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In a business like custom paint, there are a lot of supplies you go through pretty quickly. One of those is the X-Acto Precision Knife (or similar hobby knife.) Often, the cuts need to be precise, and with frequent use, they dull pretty darn quickly. And don’t forget the good old-fashioned Straight Razor Blades either.

For safety reasons, it’s really not the best idea to just pitch them in your garbage can or waste paper basket. Even a relatively dull blade is still sharp enough to be dangerous. So it’s not a bad idea to have a container to safely collect your old blades Here are a few things used here at the shop…

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The Paint Mixing Cup- Just take a pint (or quart, if you’re ambitious) Mixing Cup and cut a coin slot in the top. It’s like a piggy bank for weary old blades!

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Baby Wipe Container- Many Baby Wipes containers (or other cleaning wipes) have a push-button lid. Once you have used all the wipes, it makes an ideal container, and safer from spills if you knock it on the floor. Nobody likes sharp objects scattered across their floor. Well most people, we would hope.

Tell us if you have your own trick for storing your old blades, and let us know if there is anything you would like posted here!

This episode originally aired on May 21, 1010.

In this episode, Bill Goldberg and the “Garage Mahal” team were tasked to… (blah, blah, blah… BMX Garage, yadda yadda.)

Sure, the garage turned out great, but Mike wasn’t messing around in the garage. He was out back working on something much bigger- The family’s riding/skating pool. He was painting a pretty massive mural for the Taylor family, and it was going to require all of his attention.

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Goldberg and Mike discuss how the project is going…

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While it was still dark, the original concept sketch of Mike’s design was projected onto the surface at the full size, to get things blocked out.

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Mike had to take his shoes off to avoid scuffing or damaging the paint while he worked. In addition to the main mural, he added faux cracks and stains around the edges to tie it all in.

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And at the end of the day, voila! Here is the completed mural!

Picture 849BDespite his tough-guy appearance, Goldberg is a actually prety nice guy.

Picture 848BDid you see this episode on television? What part of the project did you like best?

Also, let us know what kinds of posts you would like to see here in the future!

When customer Scott came to us with his V8 powered Boss Hoss motorcycle, he wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted done. It’s a beast of a machine, and he knew he wanted something extreme. Something different. When he found out that our customer had worked as a carpenter, Mike knew just what he wanted to do… and it was agreed-  The bike would get a faux wood treatment.

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Here are just a few of the tools used to achieve the faux woodgrain effect. Some of them are pretty basic, but some are pretty unusual, at least when used for this technique… For this method, Createx’s Wicked Colors line of water-based paints came into play.

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The simulated wood looks pretty sick all by itself, but it ain’t done yet.

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We’re looking to turn the dial up to “Killer” (or 11, if you like) so there is more to pile on. It also gets faux weathered metal trim and rivets, some cracks, and other assorted details too. And of course, some True Fire. (click to enlarge)

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Our customer didn’t know exactly what Mike had in store for his machine, and he didn’t get to see it until the day he came to pick it up. He was nervous to see it, and everyone at the shop was a bit anxious, hoping that he would like it when he finally laid eyes on it.

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Once he had a chance to take it all in (and there is a lot to take in) he was absolutely thrilled at the result. We love to surpass even the customer’s imagination.

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Tell us what you think! If you have any ideas on other things you’d like to see here, let us know.

This project originally aired Oct. 27, 2003 on “Monster Garage” (Season 2, Episode 7)

In this episode, Jesse James and his team revisited a previously failed challenge. The goal was to make a backhoe/hearse “gravedigger” vehicle. The last time they tried to put a backhoe in a hearse (Season 1, Episode 6 “Grim Ripper”), things didn’t quite work out. This time, they had better luck.

Gravedigger Hearse Front View

Mike got called in on the project to add his unique touch to the build:

The hearse got artwork from bumper to bumper. A gigantic Grim Reaper dominates each side of the vehicle, and since it was missing a headlight, Mike candied the other headlight a sinister red to match the ‘Reaper’s eyes…

Gravedigger Hearse Side View

Grim Reaper Mural Closeup

…and with a little more paint, the hydraulic digging arm was transformed into a giant skeletal arm and claw, as if the Grim Reaper itself was reaching out to dig graves.

Gravedigger Hearse Skeletal Backhoe Arm

Fittingly, the morbidly-themed episode aired just in time for Halloween. Mike recalls that the car gave him the creeps because the interior still smelled of embalming fluids.

Gravedigger Hearse Front View

Gravedigger Hearse Back View

Jesse James and the Gravedigger Hearse

You can get Monster Garage – Season Two

Do you remember watching this episode? What was most memorable to you about this build?

Also, let us know what you would like to see us post here in the future!

We did one of our Killer Paint F-Bombs for a friend at Iwata as a gift. He is a big fan of the Chicago Blackhawks, so we ran with it.

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We faux-riveted the shell up and sprayed it red, with the signature Blackhawks stripes and logo, with some staining/grunge shading effects on top of everything to achieve a more vintage feel. An extra brass-etched Killer Paint emblem laying around the shop finally got pressed into use on this one too.

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We didn’t stop there either. The fins got trimmed in black, and done up with the crossed tomahawk “C” logo.  Some rubber Chicago Blackhawks Official NHL Official Size Hockey Pucks were cut down and attached to it as well.

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But that still wasn’t enough, so we sent it off to Rod at Northern Lights Neon to add some light bling.1939777_10153331907260605_1598800777376058522_n-2

All and all, it turned out great. It’s a blast to do projects that are about more than just the paint. We hope to bring you more in the future! Let us know what kinds of projects or other posts you might like to see here.

This is tough time for my fellow artists for sure.  I’ve just about seen it all from my humble beginning in my parents tiny basement to owning my own shop and having employees.

I got my start in the sign business painting MDO signs and lettering trucks and even did a little pin striping on the side.  after a couple of years I had a customer tell me “you need to paint motorcycles in Laconia”   The Laconia NH motorcycle rally is one of the oldest in the country, I knew nothing about working out on the road but it sounded like fun so i agreed to check it out.  I found out what I needed to work the rally , I needed a license from the state , check, needed supplies, Check, needed a place to work……..uh? ok… where do the pinstripers work?   Now I needed to do some  recon for a good place to set up!  so i headed up to where the rally took place and drove around, asked questions and finally found a place to work.  I made a deal with the owner of a motel and was to set up in his parking lot for the rally.

Now at the time I had never worked outdoors and didn’t realize that I’d need a tent to work out of DUH!   so I had to set up with a card table my paint and brush box little banner and photo album…….minus a tent, in the sun, …in the wind….with no TENT!  AND did I mention I was on a budget and I had to sleep there in the parking lot in my 72 Nova?  talk about  working in the trenches!  but it all worked out!  i made more that weekend than I had the previous month painting signs!  I liked this!   Now, I had to buy a tent!     welcome to road doggin’!  when i was there painting and getting one hell of a sunburn, because I  HAD NO TENT!  I was invited to attend other rallies around New England.  there are several all over the the country all summer but I had to learn to pick and choose which ones where worth going to and which ones would cost you more to attend than I’d make.

it was hard work, the traveling sucked till you got there and then  you had to drive all the way back.   but it was fun , you got to see the country and meet all kinds of people, the good the bad and the ….strange! hahaha    I have met some life long friends out on the road.   it was working on the rally circuit where I learned to work fast!  time was money out there and the faster you could get this job done well and get paid for it the sooner the next customer could come in.  my tent was like a Mcdonald’s drive thru!

after working on the road for several years I left the circuit to pursue a career in airbrushing! so I folded up the tent and got a shop. it was nice to not be working out in the heat, rain , wind, and drunks! lol

I have to tell you I love working in my own shop surrounded by some really cool artwork ! I have television, food , music, a paint booth  , comfortable couches and more.  it really feels like I’m working at home here.   I love what I do so much that it doesn’t feel like a job and I wouldn’t want to trade it for anything.    I sometimes miss being a road dog, traveling to tourist locations, seeing new sights but I get over it soon enough.

I learned a lot about work, gained speed, and learned a lot about people in general.  it was hard work, good money, and was full of adventure  and I wouldn’t go back if you asked me to!  But I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.

Just a few days ago I was confronted with a question from somebody on my KILLERPAINT Facebook page. Well, it wasn’t really a question it was more like a sideways statement or accusation.  You see here’s the deal-io.  I put up a post to my fans about me doing affordable custom one off pieces of art on aluminum panels to see if they’d be interested in purchasing them.

Well this one guy comes on there and say’s “Mike must be hard up or work must be slow for him to be doing this”  and that kind of pissed me off !    who is this guy to be saying such a thing?  was he another painter? a fan? who?   and why would he say such a thing?  granted it has effected my automotive custom business but it hasn’t touched my fine art business.  One door closes and another one opens my grandmother used to say!

Lets be honest, this nasty economy has taken a giant bite out of everybody who is in this businesses ass!  and the same goes for me here! I’m being honest here. BUT I am not curling up and going away.  NOPE!    I have lots of avenues to explore to fill in the void in the automotive custom trade.  I’ve started my new SKELEBRITIES  brand of fine art, I’ve made partners with toy companies, as well as offering my fans original pieces of artwork that they can own.   I’m also working with somebody in the funeral business to custom paint and personalize final rest items.

you see I’m not JUST a car painter and I’m not JUST a motorcycle artist NO!  I’m an artist that can apply my work to many items as well as license original artwork on many items from T-shirts to die cast cars to figurines and much much more.

people are frustrated that their business is lacking and I totally understand but always remember this,  “Whenever you point your finger at someone there’s ALWAYS three fingers pointing back at you!”

to survive this mess you all have to be sharks, always moving. keep looking for new opportunities , create new things.   When I was busy painting everything that moved I didn’t have the time to develop the ideas  I had. now, I have more time to explore them plain and simple!

 

  I know I’ve built this huge reputation for being the fire guy but let me tell you I have not always been on the friendly side of the flames!  Let me start from the beginning.  It all started when I was about 12 years old in my dad’s workshop in the basement.  It was the day before Halloween, and my brother Bob and I were going through my dad’s taxidermy stuff to try to make our costumes. No store-bought costumes for us! NO WAY.

I wanted to be the Wolf Man, so Bob decided to help me make my costume.  I found some flax ( flax is a hair-like substance that is made from some plant and is tan in color. Dad used it in his bird taxidermy)  Now that I had the hair, I had to figure out how to attach it to my face :).  Glue was out of the question. The next thing I ran across was a roll of window putty. Perfect!  I took some of the putty, and put some  across my cheek bones, chin, upper lip, forehead and sideburns.  Next, I took handfuls of the long flax material and pressed it into the putty, longer on the sides and chin, mustache and eyebrows, and really long on the forehead and sideburns! Next I took my dad’s camo makeup, and finished coloring my exposed chin with brown color.  I took my plastic vampire teeth and broke the top from the bottom, and put the top part upside down on my lower teeth to complete my WOLFMAN look.  It looked awesome to us!  We were laughing and thinking we were sooooo cool!  now we had to make it look REALLY cool and scary so I took a flashlight while Bob  shut the lights.  I took my mom’s double-sided makeup mirror ( you know the kind that has a side thats normal and the other side has a magnifying side?)  I flipped the mirror to the magnified side and put the flashlight under my chin and made my best wolfman faces and sounds……too COOL man!  It was then my brother got the bright idea to take a candle to make it look even spookier!  Me being an idiot, I agreed to do it… He lit the candle and put it under my chin in the darkness of the basement I looked pretty damned spooky in the mirror. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHH spooky. Then bob thought it would look even scarier if he came closer to my face with the candle! Uh, yeah!!!!!!

As he got closer to my face with the candle the flame connected with the flax beard!  the flax had been drying since , oh, I don’t know, Egyptian times!!!! And all I could see in the mirror was the wolfman going up in a flash! have you ever seen flash paper the magicians use???? Yeah, like that!  Only after the screaming was over and my brother found something to put my face out that the real burning happened!  The putty that I used to hold the flax to my face was….uh, FLAMABLE! yeah!   it was REALLY flammable!  In fact, it was bubbling like the cheese on a freshly baked pizza!   Then my ass got beat by my dad for almost setting the house on fire!

It was a couple of years later when the flame master struck again… When we were kids we made these cannons out of  soup cans, we would take about 5 soup cans that had the tops and bottoms cut out of them we taped them together with duct tape  to make a tube, then we’d attach a pop can at the bottom with the open part to the inside. Then we put a tiny nail hole in the bottom of the can just opposite of the opening.  Next, we all bought the family sized can of Zippo lighter fluid and put a couple of squeezes of fluid in the nail hole.  Then you shake it up till you couldn’t hear the fluid anymore and it was now in a gas form. then you light a match and touch it to the hole and then BOOM! the cannon was supposed to go off, NOT!  so what did I do? yup! MORE FLUID!  shake it up, light the match, touch it to the hole… Nothing! grrrrr! more fluid!  shake, touch the match… Still nothing!   by now all my friends cannons have worked without a hitch, mine not so much.  Now there I was with what amounted to a bomb in my hand.  I wanted to light this thing  bad!  So I did what any kid would do! I lit a match and dumped it down the front of the cannon. hehehe!  still I got nothing!  I repeated this maneuver a couple more times and got the same results every time.  By now my friends had backed away from me by about 50 yards! Hahahaha  pussies!   I couldn’t believe that damn thing hadn’t gone off!!   So there I was holding this bomb in my hand , then I did something that at the time didn’t seem like such a stupid idea! I looked down the front of the cannon! and  there in the very bottom of the pop can was the smoldering head of the last match I dumped in there. it was at that exact moment in time that my brain separated from my body!  I thought I’d just blow out the smoking match head… and in slow motion I filled my lungs with air and exhaled down the length of the tube until the air hit the smoldering match head and then I saw this little red glow and then the match got the air it was looking for and I think it was at that exact moment my brain reconnected with my body and I realized just what I had done but it was too late!  as my  eyes widened in shock at my stupidity I saw the flash!  I couldn’t move fast enough! BOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The next thing I remember was the smell of burnt hair and sound of running feet of my friends to my side!  by the grace of god I wasn’t blinded or worse!  I didn’t have any better luck with fireworks either!    a few years ago I decided I was gonna give the kids a 4th of July to remember!  I went down to the fireworks store on the reservation called BOOM TOWN, and spent about $600 bucks on all the coolest fireworks, I had a huge box of every imaginable thing you could think of from jumping jacks to the big roll of über firecrackers, sky rockets, mortars etc!

Everything was going great till the parachute incident!  One of the rocket deals had the fireworks float to the ground with the flares attached to little parachutes. Well, the parachutes were floating everywhere, and I didn’t notice the one stray chute that floated into my huge box of fireworks!!!!!  Shit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Immediately, it looked like World War Three with fireworks blowing everywhere!  They were bouncing off the house and blowing up. The kids and Nic went running for cover in the house, while I tried to keep the place from burning to the ground!  It all lasted about 5 minutes, but felt like it lasted an hour!  Hahahahaha! Oh well, I guess I should stick to just painting fire huh?  Happy 4th everybody! Be safe!

That title describes my next blog perfectly.   I want to tell you about my good friend Phil Harris.   Phil, as most of you know was one of the captains on The Discovery channel’s Mega Hit show  “THE DEADLIEST CATCH”.  He was the captain of the CORNELIA MARIE.      I had wanted to meet him for a while and could never seem to find him even though he (as I found out later) lived about 5 miles from my shop!    My chance to meet him finally came one day curiously enough through my work.  I was introduced to him by the then sales manager of a local Harley Davidson shop.        He came to my shop to talk about doing a mural job on his TITAN motorcycle chopper.  I was at first a little star struck but shortly after that started to think of him only as  “Phil”  in fact, we became so close as friends I actually felt like I knew him my whole life.  we soon were flipping each other shit and joking and laughing all the time. whenever he would get tired of all the attention he would come and hide at the shop and visit us. Nic especially loved him. she said Phil reminded her of her dad who she doesn’t get to see as much as she’d like because he lives so far away. when Phil would come in she would get  her ” fix” of stand-in  dad love.  he would come in and say “How’s it goin’ darlin?” smile and give her a huge bear hug and chat for a while.  he was always like a cat on a frying pan though. hardly ever sitting still, drinking one of our energy drinks and smoking a cigarette! Phil was the ONLY person allowed to smoke in my shop. he would always go outside to smoke when he was smoking more than usual and if you were in a conversation with him you had to follow him outside to continue it!   Phil had a heart as big as the Bearing Sea.  he would constantly bring me projects to paint. his bike, corvette, big truck, even his R/C boat he would run on Lake Conner.  I also did his dads 56 pickup.  he  even was working with Discovery to get me my own show!  at his memorial I can’t count how many people told me he would talk about me all the time.  “he really loved you guys” they would say. Phil wanted his bike to have a pirate theme but in his words he wanted his pirate to look like a,  “real “pirate not some fucking pretty boy hollywood pirate!”  that statement was followed by his all to familiar gravelly laugh! Muhahhaahaha!   he left the details up to me and when the time came to check my progress he stopped in. but , not just him! no!   it was Phil, Josh, Jake, their sister, Scotty Hilstrand ( from the TIME BANDIT), and his friend!  holy crap!   what an enterage.   when they walked into the booth and saw the parts their eyes bulged out of there heads and Phil had a smile from ear to ear!  there was a whole lot of HOLY F&%#’s going off around the booth.  pointing and smiling hahahaha, I love that part!   to say he was thrilled is an understatement! and when he discovered the salty old pirate with the knife scar across his face and nose complete with a cataract in one eye and a gold earing he lost it!   THAT’S ……FUCKING……PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!  “It’s like you read my mind and put it on that tank!” ” you little shit! Muhahaha!  come here!”   he then shook my hand and gave me a huge hug.    SO you like it? I said?  hahahaha!  he just said I don’t know how you did that!  that’s crazy!    and that was the way it was with Phil from the time I met him till the end.

I told people that these guys aren’t just characters on a show we love to watch, they’re our friends!  and if anything happened to them it would be way more personal to us!  I always worried that they would sink to the bottom of the cold ocean. what a terrible way to go! not only him but his crew and especially his two sons.

when he would get ready to leave for the new Crabbing season he would always stop by and say goodbye.  we missed seeing him and hearing from him when they where out at sea.  we worried about them too.

When he was leaving this season I made sure that I called him while he was on his way to the airport and wished him luck and told him to be careful out there and that we would see him when he got back.   he said  “OK Buddy!”  Little did I know those would be the last words I’d  ever hear him say.  While off loading crab Phil suffered a massive stroke. it was Josh who found him on the floor of his state room.  11 long hours later the life flight came to fly him to Ankorage.  the doctors put him in an induced comma to relieve the pressure on his brain, 4 days later they brought him out of it. the doctors couldn’t believe how well he was doing.  he even was able to watch the Super Bowl.  he was supposed to be moved to Seattle for recovery.

I was the one who got the news that day. it came from an unlikely source, my friend at the welding shop next door.  Shawn came in and said “sorry to hear about Phil”   I said “what? ‘he’s in recovery and doing ok!”   “No Mike, I just got a call from my son a few minutes ago, he spoke directly with Jake, it’s true”    Oh My god!   this can’t be true I thought!   Nic was on the phone with a customer and I tried to get her off the phone to tell her.   I wasn’t good, let me tell you!      I actually found out before Grant, his own father!  I had to tell him!  that was terrible!

after all the shock of the news wore off a bit I got a phone call from the family.  It was Phil’s best friend Dan who was with him when he died.    “Mike,  you said if there was anything you could do for the family we should just ask”.   “what can I do? ” I asked.    “we want you to paint Phil’s urns.” was the answer. “We want you paint two Harley Sportster tanks for him, Discovery wants to film it.”  I was shocked! this is a huge deal for Phil’s family and myself.  ” I would be honored to do it” I said.     To tell you the truth the filming part really didn’t mean much to me but the chance to honor my friend did.    I looked around for some used sporty tanks but could only find “Coffin Tanks”  tanks shaped like old fashion coffins.   Not gonna cut it. too creepy for me.  it was then I remembered I had a set of older Harley tanks in my loft storage and they where already in primer!  so I went upstairs to get them down .    they are the older split type tanks with the typical teardrop shape to them. flat on the bottom and rounded on the front tapering down to the rear.  they have mounting rings on the front sides of the tank.

when I found the tanks I picked both of them up with my right hand  from the bottom rings at he same time. when I lifted them up the flat bottoms came together with a clang!  I looked at them and got goosebumps all over my arms and a chill up my spine!  When the two tanks came together they formed a perfect heart!    Holy shit!  I immediately knew what I wanted to do!     Phil’s favorite color was red, perfect for the heart shaped urns!    The whole reason  for the two tanks was that half his ashes would be buried with his mother, and the other half would be brought up the the Bearing Sea at the opening of crab season and literally Blown Up! spreading his ashes over the water!  ( this is still being debated over).

So armed with this new inspiration I knew exactly what I was going to paint! on the left half of the heart I painted Phil smiling while he was signing autographs. I wanted this half to be the Land lubber Phil and Phil the son and father.  I had him riding his Titan motorcycle, Josh, Jake,and Grant.  I put his little Yorkie Terrier “gizmo” on there as well.  He loved black jack and craps, so I painted cards and dice. he also was a QVC addict! hahaha buying Carson city silver dollars and gems!   so on they went.  on the right tank I painted Phil the crab boat captain. all serious with a gruff expression and folded arms. above him was the Cornelia Marie fighting a stormy sea. I also put an Icon of Dutch Harbor on there as well, the russian orthodox church complete with a bald eagle perched on the cross above the domed roof.  all the artwork was done monochromatic tone on tone all in various shades of red. and as an added touch to salute my good friends passing, his life and friendship I painted a king crab leg and claw busting through the tank holding up a “duckfart”  as a toast from the Bearing sea and the crabs he searched for his whole life.( this is for those of you who don’t follow the show, is a drink all the captains toast the upcoming and closing of crab season with. It is famous up there in Dutch. its Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kahlua, and Crown Royal)   This is my favorite part of the tanks artwork!  on the left side I painted a ribbon the read “Swift Journey”on the left side, and “Safe Passage”  (a nautical term) on the right side.

when the two pieces come together the arwork forms everything that was Phil Harris and it flows seamlessly from the left to the right.   I have to tell you I worked hard on the tanks for two days straight late into the night.  the artwork just poured from my hands and I’m not ashamed to say tears flowed from my eyes at the same time.  I was without a doubt the hardest thing I ever had to do. When I was finished I just looked at the tanks, I wondered how Phil would have like them then I thought the words ” Fucking perfect” just what Phil would have said.  when the family saw the tanks I got the same jaw dropping reaction as before minus the swearing and smiles. the look in Josh and Jake’s eyes said it all.    I had the boys sign the tank by their pictures.  Nic put her own personal message to her friend Phil.  ” Phil , you will always have a special place in my heart! XOXO  She misses him terribly and she misses his hugs.   I also wrote ” Phil thanks for the friendship, I’ll miss you! ”  everytime I hear a harley pull up to the shop with the radio blairing I think , Oh, Phils here….then I remember he won’t be coming through that door again. We do however get to see the boys and Grant from time to time. and Dan pops in for a visit to see how things are going too.

watching the whole drama unfold lately on the show is hard to watch but I can’t help but watch.   I know what’s coming and it’s gonna be tough for a lot of fans to see.   remember Phil.  we were so lucky to have him in our lives!   rest in peace  Swift Journey,  Safe Passage my friend. 

I always worry about doing work for finicky customers or high-profile people I haven’t gotten to know yet.  just recently I was asked to “do my thang” on actor Johnny Depp’s” 51 Merc being built by BS Industries in Burbank ,Ca.    what a freaking ordeal this was!  let me  start at the beginning.    I was told by my producer that they were going to be doing a show involving Johnny Depp’s Merc.  I said   “I HAVE to get in on that build! and lo and behold I was in!    SWEET!      now came the hard part, what to do on his car?   I was told he said i could paint anything i wanted on it.  great! now what?  we all put our heads together and did online research  and came up with that he is part native american, I believe Apache, he likes things in 3’s ie: triangles or things in multiples of 3’s etc.  AND, he has a moustache and beard collection ………!

ok, now what do I do with that information??    I decided that the beard and moustache thing was useless to me and trew that out of the mix.  I took everything else and came up with a piece for the trunk.      the car was going to be painted dark DARK green almost black.  the paint had green pearl in the black basecoat and then was given a couple coats of Kandy Organic Green to intensify the color.  in the shade or in low light situations  the car looks black but in the sun the car reflects green on all the high points.   the plan was to put a long narrow band of green fire off the front wheels flowing all the way back over the rear fender skirts. this would go great with the chopped top bad ass look the car already has.    on the trunk I designed an apache skull and headband with three eagle feathers hanging from the side. behind the skull I painted the letters JD in a way that they looked like they were chipped from flint and when the letters were together they made a triangular shape similar to an arrow head.  behind that I did spread eagle wings with green fire flowing off of them up the center of the trunk.

sounds cool huh? it looks sweet!   but thats not the saga I was talking about.    Uh, No!                    so there I was in Burbank Ca. at BS Industries hot rod shop waiting to get my eyes on the project of the day. after a couple of hours Bodie Stroud the owner of the shop pulled up with the rolling chassis of the Merc directly from the paint shop.  the car was pulled into the shop and unloaded from the trailer.  I was eyeballing it to fine tune my design.   Bodie was mic’ed up and they began to film his interviews about the build, Johnny’s expectations of the completed project, he even mentioned what I was going to be doing on the car.  this all takes time to do because they do things multiple times to assure they have enough footage so the editors have enough to work with for the final cut.

so there I was waiting……watching the clock tic away.  I only had today to paint this car because filming ended on this episode today, NO DO_OVERS!  no pressure or anything!   while I was waiting I was contemplating getting my stuff ready so they wouldn’t have to wait on me and we could just paint and film.  so I went over to my suitcase to get my pattern for the trunk piece and my exacto knife and box of blades, all 100 of them.   I looked in there and saw the gallon Ziploc bag that had my stuff in it and opened it to find that TSA at Seattle’s SEATAC airport had taken them out of my bag!!!!!!!!!!!!   NO Knife! sonofa!**! mother f*&#!rs!  now I have to take time I dont have and run and get another knife and blades and get back in time to start.   Off the set to Michael’s art supply to get a replacement knife and blades then mad run back to Bodie’s place.   so now we’re back and I get my sketch out and make the appropriate cuts in it to get it ready.  still not ready for me!  ok, I guess I’ll get my airbrush and paint ready. so I head back to my suitcase to retrieve my airbrush hose and get ready to hook it up to the shops air lines.  I was just about ready to attach my hose when realized I didn’t have the airbrush hooked up to it! DUH! had I hooked up without the airbrush on the hose the air would have just blown out the end whipping the hose around like a crazy cobra on crack!  not to mention it would have messed with the already on going filming.

so I go back to my suitcase again to now ge my Iwata custom Micron airbrush.  I reach into the bag and guess what????   THOSE MOTHERS TOOK BOTH OF MY AIRBRUSHES TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   SONOFA BITCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  NOT THAT!  ok now my heart is racing and I’m starting to sweat like a pig!  what the hell do I do now??!!!!    I’M SO SCREWED!   I have to find somebody to beg borrow or steal an Iwata airbrush to finish this project!     I call on my good friend David Monig who owns COAST AIRBRUSH  (THE ONLY PLACE YOU NEED TO GO TO FIND ANYTHING AIRBRUSH RELATED!) www.coastairbrush.com

I asked him if he knew anybody in the Burbank area that carried Iwata.  he was in the middle of another call and asked me to hold on.  damn!  I had to do something else!  (sorry dave)    we located an art store in the area that carried Iwata ( the only airbrush that fits my hose) and took off!    while I was on my way to the art store my phone rang,    it was Dennis my producer!   “where are you mike?” he asked.  ” I don’t want to tell you I said!”   “what? ” he asked, “whats up man? we’re ready for you”    I told him what happened and to say he was aggravated would be putting it mildly!   I assured him I had the situation under control and I’d be back in 20 minutes or so.   after I dumped $200 on a new airbrush we headed back to the shop again.

now when I started this project today I had 5 hours to paint the car, not bad, i could do that easily. But with all the bullshit I now have 3 hrs to do the same job!  it has to be right, and it has to be perfect! and I have to do it double time!    I love it in the kitchen baby!     when i got there I hit the ground running! and painted like a fiend!   I kept one eye on the car and the other one on the clock on the wall!   after all was said and done I miraculously got the car finished with 10 minutes to spare! ha-ha!   now it was time to split.  after a hurried goodbye and a quick photo session I was off to LAX fo fly home.  we had to leave early because the traffic is just stupid on the way there at that time of day.  we got lucky with the traffic and even got there early enough to catch an earlier flight!

I’ll have more photo’s of the car when it’s finished.  I got word today that Johnny loved the car and said it was bitchin’!  so, now the pressure’s off!    for now!

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