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How Realistic Can One Make Sails?


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49 replies to this topic

#1
Julie Mo

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I've seen a lot of models in museums that are just amazing.  But almost have sails that can't compete with the realism like the rest of the model.  They look dead.

 

When I'm sailing, I'm all about sail shape.  I have to have those sails trimmed just right and you will find me tweaking them constantly.  It's one of the things I love about sailing.  There's a pureness and beauty in seeing a properly trimmed sail.

 

My first build will be a J-Class model and I would either want the sails to look like when the boat is sailing (I would also mount it heeling) or flake the sails on the deck and make a dock to mount it to if I can't achieve the look of a properly trimmed sail.

 

Can a model sail ever look like the real thing?  If so, what methods do you use?

 

Thanks,

Julie


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Endeavour - 1934 American's Cup, UK Challenger, J-Class - Amati 1:35


#2
HSM

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I've always resisted making full sails because I don't think I have ever seen them look like sails do in full scale, full of wind. Not saying it's impossible but it would take a ridiculous amount of effort to make it look good. Model material can't possibly mimic the stiffness or flexibility and the way gravity acts on full-sized fabric and rope.

 

I do like the look of partly furled sails if made from silkspan or similar material though. They can look very realistic.


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From about as far from the ocean as you can get in North America!


#3
Cap'n Rat Fink

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Hi Julie,

   Me thinks this is what you are talking about.

 

 

01550.jpg

 

If so, you can get all the info you need here.

 

http://www.shipmodel...plandusite.html

 

It is Model Ship Building for Dummies. I am not calling you a Dummy. That is the name of the site. The gentleman passed away, But his family still runs it. For a small fee you are a member for life. The gentleman has some great stuff. very talented.

 

Mario


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Thank You all...

 

Mario

 

 

:piratetongueor4:  :piratetongueor4:

"Each of us is a mixture of some good and some not so good qualities. In considering one's fellow man it's important to remember the good things ... We should refrain from making judgments just because a fella happens to be a dirty, rotten SOB(biscuit) ;) "

 

 

 

My Builds....

 

BETTEAU WAR OF 1812     BOUNTY LAUNCH(bashed)    CHESAPEAKE BAY FLATTIE

 

THE SEA of GALILEE BOAT   VICTORIAN STEAM LAUNCH(bashed)    HOWARD CHAPELLE's CRABBING SKIFF

 

LADY KATHRINE 1812 SCHOONER


#4
jbshan

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Starch or paint over a form or shaped by hand comes to mind.  Milliners use a wire edging they bend to shape and the fabric holds the shape.

 

Here's the wire, note it is wrapped with thread.

 

th-5.jpg

 

Here is a hat.  I suspect the petal shapes have wire in their edges as the fabric is too sheer for starch and not stiff enough to hold on its own.

 

th-4.jpg


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#5
Jack12477

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I used very thin brass wire inserted into the bottom seam of the sail and clipped to the bolt rope loop (hidden) to form the sail. See example in Completed Model Gallery for example of the effect.


Edited by Jack12477, 05 November 2015 - 10:17 PM.

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Jack
 
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#6
Julie Mo

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I joined the Dummies website.  I'm probably at the bottom of the class.  As I try to piece the ideas together, it seems this may be a lot of work.  Not that I have a problem with that.  I just wonder how long it will last. 

 

And then there's dust.  If the model is not sealed from dust, once you clean the dust off the sails, it looks like those sails will have to be trimmed again.

 

I really don't know where this will lead.  Right now I envision the J-Class model I am about to tackle to take the place of the model that the seller of the property has already sold.  She had a schooner, that was close to the same size as the 1:35 J-Class Endeavour, sitting in her dining room.  Replacing it with Endeavour just seemed like the right thing to do.

 


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Endeavour - 1934 American's Cup, UK Challenger, J-Class - Amati 1:35


#7
Landlocked123

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Hi Julie,

I think you might be putting the "cart before the horse" a bit.

Nevertheless, at the NRG conference a couple of weeks ago I attended a fabulous sail making workshop run by Nic Damuck from BlueJacket Ship Crafters. He showed a very simple and effective way to create sails. Using Silkspan (a specialty fabric used by radio controlled airplane builders) he created very realistic sails.

Silkspan is very light and somewhat translucent. It also has a barely noticeable weave. Nic drew a sail pattern on one sheet using pencil, then using watered down white glue, he sandwiched that between two more sheets with the weave at a 90 degree angles. Then, very carefully worked out any air bubbles. He then trimmed it to shape with scissors, placed it over a frame (of coat hanger wire) contoured in such a way that when the sail dried it mantained its shape.

The pencil lines in between the layers gave a very realistic and subtle impression of the panels comprising a sail. To me the most important aspect was that the sails appeared to scale.

Best,
John
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#8
grsjax

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A long time back I remember reading an article about a model of an arab dhow.  The builder carved sails from a very fine grained wood that looked amazingly real in the photos. 


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My advice and comments are always worth what you paid for them.


#9
Blue Ensign

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Silkspan or Modelspan as it seems to be called now is an excellent medium for making sails certainly at smaller scales.
 
I used it on my French Seventy-four build, and the effect of wind behind the sail is simply achieved using a hair dryer.

 

028.JPG

 

There is a technique to forming the sails but all the various strengthening patches along with seams and cringles can be incorporated, and it is both strong and translucent.

 

B.E.


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#10
jonny.amy

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I furled the sails on my Sherbourne, but I found the lightest canvas curtain lining with the closest stitching I could find. The materials was already a creamy-white colour, but after 3 hours of soaking in a tray of "builders" tea (minus the milk), I left them to dry naturally. The sails were then built up in similar fashion to original sails, although I used a single panel for the sails and added the panels of cloth to double-up the material.

As for getting shape to them, I looked in to this, and found that ordinary fabric glue does not stick to Clingfilm. So I tried shaping a block of Balsa wrapped in Clingfilm to act as a mould for the sail. The fabricated sail was then pinned to the balsa block and impregnated with a 50/50 mix of water and fabric glue. This seems to have worked to create a shaped sail, but does require a mould per sail.

I hope this helps.

Jonny

Edited by jonny.amy, 06 November 2015 - 08:47 AM.

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#11
Dwaing

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Re: barely noticeable weave of Silk span :rolleyes:. It 's weave is non existent as it is a felted product :o. I made a full ship set of sails for my Rattlesnake with Silk span. :) I have a small minipractium on how I make sails which I could send to anyone by email if you send me a PM request. :D


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#12
GuntherMT

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Re: barely noticeable weave of Silk span :rolleyes:. It 's weave is non existent as it is a felted product :o. I made a full ship set of sails for my Rattlesnake with Silk span. :) I have a small minipractium on how I make sails which I could send to anyone by email if you send me a PM request. :D

 

Why not post it and share with everyone?


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#13
JerseyCity Frankie

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My HMS Victory build log is really just a very long description of how I made the sails. I used bed sheet material then I stained it and drew all the sail details on with a pen with white ink. To get the shape I used a commercial product intended for stiffening fabric for crafts and I formed the sails into the full bellied shape by draping the wet material over holes cut in  cardboard in the shape of the sails. Check it out in the build log link below.


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#14
twintrow

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Excellent job B.E. very realistic look.   It seems to me though that virtually every painting I see of square riggers the sails have a blueish tinge and show multiple patches. and in some photos as well.

Stark white sails just hanging on a model do not look good IMHO, and detract from the overall look of the model.  So far I have avoided putting on sails for that reason. When I find the right technique maybe I'll try them then.

Tom


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#15
georgeband

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Another method for sails is to use plastic-backed cotton lawn. This is a fine weave cotton that comes in sheets for use with an inkjet printer, it is mostly used by quilters to print photographs onto material. I drew the sails on my pc and then printed them out after getting all the seam lines etc in the right places.

The sails on my Sherbourne are a mix of furled and loose, but they show the cutter as being static since I think it is difficult to portray motion in a model.

 

Full details for square sails are in a pdf in another part of MSW. (I am having problems copying and pasting the link, but it is about 'superdetailing the cutter Sherbourne')

 

George Bandurek

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • tg complete.JPG

Attached Files


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George Bandurek

Near the coast in Sussex, England

 

Current build: HMS Whiting (Caldercraft Ballahoo with enhancements)

 

Previous builds: Cutter Sherbourne (Caldercraft) and many non-ship models

 


#16
mtaylor

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The is an article in the Database here:  http://modelshipworl...g-and-sails.php   that might help.  If nothing else, it's a starting point.  Hubert (Shipmodeling for Dummies) has some excellent methods also.


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Mark

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#17
Landlocked123

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Re: barely noticeable weave of Silk span :rolleyes:. It 's weave is non existent as it is a felted product :o. I made a full ship set of sails for my Rattlesnake with Silk span. :) I have a small minipractium on how I make sails which I could send to anyone by email if you send me a PM request. :D

Hi Diwang,

I'm just a novice.

However, I know that Nic is a master builder with a special expertise in rigging. He also runs one of, if not the best, manufacturers of extremely high quality model ship kits in the world. Felted or not, there were about 14 people in the round table with me, and he definitely showed that there was some kind of orientation to the fibers he was using and it was a "best practice" to sandwich the sheets 90 degrees to each other.

I also agree with Brian, if you have a "practicum" on sail making, why not share it with all of us?

John

Edited by Landlocked123, 08 November 2015 - 11:13 PM.

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#18
druxey

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There is a small monograph on making realistic Silkspan sails on the SeaWatchBooks site. As Blue Ensign shows, the effect is very convincing.


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#19
Julie Mo

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Well Rick, I guess you don't know about Google boats. ;)


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Endeavour - 1934 American's Cup, UK Challenger, J-Class - Amati 1:35


#20
Blue Ensign

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Greetings, 

 

Please forgive me if i create a stir on this thread but how can you have billowing sails with no sailors? I really don't want to take anything away from the work being done with the sails but I really think any boat with billowing sails should also be manned. I know this adds another level of complexity but I wouldn't set sails without at least a few sailors on board.  :)

 

Regards, 

 

Rick 

and presumably to be set in water, or at least a waterline setting ;)


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