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make white preformed sails look better


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I used artist's pastels on a few plastic models, such as in my avatar. It came out nicely and the pastel grain gives the surface some texture that helps obscure the plastic sheen.

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Consider replacing the plastic sails with cloth.  I have used fine weave cotton saturated in starch and used the plastic sails as a mold to form new billowing sails.


Chairman Nautical Research Guild

Member Nautical Research and Model Society

Member Midwest Model Shipwrights


Current Builds:     

Completed Builds: Longboat - 1:48 scale       HMS Atalanta-1775 - 1:48 scale       Half Hull Planking Project      Capstan Project     Swallow 1779 - 1:48 scale               Echo Cross Section   

Gallery:  Hannah - 1:36 scale.

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  • 2 years later...

The only thing I can definitely say about vacu-formed sails is that you should glue a bolt rope in all around.  If you try to make holes in them to add robands, hanks, blocks, rigging, etc. they will rip and pull out.  The bolt rope will allow you to fasten all these items to it without tearing your sail.


If your feeling very ambitious you can fashion the bolt rope into the various cringles needed to attach sheets, tacks, bowlines, buntlines, etc..  You can even run a line across at the reef bands in order to attach reef points.





Laissez le bon temps rouler ! 



Current Build:  Le Soleil Royal

Completed Build Amerigo Vespucci

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Hi, Kit shown I built over 20 years ago, it is the Airfix Golden Hind. Used the vacform sails with bolt rope super glued around the edge. Sails painted base colour, followed by a wash of brown which settles in the creases and grain. Apply Second wash of brown paint but buff off raised areas, and where material would be strained, with a tissue just before it dries.


Current Build(s):

  • H.M.S Diana 1794 - Caldercraft 1:64 Scale


Completed Builds:





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