legoman666

Printing and laser cutting replacement cloth sails

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Hi all, this is something I've been thinking about doing for about a year and just finally got around to it. I have access to a fancy UV flatbed inkjet printer that can basically print on to anything. I also recently purchased a little desktop laser cutter. I run a small decal business, OKBrickWorks, so recreating the art and cut lines wasn't out of my realm of expertise. Finding good enough photos was a bit of a challenge though and I was able to redraw everything as nice vector images. Additionally, finding a good fabric for laser cutting wasn't easy, I ended up finding a nice media to use that doesn't fray. I've got the art ready for almost every large sail LEGO has made in the past, I just haven't had the free time at work to print so many different items.

Anyway, here's a few shots:

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One of my favorite things is helping people restore their beloved classic sets from their childhood (which is why I got in to making stickers), so I'd love to sell these to folks if they're interested. Send me a message if so. If this is not allowed, mods feel free to remove this bit. I don't make a lot of money doing this, and it's quite time consuming but I do have to charge enough to make it worth the trouble.

Let me know what you think.

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Very nice.  Have you considered cutting them with a drag knife?  Laser leaves burn marks. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, dr_spock said:

Very nice.  Have you considered cutting them with a drag knife?  Laser leaves burn marks.

 

I have a laser cutter, I don't have a CNC machine. 

The burn marks aren't too bad. Its mostly the surface of the edge that's browned, not the top or bottom of the sail. A nice side effect of using a laser is that it melts the edge so it doesn't fray, a knife cutter would require the edges to be sealed somehow.

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They look great and I think all my new aquired sails like the Carribean clipper 2x for my BSB (Blue Coat) and my Pirate Moc are exactly that kind of sails.

The burn marks on the sides are really barely to see when you play or display them on the ships. The colours are even better brighter deeper than in the original ones, see my blue coat BSB here:

39e624-1542047892.jpg

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Very impressive prints !

we could really think there are originals !

do you think you could create custom sail designs too ?

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Very impressive work.

Have you considered doing custom striped sails in various colours?

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3 hours ago, Hive said:

Very impressive work.

Have you considered doing custom striped sails in various colours?

I could, although the charge would be around $20-30 per sail. It is a very time consuming process, and the printer I'm using is $80,000.

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Made a new pic of the BSB where you can see the sails closer. I bought them online and they pretty look like the one he is doing here. They are very nice quality 

c32984-1542464192.jpg

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I don't want to put a negative comment, but I feel like someone should and since nobody does, I will.

I don't find pretty correct to print stuff that already exists.
Take the Series 18 Policeman, I stumbled upon a guy who was printing the torso and 1x2 tile so he could sell it for a big price.

You are surely a nice guy, nodoby doubts about that, but this may give the idea to someone who wasn't aware of the chance to do such, to mass produce these and flood bricklink and other sources with non original material.

Don't get me wrong, but I think as long as you do it for yourself it's nice, but you shouldn't publicize it imho.

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I sort of agree and disagree on that point. Some of the other posts in the thread make it sound as though reproduction sails are starting to be something that you just "get" when you buy an older set online, and that could be a bothersome trend if it's not made clear that the sails are reproductions. They aren't real LEGO pieces, after all, and I would be extremely annoyed if I bought what I thought was an original sail and it turned out to be a reproduction. It should always be made clear what you're buying, and there should probably be some tiny printing that says "reproduction" on the sail somewhere. (Actual collectors will know the difference in the older sails, but I don't think the average buyer would recognize them)

That said, though, I think sail reproductions are an absolute necessity for collectors and MOCers and I'm glad that someone is trying to make some high quality sails to sell. Sails are unique pieces that are incredibly expensive to obtain by themselves, so it's nice to have an inexpensive option for MOCers who want to make huge ships or fleets in the classic Pirates style, as DIY sails can be pretty hit or miss. I would be interested in buying them to display with my original models too, as the sails themselves are rare and can easily fray, burn, mold, or any number of other things. I'd much rather have my classic sets displayed with reproduction sails while keeping the originals safely preserved for special occasions.

This isn't something that's unique to LEGO collectors; there's an entire industry of people who recreate old car parts for classic car restorers. This is important work and I think it should be encouraged.

 

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On 12/3/2018 at 3:04 AM, Itaria No Shintaku said:

I don't want to put a negative comment, but I feel like someone should and since nobody does, I will.

I don't find pretty correct to print stuff that already exists.
Take the Series 18 Policeman, I stumbled upon a guy who was printing the torso and 1x2 tile so he could sell it for a big price.

You are surely a nice guy, nodoby doubts about that, but this may give the idea to someone who wasn't aware of the chance to do such, to mass produce these and flood bricklink and other sources with non original material.

Don't get me wrong, but I think as long as you do it for yourself it's nice, but you shouldn't publicize it imho.

So don't buy them. Purist will never buy them anyway, and the only thing introducing decent replicas will do to the authentic ones is drive their price down, which can only be a good thing. Purists will able to get real ones for cheaper, my replicas will be available at a lower cost, the only ones losing out are the sellers who have the originals listed for big bucks. Lego themselves lose nothing because they don't sell them anymore.

It's the same for the stickers I sell. They are clearly not the original, mine are on better vinyl media and come with transfer tape. It allows a whole new generation of Lego fans to experience some older sets or adults to restore their cherished childhood sets without spending $50 on a sticker sheet. If you don't like replicas, don't buy them.

 

Anyway, I made a few more.

45639329154_4e0320bef8_b.jpg

32490512218_23557e4a7c_b.jpg

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The results are impressing! I know it´s a bit off Topic, but can you do smaller items too? I am working on some custom minifigures and search for a possibility to get skirt pieces in colours not availabile from Lego and print them with very very simple details. I´d be very thankfull for a reply :)

With Kind regards, Florian

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46485366431_3cc634e71d_b.jpg

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6268 Ready to go! By the way, I need volunteers. I would like to have some pictures of the sails installed on their respective ships, but I don't own many of these. I will refund half of the cost less shipping if you send some nice photos after receiving them. 

I'm also looking for images of sails from the Black Pearl.  Everything I can find was taken from an angle and has no scale. I need it 1:1 X:Y and with a ruler in the frame somewhere.

1 hour ago, Gorilla94 said:

The results are impressing! I know it´s a bit off Topic, but can you do smaller items too? I am working on some custom minifigures and search for a possibility to get skirt pieces in colours not availabile from Lego and print them with very very simple details. I´d be very thankfull for a reply :)

With Kind regards, Florian

I can cut capes and so on, but custom printing something so small would be difficult to price. Shoot me an email at okbrickworks@gmail.com, maybe we can work something out.

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Neato! I'd like to try something like this sometime with capes, and also with softer fabric materials. One of my big motivations on my part is that in the first two years of LEGO Elves, all of the four main Elves got both a short cape and a long cloak with hood… except for Farran, the Earth Elf. The hood I could potentially customize with paint, but the cape is trickier since those use a softer material even than the usual one used for capes or pirate sails.

Anyway, your customs are AWESOME and I can definitely imagine a lot of LEGO fans making great use of custom sails like this — not just to replace or complement the existing pirate sail patterns from classic sets, but also perhaps to create new sail shapes and patterns to expand their fleets!

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Hey. Really nice work. Is it also possible to print both sides?

I have a need of large Flags  something like this US Flag on the stern in case of size.

But the historical versions of the royal navy and pirate flags of course :D

Would definitely be a better seller than sales because they can be used for more things like forts, isles and different mocs.

also maybe it is easier for you to just print the cloth with e.g. more flags side by side and the customer cuts out what he needs. Would be easier and cheaper. The biggest problem for me is to get good printed cloth. The cutting is easier. (Of course not of rounded stuff but flags are square)

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On 1/5/2019 at 7:11 AM, Robin_IV said:

Hey. Really nice work. Is it also possible to print both sides?

I have a need of large Flags  something like this US Flag on the stern in case of size.

But the historical versions of the royal navy and pirate flags of course :D

Would definitely be a better seller than sales because they can be used for more things like forts, isles and different mocs.

also maybe it is easier for you to just print the cloth with e.g. more flags side by side and the customer cuts out what he needs. Would be easier and cheaper. The biggest problem for me is to get good printed cloth. The cutting is easier. (Of course not of rounded stuff but flags are square)

I can potentially print on both sides, but getting the two prints to line up perfectly is next to impossible. It would always be a little off. Cutting the stuff is fairly straight forward, just have to line up my registration marks so that the printed fabric is square to the laser cutting bed. A nice side effect of laser cutting is that it cauterizes the edge so it doesnt fray. If I sold uncut fabric it would immediately start to fray when the buyer cut it out with scissors.

I still haven't completely decided to do custom printed fabric or not. It's a lot of work and I don't think people would be willing to pay enough to make it worth the trouble. I've quoted a couple custom jobs but no one has bit the bullet. 

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Posted (edited)

I know. It's always difficult to bring your product to the customer. The need is not to high at the moment... Thats a pity. I think the problem in your case is, that there are too less guys, who rebrick these old ships. The one will buy a set. The other will put the idea out of mind of paying 200+ for a ship out of parts.

I'm quite interested how LEGO is doing their double sided prints on cloth. Maybe i'll find something in the far wides of the net. I considered to paint cloth with colour by hands. But I think it will not look as good and straight (lines) as printed. And its really hard to find cloth coulour which is painting very thin. 

Edit: After a quick research. It does not make sence to do flags by yourself because there is already a complete arsenal of printed flags in the modelmaking area. There are many professional vendors who offer printed flags in different sizes and types from many countries. And it is much more affordable than to do it yourself. 

Edited by Robin_IV

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I wonder if you'd consider doing the cloth canopies used on the fairground carousel but in white instead of the yellow they are supplied in. I'm planning on rebuilding a carousel to match the colour scheme of the roller coaster. 

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16 hours ago, Kalahari134 said:

I wonder if you'd consider doing the cloth canopies used on the fairground carousel but in white instead of the yellow they are supplied in. I'm planning on rebuilding a carousel to match the colour scheme of the roller coaster. 

I can do that, I'd just have to get some yellow fabric ;) Send me an email, okbrickworks@gmail.com

Edited by legoman666

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Just now, Kalahari134 said:

Yellow fabric was what was on the original, white is what I would like. I'll send an email shortly.

Oh right, I had the two versions reversed in my head. 

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On 12/18/2018 at 4:41 AM, legoman666 said:

So don't buy them. Purist will never buy them anyway, and the only thing introducing decent replicas will do to the authentic ones is drive their price down, which can only be a good thing. Purists will able to get real ones for cheaper, my replicas will be available at a lower cost, the only ones losing out are the sellers who have the originals listed for big bucks. Lego themselves lose nothing because they don't sell them anymore.

It's the same for the stickers I sell. They are clearly not the original, mine are on better vinyl media and come with transfer tape. It allows a whole new generation of Lego fans to experience some older sets or adults to restore their cherished childhood sets without spending $50 on a sticker sheet. If you don't like replicas, don't buy them.

 

Anyway, I made a few more.

45639329154_4e0320bef8_b.jpg

32490512218_23557e4a7c_b.jpg

I still have concerns.
What if someone buys them, then sells them for original ones on bricklink?
Then someone buys them thinking they are original?

To remove all problems I really believe you should print the word "REPLICA - NOT ORIGINAL LEGO" on them.

That indeeds solve the problem and I don't think it would be such an issue.
In that small area in which there was something like "1989 Copyright LEGO Group" and so on you can put your own name/nickname/whatever and specity they are replicas.

This way you
1) Make yourself known for your work. It's a good thing.
2) Avoid people buying them for originals as a mistake.
3) Clear any suspect you are doing a counterfeit on purpose to sell it for the original price.

After all a counterfeit is such if it's pretty difficult to recognize it from an original one. Putting the word "replica" clears any doubts about your intentions.

EDIT: I am not in any way implying that you have a malicious intent. Not in my intentions. I just for examble bought the Cross Bone Clipper sail and it costed me a big amount of money because I really want the original LEGO one. I would really be more than disappointed to have a replica.
So my intentions are as good as yours as I have already stated before.
Putting a disclaimer line on the sail solves really ALL the issues and neither me nor any one on the net can anymore tell you anything about this very topic. 
Do really think about it, don't dismiss this quickly.

SECOND EDIT: I think you make a logical error in your reasoning. This is why. If a purist is never going to buy these, then the price of its original counterpart won't decrease. Their market price can decrease only if the replicas are sneaked within the orignal ones. Replicas of Rolex do not lower the value of the original ones. Nor replicas of stamps for stamp collectors. 
On the other hand it may lead to an increase of the original parts price, since the sellers in order to distinguish from the replicas can increase the price and tell "Price is this. You can buy replicas if you want".. Which a purist won't do. 

Edited by Itaria No Shintaku

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15 hours ago, Itaria No Shintaku said:

SECOND EDIT: I think you make a logical error in your reasoning. This is why. If a purist is never going to buy these, then the price of its original counterpart won't decrease. Their market price can decrease only if the replicas are sneaked within the orignal ones. Replicas of Rolex do not lower the value of the original ones. Nor replicas of stamps for stamp collectors. 

I'm afraid that it is you who has made the logical error. 

Hitherto, two groups of people were buying the original sails: purists and non-purists. With these new sails, the non-purists now have an alternative source and will buy fewer of the original sails, reducing the demand for them and therefore reduce the price. 

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