Saturday, May 18, 2013

Making a Quick and Dirty Fiji Mermaid

The talented Allen Hopps brings us this tutorial on creating a Fiji Mermaid gaff using an off the shelf skeleton and the plastic wrap corpsing technique we've discussed before.


Phil said...

I really want to make one of these.

Markus said...

I have to admit I don´t like this fiji mermaid that much, it´s too quick and too dirty. That´s really sad, because if you are already using a good-looking small skeleton, you would have the potential to create something really good. One reason why I don´t like the style of this fiji mermaid not that much, is that it looks like a really decayed zombie, and not like a mummy of sorts (well, iy you want to have a zombie mermaid, whay not?). Ok, such a thing can be ok as a Halloween decoration, but I am not really a fan of quick and dirty creations, as they usually come never really close to something what´s made with more time and accuracy. I made two fiji mermaids myself, and I can say it´s really not that easy, and there´s still I lot I could do better. It was - btw - not even that common to use the upper part of a monkey for those mermaids as most people think. In many cases the upper part of the body was just made from parts of wide, wood, fabric, bone and papermaché. In several cases, parts of fish jaws were used to create the mouths of the mermaids. Anyway, at my last fiji mermaid, I still tried to create the more stereotypical version with a fish´s body and the torso of a monkey:
Well, of course it´s still far away from being perfect.

Markus said...

Just found this video:

It really really hurts who they totally destroyed an original fiji mermaid to see how it looks at the inside, and in a way, which makes it fully un-restorable. Why didn´t they just use X-rays or a CT-scan? It would have been obvious that it´s mainly made from wood and wire. But besides this useless destruction of an antique curiosity, you can see at least a bit into the inside of an original fiji mermaid, what can be interesting to construct one for yourself.

Jeff said...

Ok just this weekend while I was set up at a Horror show I was talking about both making a Fiji Mermaid and Stillbeast studios work. What you have to remember about his work is it is ment to be seen in low light from 10-15 feet away for maybe 30 seconds - 1 min max, and it needs to be made as cheaply as possible. Andy's work does very well at these things and he's basic techniques are very adaptable to more detailed work.
For my Fiji Mermaid I am thinking I will use a Resin skull ( have cast my own so I have them on hand) and maybe a wire or rope armature. Then cover it with acrylic mache and go from there. I do think the plastic sheet corpseing technique does do better at making zombies than mummies in my opinion, but you can do mummies with it if you take your time.