Timon Singh

Weta Workshop Designs Mermaid Suit for a Double Leg Amputee

by , 04/05/11
filed under: Design for Health

weta workshop, weta workshop mermaid tail, Nadya Vessey mermaid, Nadya Vessey weta, mermaid costume, mermaid swimming costume

Weta Workshop, the special FX house behind the costumes and props in the Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia films, have given a double leg amputee the ability to swim. Auckland native Nadya Vessey lost both her legs as child due to a medical condition, but always loved swimming. When asked by a young boy why she had no legs, she replied that she was a mermaid -which gave her an idea.

weta workshop, weta workshop mermaid tail, Nadya Vessey mermaid, Nadya Vessey weta, mermaid costume, mermaid swimming costume

Weta are idolized in New Zealand for their creations, so Vessey contacted them with the challenge to create a prosthetic mermaid tail for swimming. And to her surprise, Weta agreed.

The design team custom-made the tail using a blend of 3D modelling and milling technology, combined with Vi Vac vacforming, and a poly-carbonate spine and tail fin. The skin of the tail was made from a layer of neoprene and a lycra outer-layer digitally printed with a stunning ‘scale’ pattern that was designed by one of the concept artists.

The unique articulated construction of the tail allows Vessey to propel herself through the water just like mermaids are meant to do. Vessey has even said that she is thinking of using the tail to help her complete the swimming section of a triathlon.

Weta donated staff time and expertise into make the tail, and Vessey has been able to cover the costs of the materials from a grant that she received from the Kerr-Taylor Foundation Trust.

You can also check out a video here:

YouTube Preview Image

+ Weta Workshop

via DVICE

Related Posts

LEAVE A COMMENT

or your inhabitat account below

Let's make sure you're a real person:


1 Comment

  1. caeman April 7, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Very cool.

  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
What are you looking for? (Solar, HVAC, etc.)
Where are you located?