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Artificial Heads

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by fishtech2029, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. fishtech2029

    fishtech2029 New Member

    22
    6
    ive been watching guys doing artificial heads instead of the real ones for lake trout, speckel trout and other kinds can you use the real heads or not. ??? will the oil come out of the fish I like the natural look instead of the fake ones . is there a way to save the heads or not and what other kind of fish need the fake heads any help would be great thanks
     
  2. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

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    York, SC
    Your salmonoids will have shrinkage and oil in the head as will all fish to some extent
    I use repo heads on all salmon and trout
    Bass bream and crappie I use real head
     

  3. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Yes on small trout there is a way and a good friend does it all the time for world shows ( has won many) but a lot of work goes into it.
    The bigger ones are much harder to do cause of the reasons stated grease, oils etc. So personally cause I hate all that rebuilding of skins etc I’ll cast all my heads. One is time, better quality ok my end, saves time and I’ll give them a quality mount.
    It’s up to you to decide what path you choose but whatever you do choose give it your best! It has your name on it!!
     
  4. fishtech2029

    fishtech2029 New Member

    22
    6
    If you cast your own heads what do you need and what is the process to do it I’m new to this that’s why I’m asking .i may want to start doing this to make extra cash so I want to do it right
     
  5. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Bondo fiberglass resin silicone (tin base)
    Jig to hold your head masking tape
    Scalpel scissors wax brush to apply wax screwdriver to open the mold.

    or a container and either silicone or geltrate to hang the fish in.

    or you can just paint on the silicone but if it’s not thick enough you should make a jacket.

    now to sit and explain step by step is writing a book. It’s best to watch a video or see it done hands on.
     
  6. socalmountainman

    socalmountainman Northwestern School of Taxidermy - Class of '73

    On small to medium size fish I suspend them and dip them into Alginate. It sets quickly, usually with-in 10 minutes or less depending on size. I then mix bondo with resin to make it pourable and cast my own heads. On large fish, too heavy to suspend without causing damage to the fish under its own weight, I purchase cast heads. Lake Country Replicas is where I get mine. 2a.jpg 2b.jpg 2c.jpg 4d.jpg
     
  7. Randy Life and Frank Kotula both have excellent video out on casting fish heads. First time I did a head after watching these video's was a success. They can be found in WASCO, Mc Kenzie, Jonas, and Taxidermy Training Unlimited and probably other supply co.'s also.
     
  8. socalmountainman

    socalmountainman Northwestern School of Taxidermy - Class of '73

    The only reason why I cast my own is because they are made to fit the form that I custom carve for my fish. When you buy cast heads they never fit quite right and they require modification and a lot more work to make the transition invisible. Believe me, with the extra time and materials required to cast your own, you won't be making any extra money but you will get a custom fit and no oil or grease bleed on your paint job. 17.jpg
     
  9. Fallenscale

    Fallenscale Active Member

    370
    228
    NY
    Do they show casting a head on or off the fish in these videos?
     
  10. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    If you haven't tried them, try Caribou Taxidermy/Bill Leach's heads. Best in the industry by far. Nothing against LCR but their heads you have to hand sculpt the mouth interior - no thank you! Bill's heads are reasonably priced too and he has a pretty extensive selection.
     
  11. socalmountainman

    socalmountainman Northwestern School of Taxidermy - Class of '73

    I find Bill's heads too expensive for my commercial work. I'm sure they are great and maybe, if I was doing a pedestal mount where people will be able to look inside, I might consider it but 20.95 vs 31.95 for an 8 lb Bass is not comparable to me. On the cast heads where i need to finish the throat I simply pour a little bondo/resin to cover up the foam. bb.jpg
     
    rogerswildlife and FishArt like this.
  12. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    I can't rebuild the mouth interior on LCR's head's for only $10 bucks. And the detail is best with the Leach heads. They are the only artificial heads I've ever used other than casting my own. And casting my own is not one of my strengths and certainly more costly than purchasing a decent fitting aftermarket head. Adjust your foam to your head before carving the body and you'll rarely have any fit issues. JMO...
     
  13. Randy's video shows both head off and head on, Franks is head still on fish. Also, both of these video's show you how to carve the body of the fish. Randy has two methods to cast the head. Smooth cast and then bondo and resin.
     
    Fallenscale likes this.
  14. fishtech2029

    fishtech2029 New Member

    22
    6
    thanks for the info it seems I got a lot of learning to do but its practice and a few fish under your belt to get you started
     
  15. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

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    York, SC
    Details in the head mean quality
    Quality means $$$$$
     
    FishArt likes this.
  16. fishtech2029

    fishtech2029 New Member

    22
    6
    its all about time and money and make it look good that's what counts