Paint it black.

It's a refreshing change, and the pressure's off - not having to get everything finished to the best possible standard. Since I'll eventually be beating the finish up to simulate age, there seems little point in worrying about minor imperfections. But then, those little imperfections only ever seem to show themselves when I'm really, really trying hard to keep it perfect.

The Strummercaster pickguard. Shortcuts to a history of wear and tear.

It's an odd sort of way to go about things - trying to replicate years and years of guitar work. Literally hundreds of thousands of guitar strums probably - and I'm trying to do it as quickly and efficiently as I can.

Primer coats for the Strummercaster.

There's little point trying to recreate every coat of paint, every mark of the original. Instead, I'll try to focus on applying paint in the right places, and then focussing on a general ageing process to bring out specific details.

The Ash Stratocaster. Finished specification.

I've had the Stratocaster finished and playable for about a month now. I did the project to build a new guitar, but also to learn a bit in the process. So what did I end up with? How well does it play? What do I want to change?