Page 2 of 14 FirstFirst 12345612 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 263

Thread: Malinghi's silicone tailmaking thread

  1. #21
    Administrator Pod of Cali malinghi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,754
    Dreamie, that's a shame you didn't get to hang out with the other mermaids. Fortunately there should be plenty more opportunities for mers in southern California to get together this summer. Are you in the California Merfolk Pod Facebook group?
    https://m.facebook.com/groups/271568969577492

    By the way, your henna is beautiful!

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk

  2. #22
    Junior Member Undisclosed Pod Dreamie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    21
    Thank you! At least I got to draw a bunch of mermaids on folk. I travel a lot doing henna here there and everywhere. I will be in California until i have to leave for Washington at the end of the month. One month there, back to cali briefly then to Texas for probably 4 months. Im just getting my first monofin tomorrow in the mail. Ive been coveting tails for many years.

    ~Dreamie~

    Sent from my SM-N910P using Tapatalk
    ~Dreamie~
    Facebook Fanpage:
    http://www.facebook.com/dreamiewood

  3. #23
    Administrator Pod of Cali malinghi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,754
    Here is the first entry about the making of the tail:

    Design

    I’ve wanted a silicone tail for a long time. This project was actually begun in early 2014. Below are the concept drawings I made last year showing what I wanted the tail to look like. The drawings were actually made as part of an application to the tailmaking competition at Mercon, from which I later withdrew.

    Name:  tailconcept_3view.png
Views: 379
Size:  380.3 KB

    Since the concept drawings were for a competition they’re more ambitious than the tail I ultimately made. In addition to details on the tail like additional fins and more detail work on the fluke, the costume features prosthetic gills along the torso and armor on the shoulders made from lions paw shells, along with a trident. The trident is meant to look like the MerNetwork logo, of which I’m unsurprisingly very fond. I still plan to make that trident eventually, though I’m taking a break from making stuff after spending May and June on tailmaking.

    In the process of designing the tail I looked over tons of images for inspiration, and Anita and I bought salmon from a local grocer just to examine its scales. I was already convinced I wanted the tail to be shades of silver, gray, and black since I love how salmon scales look. I also hoped dark scales on the sides would make the seam less visible.

    Name:  salmon_collage.jpg
Views: 379
Size:  142.2 KB


    One of the major reasons I wanted to make a tail rather than buying it was because I was very concerned about the waistline. I wanted the top of the tail to sit along the edge of the hip bone like a pair of jeans, but many tails come up higher. In my opinion this doesn’t look so weird on girls, but it’s less flattering on guys. As a short guy I was especially concerned that having the waistline too high would give me a Steve Urkel look. Speaking of which, in all the times Family Matters jumped the shark, did Steve Urkel ever turn himself or Mr. Winslow into a merman? I’d like to see that.

    Name:  waistline.png
Views: 376
Size:  269.4 KB

    Next time: Designing the scale pattern!


  4. #24
    I think the main reason tails go so high are to avoid the dreaded mer butt-crack problem. Maybe you could try a blended waist effect? Or a power mesh waistline? (As a short-waisted person myself I totally sympathize)

    ETA I didn't realize the tsil's already done!! Sorry, just ignore me... Did the low waist thing work out?
    Last edited by Dancing Fish; 07-07-2015 at 09:33 AM.
    Beautiful beaded tops and silicone fins and flukes for enhancing your tail at my Etsy shop: Fancy Fish Fashions!
    Follow me on Facebook



  5. #25
    Administrator Pod of Cali malinghi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,754
    Quote Originally Posted by Dancing Fish View Post
    Did the low waist thing work out?
    It's kinda subjective whether it worked out since its an aesthetic thing. From the photo and the gif in the first post you can see where it sits. I didn't try to cut the waistline like in the concept drawing cause I was afraid the tail wouldn't stay on well enough. All in all I'm satisfied with it.

  6. #26
    Moderator Pod of Cali Mermaid Wesley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles Area
    Posts
    4,147

    Visit Mermaid Wesley's Youtube Channel
    It does look awesome! (And is sitting on my porch right now lol) the scales are my favorite part, they make it look super realistic. And I've never been a huge fan of plain silver but I'll have to say.... Hot damn. That's all. *applause for malinghi* now... To finish mine.... -.-


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #27
    I really love how you took inspiration from real fishes, and I've been wanting to see more silvery salmonid tails!

  8. #28
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod PearlieMae's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    6,661
    Follow PearlieMae On Twitter Add PearlieMae on Facebook
    PFA....Pretty f***ing amazing, Malinghi!

    I'm hankering to do a realistic and subtle fish tail, too, and yours is very inspiring!

  9. #29
    Administrator Pod of Cali malinghi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,754
    Here's my next entry...

    Scale pattern

    Originally when Anita and I started this project I was curious about trying to find some shortcut to making the scale mold. The most novel of these misguided attempts was an idea to use a dremel to cut a pattern into wood in the hopes it might make an effective mold for scales. Ultimately I used the method of creating a mold around scales cut from craft foam (or EVA foam by its technical name, as I learned during the project).

    I didn’t want to buy circular pieces of foam because I had a certain shape in mind. I instead cut the foam into the pattern I wanted. Rather than having the pattern be continuous over the entire scale sheet, I wanted narrower scales near the bottom, since I thought it would look cool, and perhaps create subtle lines that might make the tail look sleeker. The scales were cut in rows rather than individually so that there would be fewer pieces to keep track of. This was especially important because the plan to make the whole pattern gradually narrow required every row to be unique. After hours or work cutting foam by hand using an x-acto knife I had all the scales ready. It was then I concluded that it looked really bad, and the scales didn’t line up. The whole thing required much more precision and control than I could do by hand. I don’t know if I took any photos of the scales I cut by hand with an x-acto knife. If I find any I’ll edit this to add them to this post.

    At this point I did the only thing in the process of making the tail that I think may actually be a new idea within tailmaking- I used a laser cutter to cut foam into complicated shapes that could then be glued by hand. The scale pattern was drawn using the free vector drawing program Inkscape. If you’re not familiar with vector graphics Wikipedia can fill you in, but the important thing is that programs like Inkscape and CorelDRAW can save to formats that laser cutters can use.

    Some of you may have seen a thread I posted last December asking for feedback on the drawings I made. Thanks for everyone’s help. Anyway after a lot of deliberating and practice cuts I finally took my EVA foam to a local hackerspace that had a 100 Watt laser cutter. The settings I used for the EVA foam were a power at 20%, speed at 10%, and pulses per inch at 250.

    Name:  Screenshot from 2015-07-21 19:50:21.resized.png
Views: 293
Size:  158.8 KB

    Name:  IMG_20150110_185716.jpg
Views: 292
Size:  263.3 KB

    Name:  IMG_20150110_190552.jpg
Views: 291
Size:  254.7 KB

    Name:  IMG_20150110_190702.jpg
Views: 257
Size:  296.2 KB

    Name:  IMG_20150118_165715.jpg
Views: 288
Size:  279.4 KB

    Pretty sweet, right? And the fact that each row is a single piece makes laying the scale literally 10 times easier than laying each one by hand.

    A note about this method- from speaking with people, I’ve found that many people wrongly believe that this method is difficult, and that I had special skills that enabled me to do it. I’d like to correct several misconceptions:


    A laser cutter is hard to use. Do I look like I know how to operate a mother fucking laser?

    The laser cutter I used connected to a computer like a printer. You literally go to file and click print. It will ask for a couple settings, but you can use what I used. Set power to 20%, speed to 10%, and PPI to 250. I found this through trial and error.

    I don’t have a laser.
    Neither do I. I found a place near my house that lets you use their laser cutter for $25 an hour, and they’ll even help you do it. It took about an hour and a half to make the scale sheet. There are also businesses that you can pay to do everything for you.

    I don’t have a vector drawing program, and I don’t know how to use one.
    You can download inkscape for free here. I'd never used it before. It took a little getting used to, but its fun to play with and you can pick it up quickly.

    Also I got some more photos in the tail at a recent meetup. Here's another photo of me with Mermaid Opal:
    Name:  11756538_1648684538751590_116665714_n_small.jpg
Views: 295
Size:  117.4 KB

    Next time: Practicing making fiberglass molds!
    Last edited by malinghi; 07-22-2015 at 01:14 AM.

  10. #30
    Moderator Pod of Cali Mermaid Wesley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles Area
    Posts
    4,147

    Visit Mermaid Wesley's Youtube Channel
    I think that "Mother effing laser" comment was something I said. Lol


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #31
    Senior Member Pod of Cali Prince Calypso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Bakersfield California. USA
    Posts
    817
    wow that's really interesting in wonder if there are any places in my town that have a laser cutter
    would save time and a bit of gas money lol
    Little Sailor, Little fool, your better heed the golden rule
    do unto other just as you, would like to to have them do to you
    you think you can just walk away,but no, it doesn't work that way
    see once your mine, your'll always be
    I never give anything for free...

  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by malinghi View Post
    Do I look like I know how to operate a mother fucking laser?
    LIKE A BOSS.
    Find me on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, and my WEBSITE
    Formerly known as Madison Juliette

  13. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by malinghi View Post
    Do I look like I know how to operate a mother fucking laser?
    LIKE A VIKING

  14. #34
    Administrator Pod of Cali malinghi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,754
    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Calypso View Post
    wow that's really interesting in wonder if there are any places in my town that have a laser cutter
    would save time and a bit of gas money lol
    I just googled it. There are fewer options for laser cutting in Bakersfield than in LA, but there's at least one company there. It isn't a hackerspace like the place I went to. It's a business that cuts the items for you.
    http://spacetronlaser.com/Laser-Cutting.php

    You could also go with a company that isn't in your city and have them send you the finished parts.

  15. #35
    Senior Member Pod of Cali Prince Calypso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Bakersfield California. USA
    Posts
    817
    Quote Originally Posted by malinghi View Post
    I just googled it. There are fewer options for laser cutting in Bakersfield than in LA, but there's at least one company there. It isn't a hackerspace like the place I went to. It's a business that cuts the items for you.
    http://spacetronlaser.com/Laser-Cutting.php

    You could also go with a company that isn't in your city and have them send you the finished parts.
    Whoa thanks so much. you just save me having to do the research lol
    Little Sailor, Little fool, your better heed the golden rule
    do unto other just as you, would like to to have them do to you
    you think you can just walk away,but no, it doesn't work that way
    see once your mine, your'll always be
    I never give anything for free...

  16. #36
    Senior Member Pod of The South Keiris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Naples, FL
    Posts
    1,517
    Add Keiris on Facebook
    It's really a fascinating process, Malingui! I love the varied sizes in your scales and the preciseness by which they overlap. The tail looks really handsome on you!

  17. #37
    Senior Member Euro Pod Celaeno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Cambridgeshire
    Posts
    517
    Add Celaeno on Facebook
    That is effing genius! And I have both access to a laser cutter and the knowledge to use one! A world of possibilities has just opened up...such as going back over the scales at a shallower depth to etch them with some texture...

  18. #38
    Administrator Pod of Cali malinghi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,754
    Yeah, you totally could! That would look so cool. You could make such detailed patterns!

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk

  19. #39
    Senior Member Euro Pod Celaeno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Cambridgeshire
    Posts
    517
    Add Celaeno on Facebook
    Ooooh! Lace scales!

  20. #40
    Senior Member Pod of Texas
    Pod of Cali
    polyhymnia113's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA & Harper, Tx
    Posts
    275
    Oooooh that would be so awesome.

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •