Jump to content


Tutorial: Making Sails (the Vesta way)


9 replies to this topic  – Started by Admiral Croissant , Apr 16 2011 10:11 AM

#1 Admiral Croissant

Admiral Croissant
  • Popped his title cherry!


    Posts: 3002
    Joined: 03-December 08
    Member: 4578
    Country: Netherlands

Posted 16 April 2011 - 10:11 AM

I recently had a look at the index, and I found out there was no tutorial for making sails the way for example Green Hair, Perfectionist and I do it.
In this tutorial I will mainly focus on the main topsail because if you know how to do that one, all the other sails will be a piece of cake as well.

The first thing when you want to make sails is of course looking for reference.
There are some good books about ships but there are also many good drawings on the internet.
Then you can (if you want to) put a piece of cotton or other cloth (linen for example) in a bucket with tea or coffee. I used black tea.
Coffee will give them more this colour.
I use tea because it looks more stained like these sails (although these are a bit too dirty IMO).
But perhaps the stained look is achieved because I folded the cloth in the tea.
With unbleached cotton this is of course not necessary, and perhaps not smart but I've never tried it.

After soaking, it's smart to iron the sails so you don't have all the wrinkles in it.

Next thing is to decide the scale of the sail. In this tutorial I'm making the sail twice as large as on the picture:
Posted Image
Posted Image

In that scale you can make the outlines of the sail:
Posted Image

Then you can add vertical lines. On minifig illusion scale 1cm between each line looks realistic.
But Greenhair and Perfectionist are using more space between them and that doesn't look bad either.
Posted Image

On the right half of this sail I used a darker pencil than on the left halft to show you the difference.
I think the lighter half looks the best.
Posted Image

Now on to the horizontal lines, which you can see here:
Posted Image
Note: not all sails have these horizontal lines. It depends on the ship you're making which ones do and which ones don't have them.

The space between each line is about 1cm, so that makes 2cm on my sail.
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

Next thing is too add spots on the place where usually are ropes. I believe the ropes are used for taking in the sails.
Adding all those ropes is too much work IMO (although it has been done), so to give the impression of them, I add these dots. Here are the ropes on a picture:
Posted Image
Posted Image

When you're finished with that, the next thing is too make the outlines brown.
This is not neccesary, but it looks quite nice. It resembles the rope on the edge of the sails, like you can see on the bottom of this picture.
Be sure to make these lines quite thick, so it's easier when you're cutting the sails out.
Posted Image

Of course, you want all the lines to be visible on both sides and on exactly the same place.
When you're very good in measuring, you can just draw the same thing on the other side.
Another (perhaps easier) way is to place the cloth on a window (or a light table), so you can easily trace the lines.
Posted Image
Even easier is to trace a few important dots on the edges, so you can connect them on your table. Drawing on a window is quite hard.

Now you can cut the sail out.
Posted Image

One of the last things is to varnish the edges. This is to prevent the sail from unraveling.
I always use revell varnish, but perhaps nail polish or glue works fine as well.
If you dont want the sails to be modular, you can also put glue all over the sails and let it bend in a certain shape like wind blowing in the sail.

Use about this much:
Posted Image

And the final thing of course is to sew the sail on a yard, and put it on your ship:
Posted Image

Finally, for making jib sails, there are different line patterns:
Posted Image
The one on the left is the most common. The one in the middle is quite rare, and the one on the right is more modern (clipper era and later).

Comments and questions are always welcome.
Good luck!
Got questions? Need help? New member?
Read the site guidelines
Index of helpful tutorials

Posted Image
20 gun Frigate 'Vesta'
My Brickshelf
My Flickr
My Mocpages


#2 Big Cam

Big Cam
  • A good mood, too.


    Posts: 13975
    Joined: 02-April 09
    Member: 5701
    Country: USA

Posted 16 April 2011 - 05:19 PM

Fantastic tutorial Admiral Croissant, I think this will really help out a lot of people and maybe open the doors for more people doing custom sails.  I think the most beneficial part for me is the bit about the scale and coloring, what a brilliant idea about soaking it in tea or coffee.

Thanks AC :pir-classic:

#3 Dread Pirate Wesley

Dread Pirate Wesley

    Posts: 171
    Joined: 21-August 09
    Member: 7124

Posted 16 April 2011 - 08:43 PM

Great tutorial :thumbup: Could have used this about a week ago when I started making sails for the Pickle but hey, at least its around now too.  I did things a bit differently, using heavier cloth and folding the edges over and gluing them so they don't unravel.  It looks a bit thicker, but is "pose-able" to bend in to what ever shape you want.

Posted Image

Great idea with the pencil lines too, Ill have to try that next.  Out of curiosity what is that book you are using as reference?

:jollyroger: Dread Pirate Wesley
"You see, no one would surrender to the Dread Pirate Wesley..."

Flickr

Posted Image

Persephone                           The Pickle


#4 Admiral of the Red

Admiral of the Red

    Posts: 37
    Joined: 12-February 11
    Member: 15963

Posted 23 April 2011 - 02:04 AM

Thanks for the great guide! Where do you get your fabric from? is it a special weight cotton to stand up to the soaking?
"A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not why ships are built."

#5 Admiral Croissant

Admiral Croissant
  • Popped his title cherry!


    Posts: 3002
    Joined: 03-December 08
    Member: 4578
    Country: Netherlands

Posted 23 April 2011 - 08:48 AM

View PostDread Pirate Wesley, on 16 April 2011 - 08:43 PM, said:

Out of curiosity what is that book you are using as reference?
It's "The Ship" (or "Het Schip" in Dutch) by Björn Landström. A very good book with a good overview of ship development.

View PostAdmiral of the Red, on 23 April 2011 - 02:04 AM, said:

Thanks for the great guide! Where do you get your fabric from? is it a special weight cotton to stand up to the soaking?
Actually it's just an old fitted sheet and to be honest I'm not sure if it's cotton, but I believe it is.
I believe normal cotton doesn't go to waste or something when you soak it.
Got questions? Need help? New member?
Read the site guidelines
Index of helpful tutorials

Posted Image
20 gun Frigate 'Vesta'
My Brickshelf
My Flickr
My Mocpages


#6 Admiral of the Red

Admiral of the Red

    Posts: 37
    Joined: 12-February 11
    Member: 15963

Posted 24 April 2011 - 03:36 PM

View PostAdmiral Croissant, on 23 April 2011 - 08:48 AM, said:

Actually it's just an old fitted sheet and to be honest I'm not sure if it's cotton, but I believe it is.
I believe normal cotton doesn't go to waste or something when you soak it.

yeah, sorry, i meant if it was some kind of thicker cotton but i guess even thin cotton can be ironed to get rid of all the little wrinkles that come with soaking

Edited by Admiral of the Red, 24 April 2011 - 03:37 PM.

"A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not why ships are built."

#7 Roodaksta

Roodaksta

    Posts: 124
    Joined: 25-April 11
    Member: 17458
    Country: USA

Posted 29 April 2011 - 02:57 AM

Nice tutorial Admiral Croissiant! A great tutorial for giving a model more realism. Again nice tutorial!
"When I was 5 my mother told me happiness is the most important thing of life. When I was told to write what I wanted to be when I grew up, I wrote down Be happy. They told me I didn't understand the question, I told them they didn't understand life."
             -John Lennon

#8 Smyster

Smyster

    Posts: 4
    Joined: 30-November 11
    Member: 22646
    Country: UK

Posted 21 September 2012 - 11:31 AM

Great tutorial,Have ordered my cloth and waiting to have a go, was using plastic shim material cut to lego patterns but these are really good and the tip with varnish never thought of that. Cheers once done will just have to post the ship and get some advice. Have ordered a light canvas material,

#9 Admiral Croissant

Admiral Croissant
  • Popped his title cherry!


    Posts: 3002
    Joined: 03-December 08
    Member: 4578
    Country: Netherlands

Posted 23 September 2012 - 06:41 PM

Good that you want to give it a try!
I hope you don't face too many problems, but if you do, don't hesitate to ask questions.
Good luck! I'm looking forward to the result :pir-classic:
Got questions? Need help? New member?
Read the site guidelines
Index of helpful tutorials

Posted Image
20 gun Frigate 'Vesta'
My Brickshelf
My Flickr
My Mocpages


#10 jiskpirate

jiskpirate

    Posts: 16
    Joined: 29-January 13
    Member: 38313
    Country: The Netherlands

Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:28 PM

Nice, admiral! I asked my mother.. she maked the sails like the sails from the Imperial flagship ;)
Yar har! I hope i will find out how to post ; ]



Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Sponsored Links