1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

Paint Struggles

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by D265, Sep 11, 2022.

  1. D265

    D265 New Member

    28
    2
    I'm struggling to paint my first fish. I'm using water based polytranspar colors. From reading some of the other posts here, I imagine I'll get some suggestions to go to the lacquer based.

    I get through a few layers and then I have issues with clogging, then after adjusting I shoot too much on by accident and I'm back to having to wipe the whole thing off. I've wiped this fish (repro) down a few times now. What are the tricks if you accidentally spray too much or have a similar mistake happen? Is it really wiping the whole fish down again?

    Could someone recommend some videos about using the airbrush for taxidermy? I've got a few videos but it seems like they expect you to know what you're doing already. I've only done birds so far so the fish thing and the airbrush is new to me.
     
  2. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I don't use water based paints for all the reasons you stated. Lifetone and Polytranspar lacquers are my paints of choice. I do the base colors outside and upwind from the fish. I wear a respirator for doing detail work when inside. My suggestion on water based paints would be to thin more and see if that helps. I use retarder on lacquer to thin. What type of airbrush are you using?
     
    Clew likes this.

  3. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    8,895
    17,373
    York, SC
    I know a few great fish heads that loves water paints
    But the other 99.999% of others love lacquer paints
    I love my lacquer paints
    Water base are really finicky and the biggest isssues are the ones your having now
    Just my opinion
    As Joey asked what brush are you using?
     
  4. D265

    D265 New Member

    28
    2
    I've got a shit brush I ordered on Amazon and a Paasche H. I'm looking at getting another brush, was thinking a Paasche VL. I haven't been thinning the Polytranspar paints, I thought they were ready to spray?

    So no secret tricks after you booger something up a few layers in?
     
  5. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    If it's a big splat, there is no fix. The brush should paint smoothly. If you sense it slowing down, turn away from the fish and open it wide to clear the clog. With retarder on lacquer paints, this doesn't happen very often.
     
    silverwings and D265 like this.
  6. Pescado

    Pescado Biggest in 2011

    What are the tricks if you accidentally spray too much or have a similar mistake happen? Is it really wiping the whole fish down again?

    I lock each layer of warebased paint in with a coat of laquer basecoat sealer, I believe it is LT 100 from lifetone. This way you can remove any additional coats or mistakes if you do not like the results. Mineral spirits or alcohol will not remove anything previously coated with the sealer.
     
  7. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    You have to play with waterbase more than lacquer paint.
    One is to learn how different air pressure works
    Two learn on how to thin paint with the proper thinners used for waterbase paints as they can vary unlike lacquer
    Three the use of waterbase retarder which helps from clogging but to much will break your paint down and render it useless.
    Forth is just plain practice practice and more practice. Plus if your using a cheap brush that in itself will cause issues and yet I’ve seen folks use top quality brushes and cant do crap with them either cause they never did the steps above ( learn and practice)
     
  8. D265

    D265 New Member

    28
    2
    This is more like it. Let's say you decide you don't like the end product. Could you use some lacquer thinner to remove all of it? Does that base coat seal have any gloss to it?
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2022
  9. Pescado

    Pescado Biggest in 2011

    Laquer thinner will cut through it. The gloss is a bit subdued, but it is there. Kind of between glossy and matte.
    I have a pic on phone somewhere of last project I used the basecoat as a finish. Will see if I can find and post pic.
     
    D265 likes this.
  10. Pescado

    Pescado Biggest in 2011

    Found it. Got a good deal on this with sawed off stock. Footed in a piece of walnut and shaped it up. Used the LT 100 as a sealer/gloss. The other one is also finished with the sealer, but I hit it with some very fine sandpaper to give it a matte finish.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 12, 2022
    D265 likes this.
  11. D265

    D265 New Member

    28
    2
    Very cool, like a satin sheen. I'll have to get some ordered up. This will really save some time, thank you.
     
  12. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    8,895
    17,373
    York, SC
    D265
    Paul is one of the best when it comes to water paints,
     
  13. tcp global has a series of water based reducers and retardre. 4011, 4013 are two you need a lot of to make water based work.
     
  14. drwalleye

    drwalleye Active Member

    391
    31
    That passhe brush is what I've been using for 15 years.cheap and works well
     
  15. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    8,895
    17,373
    York, SC
    I like the velocity by badger
     
  16. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    8,895
    17,373
    York, SC
    And the chrome
     
  17. Richs Taxidermy

    Richs Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Createx
     
  18. JE

    JE Well-Known Member

    I never ever start spraying direct to the fish, always on a paper plate first , all too easy to forget to place needle properly etc after flushing or whatever, that way if you get a splat it is not on the fish and the problem can be rectified. I use Golden acrylics either airbrush paints but mostly fluids and airbrush medium. All I can say is practice (and experience) does make perfect ( well, better)
     
  19. NOAH@aarrkk

    [email protected] Active Member

    1,046
    22
    GA
    Check out YouTube for info on operating an airbrush.
     
  20. D265

    D265 New Member

    28
    2
    So I've been doing a lot of practicing and I ordered some retarder. What a huge difference. I picked up a Badger Krome as well, but just the retarder alone has made a huge difference and has eliminated the issues I was having. It seems to make everything more forgiving and I'm not dealing with clogs at all now.