1997 Axis Sport Refinish Picture Thread (AKA: Green Guitars Don't Sell)
This all started out when I saw a Richie Castellano video where us turned an older Axis Sport with a pickguard into a Brian May Red Special of sorts. Instant light bulb moment for me so I started my search.
Turning my Ernie Ball Music Man Axis Sport into a Brian May style Red Special – YouTube
It took a bit but I found exactly what I was looking at a price good enough for me to comfortable mod as I wanted. Hell, it was even already red! It came to me already modded into a Tele style which was interesting on its own, but short lived in my world. Neck, frets and playability was really great for a 22 year old guitar and a real testament to the brand.
However, the body was in worse shape than I had anticipated. Just peppered front and back with what was either a very bad relic attempt or simply abused. I think the former simply because nothing else showed equal signs of wear and tear or neglect.
You get the idea. It is a weakness that I have but once these negative things get stuck in my head they just fester and while I tried to make nice with these imperfections it just was not going to happen. I like them to look as good as they play I guess.
So, after much mulling on doing something myself I had to honestly admit that some things are beyond my abilities, time and equipment capacities and best left to those that know and do such things all the time. Best decision I have made. Now it was a question of who and of what color. I know I had to go with a solid color and slowly this project was morphing away from the Red Special Sport to an homage to the Dargie 1 that I love so much. I had D1 sting Ray for a time and loved that color and I was now off to the races to uncover what color that was. Not an easy task. Looked at a LOT of greens. Being a tad color blind in that range is not helpful either, but with my wifeâ€™s good eyes and willingness to assist on the project we forged on. There was a Jeep Rescue Green that I initially thought was close but the painters I was communicating with were not all that interested in chasing that down I guess and I was always directed back to things they have already done or other paint color sites like House of Kolor which I great but the options are staggering. I then stumbled on a small company called the Guitar Paint Guys.
GuitarPaintGuys – Custom Guitar Finishing
They were doing really interesting stuff at decent prices, better than the quotes I already had from a couple others. And they had a stock color called Kandy Lime Green which checked a lot of boxes. And even if not a perfect Dargie match itâ€™s both close enough for the flavor and a great color on its own so really low risk. So, stripped and packed off it went to them. I will add the caveat for anyone wanting to work with them, theyâ€™re nice folks that do really fine work, but because they ar a small shop with a boatload of work all the time, general communication on status, beyond we received it and we shipped it, can be lacking and they are not fast. This took about 10 weeks or so receipt to ship. I have a bass body with them now that is one of their â€˜specialsâ€™ they they fit in as they can and I expect that to take months, which for me on that one is no big deal because itâ€™s already been sitting around in some state of stripped for years.
Their work on filling the blems and turning it from blah into something fabulous was very satisfying for me.
Primed after the damage repair:
And fresh from color:
A little promo video they shot before shipping:
Kandy Lime Guitar Finish – GuitarPaintGuys – YouTube
The color in this is just awesome in person, and very hard to capture the depth in a photo. It just glows in sunshine or bright light. A very happy color.
As it arrived to me:
First assembly iteration as an HSS w/EMG’s which was so easy to install and sounded great but their 5 way switch length was a bit short for my liking.
And in its current, and most likely final form. I was able to locate a nearly new set of genuine EBMM Axis humbuckers, I used an EBMM 5 way stitch to preserve all original switching and splitting options, right down to the plastic EBMM strap button washers. It sounds identical to my 2016 Super Sport which is what I was needing when switching guitars live using a floor modeler as all the presets were built around the 2016 so it saves the need for another bank of guitar adjusted presets.
Hope you enjoyed as much as I do.