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Making things better... a thread about decals.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nerkoids, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. nerkoids

    nerkoids Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    First things first.

    I love the block Fender logo. There is something cool, elegant, retro, evocative with that particular logo... more than the Spaghetti one, or the later modified versions.

    Just... it simply look right. Maybe it's promotional or advertising conditioning, bias, status, whatever... to me, love the aesthetic to it.

    So when I made my Bass kit, and for lack of imagination, and wanting to have a logo on the headstock, well, thought I'd give this a go:


    I was quite happy with it. Thought I did a decent job. Left it on the bass for about 7 months.

    In the meantime, I had decided to build a Tele guitar for a co-worker, who wanted a guitar, but with all of his bills, couldn't afford one that was at least half-decent. So I bought a Grizzly kit, painted it up in Lagoon Blue, added some nickel pearlescence to give it a nice metallic sparkle, and thought of what kind of logo I should make him. Couldn't really use a Fender or Squier logo... he'd think it would be too lame... so I came up with this one...


    I thought, well, this one works. Hintoa is a slight corruption of an Algonquin (well actually, it's many different North American tribes) word "hinto" that means the colour blue. It's also one of those gender-neutral names like Alex.

    Anyway, I saw this logo, and thought... hey that works! And was also thinking it would look great on my kit bass. Look less lame than a 'Not Licensed by Fender" Fender logo. So I experimented... some with metallic ink (thanks to print-reverse the decals on inkjet, the fill in, then seal with some acrylic clear coat spray, then flip them as I apply them...






    So about 20 decal variations later...

    Getting rid of this one...


    I came up with this one...



    I think I did all right...
  2. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Those look great! What kind of printer are you using that utilizes metallic inks?
    nerkoids likes this.
  3. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Nice - nothing like a custom logo.
  4. nerkoids

    nerkoids Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    Actually, I don't print with metallics. I use inkjet waterslide clear paper, print them reverse (with a colour fill, like in the case of the final decal, burnt orange to give that copper look), and fill the reverse with silver metallic paint.

    Through trial and error (and because Testors up here can be quite expensive and tricky to apply to decals) the best metallic, oil-based paint (not ink, the acrylic clear coat eats away at it) I've used is this stuff...


    I used to use extra fine, but found out regular fine works better. Less drop-outs in the paint. I also used to seal the printed decals, then add this paint, but I've discovered that it's better if the printout is allowed to dry 2 hours first, then the paint applied with very little pressure (the paint almost drips out, so no real effort to drag it around inside the decal) so it doesn't cause the ink to be dissolved or scratched up itself. Then, once it's carefully filled in with the paint, let it dry overnight, then use this stuff to seal it.

    Which is a modified acrylic clear coat. Works great with decals, that you can then use with either polyurethane finish or nitro, or of course, acrylic. I usually lightly and carefully dust the decals first, let the solids from the finish stick to the paint, then do a very, far away pass, until there's a bit of a solid thin coat on top of the decal itself. Then a final, even spray to seal it up completely, and you get nice metallic decals. :)

    Others like Minwax, Krylon, etc.. I've tried always seem to dissolve the paint, make it bubble up and dissipate.
  5. radioripster


    Sep 30, 2008

    Do you take orders?
    40Hz, Bigbri and comatosedragon like this.
  6. kohanmike

    kohanmike Gold Supporting Member

    Nice stuff. I modified a modern bass as a tribute to the first electric solid body bass, an AudioVox Serenader designed by Paul Tutmarc in 1930s/40s. I decided to make a decal with the period logo and to indicate the tribute.

    Tutmarc Audiovox logo.

    Rondo Tutmark wide.
    The original bass:
    Rondo 24 blue mine700.
    Mr_Moo, Tbone76, Rob22315 and 3 others like this.
  7. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Great job! Got mine custom on eBay. And agree, they complete a custom build.
    Loring, Dark Horse, fourlow and 5 others like this.
  8. topcat2069


    Dec 2, 2007
    Palm Springs
    Loring, 2saddleslab and nerkoids like this.
  9. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    Wow! You guys are really good. Don't have a clue how you do it. How time consuming is it and supposed you want 6 of them?---------big time involved heh?
    nerkoids likes this.
  10. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Got it!

    I have used a similar technique (print in reverse and hand-fill-in) when painting radio control car bodies, which are clear and painted from the INSIDE.

    Thanks for the great tip!
    Tbone76, T Bassman and nerkoids like this.
  11. nerkoids

    nerkoids Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2014
  12. nerkoids

    nerkoids Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    If I had the time and will, I would. There are some TB members that do this on a more regular basis than I do. I can't recall their usernames right now, but I'm sure you could PM them, and if you want metallic-like colours, I'm sure they might even have a better solution than mine.
  13. nerkoids

    nerkoids Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    You're welcome. It was a lot of trial and error for me to get to this point. I've discovered that natural wood headstocks are great for masking somewhat a lot of paint or colour drop-outs. Painted headstocks, not so much. Even white headstocks for some reason, the paint dropouts really stick out. Worse on darker tones, like blues and greens.

    I had bought some metallic gold coloured paint pens, but the colour was just too dark, and not terribly adaptable for using printed colour fills. Silver is a lot easier to mix and match with.
  14. nerkoids

    nerkoids Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    Once you know what to do (and there's some videos out there that show you how), to get really good metallic decals... 18-24 hours, 95% of the time is just waiting for it to dry, really. All the stuff I used, except for the decal paper, you can buy at your local Wal-Mart or hardware store.
  15. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    If you don't mind measking, what are those dates? Are the instruments based on something from that year?
  16. GregT


    Jan 29, 2012
    Southwest Missouri
    I really like the Fender logo with "not licensed by Fender". It makes it very clear it is not genuine in the small print. No mistaking anything or misrepresenting anything. It looks Fender, but not looking like you are trying to pass off a fake. Very classy.
  17. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    Mine. Inkjet waterslide paper, sealed with Krylon Crystal Clear. And the corresponding neck plate. That one, I bought on eBay. I uploaded the graphics file to the seller to use for the engraving.

    Glazenn, Tbone76, Bigbri and 6 others like this.
  18. BassDaddy77


    Feb 12, 2010
    NE Ohio
    Those decals look amazing, Nerkoids! Seriously, I'm really diggin' the lettering style and colors used on all those logos. :thumbsup:
    Bassdirty and nerkoids like this.
  19. nerkoids

    nerkoids Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    Well, I used those dates basically as the bass kinda looks a bit like what a 1966 P-bass might have. (I know, wishful, delusional thinking) When I re-did it, I thought, well, no, a 1962 P-bass would probably be more appropriate.

    Because of the relatively high position of the tuner holes, the Classic Vibe tuners' keys stick out almost as much as the classic Klusons (they don't have a clear rivet, though, but what the hey) and I'm using pretty much the same profile as a 60s P-bass headstock. Plus, being Canadian (the Canucks can probably recognize this) , we have a supermarket chain Loblaws that often use the phrase "Memories of..." when they introduce their store brand food items (which are usually quite good) In other words, not terribly significant.
  20. kohanmike

    kohanmike Gold Supporting Member

    I think you're addressing this to me. The idea of the AudioVox Serenader tribute bass came from a thread asking who bought a bass because it was made in the year they were born. In researching my year, 1949, all I could find was the AudioVox, which was made from the late thirties to around 1950. I added Sept. for my birth month.

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