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Thread: Recreating a Swimtail fabric tail?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Anne078's Avatar
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    Recreating a Swimtail fabric tail?

    Hey everyone i’m new here, and I had a question. Well a few. I was looking at making my own fabric tail for a while, and the Swimtail Betta fish tail was just so beautiful and I wanted one like it but they’re 330$ without the monofin and I can’t quite afford that. I was thinking that maybe I could make my own, with the same type of fluke. So here are my questions.

    1- Would a Finis wave be strong enough to propel me with this type of fluke?
    2- How would I achieve the scale look with my own fabric? Should I try sequins?
    3- What materiel do you guys usually use for the body and fluke of the tail?
    4- Is there a way that I could use white fabric for the fluke and paint it with waterproof paint to my liking?

    Here’s the type of tail I was talking about:


    Thank you!!
    Last edited by Anne078; 06-12-2018 at 12:52 PM.

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    Senior Member North Pacific Pod Arking's Avatar
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    1- Would a Finis wave be strong enough to propel me with this type of fluke?
    Yes, however the side fins will create drag in the water which you may find somewhat bothersome if you're not used to it.
    2- How would I achieve the scale look with my own fabric? Should I try sequins?
    Most will hand paint the scales, but you could pull nylon meshing over your tail and sponge paint it if you wanted to go faster. There's a variety of techniques and no shortage of means to create stencils or stamps you could use to achieve rapid scale making. Personally I'd do it with two stamps, one with a scale pattern and one with the same size of scale but with scallop grooves in it. You would then stamp the standard scale in a base colour and then the scalloped highlights in a second colour. Most people on here will not recommend using sequins, they aren't great for the ocean.
    3- What materiel do you guys usually use for the body and fluke of the tail?
    Depends on your preference really but most will use spandex or swimsuit material. I would choose something darker if you're looking to recreate this look an then paint over it with lighter colours.
    4- Is there a way that I could use white fabric for the fluke and paint it with waterproof paint to my liking?
    Most fabric paint is waterproof. I've really only had problems with "puffy" paint cracking however brands such as lumiere paints are popular because of their metallic sheen. My tail is painted with lumiere metallic olive, you can see pics in the "just had a photoshoot" thread if you're wondering what that looks like. I might advise against white base colour though because it could take several applications to get a good cover.
    Last edited by Arking; 06-12-2018 at 02:15 PM. Reason: Spelling errors

  3. #3
    Junior Member Anne078's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arking View Post
    1- Would a Finis wave be strong enough to propel me with this type of fluke?
    Yes, however the side fins will create drag in the water which you may find somewhat bothersome if you're not used to it.
    2- How would I achieve the scale look with my own fabric? Should I try sequins?
    Most will hand paint the scales, but you could pull nylon meshing over your tail and sponge paint it if you wanted to go faster. There's a variety of techniques and no shortage of means to create stencils or stamps you could use to achieve rapid scale making. Personally I'd do it with two stamps, one with a scale pattern and one with the same size of scale but with scallop grooves in it. You would then stamp the standard scale in a base colour and then the scalloped highlights in a second colour. Most people on here will not recommend using sequins, they aren't great for the ocean.
    3- What materiel do you guys usually use for the body and fluke of the tail?
    Depends on your preference really but most will use spandex or swimsuit material. I would choose something darker if you're looking to recreate this look an then paint over it with lighter colours.
    4- Is there a way that I could use white fabric for the fluke and paint it with waterproof paint to my liking?
    Most fabric paint is waterproof. I've really only had problems with "puffy" paint cracking however brands such as lumiere paints are popular because of their metallic sheen. My tail is painted with lumiere metallic olive, you can see pics in the "just had a photoshoot" thread if you're wondering what that looks like. I might advice against white base colour though because it could take several applications to get a good cover.
    Thank you, this was really helpful


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    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    Get some vinyl sheets too for the large fluke. If you just use spandex for the fluke area, it will look nice and flowing underwater, but out of water all that material will just flop over.. You'll not get the nice curved flop that you see in silicone tails when they're out of water too.
    Formerly known as ireneho

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    Junior Member Anne078's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Jaffa View Post
    Get some vinyl sheets too for the large fluke. If you just use spandex for the fluke area, it will look nice and flowing underwater, but out of water all that material will just flop over.. You'll not get the nice curved flop that you see in silicone tails when they're out of water too.
    Thanks for the ideas

  6. #6
    Well, I also appreciate the idea for the large fluke. I appreciate that you've posted it here.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathleen Everett View Post
    Well, I also appreciate the idea for the large fluke. I appreciate that you've posted it here.
    Np. Its what Finfolk, Swimtails, Magictail and most likely other brands of large fluked fabric tail makers use.

    I think in other countries, you call it shelf liner. Its clear, plastic sheet that come in giant rolls that you buy by the metre.
    Last edited by Mermaid Jaffa; 06-21-2018 at 03:28 AM.
    Formerly known as ireneho

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