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making fish eyes

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by bassbuster, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. does anyone make their on fish eyes and how would you go about it thanks
  2. redwolf

    redwolf Active Member

    Considering they are so cheap I never bothered, but ya never know with the guys on here.

  3. cypresslake

    cypresslake Jude Bordelon Cypresslake Taxidermy

    Come on bob you know you are the cheapest one on this site ;D
  4. redwolf

    redwolf Active Member

    LMAO Not cheap enough to hand blow my own fish eyes.
  5. Call WASCO and get some of the eye lens that Jeff L developed. Simple to use not much cheaper than glass but with them being plastic I find greater control over painting them.

    Use a tin based silicone and pour a small about over the next fresh fish you take in, next use a clear 2 part plastic and mix pour into the silicone mold and roll it around until it sets. Then you will have to dremel the inside out to make it look like you think the inside of the eye looks like., finally polish the inside and paint.
  6. BIGUN

    BIGUN Member

    I have made my own from scratch for 25 years and for the first time, I am glad to say that I don't think I will ever need to again. I bought some of the eyes that Jeff Lumsden developed and just melted when I got them. FINALLY. Super, super easy to paint and deal with, plus I can FINALLY make the pupil any shape I want without having to make the whole eye from scratch. Just a Godsend and very, very accurate and pretty eyes.

    GBRUCH "I am nothing without christ".....John 15:5

    Diito what Dave said.

    I have been searching for some time for an alternative to the tohickon 137's cause you need to order a darn month or more ahead.of time.
    At the NTA I picked up 2 pair and I was very happy.
    I haven't painted them yet but I am sure I will be pleased. I will post pics when I do

    I am so glad I don't have to order and wait any longer--thanks Jeff
  8. den007

    den007 Active Member

    Whoa Trigger............I will have some to try in a bit over a week. Don't get too gushy just yet!

    These will paint up quick....as in under a minute........and you don't have to pour your own.

    GBRUCH "I am nothing without christ".....John 15:5

    Unless these are much improved -- Jeff's are preferred in my opinion

    But you know the saying--different strokes for different folks
  10. gburch where do you order them thanks
  11. Ken Edwards

    Ken Edwards Taxidermy.Net Administrator Staff Member

    At the NTA show in Lubbock last week, WASCO introduced Jeff Lumsden's new Still Life Fish Eye Lenses. Several top fish taxidermists took home a few pair to try out. Maybe they can post photos of some of their results. Since this post asked for instructions on making your own fish eyes, I thought it would be appropriate to include the basic eye painting tutorial that Jeff provided for the hand-outs in our booth. Incedentally, these blank eyes lenses are now available from WASCO for $3.50 per pair in all sizes (10mm through 18mm).

    Here is the Eye Painting instruction sheet by Jeff Lumsden using the new Still Life Fish Eye Lenses:


    Have you ever wished for a fish eye that was the proper oval shape, with a full sclera that came in odd sizes, too? That offered any reflective color scheme you could imagine, with pupils in every shape and size?

    Jeff Lumsden has been working just such a product for many years, and now it's here! His patented crystal clear lens design has all the unique anatomical features found to give a fish eye its beautiful characteristics. This is the first and only product that offers the fish enthusiast all of these qualities rolled together in one gorgeous blank lens! Now you can paint any species any size from 10mm to 18mm with a full sclerotic capsule and an unbelievable iris and pupil shelf that when painted, promises be the most realistic fish eye possible to have!

    Painting a Rainbow trout eye using new Still Life blank lenses


    Step 1. The Pupil:
    This is the most important part of painting an eye. Pupils are openings in the iris that have distinct shapes depending on the species, which allow you to peer through their lens into the dark capsule of their eyes. Regardless of shape, they always have a crisp, clear edge. The easiest and best way I have found to achieve this, is with an ultra fine tipped Elmer's painters pen. It flows with enough thin but opaque black paint to create your pupil with its fine tip into the size and shape you want.


    Generally, the length and size of a pupil should be about 1/2 of the iris size at its widest front to back measurement. (Example: 14mm iris = 7mm x 6mm pupil.) On a piece of white paper measure and draw out the size and shape of the pupil you want depending on the species. Place a piece of clear double-stick tape over your outline, flip, center and stick your lens over the drawing to use as guide to paint your pupil.


    Step 2. Iris details:
    Once the pupil is totally dry, mix Ultimate Retarder thoroughly into some Polytranspar black airbrush paint (WA30). Add a few drops of water to thin and turn down your air pressure for some details. Depending on the species, apply a light amount around the pupil. I like a fine spitting look. In this case, I went close to and around the pupil, trying to stay lighter on the lower half below the pupil. It's easier to paint this step if you do a practice run on paper first to get the air pressure right for a light application. It doesn't have to be perfect at all, just move in close and be careful not to over do it. And if you don't like it you can clean it off by using a moistened filbert shaped artist brush and try it again!

    Step 3. Colors:
    Again depending on the species, most eyes have some hue to them, brown, blue, green, red, yellow, etc. Just as in the previous step, a little goes a long way. In this case I'm using a hint of green: 50/50 med bass green and blue green above the pupil area.


    Step 4. Metallic background:
    For most rainbow trout I use the new Liquid Scales Burnished Gold (LS214). Spray two medium coats. The second can be heavier. Let thoroughly dry and seal with gloss.

    At this point the interior painting of your eye is finished, but looks like a giant iris! After installing your eye as it is now, we'll mask the true iris area from the outside surface, and then paint the sclera or capsule later as a final step in the whole fish painting process. If we were to paint the capsule before installation we would mess it up with sculpting epoxy and tools as well as overspray from painting the head.


    Step 5. Iris mask:
    You can paint any odd sized eyes you need. For example, to paint a 13mm fish eye, use a 14mm lens and simply paint using a 13mm x 12mm iris mask to finish!

    So far the best mask I have found is blue masking tape, it has less adhesive than the other and can be flattened fairly well over the cornea. Measure and mark the dimensions of the iris on a piece of tape. I also draw a bullseye to help center it over the lens. With a pencil finish drawing its shape (usually a slight oval) in this case 18mm x 17mm using an 18mm lens. Once it's been drawn and cut out. Place the mask over the center of the cornea loosely until you are satisfied with its positioning over the center of the lens. Press down the tape and flatten the wrinkles with your nail. Paint your fish head as normal not worrying to much about overspray. However a heavier than normal build up over the mask will create an unwanted ridge when you remove it to finish.


    Step 7. The Sclera or lens capsule:
    Mist some white to the lower half of the eye fading onto the mask. If the upper half isn't to dark it should already have the right color from the head overspray. You can paint some spots up here if you like. Let dry and peel off the mask and you will be amazed at what you've created!


    The final touch!
    Where the mask ends (Iris and cornea) and the sclera begins, is the corneal scleral junction. There's usually a fine dark shading around the eye high lighting this junction. I used black mixed in the same way we did in step #2. Move in close turning your air pressure down and shade a misty thin line on the edge of the sclera. A little overspray onto the cornea is good; this junction line is fuzzy and not crisp! Gloss your fish and stand back and enjoy what you have accomplished, the most realistic fish eye you could possibly have with just a little bit of extra time and a $3.50 investment!

    After using these amazing new lenses you will never look at fish eyes the same way again! And when you tell your customer that you painted his eyes by hand, he will be impressed and think you spent hours!
    GuessWh0 likes this.
  12. Joey Arender

    Joey Arender big mouth alert

    Thanks Ken for posting those will be fun to do....and thanks Jeff L. for comming up with it...that was nice to see how someone else does it. Best thing is they are here and ready to go right...sorry I just can't help myself


    Finally after years of perfecting the wheel Someone reinvents it!

  14. I have been making mine from resin for a while now.
    The advantage is I can make the pupil species specific, not just the pupil size but the shape.
    And I can make the entire eye and this allows you to position the eye from the inside of the replica in any position accurately.

    Here is a Coho Eye

    and the Eye in the salmon head.

    I will need to try some of the lenses and see what I can do with them.
    I am excited
  15. Jeff Lumsden

    Jeff Lumsden Well-Known Member

    Fantastic Josh, I can't wait to see what you can do with them! There is no limit to the details one can paint using these new lenses. But after you have painted a few, even with an average paint job they are very lifelike and easy to use.


  16. den007

    den007 Active Member

    Looks like a lot of work! Whew! Hang in there and wait until you see what I have.

    Josh, quit animating that darn fish head! It is giving me nightmares!LOL
  17. Joey Arender

    Joey Arender big mouth alert

    I don't think its a lot of work...and when you can make the pupil shape the way you want it right then without having to wait... I think its fun trying to paint my own and now I get to try the pupil too...it gives every customer a little extra, and I say its fun and rewarding when you get one close...
  18. den007

    den007 Active Member

    You will be able to order these in any shape you like. Where is the depth????? Okay, I know some ichthyologist is going to tell me all about that. You will be able to compare soon. Real soon!
  19. Joey Arender

    Joey Arender big mouth alert

    Dennis I am not trying to start anything, but it will sound that way.

    That is a broken record...I hope buck hasn't told you something that wont happen yet again..for your sake...what is this the thrid or fourth time that his eyes are coming, but yet where are they, your stil waiting...I will be ordering eyes made by people I trust and Buck isn't one of them. Sorry
  20. [​IMG]

    I do it because I can. ;D