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Thread: Oh look, another person making a tail

  1. #1
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Elle's Avatar
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    Oh look, another person making a tail

    Okay everyone, so!
    just like a whole lot of other people, I too am making silicone tail (feel free to yawn )

    Scale Mold
    I used craft foam. I know there has been a lot of issues with people using craft foam, but itís what I went with. I probably spent a grand total of 2 days cutting out all the foam circles, I just did it in little lots. I started with using a fiskars squeeze punch (with a 1 inch circle) that my hubby modified for me so that the foam actually fitted in it.
    That was okay for maybe the first 10 foam sheets (A4 size) but the punch went blunt and despite my best attempts of sharpening it (I spent a lot of time on Google to work that one out) It failed miserably.
    So I went out to buy another one, when I came across fiskars lever punch (same size).
    The gap in it was just the right size for the foam, so I didnít have to modify the punch at all and managed to get through the remainder of the foam sheets
    (Okay I lie. It was a pack of 50 sheets and I probably didnít use about 8 or 9 of the sheets at the end because they were slightly thicker than the rest and didnít fit in the punch)
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    I stuck all the foam circle on a piece of MDF board that I got at Bunnings Warehouse. I had the board cut to a little bit wider than me and it came up to my armpit. I know that seems really long and it is, but I figure Iíll have some left over to muck around with at the end of it all if I want. Iíll find something to do with it.
    It took about another 2 days to stick all the circles in place (just with PVA glue, kind of annoying as you have to wait for the glue to dry between rows). I had some issues with keeping the rows straight so I ended up drawing lines across the board so they stayed even (kinda). I then spent another day and a half coating all the foam/scales in PVA glue. I did this because obviously the foam is porous and I didnít want the resin going into all the little gaps and holes.
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    I did a couple of test patches on a bit of scrap MDF, one with just the scales coated in the glue and one with the glue and a thin coat of wax furniture polish on top (Carnauba Polish; also from Bunnings). The scales with the wax popped off really nicely, the ones without I had to peel all the scales out by hand and the edges got stuck in the resin Ė I couldnít get them out at all.
    Hubby and my dad help put together the scale box which is just a second piece of MDF underneath and a couple of lengths of wood.

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    "Will you walk a little faster?" said a Whiting to a Snail
    "There's a Porpoise right behind us and he's treading on my tail!"


    Tail making progress http://mernetwork.com/index/showthre...-making-a-tail

  2. #2
    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    Looks like you're off to a good start.
    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Ilyena's Avatar
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    Pretty colours . Good luck with it all.

    side note: love how all the rows are random colours but the last 4-5 >_<
    When Fantasy is Reality

    Links: ^_^
    >
    Mermaid Ilyena >Adelaide Mermaids
    >
    Hippocampus Creations >Etsy


  4. #4
    Good job so far~!!! And I totally agree @Ilyena !!!!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Elle's Avatar
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    Thanks guys....The last few rows weren't planned that way it was just something I ended up doing at the end
    "Will you walk a little faster?" said a Whiting to a Snail
    "There's a Porpoise right behind us and he's treading on my tail!"


    Tail making progress http://mernetwork.com/index/showthre...-making-a-tail

  6. #6
    you are headed in the right direction! will be following to see your progress.
    Owner of Under Sea Mermaid Co.

    Life is short.... live like there is no tomorrow, and smile all the day....

    Swim fast, swim deep, but always reach for your dreams.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Pod of The South MermanZen's Avatar
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    Can't wait to see your progress

  8. #8
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod PearlieMae's Avatar
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    Your scale sheet master is a work of art! I can't wait to see your progress!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Elle's Avatar
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    I can't wait to see my progress either!
    "Will you walk a little faster?" said a Whiting to a Snail
    "There's a Porpoise right behind us and he's treading on my tail!"


    Tail making progress http://mernetwork.com/index/showthre...-making-a-tail

  10. #10
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Elle's Avatar
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    So update time

    I've just finished laying resin on my scale mold. I started first with a detail layer, which is just a plain layer of resin left to set til it goes firm.
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    Then I lay out the matting as per the instructions in the kit. I used Diggers Fibreglass Resin (from Bunnings).

    Accessory Fins (pectoral, ankle)
    Again I just did these on some MDF board with a basic white air dry clay from Spotlight. It was just a case of choosing a design, sculpting them out and letting them dry.
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    this is an image of the detail layer on the fins. I wish I hadn't gone with this method.

    It took me forever to remove the clay from the mold. If I was going to do it again, I'd use monster makers or plasticine - anything I could pull out easier.
    I highly recommend wearing some kind of non permeable glove (vinyl, silicone, latex) before you handle fibreglass matting. The fibres can get under your skin and really irritate. Same goes for when you’re playing with the resin; it’s a pain to get off and is not skin safe. I probably used up about 2 or 3 pairs of gloves with the accessory fins.
    I put contact (that sticky plastic stuff for covering books) on the board as during the first lot the resin attached to the MDF and tore it to shreds making it very hard to remove. Unfortunately the contact went funny when the resin was on it and bubbled so the resin got underneath it. But it wasn’t thick so I was able to snap most of it off with my fingers and what I couldn’t a screwdriver worked quite well.

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    "Will you walk a little faster?" said a Whiting to a Snail
    "There's a Porpoise right behind us and he's treading on my tail!"


    Tail making progress http://mernetwork.com/index/showthre...-making-a-tail

  11. #11
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Elle's Avatar
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    Sorry about the huge pictures
    "Will you walk a little faster?" said a Whiting to a Snail
    "There's a Porpoise right behind us and he's treading on my tail!"


    Tail making progress http://mernetwork.com/index/showthre...-making-a-tail

  12. #12
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Ilyena's Avatar
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    I love the shape of the extra fins ^_^
    When Fantasy is Reality

    Links: ^_^
    >
    Mermaid Ilyena >Adelaide Mermaids
    >
    Hippocampus Creations >Etsy


  13. #13
    Member Euro Pod
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    Oh i love it! Keep up the good work!!!!
    Mermaid Myrthe, the mer without a tail, but with the spirit of a mermaid.

  14. #14
    Awesome! So great to see another Aussie mer making a silicone tail!

  15. #15
    looks great, cant wait to see more progress. I am contemplating doing a silicone tail this year, since it looks like fun. After a couple years of looking at threads and watching clips, I feel I finally understand the process It takes a while sometimes...

  16. #16
    This is so awesome Elle! You're off to a great start and I can't wait to see more!!

    instead of fiberglass matting, you can use fiberglass cloth! I use it in my molds and it's very easy to work with and cheap too. It's also stronger than matting and not as messy

  17. #17
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Elle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessica View Post
    instead of fiberglass matting, you can use fiberglass cloth! I use it in my molds and it's very easy to work with and cheap too. It's also stronger than matting and not as messy
    There's a difference? I've looked at both matting and cloth and they're both basically in sheet form. The only difference being I can tear matting up quite easily....
    Matting is definitely messy, I used a pair of tweezers while I was doing the fins because my hands got too fluffly. And got hubby to lay it down on my scale box (I'm great at task delegation!)
    Maybe for when I get to my fluke?

    Thanks everyone for the support
    "Will you walk a little faster?" said a Whiting to a Snail
    "There's a Porpoise right behind us and he's treading on my tail!"


    Tail making progress http://mernetwork.com/index/showthre...-making-a-tail

  18. #18
    Fiberglass cloth is woven, so you have to cut it with scissors....you can't tear it. Here's a picture for reference:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  19. #19
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Elle's Avatar
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    I shall look into it for my fluke.
    "Will you walk a little faster?" said a Whiting to a Snail
    "There's a Porpoise right behind us and he's treading on my tail!"


    Tail making progress http://mernetwork.com/index/showthre...-making-a-tail

  20. #20
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Elle's Avatar
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    I just took my scale mold apart. I'm very tired it was a lot of effort. There were a few places where the scales stuck (in little clusters) and the edges aren't very pretty. But I'll post some photos when I've finished cleaning it
    "Will you walk a little faster?" said a Whiting to a Snail
    "There's a Porpoise right behind us and he's treading on my tail!"


    Tail making progress http://mernetwork.com/index/showthre...-making-a-tail

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