The Talking Magikarp

I decided to re-skin A Big Mouth Billy Bass into a Magikarp from Pokémon!

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Alright… This one I guess isn’t technically a shenanigan, and it’s definitely not a prank, but it’s still a cool thing that’s definitely fitting on this blog!

So this past summer, my brother was a thrift store and as a joke, bought me one of those tacky old “Big Mouth Billy Bass” things that were popular in the early 2000s. It was actually pretty funny to see one of these things still around! I then got the idea that I could probably make this thing a little more interesting, seeing as if I’m going to have it around, why not actually make it something to display? I then realized how easy it would be to mod into something else! And if I ruin it, oh well, it was like $3!

So I decided to re-skin the fish into a Magikarp from Pokémon! It would be cartoony and easy to do! I ordered some liquid latex off of Amazon, and then started building a base or full-size model of the Magikarp to later mold and make the latex version. I started with cloths hanger wire and duct-tape and papier-mâché. After I got this going, I covered it and reshaped it using layers of clay and duct-tape! I didn’t really have a better medium to work with unfortunately, so this took quite a while (like 10 hours or so before it was shaped properly).

Next, I was going to take my solid model of Magikarp, then make a negative mold of it in silicone, then paint the latex inside of that… But it turned out I didn’t get enough silicone (that stuff is expensive!) so I just started painting the mask latex right onto the model.

The latex painting took forever too, since it needed about 20 layers or so to really be thick enough.At this point, my professor in my prop making class at NKU gave us an assignment to modify an old object and make it new, and he said I could use this project for that assignment, so I now had a reason and time frame to finish it!

Finally, I peeled off the latex and powdered and painted it (poorly, because I rushed) with Acrylics! I made an eye out of some photo paper, and then I stuffed the latex with open-cell foam, like the original Billy Bass. Next I fitted the fish on, and Bam! Done.

Well, I still need to change the name plate and try and fix the mouth to articulate it better!

And maybe repaint it too, hah!

Author: Jared K

Prank artist, chainsaw juggler, Marsupial extraordinaire, VHS-remote collector/connoisseur, ice sculpture repair technician and generally a real cool cat.

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