By Rick Leach
When attaching a reproduction largemouth bass head to a reproduction largemouth bass body, you have the problem that there is not a smooth transition between the two molded pieces. The solution is to create a smooth transition and scale detail with Magic Sculpt®.
After attaching the head with bondo, sand and smooth any bondo that may have seeped out between the head and the body. Mix up a small amount of Magic Sculpt (50/50 mixture), wet your fingers slightly with water, and blend the Magic Sculpt over the gap between the head and body.
Once you have smoothed the Magic Sculpt and created that nice smooth transition, you need to create scale detail over that transition. On a largemouth bass the scales continue from the body partially onto the head. The best way to create realistic scale detail is to use a scale detail pad molded directly from a repro largemouth bass body.
To create a scale detail pad, pick a spot on the body with scale detail that matches the head area and paint it with PVA Mold Release. Make a dam around this area with oil clay, and then paint a layer of silicon rubber about 1/4″ thick. After the silicon rubber has set up, peel it off the body and wash the mold release off the body and pad with water. You now have a perfect scale detail pad that can be reused for other reproduction largemouth bass work.
To correctly place the scale detail on your transition, make sure the rounded edges of the scales point towards the back of the fish and gently press the pad into the Magic Sculpt. Use your wet finger to gently smooth any areas that need smoothing.
Once the Magic Sculpt has hardened, it is ready to be painted!