Regular readers will know that I didn't plan to start any finishing work until I had completed mechanical assembly, such that I could give myself some time for research and so that I wouldn't end up drilling holes or cutting & welding components that were already painted. This is a great philosophy when you are making modifications or when the bike is so incomplete that you are forced to buy parts from more or less reliable sources.
A case in point is my indicator brackets:
However, a mechanical build followed by a final build after painting doesn't work with the wheel rims and their gold lined Damask Red centres. I didn't want to have to break these down again for painting, since I will be trimming the spokes to fit. Wheel building is also time consuming and the wheels probably won't be modified at all.
I collected the rims from JD Wyatt in Thetford a few days ago, so I am all ready for wheel building now. When discussing the wheel plating with Tony at JD Wyatt, he advised that with a painted centre it would be wise to avoid polishing the painted area and leave it in the as-blasted finish, so that is what we did:
So, now we need a painter. Of course, I want to have the wheel rim centres matching the tank, so I'll have to get that done at the same time. This is starting to look expensive...
Aerographics of Horsford, near Norwich are a long established company set up by John Spurgeon back in the '80's specialising in custom paintwork for trucks, cars, bikes, scooters - you name it, they have done it. They are set up in old farm buildings in an area once renowned for apple farming, and have some great work shown in their website.
I spent an hour or so with John learning about his company. John has a wealth of experience and has painted several Ariel tanks before. We looked at many images of Ariel tanks while discussing the location of the lines. This is quite involved, since Ariel hand lined their tanks (so no two are necessarily identical) and many restorers have 'done their own thing' over the years. Additionally, some of the source material shows dimensions for the lines that would leave them visually too close to the badges or the knee grips.
So, I took the whole tank to John with badges and the knee grips intact and we laid out the lines in masking tape:
So there it is. John says he will turn this and the rims around in 10 days, so watch this space...