I got my Boblbee bag, Megalopolis Titan series, somewhere in year 2001, from my sister in Ireland. It was a trade deal, for her flight ticket and I asked her to got this bag :). First saw on Wired magazine, I searched through the net for the details. I could not find the actual name of the bag, until I saw it on TechTV, in which on one of the TechTV advert, one of the model wears it, upside down. Went through the TechTV website and found it on one of the articles. Priced around Euro150, and currently as I recall there are no importers for this bag in Malaysia. Do mail me if anybody knows where I can find shops selling this bag, the original ones please.
My original bag
Subsequently, I decided to re-paint the bag, and one of my ideas was to put the official Boblbee logo, right in the middle of the bag.
Boblbee official log (click for larger picture)
The only problem was, I could not find a suitable people to do it. An air brush should do the trick. However, with limited contacts, this was put on hold until a friend of mine, Irwan, told me that he could do it, even though he has not done airbrushing with a large piece of item before. He has worked a lot on scaled models, such as model cars. To do on a bag, would be a new thing. With that, I asked him to go on, and giving him the chance to tried out.
Dismantling the bag
I begin to work the bag, by dismantling all the parts. Using a torque screw driver, all the nuts and bolts are opened, and removed carefully. Took me about 30 minutes to take off all the necessary screw, removed the parts from the bag, and left only with the base.
The bag base
Inner side of the bag
Side view of the bag
Back cover for the bag
To begin with, we have to remove existing layer of paint from the bag. The bag was made from ABS, and using a paint stripper would be a big no-no. Helmi from Phantom Design, our another team members, suggested to used a fine sand paper, and remove all the paint. So, using a finest sand paper available, we begin to sand out the surface, in order to prepare it for primer coat.
Preparing for sand paper
Helmi doing the sand paper.
Residue from the bag paint
Primer coating and base color
There was a moment of intense discussion for the color for the bag. Even though, my initial plan was to retain the original color, but Irwan has come up with an idea. To use a candy red as the base color, and lay scattered a phantom colored logo all over the bags. To finish off, a nice big logo will be air brush in the middle of the bags. Without much arguement, we proceed with the idea. So, first of all, Irwan begin with protecting the inside border of the bag, with masking tapes.
Then, a primer color is used. Some sort of white color. During the paint job, he noticed that the primer color itself is really cool. He did called me and asked if I want to used the primer color only. However, after some consideration, we proceed with the original plan.
Covering the inner border
1st layer of primer
After a few hours of drying
1st layer of base color - candy red
After few layers of base color
Final drying process
Creating the phantom logo and main logo - part 1
To create the main logo and phantom logo's, we started off with tracing the Boblbee original logo, using Adobe Illustrator. From there, Helmi created a multiple sizes of the logo, and one large logo. Printed out on a sticker paper, we cut the logo's to made it as a template. And using additional unwanted news paper as a template protector, the whole logo is then paste to the bag, one place a time, and painted over using air brush. For the phantom effect, in which the logo images shine differently from different angle, we used Pearl color. For the main logo, Gun Metal color was used. By the way, all these color materials actually meant for scaled model. You can get it from Tamiya shops, priced around RM15 to RM20 per bottle.
Original print to the sticker
Cut out templates
The art of cutting
Stick on to the bag
Air brush in progress
Creating the phantom logo and main logo - part 2
Once we have covered the bag with the necessary logo, we let the bag to dry out for couple of hours before proceeding with the main logo. Again, the logo is printed out on a sticker paper, and using the same technique as previous explain, we began to paint out the main logo. Took a while to ensure that the logo is smooth and really stand out from the rest. An hour on the dry area, the whole air brush session are now completed.
Final air brush - main logo
Side view - the phantom effect
The embossed logo
Close up on the smaller logo
Close up on the smaller logo
Final coating and polish
To finish up the paint job, Irwan applied 2 layers of clear coat to protect the base color and the logo artwork. He tried to get a third layer applied, but it seems that this additional layer could make the embossed logo disappear. So, 2 layers of clear coat it was, and upon drying, he polish up the whole surface to make it shiny.
I'm really happy for the results of Irwan's job. Even though, this is his first, I think he has the ability to work with a larger item in future. Let's see how long it lasts, before I made my mind to change the design again. For those interested having their Boblbee redesign, do contact us (Malaysian only please). Many thanks to Irwan and his fellows at Phantom Design - Helmi and Adnil, Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur for the assistances and a superb jobs. By the way, excuse us for the low quality of images, since we're using mobile phone camera to capture the pictures.