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DIY Achtkant Train - Intro
Welcome to this tutorial.
There are 7 stages to this tutorial and the last one, making the pilot, is optional:
This kite is designed by a well known Dutch kite builder and designer named Harm van Veen.
It was quite some time back, in the late eighties or early nineties I believe.
What I do know however is that it was first published in the early part of 1991 in the Dutch kite magazine "Vlieger".
I liked it at first glance and wanted to do something with it, hence this train of his adopted kite.
Harm and his kite books.
Materials Needed.
The material list below, describes the items needed to make a train of six. This is a good starting point and you can always add more should you choose to do so.
At the end of this tutorial I will also describe how to make an original 1.5 meter "Achtkant" as the designer meant it to be albeit with a few modern bits.
This 1.5 meter version is meant to be used as a lifter, to make launching a larger train less stressful.
For those who just want to make a fifter version, I suggest you stay tuned for it as it is slightly different in terms of construction.
NOTE: The amount of fabric used is calculated as if you were making each kite in two colour and includes the tails. This amount will vary little for you should you choose to have a different colour scheme as I am sure most of you will end up having.
The Design.
Each kite is made up of at least eight panels, this is to minimize stretch and to keep the bias running along the outer edge.
To accomplish this we really only need two different panels. I have given our two panels a different colour for illustration purposes only and it is up to you to choose your design.
To help with your design, there are two examples in the diagram below that appeared in black and white in Vlieger magazine when the plan was first published.
In the example diagram you can see that in both instances, multiple templates will be needed for either design.

Looking at the example kite #2, the changes are made to panel A only. Although at first glance this looks the more complex of the two, surprisingly there are only 4 templates needed as with example kite #1 you will need 5 templates. So choose your project design well.

Two Examples.
Of course you can keep it really simple like the six pack diagram I have inserted below to give you an other idea. You can play on this further if you like, just take a good look at what I have done with my larger train. I basically used the colour scheme of the six pack but blended the colours on the kites that separates the main colours. Some kites were made in the colours of the one above and the one below. This is also a cool effect. This tutorial is based on the six pack shown below.

Six Pack.