My "sparklecaster" Esquire idea...



Hi...longtime lurker, first-time poster (I've always wanted to say that).   :icon_tongue:

Anyway, I'm a huge fan of old country music, Nudie suits, Marty Stuart and Dwight Yoakam, Buck Owens, sparkle and pearloid, etc. It can't be too gaudy or loud for me.

I've had this idea to create a guitar that looks like the result of a one-night-stand between Porter Wagoner and a hunk of alder.

I'm a huge orange fan (tangerine, orange, burnt orange, copper, etc.) and I've been seeing this gorgeous color in Warmoth's Showcase called Desert Sunset that I'd like to base this on:

- Sparkle orange/copper
- White (or pearloid?) binding
- Pearloid single-ply pickguard
- Maple vintage Tele neck
- El Dorado engraved bridge, control plate and knobs
- Some sort of swirly/abstract "Nudie suit" graphics (still being worked on...the pic below is a work-in-progress)...the pattern, once finalized, will be augmented/outlined with small white rhinestones (a friend who is a big crafter is going to help me with this part). And I may outline the perimeter with rhinestones as well, following the face binding path.

Sparkle body, pearloid and rhinestones and the western-style engraved hardware...should be a head-turner and conversation starter.

The placement of the "swirlies" was inspired by the Waylon Jennings tribute Tele that Fender came out with a few years ago.

And one-pickup, Esquire style (I've just always loved the idea and look of Fender Esquires...such a "down to business", simple design).

Eventually - as a nod to Marty Stuart and his Clarence Tele - it'll have a long-throw B-bender and a D-tuner on the low E.

The ultimate glitterbilly guitar. True "sparkle and twang"...

I created/refined all the components in Adobe Illustrator (everything in its own layer) and then exported to Photoshop, where I applied texture (sparkle), color, lighting, shading, etc. The only things that aren't drawn/Illustrator art are the El Dorado hardware (bridge, control plate and two knobs)...I pulled them from their website and scaled them to fit. But I love creating photorealistic artwork like this, using Illustrator and Photoshop (my other passion in life).

So, whaddya think? I know it's not everyone's taste, but if you take all the above into account you should know where I'm coming from. Hoping to get started on it, in earnest, in January.

Anyway, just wanted to post it here as I love Warmoth stuff, and enjoy visiting their website. I'll be able to get everything (except the El Dorado hardware) from them (and I may go ahead and get a regular bridge and control plate/knobs from Warmoth to save money at first, and upgrade to the engraved stuff later).

Be nice...I put a couple of hours into the illustration/creation.


Two variations, color-wise:
that is cool, i'd go with orange.
good graphic work to, wish i could do that, im just learning the basics in photo shop. so it will be awhile until i can do something that cool
Like the graphics work there! Maybe it's just my own aesthetic, but I think the combination of all those textures makes it look too "busy". Lose the tooling on the chrome. Match the binding and pickguard, either white or pearloid.

How are you going to do the pinstriping? If you order the orange or copper metalflake from Warmoth, it'll be poly, and if you're getting somebody that does cars/bikes to to the striping design, you'll need to do additional poly coats over that...
Please, Please, Please Tell me that you are planning on having a suit custom made to go with that!!!!  I'm thinking of piping to match the color of the guitar, and white boots.  Seriously, that is vision.  I always say that when going overboard, go WAAAAAY overboard.  Did I mention that I just love it?
.......and the headstock. It's got to match the body. Maybe the swirlies going up the fingerboard too. I like this!!!!!
Wow, that looks great! I totally agree about the matching suit. Heh, great idea on the guitar!
That hardware does look good with gold.   I have this guitar  posted on the Tele thread but I thought it would be cool to compare it to your guitar.


Wow, thanks for all the compliments and suggestions. I was braced for a lot of "what is this nonsense?!?!"  :icon_biggrin:

I'm not really sure how I'm going to handle the graphics. The guitar itself, the stuff I'd get from Warmoth, is no problem. But I have ZERO painting, pinstriping, finishing, etc. experience.

I was thinking of going "dimensional", and not having it be paint at all. But rather some sort of ultra-adhesive applique(?) that pooched slightly off the surface. I finally saw my first Waylon tribute Tele in person last week, and that leather scrollwork stuff got me to thinking that way. I even thought about transferring the final design to a blank sheet of the pearloid material and finding someone who is really good with a scroll saw (the really fine curve/detail work) to cut it all out. But I'm not sure how that would work. BUT I do like the idea of something dimensional and "stuck on" rather than the expected paintjob. I think having that pattern be something that stuck to the face a bit and came out just a skootch would be interesting. It would cast a slight shadow, and it would be a nod to Waylon and his leather-wrapped Tele (or the Fender tribute take on it). Then use some sort of "once it's down, it's there forever" adhesive to affix it?

I don't know. I've got dozens of ideas/approaches. I'll have to start focusing and commit to a few and nail some specifics down before I start this project (buying stuff, etc.).

It's actually a very simple guitar, with everything available from Warmoth easily enough (the painted body with binding, pearloid guard, neck, etc.). The only "funky" part would be the swirly graphics, and how I approach that.

Again, I don't know about this angle of'll be a learning process.

But I figure it's so outlandish, deliciously tacky and off-the-beaten-path to begin with, why not just consider something other than paint?

I'd also considered (and may still do it) a faux F-hole (and if I do, then the graphics will be adjusted and designed to "branch out" from that. A black f-hole with white trim, rimmed in the rhinestones (the small 2mm ones...I've been researching that stuff as well the past week or two).

I've got an alternate trim idea, with more blatant "country & western" motifs (cactus, desert roses, horseshoe, wheel, etc.).

I suppose I could always make two (or more) at some point...


I do have a question: does anyone here have a guitar body (any kind) from Warmoth with the Desert Sunset finish? Or the Apricot Sparkle? If so, I'd LOVE to see a "real life" pic(s) of them. Those "straight on" shots in the Showcase are nice but I'd love to see those two colors from some different angles.

PS - I love that guitar above, the gold one with the engraved hardware. I'd seen that pic somewhere (here or some Tele-centric site) before.
willyk said:
.......and the headstock. It's got to match the body. Maybe the swirlies going up the fingerboard too. I like this!!!!!

Ha...I was thinking about that very thing earlier today. Usually I don't like that look, even though it's very retro and cool (I like it on things like Jazzmasters and Jaguars for some reason, but not so much on Teles or Strats...go figure). But it might work on this? Something I'll need to think on.

I was going to design a little decal thingie for the headstock (trying a few designs...some mimic the Fender style with a large, script-y "brand name", and then the model in all caps sans serif). But I've also done a few that are their own, self-contained logo that isn't meant to evoke Fender or anyone else.

I wish I could do, in real life, this stuff as easily as I can on screen! I'd be set!  :icon_tongue:

When it all starts to come together and I start buying the stuff, I can count on you guys for tips and advice? From comments I've read here and elsewhere, it seems like Warmoth's stuff really works well together (necks into bodies, etc.). I shouldn't expect a bunch of hassle and headaches from that end of it, huh? I've bought a few things from Warmoth over the years (pickguards, hardware and parts), but never an entire guitar (body, neck, etc.)
As far as the logos thing goes, Gregg couldn't give out the "secret info" as to who does their metal logos, but I suspect it is this company:

Haven't got around to sending them my logo and getting a quote, but I'll do so and post what the deal is....
jackthehack said:
As far as the logos thing goes, Gregg couldn't give out the "secret info" as to who does their metal logos, but I suspect it is this company:

Haven't got around to sending them my logo and getting a quote, but I'll do so and post what the deal is....

Good stuff mate. I will watch out for that. BTW 1000 posts and still only a 5 star hero? Man you should have 6 stars and be the first "Legend" member
Hey, this all looks very interesting, not my own personal thing, but I totally respect the work you're planning.  Just wanted to add a side note...your mock-up doesn't have a neck pup, and you didn't mention anything about the sound, but you're really gonna want a neck pickup to get a lot of those old timey sounds.  Besides, why have a pickup switch in yr mockup with only 1 single coil pickup?
If it had a neck pickup it wouldn't be an Esquire it would be a Telecaster. The 3 way switch on Esquires worked on the capacitor. pos 1; no tone control... pos 2; normal tone control operation...pos 3; full bass, no tone control. Leo was a genius for his time, this arrangement gave three pre-set sounds at the flick of a switch. (in 1950!)
I love your idea. I think it will go together really well. I have to also agree that you need the matching headstock to really set it off.
yeah man wtf's with that. Don't tell me you have to get up to 10,000 for the next level, cous if thats the case then fudge that im going home! !
Tonar8353 Is that an extra big pickguard on your telecaster? btw it looks fckn awsome! love the engraving  :cool01: