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View Full Version : ANOTHER FinFolk Productions Tail Review With 4.5/5 Stars!



Seatan
01-01-2014, 01:13 AM
Since Finfolk is not in the review section... admins, you might want to add them!

If you want to check it out, here is my unboxing video on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdKsjM6Z3V8). I filmed my first swim in it, so I should have an in-pool video soon!

I have upped my rating to 5 stars after having received this message from the twins on my tail's paint:
We don't know if there's just an instant stigma in the community (because of certain tailmaker)s that if there's a problem, you just have to fix it yourself - that's not true! Michelle, if your tail is in any way not up to your standards, OF COURSE we will take it back and do our best to alter it for you, using products and painting techniques that you can know will be safe for your tail. SPREAD THE WORD. We think it's astounding that other makers refuse or ignore problems with their work. If it's something that needs fixing on our end, we will ALWAYS repair free of charge.

I don't know about you but I REALLY appreciate this kind of caring attitude toward their customer's satisfaction. They really ARE an amazing company!!!


The Portugese Man O War Tail

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Rated: 5/5

Made By: Abby and Bryn at Finfolk Productions (http://facebook.com/finfolkproductions)
Cost: $3,000 plus $130 shipping
Features: "Lorena" style fluke, Competitor monofin, custom dorsal fin, custom tentacles around ankles, scale tipping
Time Frame: Ordered October 23, 2013, received December 31, 2013--order was pushed back a couple of weeks due to Abby and Bryn moving into their new studio; was originally scheduled to be finished mid-December
Recommended: HECK YEAH!!!! :D

Pros
-Reliability
-Good customer service
-Good warranty/Promise that you will like the tail
-Amazingly creative work
-Willingness to do highly custom work without extra charge
-Very fast turnaround
-Beautiful craftsmanship
-Utterly INVISIBLE seams
-Great choice of many flukes


Cons
-Not the best packaging when shipping
-Not really given a chance to "okay" the paint job before shipping
-Not given many updates during the process once the design is okayed

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I adore my tail--let me start with that. I approached Abby and Bryn with the idea of making a tail based on a Portuguese Man O War. They seemed very excited about the idea, and so onward we went! I sent a link to a pinterest board (http://www.pinterest.com/fandomfunk/man-o-war-tail-design/) with pictures and descriptions of various Man O War traits I was interested in having in a tail. They told me that they would start on my tail the last week of November or first week of December, and I paid 50% up front.

After that, I didn't hear from them again, but they regularly updated their Facebook page with the work they were doing so it was easy to judge when my tail would be started since most of the people in line ahead of me were from MerNetwork. About halfway through December, I sent them this sketch of what I was interested in:

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They didn't respond, but I figured they were very busy with all the tails they had in the works.

I did get a BIT of a scare when the next time they messaged me they stated that they were "pouring my tail." I freaked out a little because we hadn't discussed design AT ALL and I was afraid they had made my tail with their "Basic" fluke, which I don't love. I wanted the "Lorena" fluke. Turns out they just meant they were pouring the scales. A few days later they messaged me with this sketch to okay:

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I okayed it, and they went to work! One nice thing was that they made it very clear that if they HAD poured the wrong fluke, they wouldn't have tried to make me take it like some tailmakers *coughcough* have been known to do, that they would have started over. This doesn't seem like much, but considering how we have seen some tailmakers operate, it REALLY made me feel good.

They were a couple of days later finishing my tail than they had said they would be, but it WAS Christmas, literally, so definitely no big deal there. I told them I needed the tail by January 2nd so I could apply for the Mermaid Lagoon at Scarborough Ren Faire and they assured me it would be here by then--and it was. I got one picture update of the dorsal fin during the process, and saw the finished picture the day before it was shipped.

I noticed that the pinks looked a little lighter than what I had wanted, but it can be hard to tell on a computer, and they looked more intense in some photos, plus the twins mentioned the color was more intense in person. Unfortunately, the pinks are not very intense at all, and I really wanted that "electric" look that the Man O War has, as is shown in my original design and stated on the pinterest board. This is the reason for the -0.5 points--I just wish I had been given more of a chance to okay the paint job. The tail is BEAUTIFUL, but it is not exactly what I wanted. The electric coloring was really important to me, so I do wish I had said something when I looked at the pictures on the computer and the pinks looked too pale. But hey, live and learn. I will probably add some electric color to it, if I can figure out how.

On December 31st, the tail arrived at my house about 1:30pm. The box was TOTALLY open on one side, with the tail literally about to slide out, no doubt thanks to UPS' loving care. If there were care instructions, they must have fallen out, because I didn't get any. This is not really FinFolk's fault--it's UPS' for being so rough on packages--but they may want to package the tails better next time. The box was from Amazon and I think probably held a flat screen TV at one time as it was about that size. The tail itself was wrapped in a black trash bag.

I took the tail to open it at my friend's house, as can be seen in my unboxing video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdKsjM6Z3V8). It was GORGEOUS, and I love it, but I was rather disappointed by the coloring. They did great on the body shades, but neither the scale tipping nor the edges of the dorsal fin were the electric color I had asked for, such as in these pictures:

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This was something I REALLY wanted, so like I said, a downer.

I moved the tail so I could get some pictures and the pink did look a bit better in the sun, but I was still disappointed. The tentacles and everything were AWESOME, though, and I do love the dorsal even though the sculpt it is not quite what I pictured. I feel like the dark lines look more like stripes than the indentions that a Man O War actually has, and I wish they had done them in pink like an actual Man O War. I will probably change that as well. It also doesn't like to stay up for pictures, but that's just the way of dorsal fins! This one isn't floppy, but it lays on one side or the other, like it's tight, almost.

Overall, the tail was immensely beautiful and my only complaint is the lack of intensity of the colors. I REALLY love intense colors, as anybody who looks through my wardrobe can see, so it was a bit too demure for me, and I am REALLY wishing now that I had gone ahead and said something. It was really my fault in that I should have spoken up the first time I wondered, and I am smacking myself in the head for it now. But hey, I can fix that.

The seams were AMAZING, I mean ASTOUNDING. Not even a HINT that they existed! SEAMLESS, completely! The drainage holes are invisible as well, at least until you pull it out of water and watch it "pee," LOL. You would never GUESS that they are there! If nothing else, FinFolk has AMAZING construction!!!

It doesn't weigh that much, either. Or not as bad as I expected. I do SCUBA, after all, so the weight was nothing compared to what I am used to hauling to the water. I would say that the tail is close to neutrally buoyant, but not quite there. The fluke is negatively bouyant (it wants to sink), while the rest of me isn't so interested in sinking. But perfect neutral buoyancy is VERY hard to achieve, and I did not expect it. You would have to specifically design a tail for that ONE thing and have the person test it as you make it to be able to achieve this (SCUBA gear overcomes this by allowing "customization" through the addition or release of air into the Buoyancy Control Device). It felt really good though, and I bet it will even out in a deeper pool.

This is probably NOT a scientific way to do it and is probably NOT an accurate representation of what it weighs, but when I stood on a scale alone it said 130 pounds and when I stood on it holding my tail, it was 157. It probably weighs more like 30 pounds, but it's not as bad as I expected. Silicone tails also feel really cool. It reminded me of those balls full of goop you can buy at the dollar store--you know, the ones you squeeze and they feel sort of slimey? Heck, maybe they're silicone, too. Also a sex toy I once owned as a joke. You could suction cup it to stuff, I would stick it on the TV sometimes to annoy my roomie, LOL. That was probably silicone as well. And this is probably TMI.

ANYWAY, it was pretty easy to put on using lube, though I could get it pulled up really far in front and not as far in back. It rode down a little as I swam, but I probably just need to work on getting it all the way up.

Next I took my tail to the indoor pool at the Holiday Inn for my first swim, and this is where I TRULY fell in love with it! Due to it not being quite what I had imagined, it hadn't really taken my breath away when I got it out of the box. I mean, it was very beautiful but I wasn't overwhelmed. Swimming in it, however, was MAGNIFICENT! Man, I felt like I could FLY and the tentacles looked SO cool under water! Even the color seemed a little better, if still too dull for my tastes.

I understand now what the person who said that the Competitor makes it "easy to cheat" the dolphin kick meant (was it Raina? Not sure...). It's hard to remember to swim from the abdomen when a tiny flick of the heels gets you so far! I was flying around that pool--and bending my knees WAY too much, LOL. Unfortunately, it was a very shallow, small pool (5 feet in the deep end) but it was the best I could do for an indoor pool in the winter. The other choice was going to the rec center, and their water is so heavily chlorinated that I cannot open my eyes underwater, and I wanted to take videos.

Because it was so shallow and my fluke is so big, the fluke tended to "suction cup" onto the bottom, making it hard to pull up. I could not lift it fully out of the water, so I guess I need to work out. Also, I skinned up my elbows because I had to use the edge of the pool to turn around because it was too shallow in most places for me to move my big fluke enough to turn! There was a lot of silicone to concrete contact because of the depth, but it came out none the worse for the wear! It is ASTOUNDINGLY awesome. After that swim, I was HOOKED. It may need a few changes with the color, but I ADORE the way it moves and feels! I thought it would be HARDER to swim in, but it is a THOUSAND times easier than my fabric tail!

There was a little gaping at the waist even when I pulled it up as far as I could manage, but I noticed that the few times it did it were during specific moves that I guess have more drag. Mostly, though, it stuck to me pretty well, though it doesn't totally hide the tattoo above my ass, which wouldn't be a problem if it weren't a tat of an anime boy in bondage. Yeah, I may have to figure out a way to cover that for kids' parties. Damn you, Ai No Kusabi!

Overall, I am totally thrilled. The ONLY downside was the paint, and that is easy enough to fix, and even if I don't fix that, it is still gorgeous. I LOVE swimming in it and cannot WAIT to take it on my blue water SCUBA trip and get some pics on the beach! It is awesome, Finfolk is awesome, and I would recommend them to ANYONE. To EVERYONE! Hehehe.

Anyhoo, if you want to check it out, here is my unboxing video on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdKsjM6Z3V8). I filmed my first swim in it, so I should have an in-pool video soon!

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MerEmma
01-01-2014, 01:18 AM
It looks AMAZING!! Congratulations!

AniaR
01-01-2014, 01:53 AM
looks lovely. And yes, the competitor takes all the work out of it, and is really much better than the lesser ones when you're in the ocean. First time in my tail I skinned my chin on the bottom of the pool LOL. If you find the gaping becomes a problem, wearing SHEER tights underneath the tail will really help. You'll be able to still easily slip the tail on, but the silicone will grip better to it than your skin.

I think the colour looks great, but sorry it wasn't what you wanted! Very unique design!

Aino Revontuletar
01-01-2014, 07:43 AM
Omg it looks amazing!!! I agree about the colour though, it could definitely use more electric pink, even though it is absolutely incredible anyway! I saw this on their facebook and was in awe. You are one lucky mer!

MermanZen
01-01-2014, 08:57 AM
I love the colors you've chosen

Merman Arion
01-01-2014, 09:32 AM
I have a question : does the tail fit you perfectly according to your measurement? How is it on the waist and the knees? Tight? A tiny bit loose?

You look AMAZING! :D

Edit : OMG! THANK YOU FOR THE SUBTITLES!!! I feel so loved and supported! I'm so happy to enjoy fully your unboxing video! :rotfl:

(Suck it, deafness! LOL :lol:)

Ton of hugs just for you :hug: :hug: :hug:

Mermaid Cascada
01-01-2014, 09:50 AM
Such a pretty tail! I love that fluke! The colors are really pretty and that is such a unique beautiful design. Congrats!
Edit: Lol I love that video. The music is perfect lol.

Merman Arion
01-01-2014, 09:50 AM
"But basically what i'm doing is bragging about JLube, which is a powdered lubricant, hum yeah i do know a lot of gay men."

LMAO. I couldn't stop laughing for 5 min :lol ^:

Marie-Josie Cayer
01-01-2014, 10:10 AM
Glad to see you dream tail come true! It's sad to know that the tail's colours turn out to be this way but I believe with your artistic skills, you will be able to put your personal customized final touch to it and have the tail you alway wantd to have indeed! Happy New Year! MJC

Seatan
01-01-2014, 01:25 PM
I have a question : does the tail fit you perfectly according to your measurement? How is it on the waist and the knees? Tight? A tiny bit loose?

You look AMAZING! :D

Thank you! It fits me very well. I have a bit of a hard time getting it fully over my butt, but once I have done that it fits me pretty much like a glove. Maybe the waist is a TEENY bit big, but that's probably because it has to fit over my hips. There's a little gapping when I swim, but I think that's normal for most tails.

Seatan
01-01-2014, 01:26 PM
Just an FYI, Abby and Bryn have offered to touch up the paint job. I am not sure I will take them up on their generous offer because of the shipping costs (if only I lived in Minnesota!), but you guys should know that the customer service is AWESOME and their number one goal really is to make you VERY happy with your tail!

Seatan
01-01-2014, 01:54 PM
Just so all know, this is the message I received from the twins, and it would probably put my stars up to 5:

We don't know if there's just an instant stigma in the community (because of certain tailmaker)s that if there's a problem, you just have to fix it yourself - that's not true! Michelle, if your tail is in any way not up to your standards, OF COURSE we will take it back and do our best to alter it for you, using products and painting techniques that you can know will be safe for your tail. SPREAD THE WORD. We think it's astounding that other makers refuse or ignore problems with their work. If it's something that needs fixing on our end, we will ALWAYS repair free of charge.

I don't know about you, but I REALLY appreciate the twins' caring attitude toward their customers.

AniaR
01-01-2014, 02:26 PM
Yes, I think it's only them and Raven who does that, correct me if I'm wrong. An they're totally right, there IS a stigma. Good for you :)

Jessica
01-01-2014, 04:43 PM
Seavanna,

your tail is gorgeous!! You might want to check into shipping fedex....Eva's tail was about 20-22lbs and I was able to ship it for $39(including signature required+tracking+ insurance!) I know your tail is probably heavier with a fluke that big, but fedex is generally cheaper than ups.....if I had shipped ups it would have cost almost double :)

Mermaid Dottie
01-01-2014, 06:22 PM
OOOOOOOOOH! I love that!

Seatan
01-01-2014, 09:48 PM
Video of my first swim in it! Lighting wasn't good, but oh well!

The Fairy Mermaid: Cooking Up Trouble (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgoqsQ0NHE8)

AniaR
01-01-2014, 09:55 PM
embedded the video for you:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgoqsQ0NHE8

too cute!

Mermaid Danielle
01-02-2014, 05:00 PM
Oh my gosh! I absolutely LOVE your tail! And you are so graceful swimming in it! Great job on the design!

MermaidBrittany
01-03-2014, 07:50 PM
WOW absolutely gorgeous! jaw dropped! :jawdrop:

Mermaid Oshun
01-03-2014, 08:18 PM
:jawdrop:

PearlieMae
01-03-2014, 08:47 PM
How did I miss this until now? You look awesome! That is a beautiful tail! Swim in it in good health!

Mermaid Octavia
01-03-2014, 10:29 PM
WAAAAHHHH!

Theobromine
01-08-2014, 02:32 AM
It's soooooo beautiful! I LOVE the tentacles!

Mermaid Mika
04-03-2014, 03:23 AM
I can't get the video to work - it says it's private. :/

But YES! I love this one - soooo glad I get to be joining the FinFolk fold - picking mine up tomorrow! EEE!

Mermaid Wesley
04-03-2014, 03:36 AM
It says private for me too :(

Shimmer Mermaid
10-02-2014, 09:30 PM
Still private, I wish I could see your video! I loved your tail!!