Last weekend I plunged into customizing my beloved Akai MPC 5000. I did all the research I could stand and proceeded to gather the materials needed to fashion my very own MPC incarnation of the Transformers’ “Bumble Bee”. Fun times!!
So, there I was with my sand paper, primer, paint and small brushes. Not sure of the exact process I ended up speaking with the hobby shop dude. He’s been customizing model cars for years and his work had even been featured in hobby mags, as per his co-worker that helped me gather the materials. Anyway, the ‘hobby-shop-model-car-customizer-extraordinaire-dude’ was super helpful.
He advised me to use the sand paper to gently sand the plastic parts so as to remove any dirt, hand oil and even manufacturer clear coat that may be on the surface. Wipe excess dust from the sanding process, and then lay the parts out in preparation for primer coat. Spray a couple of thin coats of primer and let it dry for an hour or two. Hmmm… The spray can says to dry for 3 – 48 hours. Oh well, I was anxious so I got right back at it after just about 2 hours (or less).
Next, I cracked the seal on the yellow paint. The ‘hobby-shop-model-car-customizer-extraordinaire-dude’ said to layer the parts with thin coats of the color paint (yellow in my case) then wait 15 – 20 minutes and repeat as desired. Perfect I did just what he said. I even decided at the last minute to paint the screen frame to match. So I taped and covered the window then laid it out for primer and coats of yellow too. I even waited the full 20 minutes between coats of yellow. After a couple cycles of this I couldn’t see the gray primer anymore and my spray can was empty. Good thing I bought two cans of yellow. Then I thought to myself “uh-oh that’s really really yellow.” Oh well, no turning back now.
While the plastic parts of the frame were drying I opened the paint brushes and the jar of yellow acrylic paint. I prepped an area and grabbed the 4 Q-link sliders from the well organized pile of MPC rubble and began to carefully paint those stupid thin white lines that run through the center. Boy what a task it was to hand paint those thin lines. I kept a piece of damp paper towel near to wipe away the occasional oops from the black plastic outside of the thin white lines.
Back to the other plastic pieces the next day… All dry but probably in need of a few days to cure, I cracked open the can of clear coat paint and repeated the same steps as I’d done the day before with the yellow paint. Now we wait…
Never one to sit idle, I decided that I just don’t like those red and beige transport buttons (you know… the stop, play, record button). So I got online and checked my options. I found some buttons that would work. They were flat black with two little see through strips on them that would allow the LEDs (little lights) to shine thru. Nice!
Later, I was curious to see how the screen was holding up so I gently removed the tape and covering from the window and “Damn-it!” …I inadvertently painted the underside of the window. Now why didn’t the ’hobby-shop-model-car-customizer-extraordinaire-dude’ tell me to cover the underside too?! I thought I’d have to buy the entire frame and window again but then I discover the stupid window comes out and I could’ve removed it rather than cover it before painting the frame. Dohhh!
Okay, I just went ahead and added the window part to my buttons order. Now I just have to wait a few days for my order to arrive which is fine because I need to let the paint job cure for a few days. Perfect!
The order finally arrived and the paint finally dried so I reassembled my newly redesigned Bumble Bee MPC 5000 and gawked at the results for like ever. Join me?