One of the more satisfying RC tasks that we can tackle is painting the Lexan body that comes with a kit or a new body for your existing kit. There seem to be as many schools of thought on the “perfect” process as there are Faskolor color choices. You can use an airbrush or rattle cans. You can use pre-cut vinyl masks or create your own. You can use decals for inside the shell or the more traditional decals on the outside. Whichever way you want to go it is always easier when you can learn from someone who has done it a few times. That is why my local hobby shop here in Maryland, The Moose Caboose, holds a painting workshop once a year. I have had the pleasure of playing the role of class instructor on a few occasions, with another opportunity hopefully planned for this spring if we ever get spring-like weather.
The workshop is always a hit with customers who are anxious to take on their own paint jobs. We’ve had between 15 and 20 participants each time with many others expressing disappointment that they were unable to attend for various reasons. This is something that I always felt other hobby shops should consider offering as a valuable service to its customers.
Here is how The Moose Caboose painting workshop was organized. Owner, Glen Stegmiller, began posting information about the class well in advance to help generate interest. Pre-registration was necessary for those wishing to participate. A nominal fee would hold their place and help to cover costs of materials used. The shop provided all paints, masks and even some decals, as well as light refreshments and snacks. Registrants could bring their own body or, for an additional fee, could order one through the shop at a discounted rate.
On the day of the outdoor workshop, registrants arrived to find a table lined with RC bodies, painted with design schemes ranging from simple to complex. There were airbrushed bodies as well as bodies using internal decals. Another table was set up with tools and materials that would be needed for the process.
After briefing everyone on the different techniques available and demonstrating the ways I like to trim the bodies, I let them loose with Parma body markers, masking tape and sharp hobby knives. I would work with each one individually to get them started and step in if they needed any further assistance later. Most were beginners who tried to keep it fairly simple while a few got ambitious. I encouraged them to do whatever they wanted to.
The class was about three hours long, give or take, and everyone had a great time and left there with a desire to paint another body soon. Several even purchased bodies and supplies before leaving the store. This workshop was as much a benefit for the shop as it was for the participants. There are other RC workshops that the Moose caboose has held, including vehicle maintenance and engine tuning. It is all about making the hobby fun for everyone involved. The more you know as a hobbyist the more fun you will have and the more likely you are to try to recruit new people. Talk to you local hobby shop and suggest a painting workshop and let us know how it goes.