Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Coloring silicone/What to never use?

  1. #1
    Member Pod of The South
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Literally everywhere
    Posts
    34

    Coloring silicone/What to never use?

    Sorry if this has been talked about before but I'm in the process of making small silicone trinkets (scales, tiny fins, little flukes, stuff like that) to practice and get familiar with the way it works before I even begin to think about creating a full blown tail for myself but I'm running into some information blocks.

    First up - what do you guys use to color the main portion of the tail? I know most people use pearl-ex powders but do you just buy it in super bulk to keep the body of the tail from being transparent? I'm thinking of using the individual scale method when the time comes, to sort of cut back on that possibility but even so I'd like them to be a solid color before details just so it all looks clean and professional. So I was just wondering what you guys use to get a really deep, saturated color on your silicone tails. Then where on earth do you buy it, and how much do you usually buy for a tail? I have found tons of places where I can buy bulk mica powder but it does get expensive and also their chameleon selections and opalescent selections always feel lacking. Know some good places for a glitter/shimmer addict?

    Then - What should I never never never use when coloring silicone? Any rookie mistakes you've seen just ruin someone's project? I've read loads of tutorials but I'm still left scratching my head about certain things (like is a tail with a fabric body and silicone scales glued to it a full silicone tail? Does a full silicone tail even have a lining? Can anyone say overwhelming lol!) and while I'm just working small scale right now, it'd still suck to ruin a whole batch of silicone.

    So yeah, like I said I'm not in any hurry to start working on a full silicone tail and I'm just goofing off with tiny stuff to work up my skill level but I'm also trying to be prepared when the time comes. So I'm going to be doing a lot of experimenting on my own, using various things to just see how it goes but I thought hey! I just made a lot of great friends here, I'm sure they've got some words of wisdom for me. So yeah, any advice or help on how to color this goo thoroughly is greatly appreciated <3

  2. #2
    I find the Jacquard pearl-ex pigments to be totally beautiful (there's other brands out there but I can mix all the colors I need with this brand). A little goes a long way! I had four of the .5oz bottles for my tail and I didn't use up any of them.
    Some have said too much pigment will interfere with silicone cure, but I found that even when I dumped half a bottle of pearl white powder into the mix for an opaque fluke, it was fine.
    Micas and glitter are also fine for silicone, but go for the small glitters as the large chunky stuff will eventually cut its way out of the tail. If you go for other artistic pigments, test first. If they have any sulfur in them, they'll interfere with the cure.
    Most individual scale tailmakers use powermesh stretched over a body dummy, which gives the silicone something to cling to. You don't need it, but a powermesh lining also provides a little extra strength if you silicone ever tears. Many but not all silicone tails have a powermesh lining, which I don't think most people count as "fabric."
    I can't think of any real "rookie" mistakes...except maybe don't do what I did and try to dust the pigment on as a thick powder and cover it with a clear topcoat. A light coat might work, but a heavy coat and the topcoat has nothing to stick to, and will eventually peel off. That, and always make twice as many scales as you think you'll need. (Then make some more.)

    Oh, and don't use duct tape for your dummy. It stretches over time when you stuff it and you'll end up with a tail that's too big. Also the adhesive on duct take may interfere with curing. Clear packing tape is better.
    Beautiful beaded tops and silicone fins and flukes for enhancing your tail at my Etsy shop: Fancy Fish Fashions!
    Follow me on Facebook



  3. #3
    Member Pod of The South
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Literally everywhere
    Posts
    34
    Oh, thank you so much! I had no idea so little powder was needed. To be honest, Im impressed lol. You're incredibly helpful! Im saving all this for when I'm ready for the real deal lol

  4. #4
    Moderator Pod of Cali Mermaid Wesley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles Area
    Posts
    4,141

    Visit Mermaid Wesley's Youtube Channel
    Any powder pigments that contain ultramarines are going to cause problems too. Just text everything in small quantities first!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod PearlieMae's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    6,515
    Follow PearlieMae On Twitter Add PearlieMae on Facebook
    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Wesley View Post
    Any powder pigments that contain ultramarines are going to cause problems too. Just text everything in small quantities first!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    (test, not text )

    It's best to stick with the mica (PearlEx) pigments, they are usually universally compatible and a little goes a LONG way. If you do venture into other pigments, ultramarines, yellows and RED reds tend to cause problems - TEST EVERYTHING!

    I can't really add much to what's been said above. Too much dry pigment dusted onto scales acts as a release and will cause the silicone to delaminate and peel. And you will cry a lot.
    Last edited by PearlieMae; 10-12-2017 at 12:58 PM.

  6. #6
    Member Pod of The South
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Literally everywhere
    Posts
    34
    Yeah, definitely don't want to cry unless its beautiful tears of joy haha! Thanks guys, there's no way I'm skipping out on testing everything now. Also really glad I went ahead and asked all this before I spent a ton on things that wouldn't work

  7. #7
    I should mention that most of that advice was given to me by Pearlie. To whom I didn't listen about the dusting. My tail's beautiful scales are indeed starting to peel.
    Beautiful beaded tops and silicone fins and flukes for enhancing your tail at my Etsy shop: Fancy Fish Fashions!
    Follow me on Facebook



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
  •