Westfield Mini Gibson Les Paul Upgrade

The last of my five planned guitar build and modification projects covers the upgrade of a Westfield Mini Gibson Les Paul guitar I bought from U.K. eBay in January 2014. This lovely little 18.5″ scale, solid body instrument is an easily playable travel guitar for an adult or introductory electric guitar for a child. It sat unloved in its gig bag in my attic for around seven years and deserved to be improved to the best possible specification.

https://dsgb.net/projects/minilespaul/


Amongst other minor cosmetic upgrades to gold hardware, the modified specification includes:

  • Tonerider AC2 Alnico II PAF humbucker pickup AC2B-GD
  • Gibson OEM strap buttons (brass)
  • Gotoh Nashville GE103B-T Tune-o-Matic bridge with large posts
  • Gibson style speed knobs (gold)
  • Bourns PDB181-GTR01-504 potentiometers
  • Optima Gold 2028M string set (0.011, 0.014, 0.018, 0.030, 0.038, 0.050)

Attic Find: Westfield Mini Les Paul

I bought this Westfield mini Les Paul guitar in January 2014 from an eBay seller who was Head of Stage on the London WWRY production for six years. He got Brian May to sign it back stage as a gift for his daughter but I decided to remove the silver Sharpie signature from the rear of the guitar body because it seemed inappropriate.

It has a solid wood body with an attractive grain structure and the neck and headstock are set at similar angles to a full size Gibson Les Paul. I checked the frets with a StewMac straight edge and was pleased to find that they are perfectly uniform so there is no reason why this shouldn’t look great and play well. I think it would make a fun display with my 3/4 scale Brian May Red Special. The guitar sat in its gig bag in my attic for seven years until I finally completed the project to upgrade all the hardware in March 2021. You can read about the details here:


https://dsgb.net/projects/minilespaul/

Travel Guitars

Pictured below are the first guitar I made: a 3/4 scale Red Special which was signed by Brian May in December 2017 and Guyton RS Transporter No. 9 of 25. One of several suitable options to obtain the Brian May tone away from home is a Vox MV50 AC compact guitar amplifier head, a traditional style treble booster and a good quality set of monitor headphones. Just because… Why not? Let’s hear it for travel guitars.

https://voxamps.com/en-gb/product/mv50-ac/
https://www.guytonrstransporter.com/

Guyton RS Transporter #0817154 (No. 9 of 25)

In January 2019, I was very pleased to be able to acquire Guyton RS Transporter #0817154 (No. 9 of 25). I am the instrument’s third owner after it was originally commissioned by Craig Farley of Queen Tribute band Forever Queen. I’ve been unable to see them play live because most of the venues they play at are in the south of England. Check their pages out:

https://www.facebook.com/foreverqueenhampshireuk/
http://www.foreverqueen.co.uk/

The Guyton RS Transporter was designed by Red Special community stalwart Martin Pitcher and is expertly realised by Suffolk luthier Andy Guyton. It has achieved the distinction of replacing the scalloped fretboard Guyton Red Special as Brian May’s pre-concert warm-up guitar.

https://www.facebook.com/Guyton-Guitars-201657545404/
https://www.guytonrstransporter.com/

In the unlikely event that you’re not already familiar with this guitar, please check out Craig’s unboxing video on YouTube where he makes a significantly better job of demonstrating it than I ever could
. The guitar is designed to be a travel variant of Brian May’s original Red Special with woods, neck dimensions, Adeson Tri-Sonic pickups, pickup spacing and controls closely reflecting those of the original instrument. It is obviously headless and makes good use of the JCustom XS tremolo bridge.

Demonstration of Guyton RS Transporter 0817154 (No. 9 of 25) by Craig Farley, lead guitarist with Queen Tribute Band Forever Queen.

The pictures in the gallery below are copyright Andrew Guyton of Guyton Guitars.

The Guyton RS Transporter from Guyton Guitars.
Danny Porter, guitarist from “Burn The Headlines” checking out his Guyton RS Transporter.