Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ballad of the Steampunk Vespa: Part 2 Painting

Here's another shot of The Steampunk Vespa. It has been decided the P200e's name is Quell. A variety of names were considered... Initially I liked the Steam Pony, or Brazen Filly... Jes made the point that these were not classy enough. Jake Von Slatt recommended Eleanor, and I briefly flirted with idea of airbrushing Katherine Hepburn from the Lion in Winter. Then I realized I was up to eyeballs just getting all the art I'd started, completed. Yesterday Sky was looking at the painted brasswork on the left side cowl, and asked me, "Does it say Quell?"
Sure enough, unintentionally the scrollwork does remarkably resemble an ornately scripted "Quell." Sometimes synchronicity must just be embraced.

Anyway back to the project history...

During the first six months or so I was working nights. Work on the chasis of the scooter had to take place outside, since we have no garage. Above you see the scooter after many bouts of sanding and rust treament, all masked up pretty and ready to be painted.
I did a lot of research on painting prior to this. Unfortunately, a nice professional urethane was going to be impossible. I'd been researching rat-bikes some too. Basically I just decided to do the best I could. I had to get SOMETHING on the scoot to protect it. I also decided against doing body work. None of the dents and scrapes were severe, and they add character to a 27 year old bike with few miles on it.
So it became obvious that I must do a 3/4 ass job on the P. I didn't completely disassemble the bike before painting, I just masked like crazy. I used rattle cans for a most of my painting. I used artist grade airbrush acrylic for the custom painting, which was then covered by copious amounts of clear coat. I only airbrushed pieces that I could work on inside.
Still wavering between steampunk vespa and rat vespa, I laid a couple coats of rust resistant flat black primer. At this point I was thinking doing a kind of steampunk rat Vespa, using the black primer as a stand-in for wrought iron, and possibly painting some brass gears and scrollwork. I got a smorgasboard of various metallic paints, and one really stood out, Rustoleum's Metalic antique brass. It was so gorgeous, it became the base color for the bike.
Rustoleum also had a metalic black that was nice, so it got used for some trim painting.

And that's the scooter with the base painting, without any of the custom paint.

Coming up next: Quell, the Steampunk Vespa including ruminations and recollections from the custom painting process.


sky said...


Go Quell!

I'm so stoked you decided on that for a name. Just pulled it out of left field.

Sometimes that's the best way to fly.

Happy scooting! Stoked to see you out at the farm later today.

Vespa said...

woooo nice machine