It's ridiculous. I like metal. Always have. Always will. And when it came to my son's first guitar, I couldn't have him just have a plain ol' guitar. It has to look cool, right? You gotta feel like a rock star if you're gonna play like one. I ain't talking bout love...I'm talking bout being in Panama, looking for the ice cream man, being hot for teacher, being unchained, barely seeing the road from the heat coming off it....you know what I'm saying?? I'm talking about Mr. Eruption...I'm talking about some dude named Alex's brother....I'm talking bout a lover of a Bertinelli....I'm talking bout jump suit, leg splitting, chain smoking, armadillo trousing, Roth hating, singer changing, Wolfgang naming, Eddie Van Halen and his 'little guitar' (heh! See how I got another one in?) transformation project affectionately known as Franky! Frankenstein! Here it is:
(Click here to see a fairly accurate pictoral evolution of the real thing on YouTube!)
Cost for a replica like the photo above made by "professionals"...........$25,000!! Somebody get me a doctor!! I'd have to be runnin' with the devil for that kind of cash! (that's not going to get old is it?) So I found a nice friend willing to part with a red guitar for a delightful price of $60 and I set out to tape it off, paint it with cans we already had and have the pride of doing it myself on the cheap.
Here's the before:
Shaking the paints, although a bit early. I had to give him something to do!
They never actually DO anything. They are just around for entertainment!
I had the pic of the replica, shown at top, displayed on my iPad. First step was taping the white sections off. In reality, and if you watched the YouTube link, Mr. Van Halen's guitar started out black and white and the red was laid down later. I'm doing it completely backwards.
I am using a combination of thick and thin blue plastic tape that my father down in the Alabamia region shipped out from the body shop. 3M all day long, baby! (I don't really talk like that, just for the internet)
More details coming in...I just kept looking at the reference pic on the iPad and trying to get it as close as I could. Some things didn't quite come out right.
The final white stripe details go in including the weird 'H' shape on the left.
There was an ongoing process of tape, cut, tape, cut. I used an X-Acto knife to make the delicate cuts.
All the sections to remain red are covered in blue painter tape. Again, I just covered it generally with the tape and cut out the shapes.
I took a little square piece of a grey scuff pad and sanded the strips for the white paint to stick.
Let it dry and removed the tape. Starting to shape up pretty good. If there was any bleed from the paint, I scraped it with the blade.
Now it was time to tape off for the black stripes. This part was like Jenga or trying to solve a Rubik's Cube without taking the stickers off! Because I was doing this backwards, I was putting my last layer on which really should be the first layer because in reality, this was the first layers of his guitar. You see, he only had to put tape stripes on his guitar ONCE, I mean besides the first time when he striped it black and white, and paint it red. Then when he pealed the tape off, he got the three layers of black, white and red pattern that you see on his guitar. But I had to tape off three layers to his one layer. What? To relax my mind from this daunting parabola, I went into a self-induced quantum physics coma, whispered a poem to a candle and generally cussed a lot.
There were a few instances where I had to tear the painters tape across the surface to create a jagged appearance. This was fun for the "detail passenger" that lives inside me. Sorta like Dexter's "dark passenger." Sort of. I did put plastic drop clothes on the floor of the garage while spraying the colors, but that's where the similarities end!
I'll admit it, I sprayed the black too thick. No runs, but it was THICK. But by this point, I'm getting really excited about how it is turning out. I feel like I'm standing on top of the world! (there it is)
Now, a little more tape is removed to reveal the electronics and bridge. (where the stringys go throughy for you non-guitar types.....it's the silver rectangle thingy)
On the original guitar, he had a black pickguard. (The pickguard protects the guitars finish from being scratched while you're striking the pick across the strings but it also keeps the wires to the electronics hidden and gives it a clean look, etc.) But after a while, Eddie cut the pickguard so that only enough was there to cover the large hole where the pick-up selector and volume/tone knobs go. Doing this left him room to get to the electronics and change things out or around to get the sound he wanted. I didn't think this was a wise choice for my kids. Especially the little one. He would see a loose wire and go MacGyver on it, or really, MacGruber. It'd explode. No doubt. So I decided to just paint that section black under the knobs and leave the rest white. (See finished pic)
I had some lettering so I customized the back for him because I didn't take the stripes around the back like it is in the original. Call it laziness. Yeah, you really got me now. Go ahead and say it...You're no good! (boom, two for one)
For all you guitar realists out there....or is it snobs?....fun stealers?....good time takers?......can't leave well enough aloners?....I know this isn't the right neck, headstock, etc. BUT, I tried to stripe it up with some silver-metallic auto striping tape that dear ol'Dad had also sent out. A little custom addition to a rip-off copy!
Drum roll, please......drum roll?......
Like the blog is titled...It is finished! I am real pleased with the turn out. I even drilled a quarter to the body next to the bridge. I asked my son if he wanted me to scuff it up for true authenticity but he declined. He said he wanted it to be new for a while!
Here he is enjoying it for the first time! And there's MacGruber, or MacGoober, back there bout to mess something up. Lil' atomic punk. (last one)
Let me know what you think. Comment away! Now I'm gonna go get me some poundcake. (liar)