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View Full Version : Starting new swimmable urethane tail!



Sirenade
07-08-2012, 03:28 PM
Hi Everyone!

I have ordered a swimmable urethane tail from Thom Shouse and will be helping him with making it starting today! I will try to take pictures of the process (but can't give away his trade secrets obviously) and will keep the forums up to date on its progress.

I have been saving up for almost 10 years for this when I found Thom's website 10 years ago and realized I could get my own tail. This is obviously a dream come true for me! I have had the opportunity to do photoshoots in one of his "dry" latex tails (same mold, lighter materials, no monofin) and got to swim in it briefly (not meant for extended water use due to latex not being meant for swimming in).

The color scheme will be a blue on the back fading into green on the sides, fading into yellow/gold on the front. I will be helping out with the casting and painting process due to Thom's limited mobility and because he is super awesome like that.

This will be my first realistic swimmable tail!

Mermaid Saphira
07-08-2012, 03:36 PM
Wow! This sounds exciting! Good luck and I will be looking forward to some pictures ;)

AniaR
07-08-2012, 03:40 PM
very exciting congrats

Mermaid Lorelei
07-08-2012, 03:56 PM
Congratulations on the great news!

Mermaid Dottie
07-08-2012, 08:19 PM
Oh! Heaven!

Spindrift
08-17-2012, 05:33 PM
How is this project going? Anyone know?

Sirenade
08-20-2012, 11:55 PM
Things have been delayed due to Mer-palooza and my own work schedule and recent move. Things should be picking up again soon!

Sirenade
02-09-2013, 02:13 AM
We started on the tail awhile ago, but I never got a chance to load pictures. The progress has been going slowly due to my busy schedule and limited time for visiting Thom. Plus, he has been recovering from a knee surgery (he can dance again now!).

This is starting the process for cleaning the molds and putting in the primer.

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Here is me dusting the fluke mold before putting in the primer.

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These are the tail molds all drying.

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One half of the fluke molded!

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FreshWaterMermaid
02-09-2013, 03:09 AM
So awesome! I remember when I first came across mermaid rentals website. I was floored and would visit it every day lol
I think I even email Thom back forth for ahwile asking him annoying tail questions ^_^ and telling him about mine... silly girl I was

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2

spottedcatfish
02-09-2013, 04:40 AM
It's going to look great. I can't wait to see the finished product.

Sirenade
02-10-2013, 01:49 AM
The first layers of urethane drying in the mold.

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Adding in a layer of stretch fabric to the urethane to prevent tearing.

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malinghi
02-10-2013, 02:38 AM
We started on the tail awhile ago, but I never got a chance to load pictures. The progress has been going slowly due to my busy schedule and limited time for visiting Thom. Plus, he has been recovering from a knee surgery (he can dance again now!).

I'm super stoked about your tail, but can you give an update on Thom? How are his knees? That's great that he can dance again.

Ariel-Starfish
02-10-2013, 08:17 AM
ooh I'm super exited for you! :)

Sirenade
05-02-2013, 01:37 PM
Thom had his knee surgery a few months ago, was using a walker, then crutches, then just a cane. Now, he can get around without using any assistance! He still has his cane for longer expeditions, but is completely mobile again!

MerEmma
05-02-2013, 01:38 PM
So glad for him! I'm glad he's doing good.

How's the tail going?

Sirenade
10-12-2013, 03:15 AM
I have a lot of update photos to post, but I am not sure how to get them from my phone to the forums. When I figure it out, get ready for pic spam with progress photos! At this point, all that is left is the final paint job. :D

It has taken so long because I made it clear to Thom that I wanted to help out with the process. I have been pretty busy with life, work and everything, so that makes for slow progress.

AnnaAbyss
10-12-2013, 04:10 AM
Awesome news :D I'm so happy for you.

Sirenade
11-18-2013, 03:33 AM
Painting process has started!

ShyMer
11-18-2013, 07:50 AM
Cool! Glad to see this tail is still happening. I get how it can take all of forever though, what with life and all. Still waiting on those photos ;)

Sirenade
12-14-2013, 04:41 AM
Tail is done and home! I have so many pictures to post, but they are mostly on my phone. I need to figure out how to get them on here and then there will be pic spam! :D

Ashton
12-23-2013, 03:59 AM
snazzy!

Gem Stone
01-14-2014, 11:41 PM
How is this going? I'm interested in seeing the final result. it looks awesome so far

Sirenade
01-22-2014, 02:19 AM
Finally got photos done with the amazing Greg Amptman! Anita Rainbow was an awesome assistant for the shoot as well. Could not have asked for a more magical day with them and Thom present zipping me into it for the first time! Pics to come, but if you want a sneak peek, check out Greg Amptman's Undersea Discoveries on Facebook!

Sirenade
02-13-2014, 02:30 AM
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All the pieces after they finished curing and waiting to be trimmed and assembled.

Sirenade
02-13-2014, 02:42 AM
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Getting the fluke put together. Drilled holes through the monofin so the fluke would stay together.

There are 3 drain tubes also placed in the fluke for making it easier to get out of the water.

Ashton
02-13-2014, 03:02 AM
that looks great! I cant wait to see you paint it!

Sirenade
02-13-2014, 03:48 AM
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Attaching the fluke to the body. Thom enjoys his work!

Sirenade
02-13-2014, 03:50 AM
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Adding in sides to finish covering the monofin.

Sirenade
02-13-2014, 04:01 AM
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Close up of the scales. As you can see, the scales are each carved in Thom's original sculpture and are NOT pressed or stamped. There are natural flaws in the pattern to make it look more realistic rather than machine made.

Sirenade
02-13-2014, 04:02 AM
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Thom putting on the base of primer before starting the painting process. Good thing the garage door was open and there was a good breeze, because that stuff hurt my head!

Sirenade
02-13-2014, 04:04 AM
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Another angle of the tail on the stand (fluke more visible) while Thom primes it.

Winged Mermaid
02-13-2014, 04:14 AM
Loving all the photos! So awesome seeing the master at work :)

Sirenade
02-13-2014, 04:18 AM
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The tail has a "butt" before getting a zipper and fin down the backside. It fits very comfortably and has minimal crack showing.

Sirenade
02-13-2014, 04:19 AM
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Tail gets painted white as a base coat to protect it from the metal components of the shiny/metallic paint.

Sirenade
02-13-2014, 04:20 AM
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Tail gets painted silver over the white to give it the shiny inner glow under the colors. Tail is sideways on a pole with a rod supporting the fluke.

Sirenade
02-13-2014, 04:22 AM
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First layer of colors on the fluke, all painted by me.

Sirenade
02-13-2014, 04:23 AM
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First layers of paint on the top of the tail, all painted by me.

MerEmma
02-13-2014, 09:57 AM
A lot of your images aren't showing up :c Invalid image specified.

MerAnthony
02-13-2014, 10:50 AM
A lot of your images aren't showing up :c Invalid image specified. I'm getting the same thing.

Ashton
02-13-2014, 01:09 PM
I'm getting the same thing.
I am also having that problem.

Sirenade
02-13-2014, 01:21 PM
I went back and edited those posts, so they should be showing up now. It is weird since I did the exact same thing for each post and some show whereas others were error messages. I can see them all. Did it work?

Ashton
02-13-2014, 01:32 PM
Now I can see them! They look great!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Sirenade
02-13-2014, 11:21 PM
Thanks, guys! Next step is waiting for So Cal to get slightly warmer water so I can take it into the ocean (most likely Catalina, La Jolla or Laguna) to start!

deepblue
02-13-2014, 11:38 PM
This came out really lovely! I love the idea of the scales not being exactly like each other. Does look more natural.

Ashton
02-14-2014, 12:30 AM
Thanks, guys! Next step is waiting for So Cal to get slightly warmer water so I can take it into the ocean (most likely Catalina, La Jolla or Laguna) to start!

Catalina is a great place to swim!!!! I want to do a SoCal pod trip, I use to live/work there. My family has a summer house there and every year we take our boat over. It has so many cool coves and beaches along it!!!

Sirenade
02-14-2014, 10:25 PM
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First layer of paint on the back side of the tail.

Sirenade
02-14-2014, 10:28 PM
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Close up of back side of fluke with first pass of paint.

Sirenade
02-14-2014, 10:28 PM
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I painted it purdy myself!

Jessica
02-14-2014, 10:33 PM
The colors are beautiful!! :)

I can't see the last two pictures though....it says invalid attachment....

Sirenade
02-14-2014, 10:44 PM
Edited posts so the images should be visible again. I can see them fine.

Mermaid Clara
02-14-2014, 10:57 PM
looks amazing! its nice to see another California mermaid's work on the forms, I haven't heard of any mermaids in Cali, its nice to know I'm not the only one :)

Sirenade
02-14-2014, 11:04 PM
looks amazing! its nice to see another California mermaid's work on the forms, I haven't heard of any mermaids in Cali, its nice to know I'm not the only one :)


Kelly- there are plenty of Mers from California and we get together occasionally for meet ups, swimming, SCUBA, aquarium trips and craft days. Look us up on the Facebook Pod of California group. :)

lynsea
02-14-2014, 11:52 PM
There may be some people who criticize that tail but damn, that thing is going to last forever! It has the most beautiful colors and is quite possibly, the most rugged tail I've ever seen.

Sirenade
02-15-2014, 02:02 AM
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Backside of tail with more layers of paint, dots/freckles and glow in the dark spots (not visible here).

Sirenade
02-15-2014, 02:04 AM
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Backside detail shot of the fluke with added spots and glow in the dark paint.

Sirenade
02-15-2014, 06:06 PM
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Back fins after casting, before painting.

Sirenade
02-15-2014, 06:06 PM
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Back fins after I painted them to match the tail. Added gold accents to the tips.

Sirenade
02-15-2014, 06:09 PM
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Back of the tail with the gold accents added. You can see the back fins primed and ready to go!

PearlieMae
02-15-2014, 07:19 PM
That us one gorgeous tail! Wonderful!

Ashton
02-15-2014, 07:21 PM
Looking good!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Sirenade
02-16-2014, 09:39 PM
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Thom cut down the back side between the "cheeks" to add a zipper and glued in the back fins to cover the zipper opening.

Sirenade
02-17-2014, 10:37 PM
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Completed tail on couch in its new home!

AniaR
02-17-2014, 10:44 PM
the amazing thing about thom's tails, is he builds in zippers without anyone seeing, he has systems for flushing sand and debris out of the tail while you're wearing it, annnnd they last decades . look at the charmed tail! still going strong!!!

Mermaid Jaffa
02-17-2014, 11:54 PM
OOOO!

One day one of them will be lying on MY sofa...:lol: