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Your best sail cloth and technique


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Hi every one. I have been looking for the best sail cloth for my Flying Fish build. I would like to get a lot of suggestions that I can look at. Please include where the cloth can be bought.  Do you change the color with dyes? do you age the cloth some how? How do you add detail to the sails? All sail makers are welcome to post their designs I know a lot of you don't put on sail because it covers the rigging so anyone that does would be a great asset to the topic. Looking forward to seeing your tricks and designs. 

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Click on the Nautical Research Guild Home Page straight up to the top of the page, then, click on Ship Modeling Resources, then, click on Ship Modeling Database of Articles, Then click Rigging and Sails, then click the pdf "Making and forming sails for your model."

 

I could have pasted the direct link, but thought it better for you to see everything that was available here on MSW.

 

You can go to a Joanne's or any yard goods store and buy Egyptian cotton, almost silk like.  Coffee and/or tea make good stains, very controllable.

I'm certain there will be other suggestions to follow....

Tom

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Thank you twintrow. I did look at that but some one needs to go back and up date the links. About 80% don't work any more. I was going for full rigged full sails. Can you do that in paper? 1/8 scale

 

Im sure this is old hat to the expert modelers but passing on that knowledge is needed by the next generation of builders

Edited by steven sturgis
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Hi,

I make sails for models in scale 1:75 with seams of the cloths sewing marked
with single thread ( courtesy of Admiral ).
For models in scale 1:100 I use computer printing of cloths lines and reef bands on thermal transferring paper for ironing on to sails fabric .
Sails leech, head and foot ropes are fixed in its place with use of textile adhesive .

Material for sails I prefer is old bed linen many, many times washed.

Work step by step

1.Make paper stencil for each sail and check it’s dimensions on your model.

2.With soft pencil transfer all lines in to fabric – add stripe 5-7 mm around

sail edges.

3.Make all necessary lines on fabric using sewing machine and thin thread with light brown or beige color.

For sails with thermal transferring of line any sewing is not necessary.

Cut of sail shape.

4. Fold the edges stripe to reverse side of sail and apply textile adhesive

5. Put sail on flat surface protected against glue adhesion ( wax paper )

and fix it with pins and nails for forming clews.

Using textile adhesive attach thread around sail and form clews and cringles as necessary.

After adhesive excess removal from sail surface and final ironing your sail is ready.

 

Foto 1-10 Sail making Step by Step

Foto 11 HMS Speedy  - printed sails

Foto 12 HMS Warrior - printed sails

Foto 13 Patern for printing sails for S/S Savannah

 

Tadeusz

 

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Tadeusz

 

Thanks for outlining the step by step process you use.  In my opinion, the thermal transfer is brilliant.  I have been hesitating to start my sails for quite a while because I don't want to sew the seam lines (I think they would look too bulky) and I don't trust myself to be able to draw them evenly using pencil.  You have certainly given me something to think about!  I imagine transfer will be more durable than pencil - another plus for the technique.

 

Thanks,

Bob

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Good stuff.

I have seen some members using silkspan and modelspan. Any thought on this material. I'm not familiar with thermal transferring paper. can you elaborate. How do you use  textile adhesive with out making a mess? Is it diluted in any way?

 

Silk span is easy to work with. PVA glue works well and any glue that moves outside what you are trying to glue will dry clear. Also Rubber Cement works well, if applied sparingly. Here are some sails I have done using silk span. Nothing to write home about, but my first attempts at sail making.

 

I use strips of silk span to simulate seams and sail detail and work them up in layers. You can also add bolt ropes and reef points to add more detail. I did not go into a lot of detail with these, rather kept them simple to work on my technique. Also if you use PVA a good idea is to press the sails between some parchment paper and heavy books while drying to prevent buckling or bubbling of the thin strips of silk span.

 

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I hope this helps.

 

- Tim

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Just saw this while looking for a source for Sig Silkspan, source of quote is the Stuntbarn an RC Forum:

 

"Title: Silk Span Covering

Post by: ericrule on October 22, 2012, 12:10:29 PM
I just got off the telephone with Sig Mfg where they informed me that they will no longer have silk span available. At the present time they have only OO (Light) in stock and when that is gone they will no longer be able to obtain it.

According to the person I spoke to the company that supplied the silk span is out of business and they can not find any other supplier. Mike is searching for a new source but it does not look like he is having any luck."

 

So not sure if real or not....?  But if true silkspan may not be around loong??

Tom

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Just saw this while looking for a source for Sig Silkspan, source of quote is the Stuntbarn an RC Forum:

 

"Title: Silk Span Covering

Post by: ericrule on October 22, 2012, 12:10:29 PM

I just got off the telephone with Sig Mfg where they informed me that they will no longer have silk span available. At the present time they have only OO (Light) in stock and when that is gone they will no longer be able to obtain it.

According to the person I spoke to the company that supplied the silk span is out of business and they can not find any other supplier. Mike is searching for a new source but it does not look like he is having any luck."

 

So not sure if real or not....?  But if true silkspan may not be around loong??

Tom

 

That is what my local hobby store told me as well. That is why I bought out everything they had, for stock.

 

- Tim

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For what it's worth I got a big roll of model span last year from CornwallModelBoats.

 

Steven, if you're interested in furled sails, I shared my techniques that I used on my Badger in a separate thread:

 

http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/3944-landlubber-mikes-technique-for-furled-sails/

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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...

For what it's worth I got a big roll of model span last year from CornwallModelBoats.

 

Steven, if you're interested in furled sails, I shared my techniques that I used on my Badger in a separate thread:

 

http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/3944-landlubber-mikes-technique-for-furled-sails/

 

Hi Mike,

 

Can you recall under what product name CMB was selling the model span?

 

I've been unable to find it on their site.

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I can't find it on the website either.  I'm fairly certain it was under building materials or something and listed as Modelspan.  I looked at the packaging, and it had the Mantua name/emblem on it, but I don't see it under the Mantua fittings.  Maybe email them and ask?

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I can't find it on the website either.  I'm fairly certain it was under building materials or something and listed as Modelspan.  I looked at the packaging, and it had the Mantua name/emblem on it, but I don't see it under the Mantua fittings.  Maybe email them and ask?

 

Thanks Mike, i'll send them a mail.

 

 

 I am a passionate advocate of including sails on models so I am pleased you are making the decision to include them on your model.

 

Agreed.

I had a look at your Victory build log, those sails looks fantastic!

I think I will follow your method when I get to that part on my build.

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I'm just using old worn bed sheets for my 1/100 scale HMS Victory. Check out my build log which is really not much at all about building the kit and mostly focussing on how I am making the sails. I bet if you searched through all my comments on MSW you would find 1/2 of all my posts are having to do with sails or rigging. I am a passionate advocate of including sails on models so I am pleased you are making the decision to include them on your model.

I don't think the thickness of the material is that big a deal as long as the texture of the weave is fine enough not to draw attention to itself. Many very convincing ship model sails have actually been carved out of wood. 

My build log goes into a lot of detail on these points but I will just set them out here again:

Don't use pure white sails, this will look too stark and in fact actual sails were cream colored or very light grey.(staining with coffee is super easy and very effective)

Don't sew the boltropes on, no matter how fine a thread you use, it will look out of scale. Just glue them on.

Do include sail construction details like reef bands and reinforcing patches, these give a good texture and are realistic.

Look at all the photos you can find of reproduction ships that resemble your ship and try to duplicate that look.

 

JCFrankie, thanks so much for your detailed log on your sail techniques.  I went with furled sails on my Badger, but was planning on doing a mixture of furled and unfurled on my Pegasus and future builds.  Your results are fantastic, and I will certainly bookmark your log for when I get to that point!  I experimented with tissue and a few other materials as well, but ended up with cloth as well.  

 

Once again, a big thank you!

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  • 3 years later...

Hi I am making sails for a large pond yacht which will of course become very wet ,  if I chose a material that becomes too wet and heavy that will cause problems, 

what is the best material to use

for a large expanse of sail. 

My pond yacht is 5ft long not inc

bow sprit. 

 

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