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lines on sails

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I don't rig sails on my models, but there are three methods that I've seen, depending on the scale of your model and the amount of work you want to do.


1. Stitch scale seams into the sails

2. Run a straight row of stitches down the sails at intervals to represent the seams

3. Draw the seams on lightly in pencil.


Remember that English canvas came in bolts 24 inches wide, so your seams should be about 22 scale inches apart.



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I use a fine permanent marker on my sails, like .001, and draw both sides, a little bit off to represent the width of the seam.  Test it on some scrap before you commit.


There is a method where a portion of the cloth, outside the area of the sail, is colored in some fashion, and single threads are pulled through the weave to move the colored portion into the area of the sail.  While the effect is impressive, it wastes an amount of cloth equal to the area of each sail.  An alternate method is to run a bead of fabric glue above and parallel to the head and pull the threads at the seam locations down while bunching the sail up towards the head.  Color these threads and unbunch the sail pulling the threads back in.  This gives the same effect without the waste and in small scales is quite impressive.


Sewing seam lines is common, but in-my-opinion, nearly always looks out of scale, and typically causes unrealistic puckers in the cloth.  It's difficult and tedious to do well.


On large scale models, like 1:16th, 1:6th, typically models of small craft; before it's cut, the cloth is Z folded at each seam and sewn.  This is as close to a seam as you can get without it actually being a seam.  At smaller scales, even 1:24th, it's near impossible for this method to appear in scale to the model.


Whatever method you opt for, success will depend on the quality of the cloth used and your patience.  Most cloth used is hopelessly out of scale to the model they're made for - another reason I build in large scales.  :)

Click a pic to go to that build log

sig_flags.png stamp_stella.jpg stamp_mac.jpg stamp_pride.jpg stamp_gazela.jpg

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