Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tails o' the Sea

Oh boy! What have I gotten myself into this time...This is proving to be messier and more difficult than I thought, but I'm already committed...(or is that I should BE committed!) I slathered on a thicker layer of Alex caulking, let it get gummy and then laid down fish net. I was going to try the metal grate "stamp" thing, but couldn't find a grate with the right pattern locally. So, I know I had seen someone using fish net to make the scales; however, what I didn't realize is that the net doesn't come off of the caulk as easily as I thought it might. Either that, or I have to let it get even more "cured" before I try pulling it off.
Since the caulk is still "moldable", I experimented with sculpting the scales where the tail goes into the fluke - using an ordinary spoon...It seemed to work out pretty good. I may have to add more caulk as I go along to fill in holes and spots, but I think that may work out pretty good. For the fluke, I used a combination of a chopstick and a sponge paint brush that I had cut so that I could give the fluke some texture.
It doesn't look too bad so far for my first attempt at this, but I'll need to work at it some more to "clean it up"  before I consider it ready to paint. Now to find an affordable air brushing kit and generator...

Well, that was a bad idea - soon after I went to check if I should pull the netting out, I realized that I had let it dry *too* long and that I couldn't get the net out without tearing up my fabulous caulking job. So, in a panic, I posted to the MerNetwork forums and asked for some advice. Merbel, who wrote the tutorial I am using, answered me and said to remove the net "immediately!", that it was better to waste the caulk than to ruin the neoprene and that I had indeed left the netting in the caulk for too long. She said I could always go back over it with more caulk to "fix" it. So, I carefully tore the netting away (it was a real bi*ch, I tell you!) and was left with quite a totally tweaked most of the tail and took away a good deal of caulk with it.
Interesting effect!
It did leave some kind of cool looking intermittent scales though...So, back to the drawing board. I tried to fill in some of the empty spots - I may just kind of leave it with the intermittent it a kind of punk, tattered fish effect, maybe more realistic and not so perfect. I'm still working on it and trying to figure out different ways to "sculpt" the scales. The edge of a teaspoon works pretty good if you press it upside down into the caulk while it's still kind of gummy and sticky.
I really wish the metal grating had worked out. I ended up finding some at Lowe's, but I felt that the shapes were too small for the size of the tail. I thought about finding one of those copper cake/jello molds that look like a fish and using the scales on that as a stamp. I still may try that if I can find one....there's got to be a better way!


Post a Comment