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Thread: Questions I haven't Found Answers To.....

  1. #1

    Questions I haven't Found Answers To.....

    Since I'm making a tail pretty soon, I figured it might be helpful for myself and many others to ask a few questions about tailmaking.

    1. How does one decide on an airbrush to use for painting silicone tails? Is there a specific "type" or should I just go with whatever tickles my fancy?

    2. How do you avoid bubbles when casting fiberglass? Will it work okay to just paint a detail layer over the clay first, or is there something else you have to do?

    3. Does Monster Clay dry out? How well does Smooth-On's clay work compared to Monster Clay?

    4. What are some ways to avoid the dangers of chemicals curing? I know I should get a fan for the window and a respirator, but is there anything else I need to do to ensure I don't harm myself when breathing around my projects?

    5. Should I put powermesh in the fluke silicone as well as the body?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod Coradion's Avatar
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    1.) The airbrush itself isn't usually as important as the compressor. It depends on how much detail you want to be able to put in. A good airbrush+compressor will cost you about $300. I like Iwata products.

    2.) When casting you can use vacuum sealing or compressed air to remove bubbles. I would not use fiberglass as my casting material though it's a lot trickier than resins and can be hard to glass.

    3.) Monster clay doesn't dry out, it feels like wax. I really like it. You can sculpt leave it and come back to it weeks later if you want. Just cover it so it doesn't get dusty.

    4.) For chemical curing it's not usually too much of a problem with most smooth-on products however you should do it in a well ventilated area. Garages or even outdoors are good if the weather permits it. A respirator won't hurt either. To check if your respirator is working and secured enough put it on and spritz some Ethanol or Isopropyl alcohol on the mask. If you can smell it it's not secure.

    5.) You can if you want to add the extra later but it's not an area that should experience stretch so it's about preference.

  3. #3
    for 5. I think some people use mesh more to get the silicone to stick to the monofin than for strength. You make a monofin sock with mesh or lace and glue it down to the plastic, then use more silicone to get the silicone fluke to grip it (not that I've gotten to that part yet, but that's what I plan to do... *g*). As Coradion said there shouldn't be a lot of stretch stress in that region.

  4. #4
    Thank you both SO much! I appreciate the help

  5. #5
    I don't have much to contribute but just posting so I know where this thread is for future reference

  6. #6
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod Coradion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashmorelj View Post
    for 5. I think some people use mesh more to get the silicone to stick to the monofin than for strength. You make a monofin sock with mesh or lace and glue it down to the plastic, then use more silicone to get the silicone fluke to grip it (not that I've gotten to that part yet, but that's what I plan to do... *g*). As Coradion said there shouldn't be a lot of stretch stress in that region.
    Yeah, I think someone posted about gluing lace onto a monofin? Just be careful cause silicone won't cure in the presence of some rubbers and will turn black/brown and stay gooey. I saw a red tail someone had that they said Jazz made where the outside layer of silicone on the fin was cured but the inside was gel cause it hadn't cured right. It's one of those problems that can sneak up on you, it happened with a pair of merman foot fins I made. The outer layer cured fine but the area in contact with the dive fin rubber was a mess.

  7. #7
    I think I'll test a small patch of silicone on the monofin (maybe like an inch or two?) to make sure it cures first.

  8. #8
    I had the same issue with rubber inhibition. I used a fiberglass monofin, but the foot-pockets were rubber. The only spot that didnt' cure was right over the foot pockets. I was able to clean it down really well with alcohol and it worked the second time, but it was a good lesson.
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  9. #9
    I'm wondering if the blade on a Rapid monofin will inhibit it in any way. I'm a bit concerned about that now...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod PearlieMae's Avatar
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    The blade on a Rapid is plastic, but the footpockets are rubber.

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    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod Coradion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid.Kaitey View Post
    I'm wondering if the blade on a Rapid monofin will inhibit it in any way. I'm a bit concerned about that now...
    I think it was a rapid or a wave that the Jazz tail I saw had which didn't cure. The straps are also rubber so the whole area around them looked gooey.

  12. #12
    I don't think I want to put silicone where the foot pockets and straps are, so that shouldn't be a problem.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    If a mer swims in a continuous circle in an un-laned pool, will he/she create a whirlpool?
    Formerly known as ireneho

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    Senior Member Chesapeake Pod Nyx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Jaffa View Post
    If a mer swims in a continuous circle in an un-laned pool, will he/she create a whirlpool?
    That sounds like something worth experimenting!
    I don't see why not, especially if you get two or three swimming quickly enough.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod PearlieMae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Jaffa View Post
    If a mer swims in a continuous circle in an un-laned pool, will he/she create a whirlpool?
    Only if the pool is round.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PearlieMae View Post
    Only if the pool is round.
    Why must the pool be round?
    Formerly known as ireneho

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Jaffa View Post
    Why must the pool be round?
    If the pool isn't round, the water will get "trapped" in the corners. There won't be a smooth flow of water, so it won't make a whirlpool!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    Hmm... But if you put more mers into the corners, will the water still be trapped there?
    Formerly known as ireneho

  19. #19
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod PearlieMae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Jaffa View Post
    Why must the pool be round?
    Physics.

  20. #20
    Moderator Pod of Cali Mermaid Wesley's Avatar
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    I've done just that in a hot tub with my friends lol it's fun to swim swim swim and the. Float and you all move in a circle :3


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