Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Flamed Starcaster: A New Semi-Hollow Build

With my build queue down to a single (bass) guitar at the moment, it was high time that I dive into the stack and start another! After the Burled 335 turned out to be the sweetest guitar ever, I've been itching to get another semi-hollow build going. Enter the FS-1 Starcaster kit - a kit that Adam from Pitbull Guitars practically gave away at last year's birthday special!

Unboxing the Starcaster. Flame figure is evident!
Unboxing the kit, and doing a simple mock assembly, the kit looks pretty good. The neck fit is nice and tight and the flame veneer on the top of the guitar looks really awesome. There's a few discoloured glue marks around the binding on the back and a few obvious glue spots on the front and sides, but hopefully so,me Goof-Off should take care of these.

Dry fit of the neck is tight and the body looks good.
Gorgeous flame figure just begging to be dyed.
There's a small issue with the neck at the moment, and that's a small gap between the neck and the end of the pocket. This may close up when the neck is clamped, but I'll have a look at the floor of the neck pocket just to make sure there aren't any obvious issues (lumps and bumps) in there.

Gap at the base of the neck. The neck pocket might need a little sanding.
When Adam offered this kit at a bargain basement price last September, it was with the understanding that there were actually a couple of flaws in the body.Those flaws are pretty evident on the side of the body with some patching in the side sheeting and a few deep marks.

Patching in the side sheeting.
Some not so awesome stuff on the side, but I'll cope.

These don't worry me too much. To cover them over I plan to do a dark burst fading to black on the top and back so that the sides can be stained black. If these problem areas don't take the black stain then I'm not above hitting the sides with some black spray acrylic. Whatever it takes!


All in all I'm pretty darn excited about this build. I think I'll be ordering another GFS xTrem and Wilkinson roller bridge for this, as well as GFS pickups of some description. Since I love them so much in my 175 build, I'm thinking of using Nashville Retrotron pickups, but given the bad Aussie dollar I might fallback to Entwistle or Tonerider pickups from Pitbull. Decisions to come!