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Thread: MY mermaid creations tail...

  1. #1
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    MY mermaid creations tail...

    Merman Christian here, this is a follow up review to the tail that I posted about a few weeks ago:

    When I sought out to finally purchase a silicone tail, I knew right off the bat I wanted the SPLASH fluke shape, I've grown up with that film and I am a die-hard fan, especially when it comes to the tail design. The only person that I saw that could TRULY capture that look was Mike Van Daal of FlipTails. As beautiful as his tails are, they are FAR to expensive for my price range, but then I discovered Mermaid Creations, and the tailmaker was just as big of a SPLASH fan as I was! So I sketched up my design and sent him many pictures, including pictures from the movie too. I made my first down payment in March of 2013 and the second in the fall time, but no work on the tail had even began yet. Now at the time, Jesse was cranking out good work, which why I felt safe in going with him, little did I know what the end result would be...

    Merfest 2014 came and I had previously ordered a custom monofin made specifically for ME, the maker had-delivered it to me at Merfest and I gave it to Jesse to take back home with him, that was in the beginning of January. I didn't hear much from him again until February when he said he had gotten the fabric to start making my extra fins for my tail, which was something different for him because he used Nylon this time, which was what was used in SPLASH to achieve that super flowy look. I've worked with nylon before for my own neoprene tail and I know that you can't paint it and let it sit out for months because it becomes hard and 'crunchy', well they sat that way from February to the time he attached them which was October. Now at the time Jesse was offering a special deal that for $600 you could get a tail that was all one color. He was hurting for business and since he had become a friend I purchased one to help him out. He told me I would have the tail within a month, I didnt recieve the tail until around the end of April, not to mention hadn't even heard from him for atleast almost two months, also I asked for the tail to be bright red, instead I got DARK red or 'blood'. Well the red tail did end up fitting perfectly, although wasn't as strong as I thought because it was used during a movie shoot I had this summer and I was pulling the tail on to do a scene and it tore in a small area above my right thigh...

    Getting to the OTHER tail now. Throughout the summer I would message Jesse almost on a weekly basis due to his lack of communication with me, which took me through a loop because I had read read all these reviews of how he good he was at that, this wasn't the case here. Now when it came time to FINALLY mold the fluke, I knew it was going to be 40"( I now regret that decision) and I told him to cast it THIN due to its size, well when I finally did get the tail it was almost 2" thick on the sides. NOT what I asked him to do. I will say that he atleast got the SPLASH shape correct! During the tails creation time I was given many FALSE deadlines, first it was going to be done by June, then in August, then September, then October. When he finally started mixing the color for the base of the tail he got it almost to the color I was after but not quite, so I suggested that he add a bit of white to the mix to give it more of the pastel green that I was looking for; he didnt. Instead I ended up with a Joker-like green. I was already growing more frustrated with the process, so I just agreed to it. When he finally got the fluke together and painted it, he DID manage to get all the colors right, but the blending process was another story, the colors are bright and intense and they just seemed to bump up against each other with no transitioning at all, I had him go back and fix this. Now the big problem is when it came time to attached the nylon fins to the tail, the dragonskin silicone that he used wouldn't bond to the nylon, so he ended up attaching another fabric to the bottom and used that for the silicone to bond to. I purposely told him not to tatter the fins because I wanted to do that myself. Another thing that was going on during this time was LACK OF PICTURES, one was that he had only showed me two pics of the dorsal fin, I never even saw pics of the heel fins during this process. The pics he did send me were usually only PARTS of the tail, which was good, but I was I had more of them because I would have seen what I eventually did once the tail got to me.

    After a full year of waiting the tail finally came to me on December 1, first of all the tail was just thrown into the box, no packing material whatsoever except for two crumpled pieces of brown paper and part of the box was coming apart, even the UPS man said how horrible of a packing job it was. The tail itself weighed 50lbs, but I knew that was due to the fluke, had Jesse cast it THIN like I told him to do, maybe it would have weighed less. This is where the tail took on a whole different light. AS i examined the tail, my heart began to sink as I took in all the sloppy work that had been done, now a few pics he had shown me I noticed a couple little things here and there and I asked him to fix them: they were not fixed.
    I couldn't believe the poor craftsmanship of the the tail that I had waited over a year for:Name:  1511133_10205309253001039_5314788358724105266_n.jpg
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Size:  46.4 KB this was SUPPOSED to be the blended waist, having seen the blended waist of other clients I thought this would turn out great, but as you see It simply is two pieces stuck together, with only some minor patches of blending.
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    the parts where the extra fins are attached are already starting to separate from the tail, and the messy lay of silicone sticks out like on orange in the bed of apples. On the last photo you can even see the stiching starting to show from where the nylon and the other fabric were attached.

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Size:  62.3 KB as far as the fluke goes, I was leaning on it while I was in the process of tattering the heel fins(which were horribly shaped, had I been shown a more clear pic, this could have been fixed), and when I sat up, the black painted had rubbed off on my arm in a nice streak from where I guess the silicone hadn't cured all the way.

    The next day I tried to test swim it and I even had one of the mermaids on my team go with me. I don't know what Jesse did to the body of this tail, but it fit me different than the red one, which he even used the same measurements from. I havent gained weight, I've actually done the opposite and the red tail still fits great, but this tail was very tight in the calf area and even with the help of my mermaid and her boyfriend I still couldn't pull it fully up over my butt. The new fluke was just so heavy and cumbersome I tried to do all my usual tricks and flips in it, and it just wasn't working, I felt like I had a channel marker around my ankles.

    This was supposed to be my dream tail, but the whole process has been anything but a nightmare. I felt heartbroken, betrayed, lied to, cheated, and like I had lost a child.

    NOW, one thing I do want to make clear is that I am NOT lashing out, bashing, or hating on Jesse. Knowing him personally he is a kind-hearted and sweet person and a friend. It's the work I am mad at. He is also NOT a scam artist or is out trying to scam others. I feel that he just stepped into a business that became way too much for him to handle in such a short time, but I do know that once he finishes his current orders he is officially done with making tails for people. I know he has had a rough year in his personal life and that's his business. But communication is key with any tailmaker and I feel that was not his best attribute this year not just with me, but with his other customers too. I asked for some a refund of most of my money back and he DID agree to it, which he said I will have it after the first of January 2015. Overall I encourage future mers wanting to purchase a silicone tail to choose wisely! Do your homework and asked questions, maybe contact other mers that have bought tails from whatever company you decide to go with and ask them about their tails. But one thing I firmly encourage is don't be afraid to voice your opinion to your tailmaker, YOU are the paying customer, and they are making YOUR dream tail, and if they are a good tailmaker they will be open to your new ideas and work with you instead of trying to do what THEY think looks good and giving you attitude back, I've had people write to me with these horror stories.

    Am I glad I went with Mermaid Creations? Honestly, NO, but I don't regret the learning experience...

  2. #2
    I am sorry for your experience.

    it's admirable the way you reviewed though, ending on a very fair note that gives some consideration to the tailmaker while still being honest that the quality was lacking.

    What do you plan to do? fix the tail up?
    User formerly known as "LittleBlue222".

  3. #3
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    Thank you Lunette, the tail is pretty much almost unwearble, atleast for ME anyway, I'm going to try to swim in it one more time, but I can't repair it. I'm using my refund money to put towards something much better, and I am also going to try to sell this one eventually. I'll be sad to give up my signature SPLASH fluke-shape for a little while, but I already asked the new company I'm going with if they could mold a SPLASH fluke for me after they make the tail they will be making for me next and they said they would be happy too, so Merman Christian's tropical SPLASH flukes will be back

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon View Post
    Thank you Lunette, the tail is pretty much almost unwearble, atleast for ME anyway, I'm going to try to swim in it one more time, but I can't repair it. I'm using my refund money to put towards something much better, and I am also going to try to sell this one eventually. I'll be sad to give up my signature SPLASH fluke-shape for a little while, but I already asked the new company I'm going with if they could mold a SPLASH fluke for me after they make the tail they will be making for me next and they said they would be happy too, so Merman Christian's tropical SPLASH flukes will be back
    well I am glad to hear that. Good luck with your new tailmaker(s). Also a relief about the refund, lots of horror stories out there where that does not happen.
    User formerly known as "LittleBlue222".

  5. #5
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    Merman Christian I also want to say sorry for your experience. I can agree that he became really popular quickly and tried to do his best to get all the orders filled he took. I am glad to hear things like a refund are working out. I am also not going to bash or put Jesse down. Best of luck with swimming in it and getting things in order with whatever loose ends you have.

  6. #6
    Fyi.. I double checked with Jesse.. he does not use perma-wet.. the shiny coat is just more smooth on silicon that is untinted..
    Sorry for the thread hijack.


  7. #7
    Moderator Pod of Cali Mermaid Wesley's Avatar
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    I'm sorry Christian, I knew you were so excited for this. I hope everything will work out for you in the end. Would it be possible to just Frankenstein the different parts? as far as I can tell, the fins look nice on their own? I'm just super bummed that this didnt work out...

  8. #8
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    Settle in folks, I am about the write a book.

    Before I get into this I want to say I am not trying to throw Jesse under the bus. Jesse is a kind and loving person with a lot of passion. I think he - like so many others- bit off way more than he could chew way sooner than he should of. It's my understanding when he's done his orders, he'll be done with tail making. He is just trying to get through them all while working full time.

    I have had concerns about Jesse's tails since the start. But I never felt like it would be appropriate for me to voice them publicly. in 2012 with no warning, Jesse gifted us with his own version of a splash tail. He wanted us to test it out, give him feedback, and help promote his work. Given the circumstances of receiving something for free, I never felt like I could publicly say anything. It was a prototype, it was free. But the reason I do say things to people in private is because all of the issues with our tail are present in currently made tails. Meaning Jesse hasn't improved much on his technique since making ours, and I think it's important people realize that.

    There are a few issues with our tail that pretty much ever single MC customer I've ever known has had (they tell me personally or I can see it in photos, or I witnessed it at merfest) even in BRAND NEW tails. To date I have only known two people that are totally happy with their tail. one still has a certain problem that I'll list here. The other had to have the fluke replaced because it was too heavy and is waiting for it to be resized. (something I'll address too) Nothing against either mers but when I look at their tails I still see the problems I am about to list, and I think they're issue people should be aware of before they buy. I have been trying to hint at them all over the forum or I'll directly PM people to avoid drama. Now I think it's best to just get it out in the open even if it causes me drama...

    Perma Wet- Despite a conversations on here, and my feedback from our own tail, jesse still uses perma wet. It's what gives the tail the shiny look. The problem with perma wet is that it's latex so it never fully cures over the silicone. It will peel off and take colour with it. And you can't repaint overtop of the permawet. It wont stick. Our tail peeled like crazy and I see peeling in most MC tails I see onilne. I had warned christian about the use of perma wet and suggested he be very vocal about not wanting it on things if he wanted to be able to repaint later. Raven was going to touch up my MC tail for me and was unable to because of the perma wet. Latex is also a concern when exposing it to kids. Jesse DOES use it. He admitted it on this forum and there was drama when he tried to delete the post after people calling him on it- admins can attest to that-, and I saw it first hand on tails at NC Merfest. I'm not sure if he used it on Christians tail or not because I advised Christian not to let him use it and I know Christian had spoken to him about it. I have been advising all his clients to ask him to not use it. Extra silicone can certainly be used as a clear coat. Extra silicone doesn't peel off. Extra silicone can be painted over. The majority of Jesse's tails have perma wet.

    Thickness- Jesse tail's are the thickest on the market. Inches thick which make for heavier than they need to be tails, and hard to get on. They're thick because he doesn't know how to paint on top of the silicone. He achieve the colours by layering pigmented silicone until it gets to be as dark as he wants. If you're dealing with a lighter colour, it takes way more layers. Same with multiple colours. It shouldnt matter how wide the fluke is- mine is 38 inches wide and I can lift it with ease. the colour ends up streaky and I see the same issue in others as we have in ours in that it ends up over time becoming transparent. You can see bathing suit and legs right through our tail. I photoshop it constantly. Because there are so many layers of silicone that have had different curing times, they can end up separating which is what happened to ours. Our tail split into 3 and I had to sew all along the seams and the waist with clear line to reinforce it. You can go on about it being your own fault that you're not strong enough to lift Jesse's fluke but the fact is... Jesse's tails are the heaviest on the market. That's not really a clients fault, and comes directly from layering.

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    monofin- Jesse hasn't figured out how to glue down the monofins, and since the fluke are so thick and fill up with water it makes it not only super heavy to lift because it collects water, it makes the seams of the fluke spit open under pressure. Also, the monofin edges poke through the fluke. This happened to ours and has happened to most people I know with an MC tail. The monfins are also very noticeable. Our monofin poked through the silicone very early on, and this past summer our fluke split into two pieces. I have had many people email me about the same issues. Because it's not glued down the fluke can also get filled up with mold like ours did.

    Seams- very sloppy on practically every tail I see it's just less noticeable on darker colours. You can see on christian's tail they're awful along with the lines where extra fins are attached.

    Just sharing some pics of ours to back up what I'm saying. I'd point it out on other tails but I don't wanna make any other mers feel bad.

    This is the day we got our MC tail, you can see in spots the perma wet is already coming off, the monfin isn't glued down and paint is very streaky and see through



    look at that seam to the right of this photo... :/ I always photo shop it out or have a mermaid wear a scarf over it. I saw this on new tails at NCMerfest...



    You can see that seam and sloppy paint right here (flash made the orange look blood red)



    Most of the photos you see of our tail on our pages have been heavily photoshopped.

    I bring up these points because I STILL SEE THEM ON BRAND NEW TAILS and I don't think that's okay! You may have noticed I never wear this tail?? I tried it once and found it almost impossible to put on and way too thick when I was trying to swim. For me personally the fluke had no push. So I put it on mermaids who are smaller than I am and they have an easier time. I tried to give Jesse feedback when he first gave me the tail but he wasnt very receptive.

    It breaks my heart to see Christian get a tail that is so sub par and on the same level as the first one he made so long ago.

    I had warned Christian about a few things but Christian wanted to give his friend a chance and really believed Jesse could fufill his dreams. I am heart broken that ontop of all these issues it doesnt even fit him. Adding insult to injury for sure.

    So many people have contacted me about their MC tails with complaints and Christian is the first review I've felt actually hit the nail on the head. I hope more people will post them. There are a lot of unhappy clients but no one wants to say anything.

    These are all things people need to consider when buying from him. Though it seems like he wont be taking new orders in the future.

    I am sorry I wasn't more up front about our tail. I hope people can understand the predicament I was in. I tried to post accurate photos though so people could see for themselves in my thread. I was shocked when I saw the state of brand new tails at NCMerfest and I know several people who got their tails refunded right away including Cicero (a NCMerfest attendant)

    I will always be grateful for the tail- it allowed my sister to enjoy mermaiding. I always tried to give Jesse good photos and I gave him a good (but still honest) recommendation when the Hawaii Oceanarium contacted me to see what I thought of his tails. I think it's an example of taking on too much too soon before you really know your product and your clients.
    Last edited by AniaR; 12-07-2014 at 07:29 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Euro Pod Samantha Siren's Avatar
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    Thank you Raina, with the help of another tail maker giving me good advice I am guiding Jesse through the process of making my tail using a different method to how he usually does it. (Well that is the plan anyway). Here is hoping my gentle persuasion helps. And I also said very firmly NO PERMAWET!
    User formerly known as "Samantha".

  10. #10
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod PearlieMae's Avatar
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    wow! I didn't know that about the perma wet! I very nearly bought some on the recommendation of another mermaid recently, but I'm glad now that I didn't. I worked for nearly a year on my current tail nights and weekends and vacations, and there's still so much to learn. But with each project, I am learning so much! To build tails and not improve on your techniques that's just laziness. There's no excuse. The pictures of Christian's tail make me want to cry!

  11. #11
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    yes it's made for latex and urethane rubbers. Using a clear coat of silicone isnt as shiny- the whole purpose of permawet is to make props looks shiny. But it's not worth it in the end. Mermaid Mutiny currently has my tail she's been trying to do repairs on it but I'll show some recent pics when it gets back

  12. #12
    Senior Member Pod of Texas Sherielle's Avatar
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    My one major complaint about my MC tail is that you can see the monofin in the fluke. Not just the outline, you can see the yellow finis foil beneath the blue color of the fluke. I do like my tail and I'm forever happy to have been able to buy it so I can get started mermaiding. It is thick. I like that and I don't like it. It would be interesting for me to try on another maker's tail just to see the difference in monofin and putting it on. As it is, it's a lesson in patience and quite a workout to put on my mc tail. You could argue that I bought it second (third) hand and it wasn't made for me, but I realized early on when I saw pictures of people rolling down their tails to either put them on or to clean them that my tail was much thicker than normal.
    I hate that after so much effort and time that Christian put into this tail that it's such a dismal failure.
    Last edited by Sherielle; 12-08-2014 at 11:37 AM.

  13. #13
    It broke my heart when I saw your post about this tail, I was beyond excited for you and to have that excitement completely ruined is just heart breaking. I cannot even imagine the feeling of having a tail you've been waiting to get for so long come in the mail and end up looking like this. If that happened to me I'm not sure what I would do! You AT LEAST deserve a partial refund!!
    Formerly known as Savannah Staver

  14. #14
    Senior Member Euro Pod Samantha Siren's Avatar
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    Does Jesse put drain holes in his flukes? Just making a list if things to tell him.
    User formerly known as "Samantha".

  15. #15
    Senior Member Pod of Texas Sherielle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samantha Siren View Post
    Does Jesse put drain holes in his flukes? Just making a list if things to tell him.
    No he doesn't

  16. #16
    Senior Member Euro Pod Samantha Siren's Avatar
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    Thank you I will let him know! Does you fluke fill with water?
    User formerly known as "Samantha".

  17. #17
    Senior Member Pod of Texas Sherielle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samantha Siren View Post
    Thank you I will let him know! Does you fluke fill with water?
    Yes, but I haven't had a problem with it.

  18. #18
    I have the 5th tail Jesse ever made. Ive talked to him about mine. He did NOT use perma wet on mine. I have been able to repaint. I have also been able to repair a rip i put in the ankle area and repaint over that with out peeling. I do not have a peelingissue with mine. THe fluke uissue at first was due to an unforseen issue with the softer silicone. which is why the competitor monofins poked through. When my fluke was remade. We tackled the issue. I have not sice had the monofin poke though. Nor can you see my monofin. As for my resizing issue. That is NOT jesse fault. I have lost too much weight. There need to be 6inches in changes to the size. We have discussed a solution to the problem. THe only reason I am waiting is i do not have the money to ship my tail... Again NOT jesses fault.

    Im seriously getting tired of people not privy to my situtation implying they know all the details. And again. I am going to say this. If you are not me or Jesse You do not have persmission to discuss anything to do with my tail.

    You say your not throwing him under the bus ..but you are. Ever since Chris posted about his tail. You have ben the most vocal about what you are not pleased with about your tail. It was free. And only the second one he ever made. He gave it to you as a gesture of friendship.. which you seem to just throw aside.

    If all these people are unhappy with thier tails. Let them speak for themselves.. otherwise..its all heresay.. and that doesnt even hold up in court.

    You all are like a mob with pitchforks and fire. One person leading the charge and the rest just following.




    No I will agree that the issue with Chris's tail are horrible. I dont know what was going on with jesse and I will not speculate. But Chris got his refund. So why is everyone still going on and on about this? Yes it sucks his dream tail flopped. But he got his money back.

    Jesse is still my friend. and I still support him. and YES. I ham Happy with my tail. I love my tail.. imperfections and all.

    NO tail is PErfect. its made by human hands. Humans make mistakes.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Kelda's Avatar
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    Honestly, Nerine, you're repeating Raina's points and then making it seem like she didn't make them.

    She has shown her pictures and they attest to themselves. Anyone can see the issues with it. She noted that it was his first tail, but Christian's tail has the same issues (in his opinion, they are issues, and I have to agree) and his was made much more recently.

    She pointed out that she was not going to talk about other people's tails. And she made it clear that she thought others should come forward if they have issues, and that it wasn't her place to criticise someone else's tail.

    I'm glad you're happy with your tail. That's wonderful. But that doesn't mean you get to say whether or not others should be happy with theirs. Christian went over the top to make sure people understood that Jesse was his friend, and that he didn't want to bash him at all. He was disappointed in the product, and he has every right to be.

  20. #20
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    I wouldn't expect neriene to say anything negative while she is waiting for her tail to be taken in. I see issues with your tail that are listed here and I could a been a jerk and posted pics pointing it out on yours and others. As we do with other tail makers.

    There's no pitch forks. Its a shame you revived this thread on Jesses birthday of all days. It had just died down...

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