The sails are just white airmail paper. The seams are printed on both sides of the sheets on the computer using light grey, so they are not too prominent. They are moulded round an ostrich egg whilst wet to give them a wind filled effect. I hardly participate in any online forums these days as my preferred field of merchant ships only (about 1850 to about 1965) is not exactly popular amongst ship model builders. I have been hoping that their popularity may be on the increase here, and there has been a greater response of late. Sadly, most modellers hold themselves back by deciding that they can't build miniatures, and never even try. Plans are really no problem, as they are readily obtainable in books such as the David MacGregor series, or old technical journals that are available world-wide. Materials are also commonly available in the form of styrene sheet, wood, brass tube and rod, plastic rod and strip, paper, veneer etc. Very few tools are needed, but a small hobby band saw and drill press are extremely useful. Some complain of the cost of these useful machine tools, but these items can be obtained for less than the price of a good kit. Here is a Utube presentation of building a miniature model of the barque Caithness-Shire
I do produce a number of regular downloads, some free, but most for less than the price of a cup of coffee, that contain plans, building techniques and historical details. I have a vast collection of ship plans, plus written permission from various shipowners, technical journals, and individuals, to use them in my downloads, and publications concerning merchant navy shipmodelling and history, so I am completely legit!
But I am NOT a plans service. They only go in the downloads or published articles or books!
I have always found life merchant ships far more interesting than warships because of the vastly different trades they followed. Life in warships in peactime seemed to be an endless round of excercises and strict discipline, wher in the merchant navy, we roamed the world in all types of ship from cargo, to passenger liners. One sea battle is pretty much the same as another to me, and when wars do crop up (as they do), merchant ships are invariably sucked in anyway!
I got sucked in myself when my ship was requisitioned for the South Atlantic in 1982 /83,
but I was jolly glad to get back to normal again!