I did it completely by myself... after succeeding in self repairing the peeling in my OM4Ti. I realised that the pieces of vulcanite could be easily replicated in other more exotic skins.
I carried over the idea to my R7 and Minilux in order to personalise my gear.
Its a great feeling to carry around a one-off 'creation'. Furthermore, after you tire of the skin , U can just change it.
Alright, you got me interested in it. Did you use any special templates or did you just trace out the pattern from the old skin? What type of adhesive did you use and how did you clean off the old adhesive. Is there a web site that I can buy different types and colors of skins?? Hmmmmm, Diamondback rattlesnake, wouldn't that look cool!
Nope , no template involved. Just a very sharp paper cutter and steady hands.
Trace the pattern from the old skin.
Buy new skin. Where U are , it may be easier for U than me here to get real Ostrich leather - the most expensive leather for handicraft. (I am still in need of a few scraps of yellow Ostrich leather - it goes very well with black bodies - a la Contax 139 of yore.... so if U so get a scrap of real yellow ostrich leather, pls remember me. sometimes leather scraps are available on eBay ) I bought a piece of calfskin at a local leatherworker and had it skived down to the proper thickness. The skiving machine was pretty primitive, so by the time he finished, the skin was distorted and no longer flat from all that brute tugging.
An easier way is to go to a good dept store and buy high quality ladies' purses on bargain offer. I managed to buy the blue ostrich leather - nope not the real thing - but the imprint was of such a high quality that it was hard to tell whether the quill bumps were real or not. The leather was Italian (the best) calf skin with ostrich imprint crafted into a Japanese made ladies longish wallet. So next time U and yr wife go shopping, U can hang around HER dept and rummage thru the ladies' wallets.
Pls see the Minilux thread here to see mine re-skinned in Blue Ostrich leather. My chrome OM4Ti is also in blue .
So the poor wallet was cut up neatly to salvage the skin.
The thing U have to watch out for is to get the right thickness of the leather. My blue ostrich was a bit thick so I spent a few hours skiving the skin down with my hands to the right thickness using a razor blade.
The glue to use is the rubber glue that cobblers use to mend shoe soles. Same glue that gluesniffers use - prolonged inhalation makes U high. Tea coloured and slimy - like mucous. Work in a well ventilated room.
Spread a thin layer on the leather and let it half dry - Tacky - follow the instructions - normally wait for 20mins, then press into place. Spead evenly so U won't feel bumps under the skin when completed.
Don't spread glue onto the camera cos it flows into the body and jams up things.
Don't use white glue (PVA glue.) It sticks and leaves a residue behind. Hard to repair when disaster strikes. Its also very slow drying. This is why U use the rubber glue becos when dried on metal , U can just rub it off with yr fingers. No damage whatsoever.
U need to dismantle the self timer to cut round it. Also that small piece of leather ON the self timer lever itself.
U can continue and come up with matching leather protectors over the camera lugs like Contax or Nikon.
I use the papercutter that has the more acute angle blade not the usual freely available type.
With this, and careful color co-ordination, U can come up with very very exciting re-upholstered bodies. Heck , we don't need Hermes at all.
I have yet to try on an M body cos I don't have one. I would be happy to see M users walking around with really personalised bodies. The combinations are endless.
Carry over this idea into medium format and it gets more exciting. In fact not too long ago Hasselblad issued red, blue and yellow leathered bodies.
I have a Hexar RF but I don't think its rubber skin is easy to remove.
Tan and black is classy - Alpa like. But then so is Mustard. Or Olive Drab. Or Burgundy. Snake or lizard is brittle and not so workable.
Don't buy artificial leather ie vinyl. One look and U can tell its fake. Besides its got this bad workability becos its stretchy - so it gets deformed easily and the tone is too uniform to be natural.