Small...but perfectly formed...
Here's a little curiosity to make you smile... It's fair to say that ALL Wal basses are wonders of the luthier's art but the Wal bass featured in this section is certainly one of a kind - a microcosm of the bass maker's art. At first sight it doesn't seem that special... Quilted kauri top, five string, Mark II body shape... so what. Well, when you scroll down to see the next photos all may become clear.
Rather than the normal scale length of 34 inches this bass has a nut to bridge length measuring less than 12 inches. It is, in fact a beautifully made resin model constructed by a Japanese model maker - "Chapran".
The bass is seen here in all its glory modelled not, as it appears at first sight, by the wonderful singer-songwriter and bassist, Aimee Mann, but a small, blonde, resin doll... According to the Chapran website her name's "Maria" but you probably didn't really need to know that.
The attention to detail on the model is nothing short of amazing - from the laminated "mahogany"/"kauri" sandwich body structure and laminated neck to the detailing on the characteristic Wal die cast bridge, the custom made Wal volume, tone and blend knobs and the twin jack and XLR output sockets visible on the photograph below! Even the tuning heads and string retainer look correct to the casual eye!
The model was commissioned by Derek Tearne, a bassist from New Zealand as a perfect replica of his kauri topped 5-string. The accuracy is remarkable - Derek confesses that the only reason that the colours are slightly different is that he fiddled with the JPEG colours before sending them off to Yuji for him to start working on!
Incidentally, the resin dolls are also made by Yuji's wife and, again, each one is a unique sculpture with individual features.
This is only one of the amazing guitar and bass models available on the Chapran page at the "Jack-in-the Box" website on http://www.eonet.ne.jp/~saltvalley/jitb/chapran/chapran.html from classic axes like SGs, Telecasters, Les Pauls and Ricky basses to weird Japanese celebrity guitars, Burns electrics and some of those odd, not-quite-Mosrite-shaped early '70s Yamaha electrics. Mad as a sack of fish but a great page to just enjoy!
Another Chapran model, this time a schedua 5-string.