New Guitar Day! Lefty 1987 RG550 Road Flare Red - Jemsite
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 86
New Guitar Day! Lefty 1987 RG550 Road Flare Red

So as a public school teacher on summer break I decided to buy myself a little something to pass the break with.

I first bought a Schecter with a sustainiac. I have a few, but this one was different to my other models so I figured it would have been nice addition.

However.. the motherboard on the sustainiac system was faulty. So after fighting with the seller and getting Reverb involved, I got my money back.

I then decided to use the money to buy myself a Jem jr. I know I know.. it isnt a real Jem, but that's fine.
I prefer mahogany bodies anyway and am going to move electronics over from another guitar that I already own and was going to trade the Jem out with.

Anyway.. the seller contacts me saying he lives in the boonies and can't make it out to the post office till like the following week.

I told him ok, and decided to wait.
Following week comes and goes and I ask the guy what the deal is.

He tells me he forgot about selling it and decided he would just keep it cause he started to play it again.


Ok. Ok.. so I get my money back again.

This time I decide to just restore my 1990 black RG my wife gave me, you can see the status of the restoration in my other post.

While looking up some parts and conditions of other lefties from that era, I stumbled upon the left handed holy grail!

A left handed Road Flare Red rg550! With case and original paperwork.

It was on some site called Music Go Round. No details other then "Fantastic shape, call for price"
I didn't know anything about this company at all.
So I did some research.

Only thing I walked away with was that it was some kind of glorified pawn shop that charges way too much for everything, but that they package everything very very well.

Long story short, it was infact packaged very well.


They wanted to charge me the price of a new Genesis for a 33 year old guitar, and they even told me there was a bad ding on it but was otherwise in "perfect shape" with no electronics issues.

Once received, it actually had about 3 or 4 dings on it that went down to wood, the trem was caved in and the strings were resting on the frets and pickups.

On top of that, the guitar needs to have electronics tightened cause the volume and tone spin freely.

Oh and the frets are green with what is probably the original set of strings from the 80s.

I have no idea what they concider "perfect" but this definitely is not it. I'll never shop from them again (especially since this was a once in a lifetime find for me as is)

It is however in decent shape for its age.
I won't be able to play test it to it gets cleaned and set up.

So I'm hoping it is all good cause I only have 48 hours to make any complaints to the shop.

Here are some shots of the guitar.
As a bonus,
I also took some shots next to my Genesis of the same color!

Opinions welcome!






If anyone can tell me how they "tested to ensure functionality" with this kind of set up.. I would like to know lol.

First thing I want to get fixed is this sharp chip.
It could get lifted off at any moment.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 86
Here are the comparison shots of the 2018 and the 1987

The 87 sure faded out.
Wonder if it was due to a difference in the paint or it if actually is the age..

Something I don't like about the genisis that is exclusive to lefty models from what I've seen..
They don't come with a string tree.

It wouldn't be so bad if it came with the door port truss cover like some other models but no. Cheepie basic cover.


Moving on to the back, almost identical.
Just the newer neck designs with 5 piece vs single with scarf joint.
And the trem cavity cover with the tool holes compared to just plain.


Only real signs of use here.

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Last edited by KennyV; 06-24-2020 at 10:57 AM.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Kansas
Posts: 2,110
Re: New Guitar Day! Lefty 1987 RG550 Road Flare Red

Nice find! A very worthy survivor to bring back to life... Good luck and enjoy!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 86
Originally Posted by FireEagle View Post
Nice find! A very worthy survivor to bring back to life... Good luck and enjoy!
It was an exciting find for sure, and I've already lined someone up to fix the chip/dent.
I don't feel comfortable doing that one myself.

I am currently hunting around the house for anything that is even close to a similar color to match it with so I can find a nail polish at Walmart that is close enough to fill it with if it's needed.

Of course.. I don't have anything quite close enough to the vibrant red that is road flare!

Here's a pic of my other restored rg550.
It's a '90 I did myself. This was easier tho cause it was black lol.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2020, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 86
So I know that it has become an accepted fact that Dayglo is the brand people are turning to for these paints, however, due to the old age and fading, I had to get a bit more creative.

The chip in the back may need touching up after it's fixed, and really it's just a good idea to have some paint that matches it down the road anyway.

I was not able to find anything that matched perfectly but I was looking for close enough.

I found 2 brands of "neon" red nail polish and let them dry on a popsicle stick.

I took 2 attempts with each.

1st pass is white nail polish to represent the white base coats these guitars have.

Next, the red colors.

2nd attempts with each was the color by itself, in the hopes that mixing wasn't needed.

Unfortunately the best results was nail polish A, named cherry chaser that I found at Walmart ontop of the white.

The picture doesn't make it easy to tell, bit these all ended up within maybe 1 or 2 shades apart if you were looking at a Photoshop color picker.

Not easy to tell in person either.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2020, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 86
Working in clean up and set up now.

Neck was super stuck in place.
I'm happy I removed it without damaging the pocket.

Definitely faded.
The inside of the pocket is Alot closer to newer rfr I have.

You can def see the white base coats.


Also very interesting patterns on the wood.
Not sure if it's a very harsh grain pattern or if it is made of multiple 1 inch strips.

I would hope it isn't the later.20200625_094945_1593096786741.jpg

Also, very interesting that there's quite a bit of pink in this pocket.
And it looks like they stapled something under the free board recess?

Anyone else ever see something like that?
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Last edited by KennyV; 06-25-2020 at 01:21 PM.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2020, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 86
Well the pink got me thinking about adding some pink to the mix and see if I can get closer.

I actually managed to talk to a rep from Ibanez that said all of their "redish" guitars from 87 and 88ish were all concidered road flare red in catalogues,

Even if they were more of a shocking Pink, C Orange, or even borderline Candy Apple.

They seem to not have finalized their rfr recipe at those times and just sprayed them willynilly in a redish and slapped Road Flare on it.

After mixing Alot more paint it seems that the closest matches lean Alot more to orange and pink then having any red in it at the moment. The best mix actually doesn't have much red at all.

Guess my road flare red is really a Shocking/Cantonen flare Red.

Best results at the moment is 4 drops hot pink, 4 drops vibrant orange, and 1 drop cherry red.

Maybe even a 1/1 of just orange and pink with no red.
Boo. 😕
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-28-2020, 05:17 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 86
Well I wasn't super happy with the result from the guy I took the body in for the chip repair.. he sent me a pic and it looked better before it was "fixed"

While he has the body I kept the neck and all hardware to dress the frets and remove dust pits.

I took that opportunity to get a better paint match. 20200625_232320_1593335917355.jpg

There's actually a very slight flame to the front board. It's kind of nice.


The last about 8 frets have some serious niks though. Like the guitar was slapped with a razor a few times. They will eventually need replacing, and I suppose at that time the board can be releveled cause there's some dents and pitting in the fretboard finish.

But.. that's a future me problem cause I don't know how to refret just yet and this will 100% not be the guitar I learn that on.
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Last edited by KennyV; 07-01-2020 at 10:06 PM.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-01-2020, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 86
So I got the body back from the guitar tech.. and it was kinda a hack job.

He left running super glue down the side, scratched up the edge.. left it pink instead of red..

Pretty much a botched result.

Nice guy.. but he wasn't capable of this job.

Now I've gotten a better idea of using the nail polish in an airbrush.
So. I hit the mixing table again.

This time I decided to put a price of packing tape over the guitar and paint on the tape till I found a blend that works better.

Popcicle sticks got me close but I should have done this first.

I dabbed a bit of tape over the repaired area to see how it will look when the paint goes on.

I think it's super close match, even for that tough to make neon.

I may mix 1 or 2 more baches And see if I can get it closer or if I'll just need to accept this formula.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 05:30 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 86
I am working on taping off the guitars internals to get it ready to spray my nail polish mix.

After taking the pickgaurd off, I have no doubts this was road flare and not a cantenen orange one off.

Doesn't photograph well, but you may get the idea here.

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