That's what drives my desire to learn more and help those seeking to learn more as well. I'm a bumpkin and thus defer to you. You're the one with the ribbons, awards, and that vast knowledge base I could only ever dream of achieving. I just enjoy painting. ;D
  8. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Who peed in your Wheaties this morning?