I am building a Sea-Cow(70810)-like ship that of course needs sails. The sails should be larger than the Technic fairings used in the LEGO movie set, but I want to avoid cloth sails and strings.

My idea is to connect rows of white 4x6 modified tiles with studs on edges (part 6180) with hinge plates. That would give a curved rectangular sail. However, sails usually are not rectangular.

Do you have experience with sails made out of tiles or plates? How do you create the shape/curvature you have in mind? I appreciate any ideas.


After very useful suggestions by @jncraton I was able to create a prototype of sail. I found some hinges (4275/4276) to connect the rows of tiles. The brown plates are not the final solution. Now I still have to figure out how to make the sail less rectangular.

Prototype1 Prototype2

  • 2
    Side note: I am not the only one who misses the old finger hinges: see this question
    – Metalbeard
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 10:12

2 Answers 2


Great question. It sounds like you are building a fairly large ship. If the scale is large enough, brick-built sails can look quite nice. You can add shape, contour, and texture using various building techniques.

If you want to keep things simple, you could just use a single layer of bricks as was done in this basic sailboat model that was an in-store build back in 2009:

in-store sailboat

That example obviously isn't the most detailed. It's challenging to develop sail-like contours with studs on top.

Here's one example just using plates that is similar to what you mentioned in your question:

sails using plates

Notice how it uses wedge plates to round off the square corners of the sails. Wedge plates come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so that gives you some flexibility in the shape of your sail. Here's another shot showing that technique more clearly:

sails from behind

Here's a second example of that technique in a physical model to try to show how the sail sections can be connected using hinges:

mayflower example

Here's another where layered plates are used to provide more depth and contour:

layers plates with depth

And one more example of the same technique:

plates on side and tighter sail placement

I personally like the aesthetic of studs showing in those examples, but you could also smooth your sails out using tiles and curved slopes if you'd prefer.

  • 1
    Oh come on, did you really edit in the same example I wanted to add, while I was writing my answer? :D
    – zovits
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 13:04
  • @zovits :D That's certainly what it looks like.
    – jncraton
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 13:32
  • 2
    I've reverted my edit now that you've added this set as a separate answer. I think it works better as a separate answer. You have my upvote. :)
    – jncraton
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 13:41
  • Thanks, but you really shouldn't have :) This question is linked from the recent Pirates of Barracuda Bay question, and the Creator Pirate Ship is a trivial association to this topic. Whether a long list or multiple single answers is better, I can't really decide, so let's leave it like it is :)
    – zovits
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 13:52

An official example from 2020 is seen in the 31109 Pirate-Ship using plates and curved panels:

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 1
    I haven't seen this set until now. Very simple sail construction. Interesting timing by TLG to release this shortly after the Barracuda Bay 21322 (cloth sails). I had to abandon my ship project for a "while", but with all the new pirates in the LEGO world I feel that now is a good time to get it done.
    – Metalbeard
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 19:09

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