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Making sails for HMS Victory

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  • 2 weeks later...


I think the consensus is sails on a model at scales such as 1:98 look terrible.   They are near impossible to make to scale regarding thickness and sewing pattern, they make rigging more difficult, and they cover from view  a lot of the work that goes into the model.


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Current Builds - HMS Litchfield 1695 - Scratch 1:64 HMS Boston 1762 -Scratch 1:196


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I think AOTS and McGowan/McKay give a nice overview about all the sails.


I did not check if the details are fitting 100% but it looks like a great base to start with.


I would not say that it is impossible to do the sails at this scale, as Blue Ensign nicely proved with his Praetorian.



If more details needed, contact me PM.


Cheers, Daniel

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this the book i am going to use for my sail, as and when i get to them, i agree i am in a minority wrt putting sails on, bit i am also going to include stuns as well

as to why few do it i am not sure, perhaps at the end of a three year build - builders want to move onto newer projects

Its all part of Kev's journey, bit like going to the dark side, but with the lights on

All the best

Kevin :omg:



On the build table

HMS Indefatigable 1794 by Kevin - Vanguard Models - 1:64 - Feb 2023 



HMHS Britannic by Kevin 

SD 14  - Marcle Models - 1/70 - March 2022 -  Bluebell - Flower Class - Revel - 1/72   U552 German U Boat - Trumpeter - 1/48  Amerigo Vespucci     1/84 - Panart-   HMS Enterprise  -CAF -  1/48     


St-Nectan-Mountfleet-models-steam-trawler-1/32 - Completed June 2020

HMS Victory - Caldercraft/Jotika - 1/72 - Finished   Dorade renamed Dora by Kevin - Amati - 1/20 - Completed March 2021 

Stage Coach 1848 - Artesania Latina - 1/10 -Finished Lady Eleanor by Kevin - FINISHED - Vanguard Models - 1/64 - Fifie fishing boat

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Having just seen Blue Ensigns photos,  I humbly stand corrected as he has shown it can be done.



PLEASE take 30 SECONDS and sign up for the epic Nelson/Trafalgar project if you would like to see it made into a TV series.   Click on http://trafalgar.tv   There is no cost other than the 30 seconds of your time.  THANK YOU

Current Builds - HMS Litchfield 1695 - Scratch 1:64 HMS Boston 1762 -Scratch 1:196


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I have the Artesania Latina Vic kit and they have line drawing of the sails with measurements. I will have to make a few sails since they left out a couple of them by the manufacture. I look at sails this way, do you want to hide all that rigging work? Some models look great with full sail, some do not. As far as the plastic models with prefab sails, they look great because it's almost impossible to make billowing sails the way the plastic sails look. The closest I have come to this look was to sew in thin wire into the edges of the sails, which helps, but still isn't as good as the plastic molded sails. 

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As test, you might try some matte lacquer instead of starch also.

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans                             Triton Cross-Section   

                                                                                                                       USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War  _(Gallery) Build Log

                                                                                Wasa (Gallery)

                                                                                                                        HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               


Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         



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I recently borrowed this book from the library.


Period ship Modeling: an illustrated masterclass: the Building of the American Privateer Prince de Neufchatel by Phillip Reed.


In it he shows how to make remarkable small scale sails from tissue dipped in diluted paint.



Drown you may, but go you must and your reward shall be a man's pay or a hero's grave

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You could have the sails furled and this would show more detail, ships in Harbour had there sails removed for repair etc, but still carried some furled.

At sea that would be an other story, I see no problem having sails fully extended, but it all depends on what scale you chose.
The smaller the better.
1/100 will give you a good size to work on.
anything larger will have to be detailed more.

I can see why the larger rigged ships have no sails, but it can be done.

foxy :piratebo5:

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  • 4 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Hello Frankie,

Great looking sails!

I am about to decide whatever to put sails on my 1:98 Mantua Victory Kit.

I cannot find anywhere  a sail plan withe the correct measures....

I Have the Longridge book and others books about Victory, but they do not

come with more precisions about how to make the sails and what dimensions to use.

Do you have any clue where to find them? Maybe you do have those dimensions already ?


Best regards


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Look forward to your step by step process Frankie.


I to would like to put sails on my Heller 1/100 Victory, I believe they would look much better.


I am thinking on using the Mantua sail cloth for this.


Frank :piratebo5:

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  • 5 years later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi my fellow model makers I'm writing in defence of putting sails on models. As we all have seen some models with and some without sails and I will say from the outset apart from furled sails ,a lot look unrealistic. However I have discovered a small clip on YOUTUBE  It is a sales clip for Captain Cooks Endeavour and shows the ship with sails. The sails are nearly all in different stages of being dropped or unfurled and none look tight or false.  The builder of the model displays a mastery of depicting a model with sails and I have used the clip a few times freezing it at different stages to get a better look. I would really enjoy it if the model maker had a master class on YOUTUBE.....I also really enjoy Tom Lauria's master classes also on YOUTUBE there is one depicting realistic sail placement.....I hope this is of some help.......We have an amazing hobby....Take care during this Corona virus

Edited by timjina
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In Bjorn Landstrom’s “The Ship”, there is a two page picture of Victory under full sail that is clear enough and precise enough that I intend to use it to make my sails (I’ll have to modify the dimensions slightly to account for variances between my model and the picture).

Building: 1:64 HMS Revenge (scratch - Victory Models plans)

On hold: 1:98 Mantua HMS Victory (kit bash), 1:96 Shipyard HMS Mercury


Favorite finished builds:  1:200 Orel Ironclad Solferino, 1:72 Schooner Hannah (scratch- Hahn plans), 1:72 Privateer Prince de Neufchatel (scratch - Chapelle plans), Model Shipways Sultana, Heller La Reale, Encore USS Olympia


Goal: Become better than I was yesterday


"The hardest part is deciding to try." - me

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  • 5 weeks later...

Has anyone tried using silk span for sails? It works well with wood model airplanes and would seem easier to work with if having the sails furled on a wood model ship.



Current Builds: Mayflower - 1:60; Golden Hind - 1:50

Past Builds: Marie Jeanne, Bluenose, Bluenose II, Oseberg, Roar Ege,

Waiting to Build: Swift


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  • 2 weeks later...

Paper works amazing and is extremely forgiving.



Current build:

Build log: https://modelshipworld.com/topic/25382-glory-of-the-seas-medium-clipper-1869-by-rwiederrich-196



Finished build:

Build log: of 1/128th Great Republic: http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/13740-great-republic-by-rwiederrich-four-masted-extreme-clipper-1853/#


Current build(On hold):

Build log: 1/96  Donald McKay:http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/4522-donald-mckay-medium-clipper-by-rwiederrich-1855/


Completed build:  http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/gallery/album/475-196-cutty-sark-plastic/

The LORD said, "See, I have set (them) aside...with skills of all kinds, to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver, and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts."

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