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Casting Trout Heads

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by 1tahr, Sep 14, 2021.

  1. hi guys im mounting large trout here in new zealand and seem to be spending an awful lot of time sanding and repairing my heads once ive molded and cast them, the method im using is to take measurements the remove head seat in clay then put wall around and pour plaster over , once the head is removed and plaster is dry im sealing in shellac and pva ,then mixing a hot brew of bondo polyester and rolling around till dry . my question is whats the most fastest and accurate method for commercial work with the least amount of finishing time thanks .
     
  2. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    5,741
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    York, SC
    I like using alginate while on the fish
    Hang him head down pour alginate lower fish in
    Use good alginate
    Then I use smooth on 305 I believe and rotocast, bondo would work as well
     

  3. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

    8,890
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    freeze dry the heads….I have a trout mount here thats 35 plus years old with freeze dried head and no oil leakage whatsoever
     
    instigator likes this.
  4. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    6,214
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    MN
    I don't have a fast way but I remove head and pose on a wire sticking through a board, card gills and mouth how I like and freeze in that position. remove from freezer spread a thin layer of silicone over entire head and inside of mouth. Repeat daily until thick enough, at least 3 days, and for large heads I'll make a mother mold, to support the silicone, with bondo. let it set out and finish curing and thawing. Remove head and clean the inside well and eihter pour with bondo and resin or smooth on 300. Takes more time but during that time I am carving forms test fitting skins or many other projects.
     
    Clew likes this.
  5. whitetails and fish only

    whitetails and fish only Well-Known Member

    Alginate for mold, bondo and fiberglass for the cast. As Clew said, leave the head on the fish while molding. Fast and easy. Randy Life and Frank Kotula both have excellent videos explaining this method.
     
    Frank E. Kotula and Clew like this.
  6. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    5,741
    9,953
    York, SC
    This makes a better head but a bit more costly,
    BUT
    During freezing
    Remove from freezer after frozen
    And hit it with med on a hair dryer Till you kinda dry it
    Repeat a couple times
    Then do the silicon
    Heck yea for a comp head beautiful !
    But get back to commercial work
    Where was I
     
  7. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

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    Only way your not going to end up not having to repair and fill in some shrinkage is to make a mother mold, pull a cast. Repair then recast. I have heads that I can use for a couple different sizes that just take a little alteration. Not cost effective though unless you can use it for a few different size fish though.
    I have two steelhead head molds that I can use for most any buck between 30-34 inches with just a few tweaks.
    These are molded from silicone or rtv
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
  8. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    6,214
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    MN
    I forgot to preface my post that I only cast certain heads and not that many per year. It only takes a few minutes a day to layer on the tube silicone and I think it may even be cheaper. I also do my fins the same way. Remove em card em and freeze, pull em out and follow my above described procedure. Truth be told I use this method for casting other things as well like head forms and body parts for critters that aren't available from suppliers.
     
  9. Thanks so much guys for advice just purchased some alginate , but like the idea of silicon and having some molds on hand thanks again