Sponsored By: Tamiya
Painting bodies should be one of the most exciting tasks to building your RC vehicle. Sure you can bolt on some cool upgrades to personalize your RC machine, but with the body, you can take your personalization to the next level. But for many, this task is the most feared step of an RC car build and it does not need to be. Painting is a rather simple task if you stick to a single color paint scheme. Multiple color paint schemes too can be rather easy, just a little bit more time consuming. With a little bit of prep, a touch of creativity and of course the right supplies, we’re sure you can paint an awesome looking body. Tamiya, a well know radio control model brand in RC can help you achieve that look of perfection with the Tamiya Polycarbonate Spray Paint line. Read on for some tips before you start that awesome paint job to top off your custom RC machine.
PREP THE BODY
The key to creating a well painted body is to take the time to prep it. Sure it looks nice, clean and clear when it arrives, but it’s what your eye can’t see that can harm the final finish. Bodies tend to have mold oils on them when they arrive or they may have oil on them transferred from hands that have handled the body. First things first is to give the body a bath. Draw some warm water in a large sink and put a few drops of dish soap inside the body and start washing the body using a wad of clean paper towels. After a few minutes of scrubbing every surface, rinse the body out and dry it completely with a new wad of clean, preferably lint free paper towels.
PLAN THAT PAINT SCHEME
First step in painting a body is to mask the windows. Kits and bodies often come with window masks to cover the windows. Carefully pull the mask from the backing and apply in the window areas. When you’ve laid down the masks, it is a good idea to compress the outside edges of the mask to prevent paint bleeding. Use the backside tip of your thumbnail to press the outer edges. Next, if you’re painting your very first body, we often suggest to start with a single color scheme. This will allow you to learn how spray paint applies to the body. If you’re ready for the next level, use masking tape or liquid mask to cover the inside of the body. Use a marker to draw your design on the outside of the body and then with a new hobby knife cut your design from the mask. Once you decide what mask to remove in order to spray your first color, make certain you seal the edges. Now the big key is, determining what colors to spray first. Some tend to say start with your dark colors and work your way to the light colors to prevent color bleeds. This is a good rule to follow unless you are comfortable with knowing how to back your colors to prevent bleeds, then you can start with light colors first. So, let’s take for example you want to spray orange first and black second. If you spray black over the orange, it can turn much darker, possibly even look brown. But if you back your orange with white before spraying the black, the orange will remain vibrant and won’t allow the black to bleed through.
PICK YOUR PAINT
For this article, we suggest turning to Tamiya, the modeling pros since the start of RC for their massive line of Polycarbonate Spray Paints. Tamiya offers an awesome variety of colors from your basic primary colors to funky iridescent, metallic, fluorescent and other custom colors that will set your RC car apart from the norm. We’ve painted dozens of bodies with Tamiya’s Polycarbonate Spray paints. The coverage is excellent and it adheres well to the body. Plus they offer some great colors that you can’t find anywhere else. Take a look at what Tamiya has to offer below.
TAMIYA POLYCARBONATE SPRAY PAINT
These spray paints were developed especially for decorating transparent polycarbonate bodies used in R/C car modeling. Each can contains 100ml of paint, which is the appropriate amount for finishing a model. Paint the body from the inside, keeping the can about 30cm from the surface. After curing, apply another coat. Small details should be brush painted beforehand using Tamiya bottle paints for polycarbonate. These paints are impervious to oil and fuels, so they can be safely used on gas-powered R/C bodies. Never use these paints on plastic models.
Wait, not yet, we have another tip for you. Head back to the sink and fill a bowl with warm water and place your can of Tamiya paint in the water. Let the can sit for a few minutes to warm up. This will build up pressure inside the can that will lead to a finer spray. Next tip is safety. Make certain to wear a suitable paint mask when painting as well as painting in a well ventilated area such as heading outside and away from other people.
Holding the can approximately 12-14 inches away from the body, give the body a light coating of paint. Start from one end and consistently spray until you reach the end. Let go of the nozzle, reset and make another light pass on an unpainted area and repeat until the body has a light coat of paint on all clear lexan. You should be able to easily see through the paint. Applying multiple light coats versus one or two heavy coats will allow the paint to adhere better and will reduce the chances of bleeds and runs. Allow ample time for the paint to cure between coats. Paint will dry faster on warm days than cold days so keep temperature into account.
After spraying multiple coats, you should be done if it’s a single color job. If you have another color, consider if you need to back the paint before moving on. Most light colors should be back. White can be backed with silver. Silver can be backed with black. Fluorescent colors should always be backed with white. Iridescent colors can be backed with black, white or silver depending on the desired look you want to achieve. Translucent colors too should be backed with white, silver or gold depending on the effect you want.
Before you start cutting up your freshly painted body to fit your car, give the paint some time to cure, at least twenty four hours. Consider placing some decal film or masking tape in areas that may rub against the chassis so you’re new paint doesn’t wear off on your first run.
Painting a body is really rather simple and shouldn’t strike the fear in new modelers. Having the right supplies is the key and Tamiya is certainly one of the most respected brands in RC, so you know the paint you get will be top quality. Tamiya’s huge selection of paints will most likely have you covered as well. Sky Blue Anodized Aluminum, Smoke, Frost Pink, Translucent Yellow, Corsa Gray, Iridescent Pink/ Gold one or more of these unique Tamiya Polycarbonate Spray Paint colors could be the next stand out color on your RC machine!
Sponsored By: Tamiya