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Winged Mermaid
06-25-2012, 12:43 AM
So, I'm on a mission to make my other Mertailor tail swimmable.
My tail is neoprin and thin ALEX. Here's a picture:

http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc227/winged_mermaid/Me%20as%20a%20mermaid/Mertailor%20Tail/th_IMG_0419-1.jpg (http://s219.photobucket.com/albums/cc227/winged_mermaid/Me%20as%20a%20mermaid/Mertailor%20Tail/?action=view&current=IMG_0419-1.jpg)

(clickable thumnail- click for larger picture)


I'm planning on doing the following.

-Fixing the paint issue - I painted it purple with shading but the paint starting coming off as soon as it hit the water, despite setting it with a heat gun. I'm thinking this may be because I didn't wait long enough between painting and setting it. I'm thinking of trying to exfoliate the paint that will come off some how.. maybe soaking it in the tub for a while and going at it with a soft tooth brush or soft scrubbing sponge. Any ideas on that would be appreciated.

-Adding a zipper and a dorsal to the back to hide said zipper, since the fabric doesn't stretch pretty much at all, and even if it's really tight in the hips the waist is too loose, and smaller waist area with my hips is not an option :P

-Adding a diving belt on the inside to help the tail stay on better.

-Adding vinyl or some other material to help hide the monofin ridges.

-Fixing the monofin pockets.

The last one is the one that I need help with. I've posted about it before, but the monofin pockets are warped so much that is extremely painful to get on, even with neoprene booties, and I can only bear to keep it on for about 15 minutes. This is what the foot pockets look like:

http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc227/winged_mermaid/Me%20as%20a%20mermaid/Mertailor%20Tail/th_IMG_1364.jpg (http://s219.photobucket.com/albums/cc227/winged_mermaid/Me%20as%20a%20mermaid/Mertailor%20Tail/?action=view&current=IMG_1364.jpg)
(clickable thumnail- click for larger picture)

The only thing I can think of to fix this is to gut the fluke, so I can get in there. I'll probably have to remove the monofin and find a way to reshape the pockets. I'm going to try heat. Any suggestions on that welcome for sure! Also the regular rapid is too large for me so I may try and do something to help with that. Perhaps glue in water booties/shoes?

So this brings me to the question- how do I disassemble and reassemble just the fluke area? From what I gather when you assemble a tail you sew the it together and then turn it right side out, insert the monofin and seal it in. With the fluke already stiff I don't think there's any way I can turn it inside out or right side out at all. Also the whole of the fluke is sewn together, not just the sides. I'm assuming getting in will be decently easy- lots of seam ripping- but when I'm ready to put it back together how do I do that without having to take apart the whole tail?

Any help I could get with this would be much appreciated!

AniaR
06-25-2012, 10:55 AM
just FYI alex plus can take a loooong time to dry! It works best in hot and dry locations, so I'd use something else that is quick drying on the inside of the fluke. Perhaps you can also use the same stuff to stick a belt in the waist line?

If you have the time, and you think it'll dry, I'd tint some alex plus and go over the whole entire tail again. Thats what Raven did with my old one.

The only think I can think of for the straps is to put shoe stretchers in them and leave them for a while :(

Winged Mermaid
06-26-2012, 02:26 AM
just FYI alex plus can take a loooong time to dry! It works best in hot and dry locations, so I'd use something else that is quick drying on the inside of the fluke. Perhaps you can also use the same stuff to stick a belt in the waist line?

If you have the time, and you think it'll dry, I'd tint some alex plus and go over the whole entire tail again. Thats what Raven did with my old one.

The only think I can think of for the straps is to put shoe stretchers in them and leave them for a while :(

I don't think I'm going to use ALEX at all. Now that I'm in WA where it's cool and humid it would probably take months to dry inside a tail :/ I'm going to try and not seal the fluke with anything and see how that goes. If I need to seal it I'm going to use GE Silicone since it dries really fast. I'm going to try again with the paint, and if it won't stick I may reconsider using tinted ALEX for the paint. Good to know that actually works though!

I've looked and I can't find any shoe stretchers that stretch width wise :/ That's why I've decided to just gut the thing and see what I can do. I'm thinking maybe making something with foam sheets and maybe some pvc for support to make a kind of stretcher myself. I guess I'll just figure it out as I go. Thanks for the input!

Sea Specter
07-03-2012, 10:57 AM
Why not make your own shoe stretchers out of some Styrofoam or floral foam?
To keep them from getting dented/scratched you could duct tape around them

Mermaid Eutha
07-23-2012, 04:19 PM
I work in a hardware store in Creswell O.R. you could try (Gorilla Glue Epoxy) It sets in about 5-15 min and is waterproof after it dose They just came out with it about a year or so ago. So I am not sure what the rateing would be for saltwater but it is some of the toughset stuff I have ever seen and it bonds permently.

Mermaid Eutha
07-23-2012, 04:28 PM
P.S Don't get the Glue!!!!! just the (Epoxy) the glue is water ativeated and takes longer to dry and even if a little bit was still wet it would foam up and make a mess!!!!!!!

Mermaid Photine
07-25-2012, 12:57 AM
Monofins originally come with these plastic half-circles to help the footpockets keep their shape. Do you still have them, or do you know someone who does? Maybe you could use them, or strengthen them somehow and use them to mold the foot pocket back into place?

Winged Mermaid
07-30-2012, 10:04 PM
Turns out the monofin was bent in the move. Since a moving company moved our stuff, I can claim it. I think I"ll do that, because I tried unbending it and it wouldn't stay for more than a few minutes. Even my tempo got bent by a friend that I let borrow it a few years back and it hasn't unbent completely since.

Either way, I gut the fluke last night. It was harder to seam rip because it was pained before it was sewn, so the paint melted the seam allowance fabric together. That and the neoprin is really fragile and the seam ripper goes through it easily.

Turns out that the fluke is sealed with extra ALEX, but since it doesn't stick to the monofin, it just ends up making the fluke look extremely obvious in the tail. I plan to cut the ridges off if at all possible, but I have no idea how I'm going to get all that extra caulking out of there. Still no idea bout getting the fluke back together, because there's no way sewing is going to happen. Maybe I'll try out "mermaid's friend" aka E6000.

Thumbnails (click for larger image):

http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc227/winged_mermaid/Me%20as%20a%20mermaid/Mertailor%20Tail/th_IMG_2975.jpg (http://s219.photobucket.com/albums/cc227/winged_mermaid/Me%20as%20a%20mermaid/Mertailor%20Tail/?action=view&current=IMG_2975.jpg) http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc227/winged_mermaid/Me%20as%20a%20mermaid/Mertailor%20Tail/th_IMG_2974.jpg (http://s219.photobucket.com/albums/cc227/winged_mermaid/Me%20as%20a%20mermaid/Mertailor%20Tail/?action=view&current=IMG_2974.jpg)

http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc227/winged_mermaid/Me%20as%20a%20mermaid/Mertailor%20Tail/th_IMG_2971.jpg (http://s219.photobucket.com/albums/cc227/winged_mermaid/Me%20as%20a%20mermaid/Mertailor%20Tail/?action=view&current=IMG_2971.jpg) http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc227/winged_mermaid/Me%20as%20a%20mermaid/Mertailor%20Tail/th_IMG_2966.jpg (http://s219.photobucket.com/albums/cc227/winged_mermaid/Me%20as%20a%20mermaid/Mertailor%20Tail/?action=view&current=IMG_2966.jpg)

Winged Mermaid
08-09-2012, 06:41 PM
I decided to replace the monofin. Between the foot pockets and the bent blade from the move it was too much to fix- at least so that way it would ever look nice in the tail again. When I got the new fin I was shocked at how big the difference was, showing me just how badly the monofin pockets had warped from their original shape.

http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc227/winged_mermaid/Me%20as%20a%20mermaid/Mertailor%20Tail/IMG_3002.jpg

This is really shocking to me, because I've heard of at least 5 other mermaids who have had the same thing with the monofins in their Mertailor tails. I don't know if it's his shipping process or what. He sends it inside a flattened box so any weight put on it, especially if shipped in hotter months, would damage the fin. Either way, I personally think this is unacceptable.


I'm planning on using a dremmel to cut and sand down the monofin ridges. No idea how I'm going to get the caulking out of the tail, because all that excess that didn't adhere to the monofin is keeping the ridge marks preserved in the neoprin. I'll update as I go.

AniaR
08-09-2012, 07:11 PM
SO INSANE OMG

Arella
08-09-2012, 08:02 PM
Good Luck! :D

Lyna
08-09-2012, 08:25 PM
you have more patience and ambition than i do!!

Mermaid Annariea
08-09-2012, 08:35 PM
i hope you fix it! its a pretty purple now though (:

Mermaid Cascada
08-09-2012, 08:40 PM
Maybe you could put something hard in the foot-pockets until they regain their original shape?

AniaR
08-09-2012, 10:46 PM
yeah I think she tried that

NerineArcticMermaid
08-26-2012, 10:06 PM
IONA!!!!!!!!!! Do NOT dremel theridges!!! The monofin will be too floppy! I did that to one of mine and it was useless.. no propulsion at all

Winged Mermaid
08-26-2012, 10:31 PM
Really? Aw, fishsticks! I guess the monofins really DO need the stiffeners! :/ Thanks for the heads up Nerine! I was actually going to start that in the next few days.. that would have been bad X_x Sorry your fin ended up being a flop (literally). I guess I'll just have to live with the ridge'd look.


Small update, btw- I've been cutting the caulking inside of the fluke off of the neoprin. It's taking a few x-acto knife blades and a LOT of patience. I'm not going to be able to get all of it- or even close- but I'm getting the huge hunking chunks of the stuff out, and shaving down the thicker sections so the monofin impression at the bottom won't be so obvious. I kind of burned myself out on it for a week or so, but I'm going to get back on it soon!

NerineArcticMermaid
08-27-2012, 01:21 AM
Try to fill around the ridges to level them instead...

So glad isaw this thread in time!

Luckily mine was an extra.... i ordered on and (long story) ended up with 3.... finis customerservice is awesome lol..ask me sometime ill tellyouabout it..

Ps was gonna call you but wasnt sure number yougave me at mercon was still valid :-)

Winged Mermaid
09-10-2012, 12:41 AM
Another small update. I went out and got some water shoes to help with the way too big monofin issue. Actually, the smallest size they had was a size 4, and they were STILL to large for me. I usually wear a 6.5, so that's really strange. Made me realize that ordering online would be one heck of a gamble, so I just went ahead and bought them (they were also on sale). I plan on getting some low cut neoprene socks to help them be more snug. They still don't fill the foot pockets as much as I'll need, so I'm thinking I'm going to Seal Cement some neoprene fabric into the foot pocket to bridge that gap. Going to make it work, even if I have to get creative!

I'm going to try and get this tail done in time for my Pod's meetup on the 22nd. Gotta get my fins in gear! I have a zipper, the elastic and specific hook and eye closers I want to use. Just ordered more paint. I'm not sure what direction I'm going to go with additional fins yet.

Mermaid Zaffiro
09-13-2012, 10:19 AM
I have the same problem!!!! I wanted to open a post like this one!!!

So... now,I can't buy another mono fin… then

I'm planning on doing the following:

sew an elastic band on the waist because the tail it's too big for me.

pull away the insane work of Mertailor,cut away the foot pockets and fix on shoes (too much painful and hard to put now)

I want to add a zipper and a (vinyl) dorsal to the back to hide said zipper (I find it transparent)

repaint and fix the color with…. I don't know! The silicone for the window frames don't work!

Mahi Mermaid
09-13-2012, 06:16 PM
Too bad you already bought a new monofin- You could have used neoprene booties- the stiff ones, so that they could "fight" the hard foot pockets but still allow you to swim without pain...could have been a good solution- although may have been just as much to buy a monofin...just an idea!

Winged Mermaid
09-13-2012, 07:17 PM
Too bad you already bought a new monofin- You could have used neoprene booties- the stiff ones, so that they could "fight" the hard foot pockets but still allow you to swim without pain...could have been a good solution- although may have been just as much to buy a monofin...just an idea!

Thanks for the suggestion, but I tried this actually. They were far beyond warped to be "without pain" :/ All they did was keep it from actually cutting my feet, especially when putting them into the footpocket. I tried without them and it did cut into my skin, but with them they weren't enough to do anything beyond that. It was still excruciating. I actually would tear up getting them in the foot pocket with the booties and had to take a lot of time with it, having to take breaks because the pain was so bad, because it was very small compared to my foot (even though it's supposed to be at least 3 sizes too big) because of the severe warped shape, and the rubber of the foot pockets is incredibly stiff so it takes a lot of force to make it give.

I think for other people with lesser warped pockets it could help. Neoprene socks or booties certainly help preventing slippage and blisters and I recommend them frequently for that!

Winged Mermaid
09-13-2012, 07:33 PM
I have the same problem!!!! I wanted to open a post like this one!!!

So... now,I can't buy another mono fin… then

I'm planning on doing the following:

sew an elastic band on the waist because the tail it's too big for me.

pull away the insane work of Mertailor,cut away the foot pockets and fix on shoes (too much painful and hard to put now)

I want to add a zipper and a (vinyl) dorsal to the back to hide said zipper (I find it transparent)

repaint and fix the color with…. I don't know! The silicone for the window frames don't work!

If you plan on gutting the fluke, be very careful. The neoprin is thin and rips very easily. I have lots of rips in mine, and I'm experienced with seam ripping. So take it slow! Get as much of the seam undone with the seam ripper as you can, then you can start pulling the caulking (this is what seals the fabric of the inside of the fluke together) apart.

If you can't afford another monofin, I would suggest either trying to heat warp them back with a heat gun. or cutting off the foot pocket top and securing some water shoes to the bottom of the old foot pocket. Try un-warping it first with the heat gun. I would suggest actual hardware for the shoe if you go that route- glue isn't going to hold up with the pressure put on it when swimming. So, the right sized nut to go through the bottom of the shoe, through the monofin, and have just enough room to put on a bolt on the underside. Use washers on both sides of the bolt. I'd also suggest a locking washer or locking nut so that way it can't work itself loose over time. To keep the bottom of the nut from damaging your tail, either glue a protective cap on it with some strong adhesive (gorilla glue or the like) or cover it in tin cure latex (caulking).

When did you place your order for your tail? He switched over to using tin cure silicone (caulking) a few months ago, but before that used tin cure latex. If it's made of latex the silicone you're trying to use may not stick to it. If it is made of latex you can repaint the tail with "Createx" brand airbrush paint, then set it with at heat gun (see the maitence and repair thread: http://mernetwork.com/index/forumdisplay.php?13-General-Costume-Tails-Discussions). If it's silicone you'll have to mix paint or pigment with silicone then brush it on by hand to re-color it, as no paint will stick to silicone.

Mermaid Zaffiro
09-14-2012, 09:47 AM
Thank you with all my Mer~Heart!

Tonight I thought to modify this latex tail in a sequin one... I want to buy perlescent white/light blue paillettes.
But here in Italy are too hard to find... Maybe with e-bay?

P.s. Sorry for my english I'm self-taught-person

MerEmma
10-23-2012, 05:02 PM
Any updates? :P

FreshWaterMermaid
10-23-2012, 08:19 PM
Dang Iona, I had no idea how much work you put into your poor tail! It looked fintastic at the meet! ^_^

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2

Winged Mermaid
10-23-2012, 08:27 PM
Sorry for lack of updates. Life kind of got in the way. I ended up wearing my old tail to the meet, but that was fine :) I would have more done, but I figured out I have to paint it before I do pretty much everything else, and I have no idea how I want to paint the thing. But I figured out the order should be: paint the tail and heat set paint, create dorsal, install dorsal, install zipper, install inside belt, take in sides, install pectoral or ankle fins (not sure on those yet), install monofin, seal up fluke. So yeah, still sooo much to be done!

FreshWaterMermaid
10-23-2012, 08:34 PM
Oh gotchya, yeah you've got a lot to do lol
It might be easier to just start from scratch :/

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2

Winged Mermaid
10-23-2012, 09:12 PM
I would get another tail if I hadn't already spent money getting it :/ I'd loose hundreds reselling it when it has only been in the water once, so I may as well see what I can do. I figure it will last me till I get my pro tail, and then if I need a back up tail for whatever reason, or an extra mermaid for a gig I'll use it for that. So it won't be a complete waste. It is majorly frustrating though. >_< About half the mods could be avoided if he had used actual neoprene instead of neoprin.

FreshWaterMermaid
10-24-2012, 12:35 AM
Yeah I've never felt neoprin but it doesn't sound good :/
But you're right, at the end I'm sure you'll have a great tail for yourself or a great "rental" for friends when they come by lol

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2

Morticia Mermaid
10-24-2012, 10:03 AM
Hey Iona, I'm going to send you a message :)

Mermaid Zaffiro
10-31-2012, 07:11 PM
Here my update:
Before I used a small blade for open the fluke.
Can you see how the monofin is twisted?
I can't buy another tail or monofin (with all the money I spent,becouse of Mertailor;now I could have a basic MVD's tail grrrrrr!)....So I decided to put a pair of boots...But for me this idea isn't great... How can I put my feet inside? The monofin it's like a...err.. A slipper... The boots are...boots...
I'm so sad...Also becouse there's nothing to shut again the fluke (I'm trying a lot of adhesives: for gum,strong glue,silicon).
I'm thinking to hand sew...

Mermaid Zaffiro
10-31-2012, 07:43 PM
In a pic,you can see how the monofin is glued badly.
The situation is badly managed...My Mertailor tail I bought two years ago,and NEVER used (only for a photoshoot) it's my nightmare! T.T want to cry...

For the monofin: hum...If I put only the boots,without monofin?... Maybe in a mermaid tail,is the only means of propulsion.

In the other pic,I repaint this tail in a beautiful blue...But...What can I use to protect the paint? I'M GOING CRAZY awwww
Please,help!

Winged Mermaid
10-31-2012, 10:10 PM
Your monofin looks like mine for sure. I went ahead and got another one because the blade was bent in half in a recent move and I am going to get reimbursed for it. But I know you're in a situation where replacing it would be very expensive, especially with shipping to Italy. My best advice to you would be to get a heat gun (tool grade) and use the heat from that to see if you can un warp the foot pockets. Now that the monofin is out of the tail it will be much easier to work with. So take the heat gun and carefully heat up the foot pockets, then use your hands (with heat protecting gloves of course) or something like a small length of pipe to reshape them. Careful about how much you heat them- keep the gun far enough way and keep the heat gun constantly moving. Otherwise you risk burning/melting the pockets.


As for the paint, here are some excerpts from the Tail Care and Maintenance thread (http://mernetwork.com/index/showthread.php?3108):

"-For painted tin cure latex tails, you can repaint and touch up the paint with Createx brand airbrush paint. This can be found at craft stores nation wide. You do not need to have an airbrush to paint the tail, you may brush it on with a paint brush. Let the paint dry for at least one hour, making sure all paint is completely dry, before curing the paint. You may have to recoat the paint in layers to get a nice uniform coat. If so, be sure to let it dry between layers. It is better to wait and do it correctly. Heat set with a very hot heat gun to cure the paint. A tool grade or craft grade heat gun is recommended. A hair dryer will not work. Be careful when using the heat gun. Keep it moving- if a spot gets too hot the paint will bubble and will become prone to peeling and flaking off, and it is possible to melt or burn a hole in the tail if one area is heated for too long. Paint will eventually come off over time, and with scrapes on abrasive surfaces such as concrete, rocks, and pool walls."

"- Tails made from lycra, neoprene, tin cure latex, and slip casting latex will degrade over time. Another thing you can do to help slow that process is to use a spray protectant. It will need to be reapplied every so often to maintain protection. We recommend McNett Silicone Spray Lubricant Protectant (http://www.mcnett.com/Silicone-Spray...tant-P255.aspx (http://www.mcnett.com/Silicone-Spray-Lubricant-Protectant-P255.aspx)) (Do not use hardware store silicone sprays, as they may be blended with petroleum. Buy online, or from your local dive shop.) This is especially important for tin cure latex to keep it from deteriorating."

What kind of paint did you use? If you didn't use Createx brand paint, it may not stay on the tail at all but start coming off as soon as it hits the water. If you did use createx brand paint you NEED to heat set it as stated above. Using any other kind of paint is a gamble. Some have had success with other paints sticking, but those instances aren't recorded anywhere to refer to. The silicone spray as lined above is what is used to help protect the latex and the paint. It really is a beautiful color you used!


As for adhering the fin back together, you need an industrial glue or tin cure silicone (waterproof caulking) to do that. The glue E6000 has been recommended and used by others. The silicone used is typically the GE Silicone II clear waterpoof (http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_03058851000P?sid=IDx20101019x00001a&ci_src=184425893&ci_sku=SPM6167429505) caulking.

Here's what I told Blue Mermaid in this thread (http://mernetwork.com/index/showthread.php?3516-Altering-a-Mertailor-Fluke) about gluing down the fluke:

"I have yet to do that, but I have seen and heard what others have done. Here is where materials make a difference. If it is a tin cure silicone tail (what he recently switched to) ONLY silicone will bond to the silicone inside. You can't use actual glue, you have to use more tin cure silicone for your glue. This can be tricky becuase it can dry fast, so you may not have a lot of a widow to work with it. Because of that I would glue all the edges down first. They're the most important to get right (lining them up correctly and all) and you don't want other parts drying first to where you can't situate it to get the edges to line up if you don't work fast enough. Better safe than sorry. So I would do the edges first. This is where you make sure you fold the fabric under then glue it. If you need to use large sewing pins to keep the fabric in place, then once you glue it (but before the glue fully cures) pull the pins out.

After the edges are done, glue the rest of the fluke down. Do this by inserting the tip of the caulking gun into the fluke. Get as far down in the fluke as you can, then distribute the caulking from the bottom up. Be sure to leave plenty of room around the monofin pockets- you don't want to get any of that in there, and it redistribute in the next step. Take a rolling pin, or other round long rollable thing (like a piece of PVC pipe) and roll it over the fluke to redistribute the silicone evenly. Again, be careful about the monofin pockets. If you DO get some in there, be quick and clean it out before it cures.

If the tail is not silicone, it will most likely be glued down with more tin cure latex/latex caulking. You can use more tin cure latex - although that's not recommended becuase it takes FOREVER, if ever to cure and doesn't hold the monofin well. Or you can use a industrial glue like E6000. Depending on the glue you use you can glue the whole fluke at once including the edges. For a really strong hold, clamp the fabric lightly. I'm not sure I would use actual clamps for this, since the neoprene is ridiculously impressionable. Maybe just some big books. Just make sure not to put any weight on the monofin pockets- they can warp that way.

Lastly, do any paint touch ups if needed. "


I hope this information helps you! I'm very frustrated with my tail as well, and I feel bad that anyone else has to go through the same frustrations that I do :( I really hope you succeed in fixing it up. I'll help you the best that I can.