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Replicating Scales On Seam Lines?

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Gary R, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. Gary R

    Gary R Active Member

    Good morning! I have been struggling with replicating the scales on the seam lines of some LMB reproductions. I just read another post where someone mentions Apoxie SMOOTH, and it dawned on me that perhaps the material I am trying to use is my entire problem. I've never heard of Apoxie SMOOTH? Many people have told me to use Apoxie, and I have been trying to replicate the scales with Apoxie SCULPT. The Apoxie Sculpt seems too tough to work with, meaning: I try to barely put a thin layer of the Apoxie Sculpt down, but it's not pliable enough to get a smooth transition into the existing body, and to also leave enough material to try and press in my new scales. I have some great scale patterns I've molded using Smooth On....I just can't get the scales/seam lines to cooperate. I've also been told of some using Bondo for the seam lines and scale impressions.

    Any suggestions from you experts? I would sure appreciate any and all advice and tips! Many thanks in advance!
  2. JHardman

    JHardman Active Member

    Gary R
    I have used Apoxie Sculpt for this for several years, I like the working time that this particular product offers. Try thinning it down just a bit by wetting it with water as you mix it, it will still set fine but this will make it softer and easier to blend for a little while. It may not work for you but it is worth a shot as it sounds like you already have Apoxie Sculpt on hand. I would play around with it a bit and see if you can make it work without adding a new material to learn.

  3. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    I do prefer apoxie smooth over apoxie sculpt, but they both work. And I prefer silicone press molds.


    sunf-30-600.jpg sunf-34-600.jpg

    Attached Files:

    msestak and rogerswildlife like this.
  4. rogerswildlife

    rogerswildlife Rogers Wildlife Taxidermy Tommy Rogers

    X2 what Kirby said.
  5. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    That looks great Kerby! Myself, I've never been able to pull off sculpting in scales or lining up a mold as well as I would like (like Kerby's). However, DougP taught me to let the Apoxie Sculpt harden and simply dremmel in the scales vs sculpting. For me, it seems much easier to pull off a natural look and faster to boot! You gotta use that little Bell shaped dremmel bit though, otherwise the thin, pointy bits wanna dig in too much... Thanks DougP for the great advice!! Just another approach...
  6. drwalleye

    drwalleye Active Member

    do you have a picture of tat bit? id love to try it. I usually use apoxi sculpt with a press mold but always willing to try something new
  7. Cory

    Cory Keep an eye on quality!

    Use a straw.
  8. Richs Taxidermy

    Richs Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I've heard the straw method,epoxy work is definitely an art ,to make apoxie look like skin.
  9. whitetails and fish only

    whitetails and fish only Well-Known Member

    If you scrape along the edge of your transition area with the flat area of a modeling tool or similar tool it will blend much better into the fish body.
  10. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member


    Menards. It's the very last bit on the right in the case. I've found many uses for the others. Reasonable price too...
    drwalleye likes this.
  11. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

    I paint them in but that’s just me
    FishArt likes this.
  12. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Just painting alone does look surprisingly good. And sometimes the only practical way to "replace" a lot of missing scales. Especially good on thin-scaled cold water. Larger scaled fish I still have a problem with just painting because you can usually see the indents from the missing scales at certain angles. Probably bothers me more than most customers would see. Plus usually, it's their own damn fault the scales are missing in the first place - lol!
  13. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    York, SC
    stamps like Kerby said
    way to go
    Kerby Ross likes this.
  14. Gary R

    Gary R Active Member

    Thanks for the replies, everyone. Like I mentioned, I made some fantastic scale press molds using Smooth On. I'll utilize all of your tips, and keep practicing. Again, thanks for taking the time to reply. Much appreciated.
    FishArt likes this.
  15. fishmaster

    fishmaster Well-Known Member

    If you are having trouble getting the apoxie sculpt to smooth and blend into the body, drop the epoxy into very warm water for about 30 seconds. It will become much softer and easier to feather. After smoothing, set the timer on your phone and come back 15 min later before trying your press pad to allow it to firm up some. Mist water on your press pad and your results should be better.
    As someone else mentioned, paint will go a long ways towards hiding a seam especially if you have a little bit of scale indications pressed in.
    Sotired, rogerswildlife and 3bears like this.
  16. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    This site is beginning to get on my last nerve. Last night I made a long post on this one and unless I find out there's a second page to this that I can't see, it got nuked when the screens were playing mumblypeg. So here goes again.

    I'm not sure what level of fish guy you are: beginner, amateur, commercial/production or certified fishhead. I was never a fishhead so defer to their advice if you're one. HOWEVER, for the other 99.9% of you, Apoxie and a Mac-Z-Scaler will do you quite well. Thin your Apoxie with their Safety Solvent and after sanding your staple line down the lateral side, apply a coat of Apoxie and feather it out into the scales. Let it cure for about 2 hours. Spray it down heavily with Windex and with the appropriate size Mac-Z-Scaler (positioned where the scales aren't backwards) Make parallel runs from the head to the tail. You may not get your impressions aligned. If not, take your finger and rub them out. Repeat the step. When they are correct, very lightly, run your finger down the seam from head to tail to soften the detail leaving just faint impressions. Let cure. Paint.

    If you are looking for a more correct fish, I simply never cut down the lateral line of the fish. It's so much easier to remove the head at the throat latch and the spine, remove the gills and then either dorsal or ventral cut your fish. Repairs along those lines is just more pleasing and actually somewhat easier than hiding a ventral staple line. This allows you to clean the head more completely as well as laying out the fins to dry before reinstalling them.
    antlermike, JHardman and FishArt like this.
  17. Richs Taxidermy

    Richs Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I looked on Menards web site didn't see these.
  18. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

  19. Richs Taxidermy

    Richs Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Sounds good ,I live 10 miles from there I will take a drive.
    FishArt likes this.