How to make a stuffed fish

The most popular fish for the manufacture of stuffed for the interior of the house is a catfish. Large beautiful fish, the fight against which more than one hour can continue. The next most popular is the pike, followed by perch and pike.


In America, the most common are the different representatives of the family of stuffed salmon. In the US more popular stuffed whole fish carcasses, they are beautiful and look more impressive in the interior of the home.

Fish like interior items are very beautiful, elegant and, in contrast to the stuffed animals, do not cause a negative attitude. Now taxidermy market is developing rapidly. There was a demand for special components, without which it is beautiful and durable stuffed impossible. Well, if there is demand, there is supply.

Now you can buy tools, medicines, paints, adhesives, mannequins for carcasses, eyes and everything else is just as necessary for making scarecrows. Eyes for each species of fish produced their own, the right color. There unpainted eyes that you want to paint yourself. The diameter of the pupil is also possible to choose a was your trophy during his lifetime.

Professional taxidermists know very well the anatomy of fish, especially their internal and external structure. A priority for those wishing to make their own stuffed fish is photographing an object while it is still alive. Only in this way can be fixed for future processing accurate body color, eye color and exterior features individual fish.

Most of the objects for future pre-stuffed frozen in the freezer, as is rarely the opportunity to come to grips with the fish immediately after the catch. In addition, after thawing easier to remove excess tissue from the skin.For example, offer to take a perch. To study better to choose fish weighing from 500 g to 1 kg. Perch as a training facility is good that the scales had held very tightly, almost never flies, unlike other fish.

His skin is thick, and it is more difficult to spoil. It is necessary to prepare a table with a clean and smooth surface on which to lay the paper (newspaper). Tools for taxidermists are sold in specialty stores, but you can find them in any store tools or home.

The first step is to decide: do you want a wall or board composition of fish. Depending on this, make the cut on the side of the fish – usually on the side, where it will be attached to the wall.

If you do not care which way the fish will be turned off (right or left), the incision is usually made on the other side, which is less damaged, that is, where there are fewer gaps in the scales and no injuries.

First, we make an incision on the carcass of fish

Carefully cut off the base of the fins

Separate the skin from the carcass of fish


Head clipped at the bottom. There is a technique in which the head is cut off completely, and the skin from the body separately put on the mannequin. So it is easier to fully clear the tissue that is the primary task at this stage of preparation of stuffed fish. However, this method is more complicated, because only a professional will be able to well disguise the gap between the head and torso. The next step is trimmed from the inside spine of fish and begin to remove the skin. Make a lateral incision.

If the composition table, the incision is on the belly, so that he was not ready stuffed seen. Prune the skin as close as possible to the tail, taking care not to damage it. In the rear area of ​​the spine snack and continue to separate the inside of the fish from the skin. To remove the skin of large fish knife is used more, and only a small knife for small fish. In large fish skin is best to trim from tail to head, as if to do the contrary, the scales can rebound when cut.

Then begin to remove muscle. At this stage the most important thing – as much as possible to thoroughly clean the fish from the internal tissues. The better to do now is, so then it will be easier. To clean the skin at this stage and used a pair of scissors and a knife. All that prevents, cut with scissors and then thoroughly clean up the knife (can be sharpened with a spoon), much skin is not pressed down so as not to damage it. Cleans the skin from the tail to the head, and not vice versa. When removing the skin it is important not to bend and not break to pieces, it must always lie flat.

Caution should be treated fins mounting space. Clipped the fins in their places of bases using scissors to better muscle were removed, and cut the cartilage that support the fins from the inside. It is essential that the fins do not dry out the skin during treatment. For this purpose, periodically sprayed with water from a spray. If the fins are dried up, with them will be difficult to work with, they are impossible to straighten the end may break rays, etc.

After removing the skin begin to scour it once more, certainly from tail to head, so as not to damage the scales, otherwise the fish will not turn out beautiful. Particular attention is paid to the purification of the head – the cranial bones, brains, fat tongue, gills and other heads do not need fabric. Remove the eye and through the eye socket clean out his cheeks. Around the pectoral and pelvic fins also remove all the meat. Many taxidermists cut off the fins before removing the skin, because so it is easier to fully clean. It remains only to clean the skin with or without head. And then glued fins separately. So, for the manufacture of the skin is ready.

“Dressing” – a special solution, which is lowered into the skin for one hour or more (depending on the fish size: the larger it is, the longer it is kept in solution). Concentrate for dressing you need to buy yourself at home it can be done. This treatment makes the skin supple and removes excess organic matter.

After the candle finally we clean the skin by removing the remnants of meat, fat, and other tissues. If not completely remove the remaining oil on the skin, in the future it will continue to stand out, to shrink over time, so the shape of the body and the head, especially in the area of ​​the cheek, will be deformed. In addition, over time, from stuffed begin an unpleasant smell. Well made and properly stuffed may persist for decades or even centuries. After the final clean up her skin immersed in acetone for degreasing. Degreasing time depends on the size of the fish. For processing bass small half skins sufficiently, but can be held, and two hours. However, if too long to keep the skin in acetone, it will fall apart.

After dressing and degreasing of skin should be light, without reddish veins. When at the same time do a few stuffed fish, a solution for the manufacture and degreasing needs to be changed. While the fish is degreased, start to prepare a plastic mannequin. You can try to make it yourself, but this is difficult to do without special equipment and skill. It is much easier to buy a ready-made, suitable to the size of fish taxidermy mannequin in specialized firms. Mannequin pick the size of the fish, thus it should always be a little larger than the fish itself; then grind it just below the skin size. If you are going to do a song from a few fish, it is advisable to choose mannequins with different forms and with different body turn of the head, because the fish in the “flock” should not look like twins.

Before preparing the dummy produce fitting skins. It is important that the edges of the skins go for dummy head. This parameter determines the appropriate manikin. If the skin is too small for the dummy, the “blank” grind rasp. Next rasp or a large sandpaper cleaned dummy removing the upper crust, and all unnecessary tabs; in this manner it is prepared for the application of glue and clay. Drill cut grooves under the fins, pre-marking locations on a mannequin. To make the tail fin groove for small fish this manipulation produced a knife, as this area is on a mannequin rather thin.

To fix the head insert an iron rod (you can nail) in a pre-drilled hole in the dummy, otherwise it may break at the time of driving the studs. After processing, the dummy pull out skins of acetone and check it: it shall turn white and become slightly dryish. After degreasing again cleaned skins from organic residues, then within minutes wash it using any means for washing utensils (can be Fairy), which is also a skin degreasing, and then thoroughly washed in running water under the tap.

Once again, check the size of the dummy and customize them under the skins. Special attention is given fins – they should “sit” precisely at the place. Trying on the skin, pulling the pin on the lower jaw and checking the conformity of the dummy’s head dimensions and fish. To facilitate the fitting pins can pin up the skin, so that it is not shifted.


Before you put on the skin at a mannequin, apply clay to the places (cheeks, hips and so on.) That should not be on the fish look “sunken”. Cheeks filled with clay with a spatula through the eye socket on the skin of the head. Clay seal and smooth; it should not be too much; otherwise the fish will appear unnaturally bloated. To flocked not stuffed inside air, which may damage the outer contour of the fish, after making small holes in the pin must be places where the clay is added to the seal. Pave clay and at the base of the head, and on the edge, to make possible a smooth transition between the head body and tail. This should be done very carefully so that the appearance of the trophy was “healthy”.

Further mannequin applied special glue for the skin. It has Cremo shaped structure that holds well on the dummy material, together with clay fill the void, and, importantly, it hides well-slips on a mannequin. This adhesive is harmless; it is absolutely non-toxic, unlike cheaper analogues, which have to suffer at work. Clay plaster in a circle, leaving a small space is not missed in the place where the shoes will be stitching. Place seam is selected in advance.

If the fish will be hanging on the wall, it is better to make the seam on the side which will face the wall. If the model will be on the stand, it is better to make the seam on the belly. At this point, it is very important not to bruise the skin and does not damage the scales! If you use low-quality glue, half fish scales remain on hands and tools. Distributed on the skin of the dummy, once again check that all was “the place”. After that, fasten the skin staples along the seam, or cross linked thread or glue.

Begin installing the head. For stiffening insert made in the area of ​​the gills, so they will not have failed when dry. If the fish is small, it is better to fill his head with clay, you will need a polyurethane inset for the big fish. With the help of pins inserted into the body, it is possible to adjust the width of the opening of the jaws, the angle of rotation of the head of fish, giving the trophy liveliness, naturalness and natural beauty. If it will cause hardship, take a look at the photo and you caught fish or find any good photo of this species of fish. Consolidating the head in position, pay special attention to the gills.


Glue “Super-Glu” put a neat sausage on the edge of the head and gill area and straighten the fins attached to them special pins, wire frames, or any heavy plastic film. If the fin rays do not have enough or they are broken, then produce its restoration: on the most noticeable gaps lay patches of glue “Super-Glu.” Please straighten the upper ray, and then the lower beams and pins fix the base of the fins. The transition from dummy to the rays of the fins should be smooth.

Fins giving the desired position, they make for a bandage, which represents, on one hand, a thin wire frame, and the other plastic. This “two-way” bandage is needed to give the fins to dry in place. The bandage is attached to the fins by means of ordinary paper clips. Stretch fins and fix them without using force. This piece of work almost requires special care to the next stage does not have long to recover fins.

With paired and unpaired fins all actions produce the same pattern. The base of the tail is glued and fixed with a bandage. Pelvic fins sometimes only in the way, so they originally made inconspicuous, and is pressed against the body of the fish. There is a technique in which the fins are completely pre-cut, treated separately from the body and dry, so they are easier to recover and straighten. But in this case, there are some difficulties in their attachment to the body. At the bottom of the prepared scarecrow stuck a pin on which the fish will be dried.

Correction form of fish fingers

The next stage – the penultimate drying. Ideally, fish should dry for three days to a week, sometimes longer. If the fish before painting is not completely dried, then later the paint breaks and cracks. Before drying once again need to critically examine the fish and, if necessary, adjust its shape a little bit with your fingers (this should be very careful to handle with scales). Dried fish professional hairdryer, but this should be done carefully, since it can be a skin retains moisture.

The main task at the last stage of manufacturing stuffed fish – Guidance final beauty: plaster, painting, installation of eye and formation of fins. First, restore the body perch using special putty. Some prefer to prepare their own plaster, but still safer to use a professional staff: water-soluble and two-component filler (gray and pink). Caulking was worked up the body of the dried perch before painting. It is important that it be smooth.

To do this, close up all the holes and other defects on the trunk. During the putty, it is desirable to use a photo of the fish. If not, you can put in front of another perch (preferably freshly or frozen) in order to have a sample of body shape, especially the head. The most important thing with putty – make the right chubby shape of the head (from memory it’s hard to do). Also pay special attention to the head seam putty, fin bases remaining notches on the body.

Fillers smooth, to avoid uneven transitions. Do it with a brush dipped in water. Brush first takes rough, bristly, and then softer. The seam can still seal the strip of fabric, instead of putty. That is what the US taxidermists. Further spatula draw scales on the spot, where the filler is a seam to his mask (you can do it with a pin or other sharp instrument). After the putty is necessary to give the fish to dry for two to three hours in a dry, ventilated area. To speed up the drying process, you can use a professional hairdryer.


You can now insert artificial eyes

Shape of the fins and the tail is reduced by using a special paper

Artificial eyes pick up the exact size

The next step – the fins recovery and preparation for painting. For these purposes, a use special regenerating fin of material that is produced is, unfortunately, only in America. Related items gardeners cover crops, only here it is much thinner. With increasing thickness of the material of the fins, they become more elastic, less brittle. Fins are cut to size and small pieces of material are glued to the back side of the fins (which will be adjacent to the wall).

Coat with glue all the fins, so that they are well soaked. Ideally, the fins should be to restore the minimum. The main task – to preserve the natural shape of fin rays and fish, while quite laborious and long work of restoration will be reduced significantly. Then glued fins interlining (which is used in the manufacture of collars), and after drying for an hour coat with sealant, which secures them, it gives flexibility, strength, and also protects the rays from a possible abrupt change in temperature in the room.

This should be done three to four times, each time allowing the composition to dry for 5-10 minutes. After this manipulation fins thicken, become strong and durable. Moreover, because it can be given any shape, for example, pick up the dorsal fin or, conversely, to press the back. These points are particularly important when they want to make a composition of several stuffed fish. After the final drying of the product (it must dry for at least 1 hour, but in general, the more – the better) neatly cut off the excess fabric with scissors. It should be on a photo to recreate the natural form of the fins of the fish.

The next step – the selection of eye. At the very beginning of work on the scarecrow should fix the exact size, color and eye bulge trophy. Around the eye is the sclera, and measurements need to be taken into account is the size of the eye, without the surrounding sclera, or the fish will look unnatural or goggle-eyed, or have a small inexpressive eyes. Matched eyes glued to the eye socket using plasticize. Does not use imported bright plasticize, which are appreciated for something that does not stick to the hands of children. In this case, they are not suitable. You can mix the plaster with clay in a ratio of 1: 3. Once inserted the eyes, they should be in a circle putty flavorful sausage. Then stuffed dried again for about 30 minutes. Last, the most interesting stage in the manufacture of stuffed – painting.


Putty strengthens the eyes and smoothes the surface of the head

First, a primer is applied to the overall tone

Fins with color cover paper

Special arts education is not required. It would take a special paint and primer, airbrush, a brush, which is needed only at the end, a good image of a fish and a burning desire to make a trophy colorful and authentic. Paints (Made in USA), which cover the fish, very special. Not only is the complete matched special “fish” colors (hundreds of silvery shades), pearl, green and other water colors, paint has the ability to burst out when you look at it from different angles, rests well on fish scales, while underneath is visible relief scales and gives the impression that each scale is individually and shimmers like a freshly caught fish.

But first, as with any other painting, should be primed stuffed with an airbrush. It is especially important to cover the primer those places where it was plastered. Paint very well lies down on the primer. And if the water-based paint applied on plaster without primer, it is then drained and the entire work will be lost. By the way, when the primer is not necessary to forget about the fins. And eyes are better than anything close. After drying primer is required again for 15-20 minutes.

Further perch alternately applied paints of different colors and shades. Consistency of application can vary, but it is first applied the basic background, more bright colors, then darker, and the band (bass, pike) or round spots (Moray) made at the end. After each paint should be washed with water airbrush! This is very important because if you do not, the previous color will appear in the next color, and the entire image will be broken. Begin with general background. On the fish have already been applied light (gray and pink) and the primer coat, and now want to align the overall color pattern.

To do this, begin to brown evenly applied airbrush paint a very thin layer to the whole body of fish, excluding fins. Fins closed bandages. You can only close the dorsal fins, and it is possible and everything. After leveling the background put the fish dry. Then proceed to the actual artistic component. The basic principle of the fish coloring as follows: paint is put on lighter colors to darker. That is, start with white and finish the darkest colors. White and silver color gives perch natural brightness.

Then, the silver paint (without pearl) is applied on top of the fish, then – in the region of the lateral line, on the cheeks, and very little on the belly. With painting belly in general need to be careful, because it is usually the fish is bright and it is important not blur. Apply a thin layer of paint, keeping the front of a large photograph of the perch. Add the top of the trunk and head gold paint on the sides of the paint is applied to the same, but slightly smaller. The number of gold paint depends on what the bass want to eventually get, because in nature they are very different in color: there are fish from very green to brown, gold, yellow, etc. So the choice is yours.

Next paint – light green (transparent). Apply again the top of the head and torso, hips and on quite a bit in the abdomen. Under the paint should be drawn relief scales. Cover the ordinary acrylic paint from a container (can be a brush), the intermediate layer and put the perch to dry for half an hour. The fins are also lacquered after removing the bandage. Work with varnish should be in a ventilated area, because it is toxic. Next, choose the green paint of a darker, more precisely, a gray-green hue. You can dilute it a little water. After her application again dried fish for about 15 minutes, then a small sponge with acetone and water, remove the excess of green paint that cover the relief of scales.

Paint (black with the addition of yellow) paint brush stripes on the body of the perch. Then the same brush lightly stained the top of the head and back, and then added a very thin layer of brown paint on the top and sides of the torso and the head, trying to do it very carefully so as not to drown out the opaque paint previous layers. Transparent Fluorescent paint blue and gold color that is applied to the gill covers, sides and other protruding parts of the body, gives perch natural iridescence, the game simulates the scales and gills shine.


The acrylic nail primer reinforces the tone and gives the brightness of the colors

When coloring stuffed better focus on the original color photo

The color of the fins and the tail begin to applying the base color brush

Thin brush paint fin rays of bright red paint, trying to make the feathers. If this paints to paint the fin completely, it will be ugly. So come with the largest projecting rays of fins (paired and unpaired) and then applied to the airbrush fins very thin layer of bright red paint. Thus it is necessary to maintain the transparency of the fin.

The base of the caudal fin isolated black spots that paint brush. It remains only to wash the eye (acetone), and varnish at three-four layers of all the fish. The varnish is applied in layers with each layer followed by drying for several hours. Now you need to choose the most advantageous location for the trophy.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 × 4 =