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Forming sail bellow aboard your models. (Moved by moderator)


jud
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Triggered by thread of making Victory sails.

What I have been running around my head is that when I get to the point of rigging sails on a model I will try the following. Make each sail, set it aside until all are done then soak in starched water. When I pull them all out together they should all be starched uniformly, tug  them into rough shape, lay them down flat and let dry dry. Should be able to rig them dry, maybe need a little dampening along one edge or another to make them right. When done rigging, with all the booms and the spars set where wanted with any reefs or brailing in place you are ready for the big blow. A spray bottle of water and a fan are the needed tools, get the fan going at the right speed from the proper direction, then lightly spray each sail until it forms the shape of a sail restrained in the wind. Let the fan run until fully dry and your sails should all have the proper bellow in them. Have never ran across this but I believe it is worth testing, may find it is not the thing to do, but bellow in sails is formed by wind, so might be worth investigating.

jud

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Jud,

 

You have good plan. 

 

What others have done is to use the starch and fan method instead of laying them flat to dry. Or,  lay them over an appropriately shaped mold... basketballs, beach balls, buckets.  Some even hang them such that they dry in the shape they want.  The other one I saw (Hubert's site maybe?) showed fine wire being sewn into the edge of the sail and shaped  with the sail then being sprayed with hairspray, I think.  There's about as many ways as there those who put sails on their ships.  :)

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Experimenting with starch left me disappointed. I used the powdered form of laundry starch in hot water and I dipped the sailcloth into it then draped the sailcloth over holes cut in cardboard. The holes in the cardboard were cut to the size and shape of the outside of the sails. I allowed the sails to air dry overnight. They DID take on the form of the billowing sails and they WERE quite stiff. But something about the starch also made the fabric pucker in a pattern across the entire sail. The result reminded me very much of those old vacu-form topographic maps of mountainous terrain you used to see.

I have had success with a commercial product called "Stiffen Stuff" and another similar product called "Stiffen Quick" which are pump spray craft products you mist onto fabric which has the result of preserving the fabric in the shape it was in when the product was applied. It stiffens the fabric nicely without causing the sort of puckering distortions I found the starch caused.

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Seem to be many ways to do this, I do see problems with my idea, the biggest one would be the need to have the running rigging free to adjust while the final dry was happening. Perhaps an off ship rig to set the final shape would work, then the mounting on the model and the final adjustment of the running rigging for that sail. Might develop a method that would work but it kind of sounds like it would be re-inventing the wheel. Thanks all, now I know where to look for the ideas I will be needing.

jud

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