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Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by slabbandit, Sep 19, 2019.
Not fair Cecil...your stringer is longer than my stringer! LOL! Looks awesome!
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.
Why thank you!
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.
Beautiful stringer mounts!
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.
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.
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?
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?
Yes but a little larger depending on the fish size.
Bumping TTT because I think it's funny the way the title reads in the "Last Post" section - ha!
Crappie mounted via the half cast method.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
I use thin plastic on the show side that way you can see the fin and position it with a pin.
Thanks guys! I really like the tip on mixing the two fillers to prevent cracking.
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.