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Your Best Sail Material?


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For about six months I have been on a quest for the best sail material and technique. Things get really dicey when you get into the smaller scales with the desire to remain true to scale. I have heard of resume paper, cigarette paper, fine linen etc.

I am hoping our members would provide their best material choice and technique here on this thread. I am anticipating a good discussion here as there is always someone who stumbles upon a new material and technique whether by accident or experimentation. If you can please post pictures of your best work even better!

I look forward to your replies ... Jeff

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I like cigarette paper on smaller models where the largest sail is small enough to cut from one paper. I like the papers that have a lined watermark that replicates the seams without overdoing them by drawing them in. Take careful note of the watermarks - almost all cigarette papers have them.

 

I've used high quality, acid-free, standard weight printer paper with all the sail details printed on both sides successfully.

 

I'm planning to experiment with acid-free, archival tissue for sails to see if I can wet it and let it dry over some kind of form to get compound curves in a sail. I want to keep my sails as thin as possible in order to keep that thickness close to scale. I find a noticeable thickness at a sail's edge objectionable.

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For most of my models, I use parchment paper.  It has a slight translucent look to it, it holds its shape really well, and has a crispness to it.  

 

For ships that have furled sails, I have used a tissue paper.  It flakes well when lashed to the yards.  I built a small jig with which I furl the sails prior to lashing to the yard.

This image is elsewhere on the site, but it is also relevant here.

post-1-0-17987300-1427634917_thumb.jpg

 

I have never used cigarette paper but it sounds like a good paper to use.

 

Gwyl

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  • 3 weeks later...

Jeff,

 

 I use Chart pak, got them at a craft store called Michael's, and believe them to be alcohol based. Previously i'd used Rit dye disolved in alcohol, and though the dye doesn't dissolve well, it worked after a fashion. I believe there are brushable alcohol based wood dyes, but i havent gotten around to looking for them. Might be that tea steeped in alcohol would work too, though it's been said that tea might tend to hasten deterioration of the paper.

 

TJ

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Jeff..

 

  I see that Rocklers carries a dry wood stain that can be mixed with either water or alcohol, i might try ordering some. Couple things i liked about the Rit dye dissolved in alcohol were that i could dilute the solution to vary the shade, and apply it neatly with a small brush to get the effect of patches and replaced sections of sail cloth once the sails were on the model. I only use one color of Chart Pak marker on my sails, (golden maple), so i suppose i'd only need to buy one color from Rocklers.

 

TJ

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi All,

 

Instead of stain, get some small tubes of artists water paints, colours of your choice, a box of the primary colours plus black and white isn't expensive, especially if you get the students grade which are slightly less opaque than artists.Watercolours are designed not to damage paper, assuming the water is OK. One purchase will probably last for ever. A couple of spots of paint in water will make a coloured wash to stain the paper. Remember sails are not usually uniformly coloured, having dirt, scuffs, stains, and patches on the original canvas (or man made materials for more modern ships). Watercolour can also be used for detailing on fittings that have a white acrylic undercoat. (Artist's technical info via art student daughter, not to mention the 'borrowing' of materials).

 

Happy painting

 

Alan

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Hi All,

 

Instead of stain, get some small tubes of artists water paints, colours of your choice, a box of the primary colours plus black and white isn't expensive, especially if you get the students grade which are slightly less opaque than artists.Watercolours are designed not to damage paper, assuming the water is OK. One purchase will probably last for ever. A couple of spots of paint in water will make a coloured wash to stain the paper. Remember sails are not usually uniformly coloured, having dirt, scuffs, stains, and patches on the original canvas (or man made materials for more modern ships). Watercolour can also be used for detailing on fittings that have a white acrylic undercoat. (Artist's technical info via art student daughter, not to mention the 'borrowing' of materials).

 

Happy painting

 

Alan

 

Alan,

 

This is a good recommendation.  A person could create any color or variation needed with water colors.  They thin down really well too.

Thanks for the suggestion.

 

Gwyl

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Gwyl...

 

  I made a small press based on squares of masonite with a lead weight sitting on top, but i only use it for flattening plane shavings and making plywood of them since shifting to alcohol based dyes for my sails several years ago. I would imagine that an iron on a low temperature setting would work fine.

 

TJ

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