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Looking To Start Replica Fish Taxidermy

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by CPT Glen, Feb 4, 2020.

  1. CPT Glen

    CPT Glen New Member

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    Hello, I am looking for recommendations for which airbrush to use and what forms to buy to practice on. Any info would be greatly appreciated! I have no prior experience, and I'm starting from scratch. Thank You!
     
  2. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

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    Start with skinmounts
     
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  3. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Active Member

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    Why start with Skin Mounts? Just curious..
     
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  4. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

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    Because snapping together a replica and painting it teaches you notta. Many times on LCR or Arp 3d blanks the anatomy is wrong so they need to be fixed. Just things you learn from doing skinmounts.
     
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  5. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Active Member

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    Ahhh. Gotcha
     
  6. h20halo

    h20halo New Member

    I hear the "anatomy is wrong" quite often on here. Can you elaborate more on what some of this means, both on skin mounts and replicas?
     
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  7. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    First off, it all depends on what the student is wanting to learn. With a good teacher, students will learn a plenty finishing replicas. I don't think it matters much which is taught first, but I prefer to teach the other way around. Replicas first, then skins. The difficulty of original skins can be very intimidating. So difficult in fact that most trying to get into the fish/original skin business for profit fail. Whereas learning to paint replicas - being easier to learn allows me to build upon those successes. As a certified Secondary teacher I've learned you don't teach Calculus before teaching basic math. Teaching Replicas first is my preference! JMO.
     
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  8. jimss

    jimss Active Member

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    I would agree with FishArt. I started fish taxidermy a couple years ago in my basement with replicas. I had a great time figuring out how to paint them...thanks to several Rick Krane videos. I also altered some of the faulty fish forms and added more detail to most of them. I really have no desire to do skin mounts...especially since I catch and release fish.

    Fish forms aren't cheap so you may want to start off using smaller replicas such as bluegills, small bass, or trout? You can always repaint them until you are satisfied with the colors! I've been happy with my Badger. A good detail airbrush is likely all you need.
     
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  9. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

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  10. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    There's some BAD advice going on here. Thank you Frank for stating what should be obvious. Certainly mounting a skin mount fish is a learning process but the best job in the world can suck with a crappy paint job. Once you paint a skin mount, it's all over but the shouting. A good repro can be washed off with lacquer thinner and you can start all over again. Once upon a time (don't know if they still do) some suppliers sold half cast fish just for that purpose.
    Picking an airbrush is like picking a sweetheart. I've owned dozens of Badgers and never liked any of them. I've owned a dozen Paasche's and they served me well over the years. I was finally goaded on here to buy a quality, double action brush and though it took me twice as long to learn its nuances that average people, I never looked back. My Paasche's were relegated to gloss coating and doing LARGE reproduction fish for detailing after production paint sprayers were finished.
     
  11. slabbandit

    slabbandit Member

    I started out doing all skin mounts and only recently have done a few replicas. I think I would probably have learned a lot more doing replicas first. My first skin mounts looked pretty rough in the head juncture area.
     
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  12. slabbandit

    slabbandit Member

    I noticed that I have trouble getting my iridescent lacquer paints to spray well out of my current airbrush. It's a fine tip. I used to have a Paasche with, I believe, a # 3 tip that seemed to work better for these colors. Any thoughts on this?
     
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  13. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Or like picking a puppy - close your eyes and grab one - lol!
     
  14. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Anything with metal flakes or mica flakes in it is going to require a larger opening. I think you answered your own question!
     
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  15. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Plus you should never run metallic paint through any detail or fine tip airbrushes All your doing is ruining your tip as the metallic paint wears down the fine tips. Always use a wider tip or have a junk airbrush and use that for metallic paint. Your fine tip or high end guns aren’t designed for that.
     
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  16. jrandall71

    jrandall71 Member

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    Buy a half cast from the supply companies (they have several species to choose from). I personally would recommend finding a paasche vl with all three nozzles and needles #1,2,&3. It's a good basic dual action air brush that will let you spray detail and volume with a quick needle change. Once you get the hang of it then get a badger HBC or Iwata CMC for your finer detail stuff. As far as paint goes, laquer vs waterbase try both and see which one works for you in your environment. Also try other types of medium like pastels, mica powders, charcoal,etc It's all about what works for you. So pick a cast buy some paint and start playing!!
     
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  17. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

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    Pretty good anatomy and a ok paint job make for a far better looking mount then crappy anatomy and a great paint job IMO
     
  18. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    To most of us Mudbat. Otherwise I think that old saying is actually the other way around when it comes to the average customer. I think it's even mentioned in the "history of taxidermy" on this website! It all matters of course...
     
  19. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Years ago I called a couple of the replica suppliers and asked them if they had any "junk" blanks laying around with defects that they'd be willing to let go cheaply that I could practice on. You know the dusty stuff that you know you're never going to get around to fixing? I ended up getting 3 blanks for nothing except the cost to ship them!
     
  20. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Active Member

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    So as far as a replica goes. Considering it’s molded right from the real fish. What would be considered BAD anatomy? Flat spots? Un realistic turns?
     
    George likes this.