Lego David

Brick Built Sails VS Cloth Sails

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Posted (edited)

The original LEGO Pirate ships used special cloth pieces for the sails, but more recent sets (notably 70810 MetalBeard's Sea Cow) used brick built sails. Which sails do you think are better and why?

Edited by Lego David

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Posted (edited)

Cloth sails are much better.  I generally prefer brick-built solutions to prefab solutions for nearly everything, but sails should be able to flap about, billow in the wind, and swell up if you hold a little fan behind them.  Brick-built sails are heavy and inflexible.  They add a large amount of weight, cost, and complexity without improving accuracy or play; in fact, they hinder play because you can't roll them up.  If brick-built sails were generally desirable I think we'd see them widely adopted by the shipbuilding community in the Pirates forum, but 99% of MOCs there - even/especially the most complex and detailed ones - opt for cloth sails.  Edit - The only reasons nearly every ship on Ideas has brick built sails are because there aren't usable sails in most digital building programs and because sails would probably count as new elements, which are against the rules.  But if a sailing ship from Ideas was selected for production, I'm sure the Ideas team would finagle a way to get cloth sails, much as they gave the Flintstones car a cloth roof.  Besides, the Sea Cow is the only large playscale ship with brick built sails, so it sets a precedent but not a pattern.

Edited by icm

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I despise brick built sails, they really take away from a model for me. I'd never display a set with brick built sails.

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While this sin't a new topic:

@icm there seems to have just about nailed the common sentiment.

It is worth it to note that there have been a few examples of really well done and/or applied brick-built sails on offer over the years.

@Dunkleosteus and @Kolonialbeamter have done some impressive things in the digital realm in particular.

I think brick-built work best as furled and gasketed sails IRL but admit it severely limits playability. It seems more a matter of circumstance that an argument over which is best. What you're building and why, let alone your talents and methods, are going to play a big part in what materials you find useful. It's often overlooked in such consideration that there are myriad other materials, equally viable. Lego has used plastic on a small scale to good effect. Cardboard/cardstock would be an inexpensive alternative to the heavily starched fabric of Classic Pirate sets. I've even put paper to good use myself, decorating it to look like sail cloth and even going so far as to shape it with moisture and wind pressure. 

 

It's a kind of "to each his own" situation. It's and open forum and an open medium. While conventions develop amongst the like minded, the only rules that matter are what a man can do and what a man can't do. Trying to boil things down to better or worse, right or wrong, only alienates builders who otherwise might have enriched the community. I suggest, dropping the topic and instead show us what you got. What have you done with cloth or brick-built. Share your reasoning and maybe inspire other builders to work with your idea and, perhaps, even improve on it.

 

I know, I know.. "What a jerk". Whatever, I'm used to it. :wink:

Cheers!

Dave

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No, no and no to brick-built sails! For me they look somehow bulky and unnatural. I think cloth sails look much better and are now well acknowledged among Lego Pirates fans, so no reason to go for brick sails.

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No preference on my part, really! Mostly just a matter of what's most suitable for the set or theme in question (depending on genre, size of ship, etc). Same with other stuff that we've seen done nicely in a varied range of materials over the years, like dragon wings, flags, or awnings.

As far as strengths go, plastic film is better than either cloth OR brick-built in most cases where you want a detailed pattern (e.g. more than just stripes) that matches front and back or has semi-transparent sections. Cloth is usually best for realistically depicting the billowy shape of fabrics. Brick-built is a good choice in cases where you want a heavily stylized look, like the Rogue Knight Battleship or Metalbeard's Sea Cow, and also for microscale models or other small models like rafts where the scale might not allow (or necessitate) securing a cloth or film sail in the correct shape.

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