CRAFT: DIY sails for Cloud Breaker ship

CRAFT: DIY sails for Cloud Breaker ship

Special edition blog post written by Syd Bee & Archer

Follow along to see how we created the sails for this enormous model!

Our Skies Over Daemoor release on Patreon features some serious skyborne heroes, vicious villains, and many other fantastical aerial characters to spice up your tabletop games. Our awesome Patreon supporters recently unlocked a social goal and are also receiving this colossal ship: The Cloud Breaker

We thought it would be fun to build some sails for this piece — and we were right!

Materials Used 

Archer and I teamed up for this project, and our casual approach meant we often sketched and estimated many aspects — in other words, this project was not entirely a practice in precision!  


Expertly crafted artist’s rendition of the sails we had in mind


The materials we used:

  • ¼” wooden dowels and bamboo skewers for masts/booms
  • paper towels for the sail fabric 
  • Mod Podge 
  • Glue
  • Magic-sculpt
  • Thin wire
  • Embroidery floss  
  • Acrylic paints

Construction & Assembly 

After settling on an idea for the kinds of sails we wanted, we built the masts/booms. For example, the back sails (aka the “tail” ) we measured and cut our wood dowels at approx. 5” long. The large sails for the middle mast needed dowels at around 7” long. Archer drilled small holes into the 3D printed vertical masts to give all the dowels somewhere to sit. Tip: when drilling into cured UV resin go slow as the material can crack easily.

Brain storming the shapes we liked best for the sails

We glued them into place and used Magic-sculpt to build up supports around the dowels (Archer would later paint those supports to look like metal). I estimated the sizing and shape for the sail fabric, first in paper:

Once paper prototypes for all the sails were made, we cut the shapes out of 2 layers of paper towels and covered them in Mod Podge. (If you’re a patron and  would like to try your hand at making these particular paper towel sails yourself, you can download pdf templates here.) We draped the Mod Podge-soaked paper towels over the dowels and let them dry overnight, and by morning they had set in lovely, billowed shapes.
Archer created metal rings to act as fasteners for the sails, by first wrapping the wire around a thin dowel and trimming. He popped them into place with pliers, and he applied about 3 or 4 per dowel:
You can buy rings like this at most craft stores, usually in the jewelry section. We chose to stick with materials we already had. 

Archer used the same thin wire twisted on itself to resemble rope, which was also used for extra nautical-fantasy effect. Once all the rings and ropes were attached, it was time to paint. 

We collaborated with Spencer, one of our team's miniature painters, to match his color scheme on the boat. I laser cut a stencil of our Broken Anvil logo, and the BAM Cloud Breaker was complete! 

If you make sails for your own ship, we’d love to see it! You’re welcome to attempt our method, or design up your own — the sky’s the limit (har, har)!

Want to get help troubleshooting this project, or anything else you’re working on? Join the BAM Discord community to chat with our team, meet other makers, and show off your creations.