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Red Fireflake for Commando S

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by Ron L, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Ron L

    Ron L VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    I'm trying to find a good match for the original Red Fireflake found on a '69 'S'. I realize that it was fiberglass gelcoat, but the sidecovers are painted yellow and the tank is steel (850 Mk III type). The original 'glass has been sanded down to the silver base and I can't get enough to show the original red shade to get it scanned for color.

    Has anyone found a system that comes close? Also should the flake size be .006 or .015?

    Any comments on base color? silver, black, red? Silver flake with translucent (candy) midcoat? Red flake with tinted midcoat, clear midcoat?

    This bike was red originally and I'd like to get it as close as possible.
     
  2. gortnipper

    gortnipper VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
  3. B+Bogus

    B+Bogus

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Silver flake with candy red topcoat
     
  4. milfordite

    milfordite

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Don't know if this helps, but Brian Slark told me that the S bikes were all silver gelcoat, and the clear was tinted red or blue to order.
     
  5. DogT

    DogT VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    When I sanded off my FF Blue covers and tank, they ended up silver flake so it makes sense that it was silver gelcoat and clear with coloring over that. There also appear to be black flakes in there somewhere. At least the sample picture I have left.
     
  6. B+Bogus

    B+Bogus

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    Jun 28, 2009
  7. jimbo

    jimbo VIP MEMBER

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    Sep 25, 2004
    Is that side cover an unrestored original?
     
  8. Ron L

    Ron L VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
  9. Petersen

    Petersen

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Spotted this at the Swedish Britanniarally last year. One owner bike, original paint.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. B+Bogus

    B+Bogus

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    No, It's for a bike I'm restoring
     
  11. Ron L

    Ron L VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Peterson,
    Thank you. I believe that is very close. Red pigments used in the '60's and '70's were very prone to fade as I believe is apparent here (or perhaps the reflections), but if you look at the lower front edge of the tank it looks pretty good. Now, how do we reproduce this in modern painting techniques?
     
  12. Petersen

    Petersen

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Yes, a bit faded as one might expect after half a century of wear and tear but surprisingly lustrous. The owner restored the rest of the bike and had a bit of a struggle with deciding whether repaint it for a perfect finish or keep it as it was. I think he made the right call.
     
  13. B+Bogus

    B+Bogus

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Candy red over a silver flake base ;)
     
  14. rivera

    rivera

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
  15. B+Bogus

    B+Bogus

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    They do indeed, and quite a few of their colours are spot-on. Unfortunately their red isn't one of them.
    They do a 'Fireball Red' which I used a few years ago. Very sparkly with lots of other colours blended in

    While it looked great it was very far from correct and got stripped off in favour of .... Candy red over silver flake

    [​IMG]
     
  16. rivera

    rivera

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Use the small silver flakes from them, I have an original Fireflake Royal blue side cover for comparison.
    Flakes are small, looks almost like a metallic color.
    The original flakes back in the seventies are made by Metalflake Corp, according to Joe Seifert of Andover Norton / Norton Motors.
    https://www.metalflakecorp.com/metalflake-metalflake.html
     
  17. coomo

    coomo VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2018
    Ive been painting 30 years.In that time, have never used Metalflake.I Will have too on my Emerald Green roadster,even though original paint is pretty good.The basecoat irc is really to dsiguise any areas of "patchiness" in the flake so I was told.It should be a close match for flake.On You tube "The Gun Guy" an Australian sprayer, has some good info on painting with flake.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018 at 3:27 AM
  18. Ron L

    Ron L VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    So, whose candy red do you prefer? I assume you add coats until you get the desired shade? And do you use .008 flake or a mixture of .008 and .015?
     
  19. B+Bogus

    B+Bogus

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    I think the candy red is fairly generic. Mine came from Specialist Paints here in the UK. You're right in that the colour is added in thin layers until the right shade is achieved: I had an original '73-'74 candy red sidepanel which had never been on a bike and the colour layer was the thinnest possible to get even coverage, so it's a balancing act to make sure there's no patchiness, but the colour remains vibrant. Norton clearly wanted their paint to go further...
    I did a helmet and deliberately built up the red which became quite dark. It looks good, but not right for a FF red bike, so light coats sprayed from a good distance is the way.

    As has already been said, Norton flake was fine, so .008" is correct.

     
    coomo likes this.
  20. Ron L

    Ron L VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Thanks, B+! I won't get around to it for a while, but I'll probably try a couple different things on a panel from the suggestions here and others. Then decide if I'm brave enough to shoot it myself or farm it out.