Kicking Off Project Smash

Mike Foster
Mar 17, 2019 · 3 min read

I’m kicking off a new guitar build, codenamed Smash. I spend a lot of time combing through Reverb for parts. A few months back, this gorgeous Warmoth Goblin Flake Stratocaster body came across my feed. Goblin Flake is one of Warmoth’s new finishes for 2019. It’s a brilliant lime green with gold flaking that sparkles like crazy. Even the most pretentious of descriptions don’t do it justice, nor the pictures I’ve included here. You just need to see it for yourself.

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I watched this body for weeks. Luckily Warmoth bodies aren’t cheap. So, the listing lingered on, waiting for a builder like myself to properly justify the cost in their head. The justification process was slow for me in this case, due to the fact that I couldn’t visualize the final build. I loved the body, had know idea what to do with it. A normal plastic black or white pickguard didn’t seem appropriate. And, I couldn’t see building just any old Stratocaster. Standard treatments just didn’t make sense to me when I looked at this finish. At the same time, I couldn’t figure out what did.

One day, I came home from work and my wife had bought new throw pillows for our couches. She had paired a green corduroy pillow with a purple velour one. This was the lightning bolt I needed for this build. I would describe my behavior as gitty, while I tried to explain to my wife that this is exactly what my next guitar build needed to be. I jumped on Reverb, ensured the Goblin Flake Strat was still available, and started hunting for a purple pickguard. I found these awesome brushed, anodized aluminum guards from Perle Guitars. It had a similar satin sheen to the velour pillow I was now leaning on. An hour later, I had bought the body, and the pickguard, and the project was off and running.

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Green and purple is a color scheme that defines some of comics most iconic super heroes and villains. You have The Joker. Green Goblin. And, of course The Incredible Hulk. The codename for this project should give away that the latter is the one inspiring my decision making process for this build. Let me layout some of the goals for this build.

Like I said, I can’t just make a standard Stratocaster. There’s nothing standard about The Hulk. At the same time, the guitar needs to be respectful of its heritage. A Stratocaster still needs to sound like a Stratocaster. It still needs to have Stratocaster lines. That doesn’t mean we can’t make some eccentric design decisions to make it stand out in a way that its inspiration never has to worry about.

As I mentioned a moment ago, this guitar needs to sound like a Stratocaster. It needs to have that vintage, single coil sound you expect from a Stratocaster. It needs to be bright and clear and it needs that signature quack. But, it also needs to be able to transform into a snarling, growling monster at the flip of a switch. Luckily, this body was routed for a Humbucker-Single Coil-Humbucker (HSH) configuration, which gives me plenty of options when it comes to upping the gain and bringing the monster out from within this guitar.

The Hulk’s speed and agility is vastly underrated. He’s incredibly fast and can maintain that speed over great distances. He can jump too, miles at a time. Pair this with his ability to pummel his enemies to dust, and The Hulk is a super versatile superhero. A guitar inspired by him needs to be the same.

This should be a fun build. And, it will be the first build that I log here. I plan to have posts and videos throughout the entire process. So, check back for more content as the build progresses.


Guitar making and other misadventures.

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