The folk at Fender Custom Shop have been busy! Coming after the recent announcement of the Front Row Legend Esquire, Fender has launched two new guitars inspired by, of all things, a B-25 Mitchell bomber: the Pacific Battle Strat and Tele. Made from two-piece ash for the body finished in a transparent green stain, they use tarnished brass knobs and some old bits of a plane to enhance the ‘bomber’ look.
Both guitars have been designed to emulate the look of a battle-worn B-25 Mitchell bomber plane. This is complemented by the integration of material from the aluminium skin of a B-25 to make their pickguards.
The look is certainly distinct and aesthetically pleasing, and remind me of a few boutique guitar builders that have done similar looks over the years. There’s a hint of Trussart and his aged metallic guitars as well as modern day shred machines from US builder Luxxtone Guitars, who did a series of aged SuperStrats a couple of years back.
I like the vibe of both instruments and can definitely see their appeal. Although they will not be cheap, they will, of course, turn heads, which is what these guitars are all about really.
Each guitar has a C-shaped mahogany neck with a 9.5”-radius ebony fingerboard loaded with 6105 frets. This is a bit of a departure from the more usual maple and rosewood combination that you would often associate with both instruments.
The Strat is loaded with a set of Custom Shop Fat ’50s pickups, including a reverse-wound/reverse-polarity middle pickup for enhanced hum-cancellation, whilst the Tele has a set of hand-wound Custom Shop Texas Special pickups and traditional control layout.
Both guitars come in a custom army-green deluxe hard case and apparently you get a model B-52 bomber plane thrown in, so you can play toy planes between riffs!
As much I like the overall look, I think the choice of pickups is a bit ‘middle of the road’ for such expensive guitars and would have preferred something a little more bespoke for such high-priced guitars. I am not a fan of the C-Shape neck, again I would have preferred something a bit meatier and less bland on such a cool looking pair of guitars. Overall though, they do show off what the Fender Custom Shop is all about.
Fender Custom Shop Pacific Battle Stratocaster and Telecaster RRP – GBP 7,569 each
Fender Custom Shop main site