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Rainbow Trout upgrade.... Pictures added! Please comment looking for advice.

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Lonewolf_8126, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. Pikeonthefly

    Pikeonthefly Active Member

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    I too have been working on a Brown Trout upgrade for 2 years. Its been wiped down over 30 times last year and 6 this year. I gave up on it one day but it reeled me back in the next. Its almost complete and I will post it for critique when its finished. If it wasn't for Rick Krane/Frank Koutla and the other champions who offered their advice it would never have been possible. So I wanted to share this with you. Not sure what the pro's and cons might be over the long run but for the immediate time it may help you. I paint the belly first. Then spray a quick coat of Wet Look Gloss over it and let it dry. Then I apply the next colors and for this brown I used red/yellow and orange colored pencils. I just scribbled the lower side of the body into the white and wet it down and blended it together with my fingers. It worked quite well. Then I sealed over the colors with the Wet Look Gloss. Then I applied the top etc. and again sealed it. Here's where the sealing between coats pays off. If your not happy with the next color as in its too heavy or the wrong color/colors take a paper towel and rubbing alcohol and wipe it off. The previous colors will not be affected. When I went to apply the spots I had to make some of them up as I went along. At first I had too many. So I wiped them off. Then they were too close and too big. Wipe them off. Once I had them just right they were hit with the gloss. Now its time for the powders. Put some on and seal it. If you just paint the whole fish and then hit it with the gloss sometimes it can be ruined because some of the colors will bleed into each other and create an effect you don't want and if you don't like one of the colors you have to wipe the whole thing down and start over. Been there. Done that and I am done with that. Take a pike for example. If you paint the side green and then hit the spots they are going to turn greenish white. Paint your base color and seal it then hit the spots with the white. Just make sure you flash in between colors so it doesn't build up and become plastic in the end and make sure to wipe all the alcohol off or it will leave a white film. Look at it as a second chance method. Take it one step at a time. Purchase a Rick Krane video and apply his technique one step at a time. You will be glad you did. Good luck!
     
  2. Sotired

    Sotired Active Member

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    I know, I just can't leave this alone! Found some reference for the red stripe showing where it begins and ends better, also how it's about 1/3 above, and 2/3 below the lateral line.

    ~S
     

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  3. Thank you guys for all the input and advice. All prime examples of why I enjoy this site, i did use my GI bill to attend a 3 month taxidermy school. We mounted 6 fish of various species, at which point we were taught to paint all fish using 8 colors. Needless to say I feel like I didn't learn a thing. I am now saving to attend a Rick Krane workshop.
     
  4. Ken,

    Thanks for the insight, Its not that I think my previous schooling was of no use...as I did learn some really basic techniques. But I didn't learn half of what I expected to learn. The sad part is I went to a school founded and taught by very reputable Taxidermist, who is credited with founding the Pennsylvania Taxidermy Association. When it came to fish, I expected to learn how to thin paints, scale tip, antique etc. Basically all I learned was how to carve fish bodies, dump paint from the bottle into the airbrush and card fins. Never even learned how to repair split fins. I feel like I spend more time searching and buying videos to learn from than I did at a 3 month school. I have talked to other vets, who have attended this same school and our consensus was the same.
     
  5. Sotired

    Sotired Active Member

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    You know Jim, we all get our start somewhere! A lot of us more mature guys (ahem) like myself got started with a correspondence course from the Northwestern School of Taxidermy in Nebraska. Monthly classes included such "timely" courses as "making money doing birds for womens hats"(???) and creating stuffed frog orchestras! Also were how to mount deer heads, by building a mannikin froma skull, some boards, and a lot of excelsior and clay! Little did we know that these were written in the '20s and never updated, except to change arsenic solutions to borax.

    The fish section never mentioned anything about removing the skull bones, and I don't think it said anything much about carding fins. Painting was to be done with oil paints thinned with turpentine! My first fish, stuffed with mache of course, looked more like a car wreck than a bluegill!!!

    Mentors? there were no mentors unless you were lucky! Nobody had time for kids. I was lucky enough to see Henry Inchamuck (Wichers) at the Denver Museum, but he didn't have a lot of time for a kid. Finally, I got on at Jonas Brothers when Denny Behn was managing the taxi dept. Thats where I learned A LOT from Tony Canova who did fish there. That experience led me to doing a LOT of experimenting on my own! That is where you really learn!!!

    Don't EVER be afraid to think outside of the box and try something radical. It's only paint, and paint can be wiped off and painted over! Without mistakes you never learn and the only people that never make mistakes are the ones that never try! ;)

    ~S
     
  6. Pikeonthefly

    Pikeonthefly Active Member

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    I too bought into the Northwestern School of Taxidermy along with books from Archie Phillips. I am one of these people that needs hands on experience though and went to school and I am not the easiest person to teach. At the time there were 3 other students taking night classes along with me. We were given instruction and demonstration from start to finish and then it was our turn. As the other 3 students were laying their fish out flat and making a template I was across the room creating one with compound curves. They had their foam bodies cut and carved and were in the process of mounting the skin while I was still working on the body. I was taking a little strip of foam off at a time as I rotated the body while one of the other guys took theirs off in 4 strokes period. At the end of the night they had theirs pinned and carded and set off to the side to dry. I was just laying the skin on mine when the instructor grabbed it out of my hand and tossed it into the freezer. He said "I don't care if it looks like a dried out cigar. Get that skin on the body." You can improve your skills as you go along but your going to get awful frustrated and disappointed if you don't get past this point first. And he was right. I wanted to walk out of that place with a beautiful trophy mount. Not something that looked amateur. Take the time to perfect the basics and then switch it up a little each time. One word of caution though. Take the time to recognize and appreciate your successes along the way. I have failed miserably in that department. Many times family and friends have asked "what happened to that pike you were working on" and either I had tossed it or started over and in some cases ruined it. Then I look back at the pictures and I realize it was fine the way it was. I feel a lot of these artists on this site have gotten to the point they have perfected their craft and nature couldn't compete and yet they feel they could do better. If it wasn't for that drive then why bother?