Behind the Scenes: Painting Bryn Atkinson's Wild-Looking 'Snake Bike'

Jan 28, 2019 at 12:10
by Bryn Atkinson  



We first saw Bryn Atkinson's custom painted Norco Range last summer at Crankworx Whistler, where the 'Snake Bike' was attracting all sorts of curious onlookers. The wild paint job was done by Tony Baumann, who's based out of Bellingham, Washington, where he operates 'Made Rad by Tony.'

The project took nearly 90 hours from start to finish, with a good portion of that time spent painstakingly picking out each scale from sheets of vinyl. Once the base paint job was applied, multiple layers of clearcoat were sprayed on to lock everything into place and to give the bike a slick, glossy finish.

Bryn was present for much of the process to document the creation of this one-of-a-kind bike – his photographs and captions below show just how much time and effort were involved.
- Mike Kazimer


Day 1. Job's on.


A good clean up and an intense sanding job got things rolling. The 'Snake Bike' started as a brand new Range29 frame, and although it may seem easy starting with a new frame, it's all the original decals that create little imperfections that would show up on a smooth finished surface. For that reason, a good sand job is key.



Patience.. Yeah this man's got lots of it. There were over 40 of these individual 4"x9" sheets, hand weeding each and every scale..





Once the template scales were all laid down over the black base coat, Tony went through with a blade to cut out any overlapping vinyl or imperfections that didn't look like a scale.



The drip bucket from a few other MadeRad projects.


Inspiration comes in many forms..



Every single scale got some form of a highlight.


Layering in the RED.


Fun fact: The Aussie native Red Belly Black Snake is seventh on the list of the country's most venomous snakes. It can also stay underwater for over 20 minutes...



Next was removing all that vinyl templating..


Every last bit..



All that leftover adhesive had to be peeled off too, without damaging the fresh paint just laid down.


A moment of complete focus. Final inspection before the clear coat goes on.


Clear, and lots of it. Laid down thick for a slippery, smooth look. And some added protection.



The details.


Bryn Atkinson's "Red Belly Black Snake" inspired Norco Range. Who wants to see it ridden?



Check out more of Tony's work at www.maderad.com and @tonybaumann




MENTIONS: @norcobicycles, @shimano, @foxfactory, @Maxxis




113 Comments

  • + 129
 for God's snake, what a nice bike!
  • + 63
 Wonder what it tips the scales at?
  • + 24
 It´s a fangtastic looking bike for sure!
  • + 11
 I just get all wrapped up in the details!
  • + 9
 Nice forked tongue.
  • + 10
 I personally find the time involved in a custom paint job constricting.
  • - 67
flag sebmx (Feb 1, 2019 at 12:50) (Below Threshold)
 I totally respect the time and effort that went into this paint, but i like paint designs that aren't so busy. It's way too much for my taste.
  • + 9
 Did he pay him Venom-o?
Being involved in such a project would have left me rattled.
  • + 15
 @ratedgg13: he probably got paid in bit-coin
  • + 37
 that noise you get when flatting will actually be pretty cool on this bike
  • + 5
 Hisss paint job is awesome.
  • + 6
 Coiled and ready to strike!
  • + 7
 anyone up for an afternoon shed?
  • + 8
 I’m glad he has a coil shock.
  • + 6
 Man that guy can ser-paint!
  • + 6
 all time fav paint job, anaconda want to see it ridden now
  • + 2
 These puns are hissterical
  • + 2
 If this were a normal computer-controlled job, it would have to be coded in Python.
  • + 1
 @conv3rt: loving the puns.. haha
  • + 0
 @Bryn-Atkinson: nice. that is a frame for life and hope it gets a space on one of your walls when you're finished with it.
  • + 2
 @conv3rt: your comment has no bite...
  • + 3
 @conv3rt: You're saying he should fang it on his wall?
  • + 1
 @mtbikeaddict: just make sure you cinch it down so it doesn't rattle. But really guys, we should shed our differences so we can sidewind conflict.
  • + 24
 had a buddy do this to my old Tracer 2 back when...

ep1.pinkbike.org/p5pb14649694/p5pb14649694.jpg

ep1.pinkbike.org/p4pb14649693/p4pb14649693.jpg

Gold pearl in the clear over top. Not sure I'd ever do it again, but it was rad to look at. Hanging up in my shop now. I always like this kinda stuff. Airbrushing and custom helmets is a side passion I've always admired that I want to get into doing myself.
  • + 2
 Thanks for the links, I still ride my Tracer 2, those pics are cool.
  • + 7
 @zokinjo: AirBrush has an artist look and feel ...
Like Pin Striping a Hot Rod ...
Like a photograph shot on real Film and developed
It has flaws that ad to the real feeling of the Art ...
They are much closer to the Human .. the Artist ...
All this New over polished Digital Art feels Dead ..
Looks like a machine pumped it out for the masses

or a good way to look at it is the difference between
Going out and Slaying the Trail
or
Playing a digital video game of Mountain Biking
Stop the Computer take over while you still can It's way more fun to be Human !!!!!!
  • + 2
 @mcrosley:
You are right, but the rarity of good AirBrushers and low prices of it's digital alternatives bringing this art to almost dead. That was my point. Good airbrush work is unique but sometimes the compromise in favour of price prevails.
  • + 1
 wow that looks amazing, how ever long did that take to do.
  • + 1
 @rabidmonkfish:

one day process... 500 Eur
  • + 1
 Maybe I'll be Tracer
  • + 1
 @rabidmonkfish: i think my guy said 20 hours? i gave him like $700 or so if i remember right.
  • + 1
 @rabidmonkfish: around 90 hours
  • + 2
 @zokinjo: Thats just like your opinion man
  • + 1
 @mcrosley: well said!!
  • + 1
 @Bryn-Atkinson:

Exactly... I am in love with paintbrush. But to find good one for a reasonable (for a bike painting) price it's damn difficult these days. That why I posted link to the guys who are using digital methods which are few times faster and cheaper on very similar effect. The result is my "Green mamba" and have to say it is not bad at all.
At the same time I adore painting on your bike. In fact it makes me envy... Smile
  • + 1
 @zokinjo: Yeah no worries mate, each to their own. I would've thrown an emoji in there if I knew how.. It was supposed to be in the tone of The Big Lebowski
  • + 16
 Amazing job, the mark of a true craftsman !
  • + 13
 Badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger...
  • + 10
 Mushroom mushroom
  • + 5
 SNAKE SNAKE OHHHHHH SNAAAAAKE!!
  • + 5
 Look at my bike, my snake-bike is amazing. Give it a lick!
  • + 5
 ( Mmm! It tastes just like raisins. )
Of a stroke of its mane, it turns into a plane...
  • + 8
 And the orange Fox suspension matches the pattern really well
  • + 7
 Sweet, so a good craftsman like this probably bills out at least $50 an hour. Yup, Bryns paint cost more than my whole bike.
  • + 12
 I would have expected it to be around $100/hr.
  • + 1
 @deadflat: At least.
  • + 7
 Fantastic photos, Bryn. Awesome to see the behind the scenes. Tony does amazing work!
  • + 1
 Cheers Eric!
  • + 7
 So cool. I want to see it ridden by Bryn at full throttle.
  • - 10
flag sebmx (Feb 1, 2019 at 12:54) (Below Threshold)
 Imagine Bryn hucking to flat and snapping the frame. Oops... hope I didn't jinx it.
  • + 2
 @bike2850: great riding but that is not the bike
  • + 7
 Master of his craft, bike turned out amazing!
  • + 2
 Excellent work Tony. Really. So manyexceptional talents represented: understanding paint, canvas prep, amazing patience for meticulous, repetitive, intricate hand work, masking, color blending and theory. The hand work makes it look amazingly organic as opposed to firing up a vector or caad program. At the quickest glance, even a sustained look, it looks like a real snake. Again, amazing job.
  • + 4
 Anybody else really like the drip bucket photo and think that would make a cool paint scheme ?
  • + 5
 Paint job worth more than the bike itself.. wrap it.
  • - 1
 Paint would look way better, wrapping a bike is not easy!
  • + 1
 @Bomadics: protective wrap.. ??
  • + 1
 @spread1: you could do PPF, clear paint protection film.
  • + 4
 My wife hates snakes and snakes skin pattern. Thanks for giving me idea for my bike repainting project
  • + 2
 Ive seen this bike up close. and the photos don't do it justice, such an killer job!!, what i want to know is, if and when will it be auctioned off???
  • + 3
 I used to cut and apply vinyl for a living, that weeding picture gave me PTSD flashbacks.
  • + 2
 I think Tony is still having nightmares
  • + 0
 The whole comment section is way too punny. Aside from that, is such a beautiful thing to be ridden like a normal bike or is it going to be stored and displayed like a trailer queen show car or piece of art?
  • + 3
 Any heel rub would give me a jammer
  • + 3
 Amazing paint job! I want that bike!
  • + 2
 That bike look mint, If my bike had a paint job like that I wouldn't want to ride in fear of scratching it.
  • + 1
 This is one of the coolest custom paint jobs ever! But who paid for it? Norco? Bryn? Did this bad ass painter volunteer his time? Either way this bike is sick!!
  • + 2
 How could you ever even ride it, the fear of scrape to a new frame is paralyzing let alone a rolling piece of art!
  • + 2
 Back in the day, my mate used to stretch fishnet stockings over his work to get the scale effect, worked well too!
  • + 3
 Holy hell. Man I appreciate talent like this.
  • + 3
 INNNSANE!!!
  • + 29
 don't you mean INSSSSSSANE? Razz
  • + 4
 @rory: better be running Industry Nine hubs for that rattler effect.
  • + 1
 Saw it up close at the Norco tent at Crankworx's, such a sick looking paint job!
  • + 0
 this kind of custom paint jobs with animal impressions on vehicles generally look terrible and tacky but generally people seem to like them. I can't help it
  • + 0
 I love it! Damn. It's great to see some gloss too, I don't like the matte paint coming out these days. Gloss is harder to do well, and that makes it classier.
  • + 1
 Best paint job EVER. The finished product looks incredible. Well done guys.
  • + 1
 Holy hell. Gorgeous! Super creative...
  • + 1
 Nice artwork and photos too.
  • + 1
 Magic and voodoo. Perfection
  • + 1
 Sir, bloody good job you've done
  • + 0
 The black snake is not number 7 on the venomous list and No record deaths... Until now.
  • + 0
 Has anyone ever hydrodipped a frame? Does it hold well? Is it worth it. Ive seen some really good work out there.
  • + 1
 Just an amazing piece of art. You are going to have to frame it.
  • - 1
 Just think, he can charge more when his client wants to upgrade to a 29er next month when new bikes come out ... Smile

edit -- that is a 29er. vice versa then.
  • + 1
 Truly a gifted man...and an awesome bike to display this craftsmanship !!
  • + 1
 Now that is a striking paint job!
  • + 1
 SSSSSssssssssssssssick
  • + 0
 Great photo series. That's one rad haolie kook!
  • + 1
 Gotta love the puns here
  • + 0
 This was joyful to look at.
  • + 0
 please don't ride it...who am i kidding
  • + 1
 Such talent, much wow !
  • + 1
 Masterpiece!
  • + 1
 the art is ENDGAME
  • + 1
 great.
  • + 0
 @bryn Have you ridden this beauty??
  • + 0
 wuh.....
  • + 1
 Beautiful!
  • + 1
 The best ever. Unreal
  • - 1
 $10000 paint job, I can professionally paint my car and swap the engine for less
  • + 1
 great paint job.
  • + 0
 @cobracommander is misssssssing his moment...
  • + 1
 Pure art.congratulations
  • + 1
 Looks expensive.
  • - 1
 Deth on two legs [enter electric guitar emoji here]
  • - 2
 It's very difficult, very difficult, very sincere.... The result is not cool design.
  • - 3
 Not worth it.
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