Evil Willy

TUTORIAL: Making Sails

89 posts in this topic

ths is as good a place as any to ask, so how do i soak the sail so its flexible, yet remains white after gluing?

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For the record, don't use the PVA on top of newspaper. If it dries, it's hell to get off the back of the sails. Water and a scrubbing brush!

ths is as good a place as any to ask, so how do i soak the sail so its flexible, yet remains white after gluing?

Are you trying to dye the sails? White poweder paint mixed with the glue, or you could try bleaching it.

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My qaundry is that they are already white, but fairly stiff after the glue painting. I need a way to soak them so they become more loose and then usable, cause right now I can hold one end and shake it and they barely flutter :pir-tongue: The ones that I used far less glue on came out WAY better, go figure.

In response to the newspaper, I use plastic shopping bags cut in half with the painted side down. Its so easy to just peel them off after the glue dries!

Edited by Fires-storm

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First of all, a GREAT BIG THANKS to the author of this tutorial - Evil Willy. :thumbup: I found your instructions and tips very useful.

I've been planning to try and make my own sails for a long time. Finally I gave it a try, and here are the results of my first attempt:

med_gallery_1_15_277780.jpg

High res. here: high res. image

All the tools and materials that i used:

med_gallery_1_15_92929.jpg

except for the fabric, which i think is linnen, and the iron :pir_laugh2:

Here is what i did:

I followed the first steps of the tutorial exactly. After transferring the contour of the sail to the fabric, I decided to iron the fabric, as it was a bit crumbled.

I think i should mention, that i chose a very thin ( a little bit transparent ) linen fabric. Looks very suitable to me :pir-sweet:

Then applied clear paper glue - the one you can see on the picture on the sail. Didn't miss a spot. I waited for the glue to set - no longer than 15 mins, and ironed the sail again.

Then cut it with scissors, and punched the holes with the tool on the right. Not sure how it's called, but it is used for punching round holes in paper sheets ( to be put in a folder later ).

Luckily the glue has provided enough hardness to the fabric, and it was very easy to cut - similar to paper really. Punching the holes was easy too.

There are no visible marks from the glue. I'm very satisfied with the results, and would make a couple more sails soon.

I would also try to color the sail with textile paint. I think a suitable way of adding detail to the sail ( insignia for example )would be to use "t-shirt transfer foil/paper". This is a special piece of foil attached to a paper base. It's compatible with ink-jet printers. After printing your picture, you apply it to the fabric you want, and iron it out. The foil sticks to the fabric, and detaches to its paper base. The result is a great print, applied to any textile of your choice. Only limit is, that the background has to be white, or close to white - consumer printers dont have white ink ;)

That's all for now. I will post more pictures when i make more sails.

Cheers everyone! Hope my English is understandable - not a native ;)

Yours

Legohead

One more thing: I created a topic about making sails in my LEGO forum. Of course, i left a back-link to this thread. Hope you don't mind.

Edited by le60head

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I believe those tools are just called hole punches, though not entirely sure :thumbup: Also your English is better then mine is at times, and I AM a native, and thanks for the tips!

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Thanks a lot for your tutorial Willy.

One other thing I'd like to add regarding making sails:

If you want to print a logo (crossed sabres, skulls & crossbones, the imperial trading symbol etc.) on the main sail, a good way to do this is to just cut out a piece of suitable fabric slightly smaller than A4 size and apply a mixture of white glue/elmer's glue and water onto the whole piece on both sides, then hang it up to dry for a few hours. Iron it flat, and temporarily fix it to an sheet of normal A4 paper with tape. Fire up your preferred graphics editing program and just print out the symbol you have chosen, choosing "center image" in the printing dialogue. You may have to use your printer's secondary paper intake in order for your printer to accept the paper with fabric on it. Additionally, you may have to put an additional piece of paper just under the spot where the image would appear on the fabric, because otherwise a mirrored "ghost image" may appear just under the original spot on the fabric (this is probably because fabric doesn't take ink as good as paper, so some ink gets stuck on the printing roll).

After you successfully printed a picture on your piece of fabric, just mark the outline of the required sail and cut it out. Punch out the holes (I happen to have a special kind of tool for that which is for applying rivets to clothing) and voilĂ : Your printed sail is finally ready to put up on your ship! I guess it would even be possible to just print on the colorful stripes directly on your sail if you have a color printer and enough cartridges. I used thinned down acrylic paint and lots of patience for this step ;)

If you just want to make a normal sail without a picture on it, do as explained in the sail making tutorial. However, I found that it's better to apply the glue-mixture to the whole sail instead of just the edges, as you won't have any ugly differences in lightness on your sails, and the fabric as a whole gets stronger and takes paint better.

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Can you please tell me how to make the merchents ship on the last picture. Thanks

LEGOBEARD

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Can you please tell me how to make the merchents ship on the last picture. Thanks

LEGOBEARD

Please stay ON TOPIC as your question has nothing to do with this tutorial. Thanks!

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Thanks a lot for your tutorial Willy.

One other thing I'd like to add regarding making sails:

If you want to print a logo (crossed sabres, skulls & crossbones, the imperial trading symbol etc.) on the main sail, a good way to do this is to just cut out a piece of suitable fabric slightly smaller than A4 size and apply a mixture of white glue/elmer's glue and water onto the whole piece on both sides, then hang it up to dry for a few hours. Iron it flat, and temporarily fix it to an sheet of normal A4 paper with tape. Fire up your preferred graphics editing program and just print out the symbol you have chosen, choosing "center image" in the printing dialogue. You may have to use your printer's secondary paper intake in order for your printer to accept the paper with fabric on it. Additionally, you may have to put an additional piece of paper just under the spot where the image would appear on the fabric, because otherwise a mirrored "ghost image" may appear just under the original spot on the fabric (this is probably because fabric doesn't take ink as good as paper, so some ink gets stuck on the printing roll).

After you successfully printed a picture on your piece of fabric, just mark the outline of the required sail and cut it out. Punch out the holes (I happen to have a special kind of tool for that which is for applying rivets to clothing) and voilĂ : Your printed sail is finally ready to put up on your ship! I guess it would even be possible to just print on the colorful stripes directly on your sail if you have a color printer and enough cartridges. I used thinned down acrylic paint and lots of patience for this step ;)

If you just want to make a normal sail without a picture on it, do as explained in the sail making tutorial. However, I found that it's better to apply the glue-mixture to the whole sail instead of just the edges, as you won't have any ugly differences in lightness on your sails, and the fabric as a whole gets stronger and takes paint better.

This is a really cool idea! Do you need a specific kind of fabric? It seems that most would be too thick to get through printer feeders.

This maybe slightly off the tutorial topic... Has someone found a fabric that closely resembles LEGO's canvas sails? I kind of like the stiffness and feel of LEGO sales.

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for stiffer sails try cotton shirt ( thin ) and add starch to stiffen. :thumbup:

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I used a thin but densely-webbed fabric apparently made as a simple cloth for larger tables. Just look in the fabric section of your local department store or whatever. I'm sure you will find something suitable in a nice white or brownish color. When soaked in the glue-water-solution, it will become fairly stiff after drying, ready for printing on. I actually got the idea of printing directly onto the fabric far too late and in fact only printed one symbol on my sails; the other ones where painted using self-made stencils, which was quite time consuming. Ah well, i guess others don't have to make the same mistake now :pir-classic:

Edit: On a side note, i think the official LEGO sails are polyester or something like that, and not real cotton. At least it looks and feels like it, and would make sense from a cost and production point of view.

Edited by Cherno

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