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1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration

1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration
« on: June 28, 2010, 11:28:49 AM »
I have finally managed to snag myself a Gibson Victory Artist, it's structurally and electronically in good nick, but cosmetically it's a different story :(

Pics here:

I was hoping that someone might be able to help me out with a couple of things:

1) I removed the silver paint from the truss rod cover, but unfortunately there's no "Artist" logo underneath - perhaps someone had already scuffed that off, or perhaps the paint took it away.  I'd like to try and restore this.  Could someone take a high res closeup of their Artist truss rod cover so that I can see about getting this restored?

2) I'm going to refinish this bass.  I've found evidence that this was originally a candy apple red (traces of red in the battery compartment and when I removed the neck some lacquer came away showing a gold basecoat).  The question is should I honour its origins by doing it in candy apple red (which is not a colour I particularly like, I might add)?  If the burning on the neck is through to the wood then it might be better (and reasonably historically accurate) to do it ebony top to toe.  Or do I say to hell with history and do it any colour I like?

3) One of the tuners was broken - the screw which attaches the capstan to the pinion had snapped inside the capstan causing it to slip and jump out of position when the string tension gets too much.  In the short term I have found that the capstan/pinion from a Grover Titan fits the body of a Schaller M4S.  However, I'd like to do this properly.  Anyone got a Schaller M4S languishing in a parts bin?  Left/right handedness not important, I only need the capstan/screw.

Despite all these cosmetic issues, I have to say I'm mighty impressed with the bass.  Well worth hunting down.  Heavy, of course, but I knew this before I set out :)

I'll keep you updated as to my progress with the restoration.



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Gibson Victory bass
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2010, 02:44:58 PM »
ahhh, nice one Matt - you were after one for a while IIRC
Unfortunately I don't have my Victory Artist any more (I kept my custom though) so I can't take any more pics, but I do have a quite good pic of the headstock/trc - i'll email it to you shortly
I can trace the Victory custom truss rod cover if you need the outline...
If you don't like red, I wouldn't bother doing red. I don't know what the ultimate Victory colour would be, but if it were mine I think i'd maybe go gold?

1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2010, 03:31:49 PM »
Yeah, I've been looking for a Victory Artist since about December last year.  It wasn't an obsession as such, a saved search on ebay, keeping a text file of all sale prices... ok, maybe a slight obsession ;)

Photo would be handy, cheers.

No need for a trace, I believe I have the original trc (2 ply black on white?)

I've got a poll up on BC, so far it's 50/50 between ebony and "any colour you like" :)


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Painted Silver Pickguard
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2010, 12:45:35 PM »
Is the pickguard painted too? Seems to have coated really well. I wonder whether it has fused into the top layer of the plastic. What kind of paint does that?
I'd say black too, by the way. it's the classic finish, and if done well, no one would ever know

1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2010, 01:42:52 PM »
They are cool ,I have sold a few to the UK and have a Standard presently for sale, nice understated bass guitars that are still affordable for sure. Greg
« Last Edit: July 02, 2010, 01:45:12 PM by gregsguitars »
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1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2010, 12:46:52 PM »
Quote from: gregsguitars;14132
They are cool ,I have sold a few to the UK and have a Standard presently for sale, nice understated bass guitars that are still affordable for sure. Greg

lol - how can anything that ugly be understated? :)

1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2010, 01:18:05 PM »
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I think they are great looking bass guitars myself.Understated being that they are not as popular as the P bass or Jazz bass.
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Gibson Victory bass
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2010, 04:46:31 PM »
I like the Victory, as eighties guitars go it was pretty stylish. And I do think this will be one of their more fondly remembered basses of the period. It has the right blend of Gibson tradition (headstock), new styles (scratchplate, cutaways) and the Fender inspired look and function that bass players seem to want.
I guess this will always be one for the people that regarded Gibson basses as a poor substitute for Fender - so not me then, but I still like them.

1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2010, 04:01:06 PM »
My bass teacher in college had a CAR one of these as his one and only bass for about 20 years.  He loved it until the neck finally warped on him.   So I have a fondness for them even though they visually are something of an... acquired taste.

1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2010, 12:41:39 AM »
Progress - neck nearly clean:

Body in progress:

1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2010, 08:29:11 AM »
Maple body?   Man, you can't paint that solid!
Scrubbed up nice, great work

1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2010, 11:39:34 AM »
I see the sanding block in the photo with the neck; please tell me you didn't sand over carpet, right?

1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2010, 11:45:52 AM »
Heh, no I had just come in from the shed, the sanding block's presence in the photo is purely circumstantial :)

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« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2010, 04:08:58 PM »
Lump of Wood...

Job on I think! Those 80's Gibson Victory basses have a unique style that I think will come back....stick with it!
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1981 Gibson Victory Artist - restoration
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2010, 08:42:49 PM »
looking great, nice looking basses.

What color are you thinking?


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