July 30, 2013

Fuel Tank Badges

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Now that I have the tank painted and pin striped, it still won't be truly complete until the Triumph badges are mounted.

The badges are chrome plated die cast pieces screwed to either side of the tank.  Mine looked a little rough, but I deemed them salvageable.

One issue was the background color.  It was a very off-white--almost a light yellowish brown.  I didn't consider the color attractive, and assumed that it had yellowed from an original whiter white.  I did an internet image search of bikes of the era, and all appeared to have a much whiter background than mine.  The white paint came off pretty easily with lacquer thinner, but since the black was in better shape, I left it in place.  

So what color to use?  And should I spray it or paint it by brush?  Looking at the original badges closely, it appears that the white background was brushed on.  There are places where the brush work was a little sloppy, mostly on the lower edges of the raised letters.  The top edges are much cleaner, though.  The painter must have either taken more pains along the more visible tops of the letters, or had a way to clean them up.

As to the color, my first thought was to use the same color as for the pin stripes.  I used a pretty small artists brush to paint some thinned One-Shot paint onto the background.  I don't think I got the paint on quite as smooth as the original, but did a better job cutting in next to the raised letters.  In the end, I didn't like this color--it looked too starkly white, so I took it off.

I wanted something slightly more off-white, so I took a chip of the pin stripe paint to the auto store to look at the Duplicolor selection.  Of the five or six whites they had, I ended up choosing "Performance White", apparently a Ford color.  It is a little more cream colored than the One-Shot, but not much.  I had planned to just spray the paint into a cup and brush it on as before, but the paint was very thin, and was taking multiple coats to get coverage, and this was causing the surface finish to be rough and ugly.  Next option--mask and spray.

Spraying this way did cover the sides of the raised letters, unlike the original.  On the other hand, coverage is more consistent, and it probably looks better than having the inevitable paint blobs in the tight places.  I did brush a coat of black over the existing paint.

In the pictures it's hard to see the difference between the One-Shot paint and the Duplicolor, but the latter is a little more subdued.

Mounted the badges with brand new chrome plated 2BA screws.

This looks OK to me.  I saw a number of examples on the web of a much brighter white that looked unnatural.

Can't wait to mount this puppy on the bike.

Comments to:  elhollin1@yahoo.com

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