Custom Painted Flames - The Fire Still Burns - Tech

Martinez Custom Paint PT. 2

1. Before pinstriping, Danny sprayed every piece with a urethane clear coat, then sanded and prepped for pinstriping. Danny informed us that without the clear coat the kandies would bleed through the pinstriping. After all the urethane clear was dry, Bob Iverson began striping all the negative flames with Rich Gold.

2. Pinstriping is an art form in itself and Bob's been doing it for many years. It takes a smooth and steady hand, the right tools, and lots of patience and practice. For the best results you want to make each stripe in one smooth and consistent pull. You can see here how Bob uses his non-brush fingers to steady his hand against the tank and guide the brush where he wants the pinstriping to be.

3. Once all the pinstriping was finished. Danny then cleaned and prepped the sheetmetal to receive five coats of clear. After the clear had dried, Danny sanded, buffed, polished and then hand glazed all the pieces. Here is the finished tank ready for service.

4. Martinez Custom Paint does a lot of work with Anaheim-Fullerton Harley-Davidson, which is where the RK skeleton was awaiting its freshly painted skin. In a few hours service tech Kevin, had the bike reassembled and ready for its debut.

5. Danny did an amazing job. It looks as though the bike is a rolling bonfire. The combination of real fire and traditional flames is pretty cool. The Rich Gold really makes the negative traditional flames pop out.

6. The owner emailed Danny a picture of his old Oakland, California, FD helmet and a gold fireman's axe he received upon retirement and asked for a skeleton fireman bursting through the flames. Danny nailed it.

7. Here you can see how the ghosted H-D logo emerges from under the fire. Replacing the stock dash with the painted Milwaukee Iron dash really makes a difference and the Willy Shiny console screw helps clean the dash up as well.

8. Danny extended the front fender so it would flow better with the extended rear fender.

9. Danny also welded and molded the Wernimont fender extension/filler panels to the rear fender for a clean and seamless finish. To complete the paint scheme Danny added hints of fire to the back of the bags and fender.

10. The owner was astonished at the finished paint job. It exceeded his expectations. He said he has trouble getting in and out of parking lots because everyone wants to get a closer look at his ride.

Last month we took you deep inside the Martinez Custom Paint and Design facility in Orange, California, as Danny Martinez laid out a real fire paint job on a '05 Fire Fighter edition Road King. Danny started with several layers of House of Kolor (HOK) Blue Blood Red basecoat, then laid out the rest of the paint scheme, which would be a mix of real fire and traditional flames.

If you missed out last month, here's a refresher on real fire. It's a style in which the flames are so realistic it looks as though they are actually burning across the paint. The process is based on laying down layer upon layer of transparent flames. The base layers are the darker hues then you build upon each layer with the lighter "hotter" colors. The flames are sprayed with an airbrush by freehand as well as utilizing pre-formed flame patterns to get crisper edges. In between the layers of flames, several hues of kandy colors are sprayed which, in conjunction with the layers of flames help give the overall effect more depth and realism.

With the real fire finished all that was left was to outline the negative traditional flames with some pinstriping, spray the clear coat, buff everything out, and then bolt it back onto the bike.