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Parma’s Baja Fifty Five

RCD Paint Plus: Parmas Baja Fifty Five

Words: David Harrington
Photos: David Harrington

Parma always comes up with interesting bodies that fill a niche market, and I always happen to be in that market. I loved that they made a dune buggy body for a short course chassis, and now they have come up with this, a classic car desert racer! I have seen pictures of these cars off road, and the little angel on one shoulder tells me I should stick to the theme of a classic Baja racer, but when I look at this body, the little devil on the other shoulder says, “Hot rod flames!” He is a persuasive little guy, so hot rod flames it is! I wanted a period correct color and red or back would be too common. I thought about turquoise, but then someone suggested it, so “sea foam” green it is! There are dozens of variations of that color, and I wanted to keep it period correct, so I found a Chevy color chart from 1955, and mixed up a custom color matched to a shade they called Sea Mist Green.

Spaz Stix
• Ultimate Mirror Chrome #10000
• Ultimate Surface Prep #90059

• Fifty Five body
• FasMask liquid mask
• FasBlack #40001
• Faswhite #40000
• FasSky Blue #40012
• Faslucent Yellow #40310
• Faslucent Red #40307
• Faslucent Orange #40309
• Fasescent Purple #40152
• 3” body post

Step 1

RCD Paint Plus: Parmas Baja Fifty Five
The front hood line is really high on this body, so you’ll probably have to install longer posts. Just to make sure they were long enough, I started with Parma’s three-inch posts. To fit them to the Blitz body mount holders, I first snipped the larger part off the bottom with wire snips so the posts would drop into the holes. Then I held the post at the height I wanted while I marked where the hole for the pin would be with my body reamer. I started the hole with the reamer and then finished with a hand drill. Once the posts were in place, I lined up my body and marked my holes with a detail pen.

Step 2

RCD Paint Plus: Parmas Baja Fifty Five
Once the body was mounted, I wiped out the dust and shavings and gave it a shot of Spaz Stix Ultimate Surface Prep. I then applied the window mask. I started by lining up one corner, sealing down an edge, and then working my way back and forth, working out bubbles as I go. The front and rear windows have kind of a deep contour, so you may need to warm those masks with a blow dryer after they’ve been applied to work them into the contours and smooth out any wrinkles.

Step 3

RCD Paint Plus: Parmas Baja Fifty Five
I covered the inside of the body with liquid mask, using a foam brush to apply three coats, and then let it dry overnight. I find it easier to draw graphics like flames on a flat surface so I sketched some flames on a piece of paper. Then I traced them over with a marker to create a reverse image. After tracing the flames on the doors, I flipped them over on the hood so it would look less like the same pattern.

Step 4

RCD Paint Plus: Parmas Baja Fifty Five
Once my graphics were laid out on the outside of the body, it was time to start cutting them out on the inside of the body. I cut them with my hobby knife, being careful not to cut too deeply and score the body. Try to cut the lines in a continuous motion, ending your lines on the tips of the flames and making sure your start and stop lines intersect.

Step 5

RCD Paint Plus: Parmas Baja Fifty Five
I usually like to remove the graphic and paint that first, but because I drew my flames with the licks overlapping, I had to remove the mask from the background first. Before doing so, I cut out the rear taillights and bumper so those would remain masked. I did this by first tracing them on the outside with my detail pen so I had a guideline to follow when I cut.

Step 6

RCD Paint Plus: Parmas Baja Fifty Five
To mix up my Sea Mist Green, I started with FasSky and then I added just a tad of Faslucent Yellow, a couple of drops at a time, until I got the hue I was looking for. I felt it looked a little murky so I added a couple of drops of Faswhite. After laying three coats in the body, I backed it with a coat of Faswhite so the other colors would not bleed through.

Step 7

RCD Paint Plus: Parmas Baja Fifty Five
With the background in place, I cut the outline around the flames by cutting just inside my previous cut line. After removing the mask from the outline, I filled it with Fasescent Purple. I would normally fill the pearl colors with FasKrome to give them more sparkle, but in this case I used Faswhite as a backer to make the color pop.

Step 8

RCD Paint Plus: Parmas Baja Fifty Five
After the outline, it was time to remove the mask in the flames, but first I cut out the headlights, turn indicators, and grill, so those areas would remain masked. Then I sprayed Faslucent Yellow around the edges of the flames before filling in with Faswhite.

Step 9

RCD Paint Plus: Parmas Baja Fifty Five
I wanted a chrome trim line around the lights so I cut my line, and then peeled out the center sections first. I filled the turn indicators with Faslucent Orange, the tail lights with Faslucent Red, and shaded some Faswhite around the edges of the headlights. Next, I removed the mask from the rear bumper and grill, and filled all areas with Ultimate Mirror Chrome, backing the Faslucent colors at the same time.

Step 10

RCD Paint Plus: Parmas Baja Fifty Five
I finished up by backing everything with FasBlack to make it good and opaque. All that was left was to remove the overspray film and window mask.

Parma parmapse.com, (440) 237-8650
Spaz Stix spazstix.com, (800) 706-0690

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