Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.comAmazon
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Custom Sails?

I finally got all the Lego sets I had as a well as my brother's from my parents recently in a huge pile. I've been sorting out our respective sets, and he has the Skull's Eye Schooner, but is missing a few pieces, including the sails. I've looked on BL and don't feel like shelling out $10+/sail, so I'm looking at making replacements for him for his birthday. Before I started, I wanted to run my idea by you guys to see if you had any suggestions.

I'm going to use white broadcloth. A friend of mine has used broadcloth (sprayed with clear coat) to make custom capes, and says he can't really tell the difference between official Lego capes.

I found scans of the sails here:

Next, I'm going to convert them to shapes in Illustrator, then plot them out on vinyl. Using that vinyl as a mask, then I'll spray paint them black. 

Finally, I'll cut them out using a laser cutter, and then spray them with clear coat.

I'm really excited to be able to give these to him, and hope they work out!

I'd love to hear of anyone's experience who has worked on something similar, thanks!


  • TyresOFlahertyTyresOFlaherty USAMember Posts: 342
    Here's the progress I've made trying to make sure I have the right size sails (I don't really believe the 1:1 scan claim on that site, but I'm still glad for the scans!)

    The main sail w/the skull and crossbones was scanned along with graph paper, which helped me get the correct size. In trying to match up the other 3 sails (that didn't have graph paper), I used the following methods:

    First I used the measurements on BL (e.g. 27x17) which I assume is the width of a 1x1 (8mm). These are the black rectangles, which seemed slightly small to me.

    Next, I used the studs on the images from BL and made those all the same (again using the 1=8mm ratio) and those seemed to more closely match the main sail.

    Then I realized that the stripes need to match up, so I scaled them according to the stripe sizes, and those seem to correlate very nicely with the stud images I used.

    Next step, converting these into vector shapes for use with the vinyl plotter and laser machine!
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 The Northwest, USAMember Posts: 2,228
    ^I wish you were my brother
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    ^I wish you were my brother could have been my buddy and I could have sold YOU my "Skull's Eye Schooner" ;) 
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,751
    I recently got a set of these sails off ebay for the cost of one sail.
    And I got a bunch of hulls and rigging from Brickfair.

    I know what I must do...
  • TyresOFlahertyTyresOFlaherty USAMember Posts: 342
    Also, if anyone is interested in the art files, I've got them set up on Dropbox right here.

    I saved them in Illustrator CS3. If anyone would like a different format, let me know!

  • AllBrickAllBrick UKMember Posts: 1,477
    edited January 2017
    Your brother put @Pitfall69 s head on the mast, ouch.

    If only we could all have a sibling like you @TyresOFlaherty.
  • AllBrickAllBrick UKMember Posts: 1,477
    edited January 2017
    Forgot to say @TyresOFlaherty .... OI OI! STAY LUCKY!

    My favourite character in the whole show.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    AllBrick said:
    Your brother put @Pitfall69 s head on the mast, ouch.

    If only we could all have a sibling like you @TyresOFlaherty.
    My head definitely adds value to anything you put it on.
  • AllBrickAllBrick UKMember Posts: 1,477
    Even money I would imagine @Pitfall69.
  • scud42scud42 IdahoMember Posts: 4
    Do you still happen to have these .ai files?  It looks like the Dropbox link is no longer valid.  Better yet, do you have them as .eps or .svg?  

    Thanks for sharing these, and thanks for the awesome tutorial!
  • TyresOFlahertyTyresOFlaherty USAMember Posts: 342
  • scud42scud42 IdahoMember Posts: 4
    @TyresOFlaherty This is great! Thank you so much!
  • scud42scud42 IdahoMember Posts: 4
    I also had one more question. Do you happen to have any photos of the vinyl after you cut it? I'm assuming you cut out the white part of the vinyl to make the mask, but it would seem then that the crossbones would have a floating piece, correct? Did you just line that small piece up and then paint? 

  • TyresOFlahertyTyresOFlaherty USAMember Posts: 342
    @scud42 I don't have any photos of it with me at the moment, but what you'd do is weed out all the negative space of the vinyl while it's still on the backing paper, and then put transfer tape (basically wide masking tape) to cover the pattern, then remove the backing paper then place it on the cloth. Once it's adhered well enough, then take off the transfer tape, leaving just the adhesive vinyl mask on your cloth, ready to spray paint!
Sign In or Register to comment.

Shopping at or Amazon?

Please use our links: Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.