[Bullet Mustang Adventures] Finished!

Talk about modding or building your own guitar from scratch.
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Steadyriot.
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[Bullet Mustang Adventures] Finished!

Post by Steadyriot. » Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:59 am

This summer I gave myself an ultimatum: I can only buy one more guitar this year, and then it's done. I've been flipping and dealing in gear all year and the last four months should be about focussing on what I have, not on what I could buy (as that is a thing we all tend to obsess with from time to time..).
That last guitar was a Squier Bullet Mustang; I've always been wary about really modding my more expensive guitars so I decided to get something that's fun, shortscale and cheap.

This is what I started with: a blue Bullet Mustang. I'd rather have bought a black one, but this was the only one I could find in stock semi-locally with a rosewood fretboard still (not that I'm hung up on the whole rosewood / Pau Ferro debate, I just thought it would be a perk).
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I grew impatient and already removed the bridge before taking a picture..

After that I filled all the holes in the body and gave it a first coat of primer:
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After this the project lay dorment for a few months, life got busy, the months got colder and I had to move the painting inside.
Together with a friend I covered the whole spare bedroom at my parents house with tarps; added a fan for ventilation and started spraying.
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Second primer coat (you can still see a little bit of blue; should have gave it a third coat but I grew impatient. It all worked out in the end tho'):
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And finally it's current state: Pink! I did a matching headstock too but I guess I forgot to take a picture.
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Next steps will be getting a new pickguard (aged white probably) getting a new bridge (thinking about getting a cheap Bigsby copy and roller bridge to make it kinda match my Jaguars and use up some of that real estate but a Duo-Sonic / Toronado bridge is also an option.
Pickups will probably be a cheap Rail Humbucker in the bridge, and the bridge pickup from my 60's lacquer Jag in the neck (for now).

First I need to know one thing before I move on though: does Acrylic Lacquer (Motip Carat in this case) NEED a clear coat? I know it's advised, but can you forego it? I believe Fender has done it in the past.. What are the risks?
Last edited by Steadyriot. on Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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NICQ
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Re: [Bullet Mustang Adventures] Do you really need a clearcoat?

Post by NICQ » Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:16 am

The only risk is that any any dents and scratches will hit the colourcoat directly and will reach the bare wood sooner... the clearcoat is "just" for protection and adding a layer on top to prevent any damage to be easily visible. Without clear it won't be that durable and can not be fixed easily if scratched/dented.

Also you can not really bufff/polish the clearcoat directly.

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oid
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Re: [Bullet Mustang Adventures] Do you really need a clearcoat?

Post by oid » Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:28 am

Clearcoat does not provide any more protection than the color, it is just more finish, apply a few extra coats of color instead of the clear and you have just as much protection.

Even if you do not do extra coats, there is one real advantage to skipping the clear, repairs and touch up are considerably easier.
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Re: [Bullet Mustang Adventures] Do you really need a clearcoat?

Post by rexter » Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:39 am

Metallics need a clear coat but a solid colour like yours - love the pink! - is fine.

Don’t know about that specific paint but nitrocellulose paints in solid colours can be buffed to a gloss like you would a clearcoat.

For what it is you’re probably fine.

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Re: [Bullet Mustang Adventures] Do you really need a clearcoat?

Post by rank » Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:42 am

rexter wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:39 am
Metallics need a clear coat
Would you mind explaining why? I am trying to get a Charcoal Frost build together. I love your Charcoal Frost colors but CITIES makes it impossible to order from you because I want a matching headstock.
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Re: [Bullet Mustang Adventures] Do you really need a clearcoat?

Post by Danley » Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:27 am

Cool - I always hear people say "I wanted a dull look so left out the clear coat." But that sounds like BS- shouldn't you be able to wet sand and polish color just as easily as clear?
King Buzzo: I love when people come up to me and say “Your guitar sound was better on Stoner Witch, when you used a Les Paul. “...I used a Fender Mustang reissue on that, dumbass!

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Re: [Bullet Mustang Adventures] Do you really need a clearcoat?

Post by Steadyriot. » Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:36 am

Thanks guys! I'll lightly buff out the colorcoat and then we'll see from there. This guitar is allowed to age (curious how the blue metallic layer will slowly show up again!).
rexter wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:39 am
Metallics need a clear coat but a solid colour like yours - love the pink! - is fine.

Don’t know about that specific paint but nitrocellulose paints in solid colours can be buffed to a gloss like you would a clearcoat.

For what it is you’re probably fine.
Thanks!
Paint is just a can of Acrylic, so the binder is different but I bet it'll buff out just as nice as Nitro in that case.
rank wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:42 am
rexter wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:39 am
Metallics need a clear coat
Would you mind explaining why? I am trying to get a Charcoal Frost build together. I love your Charcoal Frost colors but CITIES makes it impossible to order from you because I want a matching headstock.
This I do know I think! For a nice metallic effect the metallic particles flip flop all over the place, which leaves a relatively rough texture. You need to cover this with clear. Also; they can oxidize.
BTW Charcoal Frost is amazing, great choice! I did a Charcoal Frost Milk Paint last summer.
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Re: [Bullet Mustang Adventures] Do you really need a clearcoat?

Post by rexter » Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:00 am

rank wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:42 am
rexter wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:39 am
Metallics need a clear coat
Would you mind explaining why? I am trying to get a Charcoal Frost build together. I love your Charcoal Frost colors but CITIES makes it impossible to order from you because I want a matching headstock.
Damn! Well I can get necks made with Pau ferró and ebony fingerboards but I suppose if you want to send your own rosewood neck over that complicates it. I don’t know if laws will change after the U.K. fucks itself and leaves the Eu. Seems like the arrogant bastards are really excited about overturning Eu environmental laws too. Sidetracked... sorry. :D

Yeah like the other guys have said metallic flake (when sprayed properly) stands up at angles on the surface. It’ll just get brushed without clear and your finish will look flat. You’ll still have a finish but it just won’t look so good or offer as much protection.

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Re: [Bullet Mustang Adventures] Do you really need a clearcoat?

Post by mbene085 » Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:47 pm

I had a blast modding my Bullet (and actually ordered some more parts on Black Friday to keep going), and I was just thinking to myself the other day that it would be fun to refinish one in a totally different colour. I think you made a great choice with the pink and can't wait to see the final result!

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Re: [Bullet Mustang Adventures] Do you really need a clearcoat?

Post by s_mcsleazy » Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:15 am

bullet mustangs are a blast to mod. i've already done 3 and i want to do 2 more
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Re: [Bullet Mustang Adventures] Do you really need a clearcoat?

Post by Steadyriot. » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:59 am

So this one has been sitting for quite a while now and I'm slowly gathering parts to finish this one off.

Still undecided about the bridge on this one.
Leaning towards a Toronado bridge with an aged white pickguard. Humbucker in the bridge and single coil in the neck.

I'm having so much fun just planning this out that I want to buy another one just to keep on modding!
"If someone duetted with a Bald Eagle, they could rule the Country charts from here to eternity." ~shadowplay

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Re: [Bullet Mustang Adventures] Finished!

Post by Steadyriot. » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:18 am

Welp this one is finally finished. Did some things some might consider sacrilege and learnt a whole bunch so this has been a great project all together!

First I started off with ordering a mint green pickguard from Aliexpress:
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But the shape was off so I scratched that idea (for now).

After that I noticed that the rosewood fretboard had some really deep and open voids in the grain:
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So I did what anyone (read: no-one) would do in this situation; I grainfilled the fretboard!
Now don't get me wrong, I know this is a strange thing to do but I got this guitar with experimentation in mind so off we go!
First I mixed some grainfiller with some black acrylic artist's paint to get a dark color:
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Then it was time to slather it on:
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To apply I just put some on my finger and rubbed it into the grain. I did 1 full pass and then a little here and therefor the really deep voids.

Ended up pretty well if I say so myself:
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After this it was time to drill the string trough holes into the body. First time I used the pin method and damn does that make this task a 100 times easier. Pretty proud of this one:
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Bolted everything up; aligned it all with some strings, cleaned and oiled the fretboard and put on a pickguard to get to this point:
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I made that pickguard from some clear perspex I found and an old map beneath it but I didn't feel like wiring up everything so I took it back off and threw on another pickguard.
The fretboard oil and cleaner was from ChickenboneJohn (uk company) and it's great. Have never seen a fretboard darken like this from a conditioner.

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This is where my pictures end; I'll update one of these days with some final shots and thoughts.


This build would not have been possible with the Toronado bridge from Britfingers so thanks for that!
"If someone duetted with a Bald Eagle, they could rule the Country charts from here to eternity." ~shadowplay

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Re: [Bullet Mustang Adventures] Finished!

Post by Amon 7.L » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:24 am

What can I say aside from: I love it!?

Toronado bridge just belongs to these guitars, it's a pity they don't bake them like this right out of the factory.

Are you keeping the hb with the black pg or are you gonna experiment with the mint green?

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Re: [Bullet Mustang Adventures] Finished!

Post by Danley » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:25 am

Hmm interesting, good job on the ferrules. You have me thinking about grain-filling my messier fretboards...
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Re: [Bullet Mustang Adventures] Finished!

Post by JSutter » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:45 pm

I've been thinking about buying a bullet mustang. I just can't get over the thinner body. How much thinner is it than a normal mustang?

Why does everyone mod the bridge? Is the original one that crappy?

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