Sunday, May 6, 2012

G-Shock #21: Custom Camouflage G-Shock

This week’s article is a bit different from what I have featured here before. Normally I show here models that are officially manufactured by Casio and are officially released or made as limited edition to be sold or given away by a collaborating brand or shop. I am not really into modding G-Shocks. I have made a “Hope Japan” model form a red GLX-5600 with white straps, but generally I’m happy with all the things that Casio has come up with.
Modding G-Shocks by interchanging bezels and straps is one thing, you can bring it a step further. I think it all began in Japan many years ago with clear jelly G-Shocks. The resin of these models had the tendency to turn yellow or even greenish or brown. Some people in Japan started using clothing dye to color jelly bezels and straps into new fresh colors. By using colored dyes, the resin kept some of it’s transparency. I remember having seen a purple dyed G-Shock, which looked so fresh, you were tempted to take a bite out of it, as it looked like the cool fresh black berries I eat at the end of the summer at my favorite coffee shop (something to look forward too, spring has only just begun).
Also members at WUS started experimenting with dying jelly resin. Riley, of My G-Shock, once made a very juicy looking orange Frogman. Jelly resin parts can also be dyed black. In this case the jelly does loose it’s transparency and the dye gives a kind of matte black effect.
Not only jelly resin can be dyed. In general can all lighter colored matte resin be dyed in a darker color tone. Resin with a glossy finish is not really suitable for dying, as the dye cannot penetrate through the glossy finish properly.
A very interesting development are the custom made camouflage models. Several WUS members have made recently quite a lot camouflage pattern G-Shocks. Often a DW-6900 was used, but other models, including Frogmans were used too. Above you can see some examples.
Camouflage patters are created in a similar way batik clothing is made. With batik a fabric is dyed in a light color. With a wax some parts of the dyed fabric are covered to make patters. When the fabric is dyed with another darker dye, the color will only be adopted by the parts that are not covered with wax. Instead of using wax, duct tape is used. By using one or more color stages, you can achieve very interesting results relative easy.
A good model to use for dying is the DW-6900FS-8. This chalk white model has been around since 2005. It was introduced as the official model for US open Surfing of 2006. I am not sure there was a different model sold on the scene there (with some printing), but I believe it was just the plain version. Since the introduction, this has been the best selling DW-6900 in the US. Unfortunately, this is about the only region where this model had been available for a long time. Actually it is, 6 years after the introduction, still available in the US. If you live in the US, you can pretty easily find used ones for a small price.
I am a pretty hue fan of the pink and red Bathing Ape camouflage. The Bathing Ape camouflage is a pattern with the big ape logo hidden in it, which makes it quite a cool and unique pattern. This would of course be to hard to make, but the color combo’s in the red and pink are very cool. As I do not have a big kitchen and do not have too much experience with coloring, I decided to seek some help in making my favorite Camouflage G-Shock.
The photo's above were taken by Tsip after he finished making my pink camouflage DW-6900FS.
I contacted Tsip85, who happens to be also a teacher, loves 90‘s G-Shocks and does like bright colors too. He had made some colorful unusual color combo camouflage G-Shocks in the past. He lives in Texas, which is a better place to find a DW-6900FS-8, than for me, as I don’t live in the US. He was quite exited that I asked him to make me a pink camouflage watch, so he told me he could find a cheap DW-6900FS and dye it in my favorite camouflage colors. Although I would have like to pay for a second hand DW-6900FS, Tsip85 insisted he wanted to make this model for me, if I only want to contribute a bit of the shipping costs (overseas shipping costs are general pretty expensive). It would be his way to express how he loves my contributions to the G-Shock community on 50 Gs and WatchUSeek (WUS). It took two attempts to make this G-Shock.I believe the parts of the first try ended up on Tsips85’s wife). It even became better for me. Tsip had several 6900 spare parts and let me choose between a three modules and face plates. As I love the red eye of the FS models, I just wanted the regular module, but he also had a DW-6900MS faceplate, with a red circle around the big eye. That looked like a perfect match for this watch.
After a small week a big package arrived. Tsip85 had sent me, beside the watch, also some small Texas souvenirs to keep my beers cold in summer. Unfortunately we don’t have Texan beers, but a bottle of Heineken’s will do too I’ll guess. The watch was in the now regular hexagonal G-Shock tin. Full of curiosity I opened the package. My son Bram happened to stand curiously next to me at the table. A soft: “Ooohhhh”, could be heard from two mouths simultaneously.
Tsip85 had left some cool messages hidden in the camouflage pattern. Two spots on the outside strap say “50 Gs” . On the inside my name is hidden between the spots. I love pink G-Shocks, but this is at the moment the coolest I have. Wow. The faceplate of the DW-6900MS looks perfect with the red eye and the pink camouflage.
My pink camouflage DW-6900FS is based upon the chalk gray version of this model, equipped with the 1289 module. I have reviewed DW-6900’s with a 1289 module here quite often, so I will not go into details of the functions.
Making your own camouflage models is not really that difficult, though it needs a little practice and it helps if you are a bit handy. Duct tape can be bought everywhere. The type of dye used normally used to dye textiles. You need the hot version, not the cold version. In the US this dye is sold as Rit Dye, in Europe you can find a similar dye from Dylon (also here, you need the hot dye type). Both brands are easily available. In my country you can find it in drugstores and sometimes in department stores and supermarkets. If you want to start painting G-Shock resin, I recommend first to practice on some old parts. For a little money you can personalize your G easily. Note that you need to be sure to paint the resin, as the color will be permanent.
I have tried to get permission for all the photo's I lend from others. At the moment of publishing not all owners have responded, but those who did were happy to help me. 
Edit: All owners of the dyed and camouflage photos, that were not taken by me, have all now officially given their permission to use in this article. In fact they were all honored that I used them. Thank You!


Unknown said...

I'm glad to see you enjoy your custom G. And so very cool that you unknowingly posted this on my birthday! Let me know if there's anything else I can make for you, Sjors.


SkyForce6 said...

Cool project indeed!

Looks good on you!

But I think it is a shame that Casio never contacts you to have a genuine Sjors collaboration model made. Considering what you have been contributing to the brand over the years I think it would be right for them to make a collaboration model with you. I can easily imagine a red jelly Frogman Sjors edition :D

Me personally have been dreaming of doing a Fluorescent yellow G. But I never get around to doing it and I think such a project would be to difficult as it is a very difficult color to accomplish.

Sincerely Joakim Ågren!

rastagunz1111 said...

with all do respect to the gift you have devolped i will do anything to have one made i live in the us im a die hard g shock fan and i need a crazy camo colored g shock please let me no if you have the time

Anonymous said...

Hello sir, nice pink camo you have... just wondering is it possible to put dw-6900 resin parts into g-6900 ? Will it fit? Hope you can give some advice.... sorry for my bad English, thanks...

Unknown said...

Hello Asean,

The bezels of the G and GW-6900 are not interchangable with the DW-6900 and vice versa.



Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Im use dylon to dye my g-9000-8 mudman, but after 1@2 week, colour start fading... Any idea why this happening? Sorry bad english... :-D

Maulana Andi Pratama said...

Please. Post your steps how to do that some camo. Pleasee

Unknown said...

Hi, I have a G-Shock GA-110HC-6A (aka Fruitsalad) and at the tip of the yellow resin strap, the colour has faded off at the corners. I just ordered a permanent yellow paint marker for rubber, metal, glass and plastic from Ebay, to touch it up, if that doesn't work, what shall I do??! I'm so worries!! What if it stays like that forever?! :(