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Plastic sails or cloth sails? With a little work ,both can look great!

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  • Member since
    June, 2011
Plastic sails or cloth sails? With a little work ,both can look great!
Posted by Mark Carroll on Thursday, February 15, 2018 5:15 PM

There are arguments on both sides as to what looks better.If either one isn't done right- they both look terrible. Let's start with plastic sails. You must cut these out very straight and slightly sand the edges so they are not jagged and nothing looks worse than a shiny sail. When's the last time you saw shiny cloth? But time after time these plastic sails have a sheen on them. Especially with plastic you have to try and hide the fact that its plastic and fool the eye and one of those tricks is to spray your sail after weathering with an acrylic dead flat. Most modelers poke a hole in the corner of the sail so as to tie it off when rigging the ship which is fine so long as it doesn't tear. A better way is to glue rigging string around the perimeter of the back side of the sail and leave "loops" in the corners so as to tie them off when rigging. Another complaint with plastic is the sails just hang there- there is no billow to the sail. You can glue 26GA wire to the very edge(next to the string) with CA and hold it in place with alligator clips until the glue dries and then bend it to your desired billow effect. Paint with a light cream acrylic color then highlight the patches and tears with different colors of pastels. You can also get a textured effect with some Rust Oleum texture paint. If you lay down the sail and spray the textured paint in short bursts at 24" away (or further) you'll get a great texture. Experiment with a piece of plastic to get a desired effect. I've experimented with 3 different plastic kits with sails- The Constitution, Hellers Victory and Le Soleil. The Constitution and Le Soleil have excellent embossed sails but the Victory's look terrible so a texture of some kind would look good on these sails. Reef points can be added  only a string at a time poked through holes in the reef band and tied. With weathering,pastels,and billowing a plastic sail can look just like the real thing.

Cloth sails can be soaked in tea to get varying degrees of weathering on them,best to try out a handkerchief first for best results. All cloth sails that I've seen are folded over on the edges and provide a perfect channel to "thread" like a needle 26GA wire through on each side of the sail and curl a tiny loop in the wire on the top and bottom for purposes of tying off for rigging and to billow the sails.Reef points can be installed in the same manner as the plastic sails. Wrinkles can be taken out by spraying a small amount of water on sails and slightly shaking them. It takes patience and experimentation to get the results that you want but it pays off in the long run.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, February 15, 2018 9:15 PM

A very good third choice is high quality paper. I've used it on several projects and I find it much more of a scale thickness than cloth.

  • Member since
    December, 2006
  • From: Jerome, Idaho, U.S.A.
Posted by crackers on Thursday, February 15, 2018 11:08 PM

On most of my ship models with sails, I personally prefer silkspan as sail material. It is like tissue paper, but stronger and more to scale than cloth. Silkspan is usually used to cover model airplane frames, but is great for sails.

Happy modeling     Crackers   Smile

Anthony V. Santos

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by steve5 on Thursday, February 15, 2018 11:25 PM

I use modelspan , just another name for silkspan , tough & thin .

rweiderrich ,

rob I still haven't used that cloth you sent me to try out , am going to see how it goes on my victory . will let you know .

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    June, 2011
Posted by Mark Carroll on Friday, February 16, 2018 6:20 AM

That's what this forum is all about! Ideas! What great alternatives and they look great!

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Friday, February 16, 2018 8:30 AM

There is a great article in the current issue of FSM that deals with sails.  It is a very long overdue topic.

I also use tissue paper stained with tea on smaller scales, especially when modeling furled sails.

Bill

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by steve5 on Friday, February 16, 2018 3:13 PM

how detailed is it bill .

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Friday, February 16, 2018 5:34 PM

Steve,

It is excellent.  The approach it takes is intriguing. The author uses the vacuformed plastic sails found in most kits, and sandwiches these between cloth to give the sails form.  He sews the cloth into beautiful, realistic sails.  Do you have access to FSM? If not, I can send you a copy.

Bill

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by steve5 on Friday, February 16, 2018 8:21 PM

I.was thinking of joining again bill . Is it in the current issue

 

 

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Derry, New Hampshire, USA
Posted by rcboater on Friday, February 16, 2018 9:49 PM
Yes, it is in the current issue- a good one. Probably on newsstands now...

Webmaster, IPMS Patriot Chapter  www.ipmspatriot.org

Billerica, MA

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Derry, New Hampshire, USA
Posted by rcboater on Friday, February 16, 2018 9:53 PM

I liked the idea in the article about using wire to suspend staysails. I have seen so many Constitution builds with terribly sagging main staysails!

Webmaster, IPMS Patriot Chapter  www.ipmspatriot.org

Billerica, MA

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, February 17, 2018 6:56 AM

rcboater

I liked the idea in the article about using wire to suspend staysails. I have seen so many Constitution builds with terribly sagging main staysails!

 

Unfortunately, making stays for upper masts requires a pretty fine wire to look right, and it might not be much better than a strong thread.  One problem with thread is that the rigging is often not tensioned very much.  If you do the standing rigging in the right order, you can tension it pretty tight.  Then, paper or other lightweight materials may look okay with thread stays. 

This discussion reminds me how multi-media model building can be.  There was a period when IPMS had the percent of plastic rule when I did not enter their contests because I objected so strongly to that rule.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Saturday, February 17, 2018 7:41 AM

Don;

 I found some years back , a wire that handles like thread . It is so limp I thought I had done something wrong . Turns out I didn't , It is used to tie ***-Bones together after Open Heart surgery !

 Just think , besides my Cutty Sark being rigged with it , I am wearing it inside as well . WOW ! T.B.

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Saturday, February 17, 2018 8:09 AM

Steve,

Yes, it is in the current issue.  If you would like, I will send you a copy of the issue. It's a great article that has started me thinking . . .

Bill

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by rwiederrich on Saturday, February 17, 2018 11:04 AM

I'm picking up a copy today.......

Thanks for the info

Rob

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by steve5 on Saturday, February 17, 2018 2:35 PM

warshipguy

Steve,

Yes, it is in the current issue.  If you would like, I will send you a copy of the issue. It's a great article that has started me thinking . . .

Bill

 

cheer's bill that would be appreciated

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Saturday, February 17, 2018 3:39 PM

Steve,

I mailed it with your Formula 560 glue this morning.

Bill

  • Member since
    December, 2006
  • From: Jerome, Idaho, U.S.A.
Posted by crackers on Saturday, February 17, 2018 6:02 PM

In my personal opinion, sails do make a difference for a ship model, as sails give some life to the model. In my kit model of the Brandenburg warship, FRIEDERICK WILHELM ZU PFERDE, built in 1681 at Lubeck Germany, all the sails were made from silkspan and dyed a light acrylic tan color. This model was donated to the Rupert, Idaho public library several years ago. 

Happy modeling   Crackers   Surprise

 

Anthony V. Santos

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by steve5 on Saturday, February 17, 2018 6:16 PM

very nice work cracker's , what scale was it in mate . did you use wire or twine , around the edge's 

don't know how am going to do my victory , was thing of half and half , like it was coming into harbour .

steve5

  • Member since
    December, 2006
  • From: Jerome, Idaho, U.S.A.
Posted by crackers on Saturday, February 17, 2018 7:23 PM

Steve5, Just a thought, but to add some drama of your model of the VICTORY, you could do your model like this painting by the English marine artist, Geoff Hunt, of the VICTORY breaking the French line of battle at Trafalgar, October 21, 1805. The sails of the VICTORY are shot full of cannon holes while her forcourse, main course and mizzen course sails are furled to prevent shot damage. A diorama of ocean waves can be researched by consulting this FineScale Modeler site. Cannon ball splashes on the ocean surface will add to the drama.

Happy modeling   Crackers   Smile

Anthony V. Santos

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by steve5 on Saturday, February 17, 2018 8:18 PM

actually mate , that's not a bad idea , but my victory is from 1765 , but your idea might come in handy in the future , was thinking of doing the trinidad when it was captured by the british !!

steve5

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Saturday, February 17, 2018 8:41 PM

Crackers,

The courses were furled not to prevent shot damage but as a measure to limit the possibility of fire from the cannons during the battle.

Bill

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by steve5 on Saturday, February 17, 2018 9:03 PM

weren't the sail's limited to a certain extent , so they didn't sail too fast past one another ,  so they could at least get a shot off . ??

  • Member since
    December, 2006
  • From: Jerome, Idaho, U.S.A.
Posted by crackers on Saturday, February 17, 2018 9:08 PM

Good thought Bill, warshipguy, never considered that idea. However, from this sketch by Nicholas Pocock at the NMM, the French 74, CA IRA, is trying to escape her tormentor, H.M.S. AGAMEMNON, with only her course sails during the battle of Cape Noli, on the Ligurian Sea, on March 13, 1795. Since the course sails are closer to the exchange of cannon fire, it would seem to me having then furled would lessen the chance of damage to these sails, which might be the only means of propusion.

Happy modeling   Crackers   Indifferent

Anthony V. Santos

  • Member since
    December, 2006
  • From: Jerome, Idaho, U.S.A.
Posted by crackers on Saturday, February 17, 2018 9:43 PM

Steve5, if you have any doubts about sails or rigging, you might consider the 1765 version of the VICTORY laid up in a dockyard with her cannons, yards and mast stackerd along side the model.

Source: Mediaharmonists   Happy modeling   Crackers    Huh?

Anthony V. Santos

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by steve5 on Saturday, February 17, 2018 10:04 PM

thank's cracker's I have seen that model before , dafi , sent it to me . there is a modeler on pete coleman's site , doing the victory 1765 . it's absolutely beautiful , I'm following his lead , somewhat less successfully ,  I'm trying . but intend to do differnt sail's , as michael has done his all furled .

http://www.pete-coleman.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&p=21836#p21836

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, February 17, 2018 10:58 PM

warshipguy

Crackers,

The courses were furled not to prevent shot damage but as a measure to limit the possibility of fire from the cannons during the battle.

Bill

 

Helped the Msrines in the tops see what was going on, too.

  • Member since
    December, 2006
  • From: Jerome, Idaho, U.S.A.
Posted by crackers on Sunday, February 18, 2018 12:02 AM

Steve5, if you go all sails furled, the sails should look like this. Be sure the spars are lowered, not aloft, as if the sail was fully balooned out in a sailing condition.

Happy modeling   Crackers   Surprise

Anthony V. Santos

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Sunday, February 18, 2018 3:02 AM

We know, from diaries, logs, and such, that it was very common to fight under just topsails, and typically, fore and main topsails, and a main topgallant.  This meant onnly three sets of braces needed to be manned to trim sails.  Fore-and-aft sails depended upon the wind angle, and wind ahead of the beam was not considered a poor heading.

Now, sometimes the courses were only hoist into clews and bunts, which renderes a three or five lobed sort of shape.  Which could be shaken out by only 4-6 men--and manpower was wanted for guns and the anti-boarding/boarding party.

I get a frownyface every so often when I see sails set unrealistically.  Like staysails set in a way that they catch no wind.  (You set staysails if the wind is too fine for a broad reach, so from a beam reach right around to an upwind tack.)

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Sunday, February 18, 2018 2:30 PM

Also not real useful in combination with a full set of square sails.

It just gets done because it's "in the box".

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