The Custom Guitar Hero Faceplate Project
I found time earlier than I thought I would, so here’s how I made my Wii Guitar Hero faceplates. I’m sure there are other ways, but this is how I did it…
Here’s what you’ll need:
1. a Guitar Hero guitar (duh)
2. Tracing Paper: Available in most craft or sewing stores; I bought mine in Wal-Mart in the fabric/craft section
3. Sharpies: The amount of colors you’ll need will depend on how many colors your art has.
4. Artwork: Plenty of websites to search and print art from if you can’t draw; any good quality artwork will do.
5. Tape, scissors, and a pencil
Step 1: Remove the faceplate
Be sure to read the directions and remove the faceplate correctly and carefully.
Step 2: Cut your artwork out and place it on the faceplate until you like the location
It helps to have a lamp to shine behind the artwork and faceplate so you can see where all the holes and such are located.
Step 4: Cut a piece of tracing paper that fits behind the artwork and then tape it and the artwork down to the faceplate in the place you selected
Be sure to tape everything down securely; you don’t want anything moving while you work with it.
Step 5: Trace the art with a pencil FIRMLY
The harder you press with your pencil the better the transfer will be from the tracing paper.
Step 6: Remove the art and tracing paper, then check the marking lines
It may be hard to see here, but it actually shows up quit nicely if you pressed hard while tracing. The great thing about using the tracing paper is if the artwork isn’t right you can simply wipe the marking off and start over again. Be sure your happy with the artwork before you move to the next step as it becomes permanent from this point on!
Step 7: Trace the outline in the correct color Sharpie
This may be the most nerve racking part for most people, just take your time and you should be fine. Remember, your artwork can be as simple as you want it to be; don’t choose something that is out of your “artistic range”.
Step 8: Fill in the rest of your colors and replace the faceplate on the guitar.
You like how full color makes the art look so different? Actually, what really happened was that the colors from the first Mario started to bleed and mix and I wasn’t happy with the finished results. Not one to give up, I made a quick trip to the store and picked up a can of spray paint made especially for plastic. I covered the faceplate in a coat of really nice red, retraced my steps with an easier piece of art and came up with this. I actually like it better than the first attempt, mainly due to its simple design and the idea of having a red guitar.
Here’s the finished guitar put back together again and I like how it turned out. The white of the Wii Mote my be a bit stark in contrast when I reinstall it, but I think it will be okay.
And here’s both my finished guitars once again, ready for my co-op party on Friday.
So, it’s as simple as that; if I can do it, anyone can. And just because I know someone will ask, the total project costs as much as you spend on markers and paint, between $5 and $10 and the tracing paper comes in a package of plenty for under $2. And the whole thing, again depending on how complicated your art is, can take anywhere from 1/2 and hour to and hour to complete.
UPDATE: After a few weeks, the Spider-Man art began to smear due to the shiny plastic on the original faceplate. After the fact, I would highly recommend painting the faceplate with a coat of the spray paint – even if it’s white paint – to give you a surface that will alow for a longer lasting piece of artwork. My Mario guitar hasn’t faded at all, and I could still paint over it and do a different design if I wanted. You could also cover your faceplate with a clear coat product to protect it after you finish painting it, but it may make it very hard to repaint for future designs.