revlimiter Badges

The first nine designs.

The first nine designs.

It seems like I always start posts like this with “I’ve worked on this for SOOOO long…” but, well, it’s true. I’ve worked on these badges for what feels like ever. Since around the time I started making the keychains, I’ve been planning these badges.

I’ve tested a half dozen different epoxies. I’ve set up tooling in an off-shore factory. I’ve designed metal parts in three dimensions.

All in my spare time between filling gauge orders.

Being able to to type up this blog post showing the completed line of badges feels so sweet. Like crossing a finish line after months of racing.

I'm so proud of this design.

I’m so proud of this design.

Like I said, keychains. I made my first tray of keychains and immediately started eyeballing Sharka’s aged KG Works nose badge. It lived on Sharka’s nose for a decade. I always wanted to make my own. Now was the time.

I started testing different clear resins and epoxies after discovering the stuff I was using on keychains really did NOT survive much sun exposure.

“Jewelers resins” were out after a few test samples. No matter how good or UV resistant they claim to be, a resin WILL yellow in the sun. It is also usually chemical reactive. IE: wheel cleaners can hurt it. All crafting resins were immediately discarded.

So I turned my attention to industrial “things” that need protection from elements, yet need to sit in the sun for years. Solar cells immediately came to mind. Epoxies meant to coat solar cells have GOTTA be up to the task, right?

Right.

The red is SO pretty when light hits it.

The red is SO pretty when light hits it.

A few more chemicals to test. Some really sucked to work with. Others weren’t actually “clear”. Finally, I found the Goldilocks epoxy that was pretty easy to work with and poured water-clear.

That left me with the problem of badge carriers. They simply do not exist in the same way that keychain blanks do. You can’t just get a catalog full of them. I searched and I searched. I contacted machine shops in town. I learned a whole lot over the months of trying to solve the badge carrier problem. I learned that some problems cannot be affordably solved or locally solved. So, I set up manufacturing at an off-shore factory.

The badge carriers I ended up with are die cast metal. NOT chrome plastic. They’re heavy and lovely feeling. They feel rich. They look incredible and catch the light in ways that plastic just can’t match. They’re… really damn awesome.

2 flavors of badges - 58mm and 50mm.

2 flavors of badges – 58mm and 50mm.

Onto the finished product. I have two sizes of each badge – a low profile 50mm badge meant for fenders and trunk lids and a thicker, double beveled 58mm badge meant for noses and tails. 8mm is a small difference, but both sizes really did need to be made up. They’re very different when holding them in your hands.

Did I mention they’re lovely and heavy?

Stuck on you.

Stuck on you.

The badges come with a layer of 3M sticky stuff on the back, but… it could be MORE sticky. I’m including a strip of this 3M 20 lb “extreme” tape with each badge. It’s, well, insane. You can almost pick up a whole Miata with a strip of this stuff. Once this tape is on the car, whatever is attached to the other side is REALLY stuck on there.

Maybe it doesn’t take much to impress me, but it’s impressive tape. Last time I checked about this stuff, they made 5 lb mounting tape. That was as good as it got. Now they have something 4x stronger.

Ah, Elanore.

Ah, Elanore.

And that one is Sharka’s new nose badge. I designed it a couple months ago back when I was testing epoxies and trying to find badge blanks. It’s pretty obvious where the original design I’m borrowing came from, but it wasn’t at all easy to modify as you see above. The M-A-Z-D-A letters came out looking funky no matter how they were arranged, so I had to re-draw them multiple times to make them look natural in an arc like that.

And then re-re-draw the letters to make them possible to cut out of chrome vinyl.

And then wait for months to finally see on Sharka’s nose.

Yeah. That's the good stuff.

Yeah. That’s the good stuff.

Yes. Just what I wanted.

Yes. Just what I wanted.

One more. Because I can.

One more. Because I can.

To say I’m happy is an understatement.

Yotsuba = good luck.

Yotsuba = good luck.

I wanted to do something for Sharka’s hard top also. I’ve always loved the Racing Mate stickers. Doing just the clover in a badge seemed like a fun test for a side badge. I made up a set and stuck them on.

Love at first sight.

Bucky got some badges too.

Bucky got some badges too.

This was just a test to see how the MS logo would look.

This was just a test to see how the MS logo would look.

My loyal daily driver.

My loyal daily driver.

Bucky couldn’t get left behind. I drive this car most days. That makes it the perfect test platform for badges. The ones stuck on the little guy have been out in the elements for a couple months. So far, no change in badge condition. But I’ve got a post of torture tests to show off shortly.

Yes, this shot is about the Hardtop Badge.

Yes, this shot is about the Hardtop Badge.

I enjoy making things. These car parts. They’re incredibly satisfying. And getting to see things I’ve made on customer cars makes me incredibly happy.

But I wanted some badges for Sharka. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to make these. Being able to finally do it… I have no words. (Yet I seem to have written around 900.)

Oh yeah. Almost forgot the thing that made me start writing this post. Want some badges of your own? They’re in the store and ready for ordering.

Now, back to making parts. There’s some epoxy calling for my attention.

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  • Cosmin says:

    I’ve been wanting a custom nose badge for my car for ages, and nothing really struck me as special enough to buy… but these… now I’m just spoiled for choice! I can’t wait to order one!

    • revlimiter says:

      HA! When I was doing the designs I had the passing thought of “maybe I should just do one or two…” but then thought better of it.

      I enjoy nothing more than spoiling customers with many options.

  • Zip says:

    Adam – the ‘Prototipo 1’ 58mm badges that you made for my nose and rear trim panel (with matching key ring) are the only badging on my ’95.

    As always, excellent craftsmanship, design and attention to detail.

    I can’t hardly wait for my custom wheel center caps!

  • GT-Alex says:

    SO. Much. Awesome in this post ! I can’t wait for the day my car will be going under full chassis restoration and make place a huge order !

  • Mal Jones says:

    Hello how do I order one of your badges.

  • Darryl Smelser says:

    Wait, you have an NB that’s striped just like Sharka?! How did I never know this?? (I still like Sharka better though!)
    Also, those badges look awesome, and your painstaking efforts to produce quality products is equally awesome. So, so impressed. You make great stuff, dude.
    My MSM will always stay (at least visually) pretty much a factory looking MSM. But when I buy an NA, hopefully in the not-too distant future, your name will make many appearances on my bank statements.

  • Greg says:

    Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges.

    Actually I do need some new badges. Is the stock NA nose badge tape only, or does it leave behind holes?

    • Adam says:

      The stock NA nose badge DOES leave holes behind. But they’re completely covered by my badge. =) You’d never know there were two holes in Sharka’s bumper.

  • Mark says:

    So just out of curiosity, have you contacted Mazda about any particular copyright issues you might hit? Hate to see this go down because of The Man.

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