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Form Carving Advice

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

  1. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    I'm thinking about trying my hand at carving a large crappie form but don't know much about the materials or process just yet. Are there any good reference materials that anybody can suggest?
  2. Fallenscale

    Fallenscale Well-Known Member

    For a crash course go on you tube. Search carving a fish form. I think there was a guy named Rick Robson had a channel that did a bass.

  3. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    I suggested the matuska facebook video on your other post, check it out.
  4. fishmaster

    fishmaster Well-Known Member

    carve the form before you skin the fish out. All the reference and measurements are there in front of you. Calipers and flexible tape measures don't lie.
  5. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    I would be careful on taking measurements off a crappie.
    Every one I do I have to subtract an 1/8 or more from it.
    Their scales are much thicker plus the way the fins lay on the body can throw your measurements off real easy.
    So when carving just remember you’ll be taking anywhere from a 1/8-1/4 inch.
    Don’t try and stretch the skin over a body for scales will pop or lift on you.
    Work very slowly and do in sections on skinning them. One wrong look and pop goes a scale and any rough handling will loose them also.
    I like to remove the fins to give me better access to skinning. Plus I also cast fins .
    Work from tail to head. If at anytime you choose to go from head to tail YOUR GOING YO POP SCALES.
    Some folks dry the skin first on a fan, paint Elmer glue on the fish, dry it and then skin. The glue comes off at the wash later.
    Tami L., Glenn M, JL and 1 other person like this.
  6. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    Thanks Frank
  7. Richs Taxidermy

    Richs Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Great advice Frank,also I like to skin them when there still half frozen .
    JL and Frank E. Kotula like this.
  8. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    I still don't understand why crappie are so hard to skin out. I take the carcass out in three sections and then peel and scrape the rest.
    JL likes this.
  9. hambone

    hambone Well-Known Member

    I never had much trouble with them but I live in
    Michigan where we typically catch them just after ice out when they spawn and the weather is cold, the big southern ones might be in too much warm temps that helps with scale loss. no telling how long they lay around in the heat after being caught.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
  10. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

    crappie are best freeze dried
  11. TroutScout

    TroutScout New Member

  12. Pikeonthefly

    Pikeonthefly Active Member

    I agree with Fishmaster and would like to add a contour gage. 25 years ago I mounted this coho (put it on the shelf life got busy and never finished it). I used the contour gage and took the shape about every 2" from head to tail along with measurements. Then I tube skinned the coho by removing the head and working from there to the tail. I applied mache to the tail and fin areas and that was all. The skin dried perfect to the foam. No air pockets etc. I was new to the hobby and was out to prove I knew a better way to mount fish so this was my experiment. Wish I would have had as much luck with the head. I spent so much time trying to perfect mother nature that I ruined it which is why I excluded it from the photos. If you are careful and can remove the body in full you could get the contours and get your body pretty close. Obviously a small fish will be difficult but give a try. coho 3.jpg coho 2.jpg
  13. Jack perry

    Jack perry New Member

    What is the step by step process for frozen black bass to mount ? Should I measure fish frozen or thaw and measure chunk of meat I cut out please help I understand fresh. Fish procedures but never did a frozen fish ....I need help bad please thank u wanna get started on this fish
  14. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Thaw it out and take your measurements.