View Full Version : serious business

Ayla of Duluth
07-26-2011, 05:07 PM
someone out there needs to teach me how to work with silicon and latex so i can dedicate myself to making beautiful and realistic tails for all my mermaid and mermen friends out there. I hate to sound mean, but i just got done reading a screencapped thread about one of the mertailor's customer's experiences with him, and that was the last straw after everything else i've heard about him. it inspired me to start creating high quality mermaid tails. i want to make realistic tails to sell, while actually putting time and effort into each and every one of the tails no matter how many orders there are. I love giving gifts away, i love seeing people smile. it makes me feel so good about myself inside. its a lifelong dream of mine to make mermaiding my proffession, and I admire every single one of you mermaids and mermen out here who have posted pictures of their latex and silicon creations. i've looked all over the internet to find tutorials on how to mold silicon into fluke shapes, and nothing good comes up. can anyone help a little mermaid so she can help all you guys in the future? http://static.yuku.com/domainskins/bypass/img/smileys/smile.gif

Mermaid Star
07-26-2011, 05:49 PM
Look up how to create a mold. There are plenty of threads on here discussing how to make latex/silicone tails. You can go on to you tube and find a ton of videos on mold making. That will give you a good idea. But mold making is expensive, I am doing it right now, so if you have never molded something before. I would recommend starting small. So little research on here and you will find plenty of information. Or you can go to mer.yuku.com if some of the files have yet to be moved over to the new forum. Most if not all of your questions have been answered on threads contained in these two places and on youtube. Good luck

Winged Mermaid
07-26-2011, 06:08 PM
Sadly there aren't many people in the community who have much knowledge in casing and molding on a project of that magnitude, and those who do know that there's not really a way to "teach" people over the internet, even if they were willing. Those people either went to classes or full on SFX school or have people who have done so teach them. If you don't know anyone who is a professional who is willing to teach you, then your best bet is to find a SFX prosthetic or casting and molding classes/school and attend. That's actually how Mike started- he made his first mermaid tail for his class project so he could have help from the instructor along the way and went from there.

As quoted from the "Making Mermaid Tails Materials and Supplies" page "While mold making is the best way to go about doing this, making a mold for a tail is a large, difficult, very time consuming ordeal even for professionals. One does not just decide to mold a mermaid tail- people who do so have gone though Special Effects Artist school/classes and often have years of experience before picking up a project of this magnitude. If you want a molded mermaid tail either put in the required classes, research, and experience needed or leave it to the professionals."

I don't mean to be discouraging, I just want people to understand this something you invest in and that is a long, hard process. I've seen too many people coming in thinking they could just whip up a molded mermaid tail in a week or two and that's certainly not the case. However if you want to invest your time, effort, and money into doing it right there are a lot of resources out there!

The easier route to go, as far as I can tell, is to cast and mold a sheet of scales instead of trying to do it around a shape (like in the Adam Martyn videos) then cut the scales so they fit like puzzle pieces in to each other and use special glue or more latex to fuse them together into the shape needed. That way there is a "seam" but it's basically invisible. Then you mold the fluke (and any additional fins) separate and attach it to the scale body in the same manner. There are some pictures of pre molded sculpted flukes/scales around (like on the Mertailor page (https://www.facebook.com/#%21/media/set/?set=a.132774660073458.23984.130816216935969&type=1)) that will give you some ideas of how that may work.

You seem serious about this, so I wish you the best of luck!

07-26-2011, 06:19 PM
If I ever wanted to get into that sort of thing, I was thinking about looking into community and technical colleges in the area to see if they had any classes I could take. And yeah, definitely seemed to work out alright for Mike!

Ayla of Duluth
07-26-2011, 06:23 PM
thanks for all your advice guys! :) i am serious about this, and the second i read that sfx classes should be involved, i called up my old art teacher to see if he knew of any classes i could take. he had a few good recommendations for classes that i can afford so i'm going to enroll :D i think im going to take college classes on something like this when i graduate high school so i can get good experience and make tails proffessionally! im excited

Ayla of Duluth
07-26-2011, 07:59 PM
so i went back to our old forum board and read through some of the mold threads, and it doesn't seem to be recommended to make a mold for a mermaid tail. would you guys still say i should make a mold for a latex or silicon mermaid tail, or should i just cut and sew the fabric and then coat it in latex? also, can i apply the latex/silicon directly to the neoprene or do i have to mold the rubber and then sew it to the neoprene when it dries?
those are prettymuch the only questions i have left. :)

07-26-2011, 10:20 PM
Um... if you find the right material, and play with it prior to jumping head first into building your tail, it can be done.

Exhibit A:


I made this tail out of liquid silicone. I had no school, not years of SFX training. Yet, it seems to be working the way I intended to.

One can be self taught. Which is what I did, I taught myself. The beauty of the tail in the video speaks for itself.

Ayla of Duluth
07-27-2011, 03:19 PM
i love the shape of that fluke jesse, is there a monofin in it or just a foot pocket?

07-27-2011, 10:27 PM
It is a Competitor Mono Fin... VERY VERY VERY comfortable! LOVE the Competitor mono fin!

08-07-2011, 04:46 PM
yes the competitor is great ;) I made my tail from it as well ^~^