by Tony Sangster
(Adelaide, SA, Australia)
Frog colour Morpheo
This kite is for no-wind or little wind (usually) - lovingly made in Florida. In the photo the kite is handling 15 knots winds without need of a tail or other stabilizer. Whilst this is probably the upper wind-speed limit for this type of kite it shows how well made it is.
Yes, it is made of expensive materials and it would be wise to try other materials first until you have built up sufficient skill and confidence or better still order one like the owner of this kite did from Windfire Designs.
But it shows what you can achieve with a transparent material and paints - or whatever you wish to try!
The clear material here is called cuben fibre, nothing to do with tobacco by the way! A look at the internet indicates that cuben fibre is made from incredibly strong plastic. Heavier grades of it are used for making tents and rucksacks and the ultimate use is for making full size yacht sails. The favoured method for joining cuben fibre involves use of strong double-sided tape. And whilst stitching the material is possible the thinnest grades can be weakened by stitches made too close together.
A member of our kite club tried cutting a purchased piece of thin cuben fibre with his usual kite-making scissors and could not cut it. It appears that titanium tipped scissors are best used for cutting it.
The spars of the kite are thin carbon fibre rods and the spar fittings are from specially made coils of stainless steel wire.
The colours have been beautifully painted in oil paints, a painstaking, highly skilled process. Choice of colours is made by the prospective owner of the kite and in this case the inspiration was a photo of a green frog with an orange belly.
Perhaps you could start with a smaller kite than this 7 feet across one using thin clear plastic, thin dowels and tape as per Tim's excellent instructions and go to town with textas and similar colouring agents to obtain a see-through effect.
At some time wherever you are your kite flying may challenged by there being no wind or very little. This is where the light wind kites can save the day!
Return to YOUR Pictures Of Kites!.
As mentioned earlier, there's more kite-making on this site than you can poke a stick at :-)
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