Westfield Mini Gibson Les Paul Upgrade

This Westfield Mini Gibson Les Paul style guitar caught my eye on U.K eBay while I was finishing my 3/4 scale Brian May Red Special project in early January 2014. The listing stated:

“I was working as the head of stage for the Queen musical We Will Rock You for 6 years and Brian signed this mini Les Paul for my daughter but now it needs to go… to a real collector… good luck.”

I decided to remove Brian’s signature from the rear because it had started to rub off in places and it seemed out of place on a scaled down Gibson Les Paul style instrument that otherwise has no connection with Brian May or Queen. Since my objective was to enhance a playable display piece, I restricted the project scope to straightforward upgrades that would bring the quality and cosmetic appearance closer to that of a full size Gibson Les Paul and give it a lift by using hardware with a gold finish. I considered refretting with Jescar EVO Gold fretwire but since the frets are both level and satisfactorily dressed in all respects, this would have involved a lot of work for only minimal benefit. The upgrades are listed below:

Specifications

  • Tonerider AC2 Alnico II PAF humbucker pickup AC2B-GD
  • Musiclily 3+3 semi-closed guitar tuners
  • Gold coloured machine head bushings (8 mm hole, 6 mm shaft)
  • Green tulip shaped plastic tuner keys
  • Gibson OEM strap buttons (brass)
  • Gotoh Nashville GE103B-T Tune-o-Matic bridge with large posts
  • Gibson style speed volume and tone knobs (gold)
  • Stratocaster/Telecaster gold coloured neck plate with matching screws
  • Custom CNC cut black perspex rear cover plate
  • Bourns PDB181-GTR01-504 potentiometers
  • Optima Gold 2028M string set (0.011, 0.014, 0.018, 0.030, 0.038, 0.050)

Links to Project Phase Pages

Part 1: Stripdown & Evaluation
Part 2: Hardware Modification & Repairs
Part 3: Mechanical Set-up
Part 4: Reassembly & Testing