1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration

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1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration

Postby neepheid » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:09 am

As well as being a confirmed G&L fan with my Tribute L-2000, my other passion is for that pariah of the bass world - Gibson. There are simple reasons for this - I started my bass voyage with an Epiphone EB-3, then went through a short scale phase with an EB-0 before picking up an Epiphone Les Paul Standard bass, which I promptly gutted electronically and EMGed it up and addressed one of its shortcomings (the lack of pickup selector switch). Then I acquired a 1978 Gibson G-3, which I love. I was looking for another Gibson to keep the G-3 company and now I have it!

In my possession is a 1981 Gibson Victory Artist. A maple bodied, maple necked behemoth which I need to own now before I get too old to take the weight! I got it for buttons (before the taxman got involved) but there's a good reason for that:

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What's wrong with this picture?

- badly refinished in dark blue
- broken D tuner
- pickguard/truss rod cover painted - "Artist" logo lost
- scorched neck (why?)

It is my mission to bring this back to life! On the plus side, the chrome is in good condition and the electronics appear to be whole and working. Difficult to find items like speed knobs numered 5-0-5 instead of 0-10 are present.

I have been updating this story elsewhere, but I thought I'd share it here also.
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Re: 1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration

Postby neepheid » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:12 am

Sanding in progress:

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Artist logo returned to the truss rod cover:

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This was done with a white laser water slide transfer (decal), printing black except for the writing, covering the entire face of the cover then protecting with clear lacquer.
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Re: 1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration

Postby deltafred » Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:44 am

neepheid

I cannot believe that anyone would mess up such a lovely bass like that. I like to see them being brought back to their former glory. I've always had a soft spot for Gibsons, I have a 69 SG Special but have never owned a Gibson Bass. Something I may have to rectify in the future.

What type of lacquer did you use on the decal, I have read conflicting information, some say acrylic, others cellulose.

I have just had to break off writing this post as my new L-2500 Trib arrived and was badly in need of playing but I am back now. Unfortunately I am going away later today for a few days so it will get neglected. Pictures will be posted next week.

fred
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Re: 1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration

Postby neepheid » Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:53 am

deltafred wrote:What type of lacquer did you use on the decal, I have read conflicting information, some say acrylic, others cellulose.


I used Plasti-kote Fast Dry Enamel to cover the decal. I used clear nitro but it ate the decal. I found that odd because nitro goes over clear decals no problem. I guess the white backed decal paper is somewhat different in composition. Anyway, I had to sand that effort off and start again.

In other news, my lacquer has arrived and the replacement pickguard has just been paid for. Hopefully it will arrive this week.
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Re: 1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration

Postby Ken Baker » Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:54 am

neepheid wrote:I used Plasti-kote Fast Dry Enamel to cover the decal. I used clear nitro but it ate the decal. I found that odd because nitro goes over clear decals no problem. I guess the white backed decal paper is somewhat different in composition. Anyway, I had to sand that effort off and start again.


A true lacquer such as nitro will dissolve, to some degree, nearly any finish it's layered onto - including itself. Enamel, varnish, most poly coats, shellac; you name it. The stuff is VERY volatile. It'll also soften/dissolve/wrinkle many plastics, which may be what bit you here.

Ken...
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Re: 1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration

Postby neepheid » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:27 am

Ken Baker wrote:A true lacquer such as nitro will dissolve, to some degree, nearly any finish it's layered onto - including itself. Enamel, varnish, most poly coats, shellac; you name it. The stuff is VERY volatile. It'll also soften/dissolve/wrinkle many plastics, which may be what bit you here.

Ken...


Hmm, lucky it only ate the decal by the sound of things :)

A small update - the lacquer has arrived and the new pickguard will hopefully be with me this week - I've been waiting 2 weeks for it to be copied in traditional Gibson 5 ply (b/w/b/w/b). Had to phone the guys doing the job but it's sorted now.
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Re: 1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration

Postby TDR1138 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:06 am

Just out of curiosity, what's that red button on the back cavity cover plate for?
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Re: 1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration

Postby deltafred » Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:56 am

I was wondering about that!
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Re: 1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration

Postby neepheid » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:14 am

TDR1138 wrote:Just out of curiosity, what's that red button on the back cavity cover plate for?


A previous owner thought it would be a great idea to install a battery cut switch, right where your body can press it. It cuts off the battery and produces a nice thump from the amp.

Needless to say I've removed the switch but I'll have to make a new battery cover, the old one has a big hole in it.
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Re: 1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration

Postby TDR1138 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:42 am

You could rig it up to send a shock through your guitarist's rig, so when he's overdoing it on a solo or something, ZAP - shut him the hell up! :twisted:
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