Going Rogue

Icon Image Graphics, a California-based company specializing in custom graphic installations, recently finished a job worthy of the big screen—a complete wrap makeover of a Nissan Rogue into a Star Wars X-wing fighter pilot.

“Back in August of 2016, we had committed to a Star Wars-themed commercial ad that would feature our color-change wraps on the new 2017 Nissan Rogue and Titan,” says Sino Tour, director of Operations for Icon Image Graphics. “The effects-heavy spot was scheduled to air later that year in conjunction with the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

“After the first wrap project was completed, the Japanese automaker, along with Walt Disney Studios, commissioned several concept cars that would highlight one of their more popular vehicles—the Nissan Rogue. Because the Nissan Rogue shared its name with the film’s title, it was the obvious choice to receive a complete vinyl graphics makeover as an X-wing fighter pilot.”

Indeed these were the Rogues Walt Disney Studios was looking for.

In addition to promoting the movie, the wrap project aimed to highlight the limited edition Rogues produced by Nissan in conjunction with the new film. The plans were to premiere this wrapped vehicle at the L.A. Auto Show last November.

For the first time with any automaker, Lucasfilm lent their design skills to the badges on the flanks for these special vehicles that were on sale for a short period.

Originally Nissan and Walt Disney Studios commissioned two wraps—the X-wing fighter pilot and a stormtrooper helmet wrap.

The stormtrooper wrap was cut at the last minute by the studio. “It would have been an amazing addition to the show and a stark contrast to each other since they were sworn enemies,” says Tour. “[But] with every inch of the Rogues set to be covered with vinyl graphics, it would have been extremely difficult to complete both of them because of the time constraint.”

Icon Image went ahead with the X-wing fighter pilot wrap, fashioning it after the uniforms depicted in the film. “The vibrant orange color, squadron markings, ‘Rebel/Resistance’ emblems, and the helmet with yellow visor were just some of the familiar characteristics of the flight suits that were replicated on the vehicle,” says Tour.

Icon Image only had less than a week and a half to complete their wrap mission, so because of time constraints, the company brought in Chicago-based Consolidated Color & Design (CCD) (ccdllc.com) to assist with the design and printing of the graphics.

To match the specific orange and other colors of the X-wing fighter pilot, CCD tweaked the colors using ICC profiling and printed samples. They created the background pattern on the vehicle by taking multiple patterns and putting them together.

With such a short turnaround time, Icon Image kept the entire Rebel Alliance project team updated with lots of emails and photos. This also helped in getting fast approvals.

“There were many key elements we had to address and get approval for very quickly, such as a test print/swatch of the distressed orange, the sizes of each overlay, and even the color match of the Rebel pilot badges and markings,” says Tour.

At the same time, this was a top-secret mission, so Icon Image had to trust their feelings and cloak themselves in the power of the Force to complete the project undetected and without any leaks.

“This project was classified by our client as a ‘high-security’ wrap,” says Tour. “Any photos, diagrams, information, or leaks of any kind were strictly prohibited until its unveiling at the auto Show.Rogue2

“We even had special key card access given to specific members of our crew to gain access to the warehouse and the closed set.”

The Nissan Rogue was wrapped on the closed set in 3M™ Envision™ Print Wrap Film LX480Cv3, which was printed out on an HP Latex 360 printer.

“We have used 3M products on a majority of our custom and fleet work,” says Tour. “Some of our entertainment clients expect immediate results with a quick turnaround. We need to furnish them with several options per project in terms of specific shades of a color, finishes, or an eye-popping digital print.

“3M’s films have assisted us on different occasions in quickly achieving that bubble-free application or vibrant color-change.”

Installation took three days and the skills of a Jedi as it included covering every section of the vehicle—the grill, headlights, fog lights, and glass windows all received vinyl or a tint for the themed look. Even the doorjambs and the trunk space were wrapped to match the trademark orange of the pilot suit.

“I reminded my custom team of the adage ‘quality over quantity,’” says Tour. “People will notice the fine, intricate details—from properly tucked corners to the orange-tinged doorjambs—that will leave a lasting impression of the work, just like the [Star Wars] series.”

The custom wrap made its debut at the L.A. Auto Show but not before being sent to George Lucas at Skywalker Ranch for a first look. The fully wrapped vehicle then made rounds at various auto shows in Chicago, Montreal, Toronto, and other cities and is still on the road today making appearances at numerous other events.

“Everyone involved in the wrap had a very positive reaction to it because they got the press that they needed and the buzz to help drive tickets sales for both the auto show and Rogue One,” says Tour.

The company may not have received a royal medal ceremony for their successful work here, but Icon Image was still excited about the final result.

“As a company, we all have a nice, personal display of Star Wars paraphernalia scattered throughout our homes or offices,” says Tour. “Being such huge fans, it was truly an honor to work on a job of this magnitude and the feedback from all parties involved was universally positive.Rogue3

“At the L.A. Auto Show, it was truly a delight to see Star Wars fans, members of the press, and attendees taking a bevy of photos with our wrapped [Rogue] after its unveiling to the world.”

Icon Image delivered the goods with this impressive X-wing fighter pilot wrap. “This wrap is a confirmation of the visual transformation that can be achieved with the use of vinyl graphics,” says Tour. “The Force was truly with us on this one.”

By Ashley Bray

All Photos: 3M.

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