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Need Help With A Crappie Form

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by slabbandit, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    I have an almost 3 lb crappie to mount for my son. The problem is this thing has a 13 3/4" girth with only an 8 1/4" C to tail measurement. I like Tom Sexton forms but the closest thing he has is the FWCR 47 which is a 9 1/2' x 13 1/2" form. I'm wondering if I can shorten the FWCR 47 by cutting out an 1 1/4" section or should I dare try the half cast method with Tom Sexton Fish Filler on this size fish. I have done several half cast on bream and smaller crappie and was very pleased with the results.
    I know most of you are going to say carve my own body. I have never done that yet but your right. This may be the time to try it.
    Lance.G likes this.
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    I've never done the half cast method, so I would do as I usually do and carve a form but if I remember correct from when I did order some forms, I would find one that splits the difference, if you will and make it fit the skin. I know fish vary in proportions but did you measure correctly?
    Fallenscale likes this.

  3. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I do half cast on all crappie and bream. Just finished several 3 and 4 lb crappie.
    Cecil likes this.
  4. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    Yea, I measured right. will double check though. big ole stumpy South Arkansas slab!!
  5. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    HOLD THE BOAT!!! If you alter the mannikin, cut out half the girth difference, which would be a 5/8" strip out of the center.
  6. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    No Joey, The girth would be only 1/4' off. It's the length of the form that needs to be shortened 1 1/4"
  7. Fallenscale

    Fallenscale Well-Known Member

    I would just carve a form as 3bears said. Be less work then trying to cut to fit a form.
  8. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    OK...I thought you were decreasing the girth.
  9. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Ok my thoughts on altering a bought hard foam fish body is like pp in the wind.
    Their a hassle to alter.
    A small fish like this is a great time for you to try carving.
    You can buy cheap foam at Home Depot or Lowe’s to play with. 2” foam would be fine to use. No major tools as a coping saw, Filet knife, sandpaper would work.
    Try it you just might like it
    Then if you don’t half cast
    FishArt, Lance.G and 3bears like this.
  10. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    I agree with Frank. Matuska did a facebook video on carving fish, check it out
    Lance.G and Frank E. Kotula like this.
  11. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    The thing that irks me abut the commercial forms for crappie is they don't differentiate between the black and white crappie. There is a difference! The distance from the center of the eye to the front of the dorsal fin is longer than the total length of the base of the dorsal fin on a white crappie.

    I use the half cast on all crappie. No test fitting as with carving or a commercial form that is not exactly right stressing the scales.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
    antlermike, 3bears and joeym like this.
  12. hambone

    hambone Well-Known Member

    Get a couple small crappie to practice the half cast with, its not that hard and you'll be glad you learned for all future ones.
    antlermike and Cecil like this.
  13. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I gave up on pre-made crappie bodies years ago. After one or two test fits, scales were coming off like autumn leaves falling! If someone came in today with a 10 lb crappie, I'd do a half cast!...after I did a whole cast for making a repro!!!!
    antlermike and Cecil like this.
  14. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    Carving is the way to go here and if you've never done it here's your chance to start. Take your time and remove the extra foam slowly until you get it right. This is not space science.
    tviper56 likes this.
  15. jigginjim

    jigginjim Active Member

    I have learned to hand carve the body before skinning to match up as close as possible. I am looking to which foam though need some that may carve rougher but I have the soft gray foam that you can point your finger through, too soft.
    swampfox2 likes this.
  16. swampfox2

    swampfox2 Well-Known Member

    Have you ever used the light weight filler and used the "fill method" ?
  17. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I use fish filler on all crappie. Here are some 3-4 pounders that were recently completed... E55A6B2F-A5B5-4580-927B-273528E18F94.jpeg
    msestak and hambone like this.
  18. swampfox2

    swampfox2 Well-Known Member

    That's what I am talking about right there. Good work Joey !
  19. Gary R

    Gary R Active Member

    Buy your carving foam from Rick Krane, via the Angler's Artistry website. It's awesome carving foam for your fish bodies.
  20. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    I did this stringer mount using the half cast method too.