Star and hexagonal kites are not the only members of the regular shapes with tails. The Japanese square kite, Fig. 40, which is usually rectangular in shape, has a vertical spine, two diagonal spines, and several horizontal ribs that are lighter in weight than the spines. The larger the kite, the more horizontal ribs will be required. By making removable spines the kites can be rolled up and the Japanese have exhibited some very beautiful ones that have been imported. Some of these cost as high as $30.00 or more. The two long ropelike tails swinging in graceful, parallel curves give a beautiful effect to the whole kite. The bridle is usually attached at many places on this kite.
Figs. 38, 38a, 39, 40.
Regular forms of kites are many. In Fig. 41 the circle is of reed or split bamboo. It would be well to fasten the bridle at four points. Fig. 42 needs no special explanation as the construction is similar to Fig. 41. The balloon kite is another modification. The ship kites, Figs. 43, 44, 45, 45a, show the construction in the drawing. A piece of pasteboard is used for the hull. They make pretty kites.
Figs. 41, 42.
The irregular forms are more representative, and to many, more interesting, because with patience and ingenuity almost any form can be made to float in the air. Soaring birds, Fig. 46, are attractive and their construction is unique. Split bamboo is mostly used for the framework. The Chinese boys take small strips of the Chinese tissue paper to lash the pieces of frame together. It is very light and if twisted while wet, becomes tight and strong when dry. The covering is also of Chinese tissue and colored with a water color brush. A group of about five of these kites is very interesting when soaring about on high. A pleasing modification is an ingenious tail attachment that is hinged to the body so that the tail drops and is raised again by the breeze, giving the appearance of fluttering when a little distance away. Fig. 47 is a photograph of three that were flown at one time and were mistaken by many for real birds, while Fig. 48 is a photograph of a pair with fluttering tails. In each picture the back of one bird is shown. In Fig. 47 the birds are flat but in Fig. 48 the bodies are rounded out, giving a keel to the kite. This is done by making a light framework of small split bamboo. Notice the little patches of paper on the back that hold the string, allowing the edge of the covering to float and flutter as feathers. The bridle attachment may be two strings, as in Fig. 13, and may be three, as in Fig. 14. A set piece is shown in Fig. 49, with an American flag fluttering as a balancer. This makes a very beautiful kite when enough time is put on it to make the bird stand out clear and real in appearance. One boy cut papers and stuck on to a background for feathers and while he succeeded well it is not necessary and not as effective as a few good strokes with a water color brush.
Butterflies offer a great variety in design and color, the best results being obtained by pasting the striking colors over the general covering. A more permanent kite can be made by using the Chinese tissue with strong water colors, and it is more a work of art. A kite thirty inches across, made of bamboo and Chinese paper will last for years if it has good care. Butterfly kites have been made to fly without tails but nearly all need one. Two drawings are shown, Fig. 50 shows the double tail of ribbon and button of cardboard at bottom. The body is curved like the bird form, Fig. 48, and the edge of the wing is scalloped but the waves are longer than for feathers. A Chinese boy made this and placed a small silk Chinese flag on one side of the head and a like American flag on the other. The antennae were pieces of small reed with silk balls that are sometimes used in ornamenting draperies and gowns.
Figs. 49, 49a, 50, 51.