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Need Help With A Crappie Form

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

  1. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Not fair Cecil...your stringer is longer than my stringer! LOL! Looks awesome!
     
    swampfox2 likes this.
  2. jigginjim

    jigginjim Active Member

    I tried the fish fill once but the fill got hard before I was able to start sewing the back looked like junk, the next one took weeks to harden. I decided to just hand carve the bodies. The fill mix just didn't seem to be my bag.. Plus I like the idea now there then sewing I glue and staple skin in place, after the fish dries I remove some of the staples and finish off the back with bondo and magic smooth, to recreate a scale on the back side. as some people always look behind the fish.
    One person said "people don't look behind a painting?" But a painting is not a 3-D project.
     

  3. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    :p Why thank you!
     
  4. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    First of all just slopping in fish filler is not even close to doing the half cast method. It's bush league at best. With the half cast method, you're placing the skinned fish into the mold you made out of plaster, to get the original anatomy back. You actually need to overfill the fish and push the excess out of the seam.

    Second of all, there is no need to sew up the back seam using the half cast method. The back seam sticks to the filler. In fact the entire skin does.

    I'm presently using a 50/50 mix of Matuska's and Tom Sexton's.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
    joeym likes this.
  5. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    Beautiful stringer mounts!
     
    Cecil likes this.
  6. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    After you do enough crappie, you will have a selection of half cast plaster molds. I select on that's already made (if it's a perfect fit) and get to skip the mold phase occasionally. Additionally, the secret to fish filler is to not over-wet. When you have just enough water in it to squeeze a wad of it and it holds together, you're there.
     
    Cecil likes this.
  7. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    If I remember right, I read somewhere that if the fill does not set up quick enough mix in a good pinch of salt on the next one to speed up the set up. I tried it once and it seemed to work.
     
  8. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    I've only done a few with the fill method but I guess I did right by pushing a small 2x3" piece of plywood inside the fill for screw attachment. Is this what you guys do?
     
  9. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    I have a 2 1/2lber of my own hat I can't get a good form for and was thinking about trying my hand at carving. But, you guys have definitely peaked my interest in the fill method. Is it harder to do an open gill mount with the fill method compared to using a body?
     
  10. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Yes but a little larger depending on the fish size.
     
  11. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    No.
     
  12. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Bumping TTT because I think it's funny the way the title reads in the "Last Post" section - ha! ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
  13. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Crappie mounted via the half cast method. [​IMG]
     
  14. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Cecil, I know you Liberals do everything differently, lol, But it seems as though you card your fins bass ackwards from the way I was taught! Wire mesh should be on the backside. It appears your plastic is on the back side and your wire mesh on the show side in this photo? Otherwise, it can leave wire marks on the fins on the show side - especially on a thicker finned fish like a big salmon or trout.
     
  15. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Liberals? Ha! Now Marty you should know this: Only the meaty finned fish like trout and salmon show the wire marks. Fish like the crappie above don't show the wire marks and even if they did, it's so minor that the fin coating fills them in.

    The reason I do it this way is for several reasons: I can spread the wet fin out on the plastic where it sticks, it's very visible to align it right, and if need be I can brush the rays in line with a toothbrush.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
  16. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    And why couldn't you do all that on the other side??? It's not like the fins know which side is the show side - lol! I'd rather not take a chance of leaving marks at all. Different strokes.

    Nice looking mount btw. Did you resolves the cracking issues with your filler?
     
  17. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    It's easier to card fins this way on the show side with the curve up. But... gee I guess I never thought of flipping the fish over! :p

    Yes resolved problems by mixing Tom Sexton filler 50/50 with Matuskas. Mustuska's does't crack but is heavy and almost like concrete. Mixing gives me the best of both worlds.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
    FishArt likes this.
  18. hambone

    hambone Well-Known Member

    1,004
    40
    I use thin plastic on the show side that way you can see the fin and position it with a pin.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
    Cecil likes this.
  19. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    Thanks guys! I really like the tip on mixing the two fillers to prevent cracking.
     
    Cecil likes this.
  20. Perca

    Perca Well-Known Member

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    Cecil, didn't you do a video on your way of doing a fish with the half-cast method? If not, you should. I've watched you do a crappie in person, and it's obvious you have developed a system that works extremely well and the results are terrific.
     
    3bears likes this.