- Bike Checks
Carl Ruckley aka Ruckerz is an ex hair model (yes, you read that right) and a professional automotive painter. He hails from Southampton and I first met him at the Ghetto Shed many years ago. His main job involves repairing and spraying cars, but on the side he sprays custom frames for his friends and anyone who wants one. As I'm a big fan of his work and his recent woodgrain effect has been making the rounds on Facebook and other social networks, I thought I'd drop him a few questions and give shine to the man behind the airbrush.
Carl, tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, my name is Carl Ruckley (Ruckerz) and I am 37 and based in Southampton. I work for a Company called Nice Touch Auto Refinishing which I set up around twelve years ago. We Repair Cars on a daily basis, but on the weekend and evenings I try and get some custom painting done.
People may not know this, but you do custom paint jobs for riders like Mark Webb, Daniel Sandoval, Jack Watts, and many of the Southsea locals. How did this come about?
When i first started riding BMX i met up with Mark Webb at Southsea Skatepark and he wanted some stuff painted, we soon became good mates and started hanging out and I used to ride at the GS with everyone. Mark and Remo asked me to paint the first 3 Prototype Total BMX frames in the British flag colours, Red, White and Blue and it just went from there really. I have done between eight and ten customs for Mark now including the Vans checkered frame and I have also painted bikes for Alex Coleborn, Kyle Blake, Ben Wallace, Daniel Sandoval and many others that I can't even remember. Ha ha.
How many frames have you painted?
In total now i must have painted between sixty and seventy. I've even done bikes for the Ambulance service which I believe they use for busy cities like London.
You recently sprayed Matt Shepherds current setup in a woodgrain feel. Who came up with the idea to do this?
I approached Mark with this Idea about a year ago now but we were unsure if it would work, but then Mark had his Knee operation and it got put on the back burner. About a month ago I posted on Facebook when I was quiet with work that i was keen to woodgrain a frame and if anyone fancied it. Three people came forward, one being Matt Shepard who is a friend of mine. I knew it was possible as I had done similar effects on things before, but this has gone really well considering its the first bike I've painted woodgrain.
What was the process of achieving your this effect?
The process of getting to this result it stripping the old paint and using an Acid etch primer to give the paint a perfect key. A ground coat is applied which is based on a yellow and then its time to do the Woodgrain effect, but unfortunately that is my secret! The black is applied around the joins and to give its depth on the edges. After waiting for this lot to dry you apply a transparent brown to get the desired wood colour you want and then lacquer it. It is around a three to four hour process, but the results are epic.
Who’s next inline for a nice touch finish?
I have been speaking to a few guys recently and JC Peri is next. Declan Brooks, Troy Hayward and Callum Emery are to follow, but I am sure i’ll have to squeeze another in as i know Webbie is keen for something as soon as he is ready.
Finally, Any thanks?
I’d just like to thank Dwight Holman, Mark Webb and Ronnie Remo from Total BMX for all the support and pushing my company. Callum Emery and Troy Hayward for pushing Nice Touch. Cara, Dan and Carlos from Pijin, and anyone who has had a spray job by Nice Touch and finally Chris Wilmshurst for this feature.