Guitar built with your ML Factory ES Guitar kit.
This guitar I decorated for my boyfriend Jan. I did the design, the colouring and finishing, he put it all together afterwards. Here are the major steps.
THE RAW MATERIAL – We were probably like anybody here, and really excited when we opened our guitar kit box and saw the beautiful new tone wood instrument parts inside! The wonderful maple top just begs for showing the markings! It would be a waste to paint just solid colour over the top and so hide the patterns from sight, at least, that’s what I thought.
THE INKING – The first 5 or 6 sessions were spent rubbing black ink into the markings of the wood, alternated drying time and then sanding back in part to enhance the colour differences. There are some great tutorials out there on the internet on how to do this. I actually tried all different coloured inks, but black came out by far the best and strongest. Check out my first results in the photos. So then, when the markings are exposed so strongly due to the ink, they automatically inspire the next steps. Noticing one or two small blemishes I wanted to hide in the wood pattern, I set to work making designs that would show only the part I wanted to show.
THE DESIGN – Then I had to come up with a design that could make my boyfriend happy, of course. I played around with different designs and colours in Photoshop, getting as realistic a preview together for Jan as I could. We weighed a Redburst against a Snowburst, and both against a Black burst. Jan didn’t like the dark of the black, but he did like the feel of the design. So we compromised, I promised Jan that I’d add some green so it wasn’t all black, and he gave me the go-ahead.
THE FINISHING – Well the finishing was a learning experience, as they say. It takes time. First the sealer and clear lacquer base coat. Then handcutting all the plastic templates with the figures. I use a very soft stretchable clear adhesive plastic. After applying the template(s), I then spray the design on in multiple layers and different sessions, and take care to allow for good drying time between layers. That’s absolutely crucial here. Templates are stuck on, and you don’t want to peel off the paint of the previous layer when you peel off the templates! Whilst doing this work I get little idea’s for small changes to make it more interesting. For instance, like having one silver and one gold stripe, instead of just the 2 gold. And having the one little stubborn diamond in a different colour (gold) amongst all the other black ones. And while I am at it, I include the back of the guitar as well in parts of the design. After all, the back deserves to be part of the show as well. I continued right around the guitar with the 5 stripes, adding diamond shapes on th back as well. Notice the trail of little green diamonds fading away in the corner like leaves disappearing in the breeze. Then follows all the standard finishing: clear lacquering, polishing and waxing, because we do want to have the greatest gloss there is and, well, the ES is now ready to be assembled by her new master!
FINAL – This ES guitar was left with all the standard parts exactly as it came away from ML Factory. Jan is a magician with his hands, and he put the ES together in no time. My boyfriend, who already owns quite a few guitars and certainly knows his stuff, was very happy with the quality of the sound and the touch, so happy, that he now plays his new ES guitar for hours and hours every single evening since the moment she was ready!