Brian May Red Special Guitar Build Project Design Sketches

I am occasionally asked if I will provide copies of the Red Special plans which I produced to support my replica build project. I want to discuss explicitly here why I will never do this.

Firstly, I spent probably hundreds of hours of my own leisure time researching the Red Special’s form using photographs in the public domain then working up design sketches into 3D CAD objects in TurboCAD 2016. I have no desire to give away my hard work to complete strangers. People who have grown up in the internet age (post 1992) sometimes expect to be able to download anything for free and thus the notion of working diligently for several years to create something as a labour of love and to gain knowledge for themselves is an alien concept.

Secondly, my Red Special plans are my own interpretation of Brian and Harold May’s original design and are not accurate or even authentic because I have not had the opportunity to measure and assess Brian May’s original Red Special guitar as has Andrew Guyton, for example. Thus they will have inherent errors and omissions. They are also my interpretation of how I guess that Brian and Harold designed the guitar, not necessarily how it actually turned out after they made it. I am not a trained or even a skilled CAD designer so my work is of a basic amateur standard and thus I am not comfortable with passing it on to anybody, be they a good friend or a complete stranger. I make regular alterations (hopefully improvements) to them so they are never complete (i.e. subject to a ‘scope freeze’). Furthermore, my design work is all my own and I have never had any privileged access to insider information or professional assistance. I have discussed technical details with knowledgeable amateurs in the Queen/Brian May enthusiast community and that is all.

Thirdly, I only need to pass my plans and CAD files on to one untrustworthy and unscrupulous individual for them to be posted up in their entirety on a file sharing website where nobody, least of all me will have any further control or influence over them.

Fourthly, and perhaps most importantly, Brian May and his support team take a dim view of people who make replicas of his guitar and equipment and attempt to either sell those replicas on a commercial basis or in some way collaborate with or collude with people who do. I have no intention of becoming one of those people who Brian despises for these reasons. I have too much respect for this intelligent, kind, highly talented hard working pillar of British society and rock god to consciously rip him off in any way.

Do not ask. As the saying goes, “refusal often offends”. What I will show you are some high resolution images of my design sketches for your interest that I previously posted in 2017 when I started DSGB as a Facebook blog page.

Captions for each of the above images are as follows:

1. TurboCAD design sketches of the Red Special neck in plan and side elevation with construction objects overlaid. Note that the guitar would have been designed in imperial measurement units, not metric, in 1963.

2. Red Special body and Red Special pickguard design sketch illustrating hardware positions and also showing the ‘MayStar’ mother-of-pearl inlay with which Greg Fryer filled in the switch hole left after Brian removed the Vox distortion unit.

3. TurboCAD design sketch of my Red Special replica with reference datums for the body ellipse centre and neck zero point and illustrating the hardware layout.

4. Hidden line TurboCAD drawings of the Red Special neck 3D object focusing on the region where the headstock meets the main section and the ‘volute’ on the underside.

Further Reading
Red Special Build Project: Design Research