Thursday, February 29, 2024

Painting Distressed Panels & Rivets

This article was originally published in RC Driver’s July 2016 issue.

Words And Photos By David Harrington

I’ve watched short course trucks evolve from an entry level, semi-scale, basher class to a full-on race class packed with serious competition. As the class evolved, we saw the bodies evolve from scale representations of full size models, to slick, aerodynamic bodies swiss cheesed with vent holes to prevent parachuting. While I do enjoy racing my short course trucks and prefer to drive with a race body on the track, I never forget it was the scale aspect of short course trucks that made me say, “I gotta have it!” which brings me to this month’s article. Parma released their version of the Ford Raptor body early on in the short course game and really went for the scale aspect of it, even including a spare tire in the bed. I thought it would be fun to revisit this body and give it the custom truck look of something you might see driving down the road. Something that I’ve seen on full size vehicles and have been wanting to try on an RC is metal panels with rivets. I’ve seen the process demonstrated in full scale. The problem is reversing the process and shrinking it to 1/10-scale without losing the effect. This is something I’ve procrastinated with for a while, but I felt the theme would be perfect for this body, so I just went for it with no practice. I figure we all could learn from my mistakes. Here’s how it went down.

• Ford Raptor body 1231
• 10mm masking tape 40280 • FasPearl Blue 40055
• FasKrome 40300
• FasPearl Silver 40050
• FasBlack 40001


This paint job is a relatively simple one, that will not take too much time and you could even use the torn tape effect with a rattle can. There is, however, a lot of fine shading that will require a proper working airbrush and a fair amount of control over it. Intermediate painters may struggle, but it is good practice.

1 I prefer to trim and mount the body before I start any paint job. This will save you a whole lot of heartache later. As evidence to how early this body came into the short course game, it was designed to fit the Slash only, but most companies based their vehicles on something similar, so it should still fit most short course trucks. It was no problem to drop it on my SC10. The body has markings to notch for the bumpers. I just cut those areas straight across until I could test fit it. I had to raise both the front and rear body mounts. The rear end cleared the bumper with no problem, but the front needed some trimming. I took about 1/8 inch off the front edge, so there wouldn’t be too much extra to get snagged up. Then I marked the position of the bumper and notched it about another 1/8 inch to clear the bumper. Then I was able to mark the tops of the post with my marker and make the holes with a body reamer.

2 A way that I commonly see this theme used and the way I wanted it, is where is looks like the paint is ripping away to reveal the panels. I found a while back that to get the best tear effect, you just need to tear pieces of tape. I wanted it to look like it was pulling off the front, because, you know, it’s so fast! So I taped a chunk on the front of the hood and behind the front wheel wells. This body comes with decals for the windows if you want blacked out windows, but I prefer mine clear. To mask the the windows, I covered them with masking tape. Then I traced the windows on the outside of the body, to give me a guideline, before cutting them out with my hobby knife.

3 When masking with tape I like to give the body a quick wipe with a paper towel dampened with some window cleaner, to remove any fingerprints before I start laying paint. I wanted it to look like the the stock factory paint job was peeling away. After looking at the factory colors, I felt FasPearl Blue looked really close to one of the colors and you know I just love blue. I start laying light coats running down the sides, across the tailgate, then back and forth across the hood and roof. I lay the second coats a little heavier. No need to waste too much paint in the bed, because that will be covered from the outside. The center of the wheel looks really cool sprayed in with FasKrome, but I’m running black wheels on my truck, so I just sprayed the beadlock ring in the body color for a little separation. The pearl color will need to be backed with FasKrome to make it more opaque.

4 This is the part that gets a little tricky when reversing the process for clear bodies. Normally you would add the rivets after you’ve done the panels, so you would see right where they would need to be. In this case I’m doing the rivets first, so I needed some kind of guideline. What I did was draw my panels on the outside of the body, by tracing around a business card. I wanted my panels to be overlapped and uneven, like some kind of post-apocalyptic thing that was hacked together with scrap metal. Then I was able to dot the FasKrome using a Spotter brush. To make the rivets stand out and give them a little depth, I used the ultra fine tip of my detail pen to make little crescents around the edge of the dot.

5 To give the paint job some depth and separation, I shaded FasBlack around the tear lines to create a drop shadow. Then I started painting my panel lines. I find it best to have something behind the body to keep it supported while you hold the business card in place. You want your shading as fine as possible. I wish I could have made mine finer. Just spray across the edge of the card so your spray pattern is only spraying about halfway over. I then did some light lines across the pieces of metal, so they look more uneven and distressed. After filling in all my areas, I fill it in with two coats of FasPearl Silver, backed by the FasKrome.

6 To finish, I Iike to paint the bed and trim from the outside for a flatter look. On this body I first cut out the beadlock ring on the tire in the bed and then after cutting out the bed in the overspray film, I removed the film, leaving the beadlock ring covered. I also cut and removed overspray film from the pillars between the side windows and the trim around the wheel wells. I cut some trim around the edges of the window mask on the inside of the body and then I filled the entire inside with a couple of coats of FasBlack, before filling in the areas on the outside of the body.

7 This body comes with a lot of decals, so many that there is actually a placement guide. I did not need most of the black sheets, since I masked my windows and painted in my trim, but I did use the hood vents, side vents, door handles and grill. I meant to use the sunroof, but forgot. The lights and factory graphics are on separate clear sheets and I used all of those. The decals really filled it out and made it look finished!

Overall I think it came out really well and I think with some practice I could make it look even better. The FasBlack made the effect a little harsh for my taste. I started with FasTint, but it wasn’t giving me the results I wanted. I think next time I will thin the FasBlack with some FasThinner. I was using a bottle of paint that had been open for a while and I started having issues with clogging halfway through, which led to a few dark spots from the paint coming out unexpectedly. In the future I will use a fresh bottle when doing so much fine shading. I also had a couple of spots on the hood, where I wasn’t paying attention and shaded where it should have overlapped. You really need to pay attention to ‘where you at’.

Parma parmapse.com, (440) 237-8650.

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