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Looking For Good Largemouth Bass Replica Blanks

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Marvtaxidermy, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. Marvtaxidermy

    Marvtaxidermy New Member

    Initially posted this in Beginner Forum but should have posted here.

    Looking for good quality Largemouth Bass replicas or Blanks pre paint. I like the Arp and Lake Country but the price of approx $200 makes it hard to push the replicas when the materials cost of a skin mount is less than $40. I'm a pure big bass hunter and never keep anything big and try to encourage customers to do the same, but hard to get the price competitive. Used to mount quite a few bass 20+ yrs ago when replicas were not available and I am retiring from my 9 to 5 job and getting back in. I know more labor is involved with skin mounts but would like to refuse to do skin mounts but still hard to make up the difference in price. I have no problem with a skin mount on any other fish, but not a big bass. The only cost competitive blank I have found is Archie Phillips for $60 but not a great selection and the quality is not quite there. I would think a good replica could be mass produced in the $100 range. Are the size selections improving and are the costs competitively coming down? Any suggestions?
  2. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    I personally went replica only last year and I've never been happier! Turnaround time is down to around 90 days or less and the amount of replica work for me went up once I got that turnaround time down. For me replicas are more profitable too if you calculate your time to get a skin mount to the painting stage. But, I'm not that fast at the mounting process so maybe that's an individual thing. Best part - all mail order now and payment on time is never an issue. JMO!
    Sotired and Kerby Ross like this.

  3. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    Also try Bowman
    Sotired likes this.
  4. Lance.G

    Lance.G Member

    Material + Hours = $$$
    CCarlson and Sotired like this.
  5. Sotired

    Sotired Active Member

    Marvtaxidermy you say you think blanks should be cheaper since they are mass produced. As far as I know, all the makers of fish blanks still lay them up one at a time by hand. The only thing they are not doing when you order a blank is the initial molding.

    Just as you want to make money on your product, so do they. Many have large expenses involved in making a re-useable mold. Employees need to be paid, or if it's a one man operation, they want to make a living off of their product as well.

    Don't get me wrong, I understand your plight! I have been there myself. But if this is truly the way you want to go then charge accordingly. As Marty Shimkus said, you will save time. Think of it as paying someone else to get the fish to that stage.When you figure out how much to charge per inch, deduct what you pay yourself for mounting time and materials, find out how much the blanks you like per inch, then add what your finishing time is worth. It works out in the end.

    FishArt and Fallenscale like this.
  6. Fallenscale

    Fallenscale Active Member

    I think marvtaxidermy is trying to say he can do a skin mount with the cost plus his time cheaper then he can buy a reproduction blank. I think Marv knows it faster/less time to do a reproduction but his work load at this time doesn't Warren it. Question he has how does making the blank over and over demand the cost. So to him until the time the blanks prices drop he better off doing great skin mounts.
    I my self had the same question my answer was add $5 a inch to a reproduction mount.
    Sotired likes this.
  7. Sotired

    Sotired Active Member

    That's what I was doing too
  8. Marvtaxidermy

    Marvtaxidermy New Member

    Thanks for the suggestions. Must not understand all of the labor involved in making the replica, thought after the mold is made at least half the labor is done and they can be cranked out in mass production to drive down cost. I realize there is work involved in cleaning up the seams when out of the mold. Must be more labor on this than I realize.
    Also, just curious why when you have a blank facing one way there is not always the same blank facing the other way from the same fish but in looking at the tables this is not always the case? Thought you could turn around and make a mold of the same fish facing the other direction?
    But back to my original question, where to get good quality blanks at reasonable
  9. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    FishArt and Sotired like this.
  10. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

    Holy sheet I wish I could make money off doing replicas! I loose my ass on them trying to alter the crap out of them! And that before paint work
    Maineiac36, FishArt and Sotired like this.
  11. Sotired

    Sotired Active Member

    Only so many pulls can be made from a mold, not nearly enough to call it "mass" production. Molds need to be worked carefully so the hard copies of fish come out easily.

    Your other question regarding multiple mold of the same fish, Molding produces heat that is detrimental to the fish, unless something like silicone is used. Fish often 'cook' and when removed from the main mold get torn up, scales lost, or even fall apart. Seldom is a fish in good enough condition to be molded again. It is even difficult to get the back side to look as good as the show side.
    FishArt likes this.
  12. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Mudbat you need less picky clients!!! Ha! Or, more likely, sometime's we're our own worst enemy! I will say I have been in your boat a few times. BUT, not because I set my standard so high, but because of poor quality blanks. If I spend more than an hour or two fixing "ready to paint" blanks then I simply don't order blanks again from the distributor(s) that caused me so much grief! I don't order anything anymore but RTP or Near RTP. Save the grinding and dust for the experts vs me!!! :)
    Sotired likes this.