Splash Painting an RC body is easy with this step by step guide to a custom finish for your shell.
Splash Painting an RC body can be a challenging yet fun way to customize your rig.
Most RC’s ship with a pre-painted body shell. These bodies look wonderful most times although I tend to want a custom look to my shells. I chose to go the self painted route and make things pop when I purchase a new body. The majority of my bodies come from Pro-Line Racing, with a few HPI bodies for the RC Patrol drift projects. A nice clear body regardless of kind is the beginning to another painting adventure here at Radio Control Patrol.
I decided to write this post to explain a process I used to paint the Axial Yeti, Motley Spider Project. Splash Painting is plain and simply, to splash paint on a clear RC body in a planned manner. Let’s to a look at an example of Splash Painting.
Here is the Motley Spider before its maiden voyage with the new body. January 2015 I completed the Motley Spider Jeep Wrangler body . It has lasted up to this day and still going.
Here is a video of the Motley Spider in action with the splash painted Jeep body.
What do you need for Splash Painting an RC body?
Below you will find the tools I used for Splash Painting:
- I used the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon body from Pro-Line Racing Product ID : 3336-00 Save 10% on this product by using code RCPatrol10
- Any clear RC body will do.
- Mild detergent or Liquid Dish Soap to wash the body. (The type with degreaser is best)
- Alcohol is good to clean the body after the soapy wash.
- Paper Towels for cleanup and spills that will happen.
- Masking tape works perfect to block out any areas on the body. I choose 3M masking tape or vinyl because that is what has worked best for me over the years.
- PAINTS, PAINTS, and more PAINTS! You of course need every color of paint desired for your splashes. The type of paint will depend either on your preference or what you have around at the time. (Note that all of my paints were not poly-carbonate paints…more on that later.)
- Heatguns definitely make the job a lot faster and easier.
Grab your clear RC body and prep it for painting.
I like to check my bodies for blemishes and scratches before cleaning. I make sure to locate the window masks and decals as well.
Give the body a look over and come up with a mental picture of the graphics.
Apply the masks to the body carefully and make sure no air bubbles exist. If you do not have any custom masks, apply the supplied window masks instead.
I use latex gloves for this stage to make sure the body remains fingerprint free, although this step is optional.
You must make sure all the edges of your masks are tight as a vice. Paint will leak under any loose edges .
Now it is time to throw on the paint and make some splashes. For the first coat use the darkest color in your design so that you establish some opacity. I used Faskolor black paint first and a Createx iridescent electric blue paint second.
The way you throw the paint is not important, just make quick strokes. Only make one splash at a time and plan the next, although any method is fine. This is totally a creative process from start to finish so have fun.
I achieved my splashes by opening the paint bottle and giving it a gentle squeeze while whipping my wrist. Turn the body in different directions so that you can keep a smooth sweeping application. Using a paint brush to flick the paint instead of slinging is also an option.
The use of various methods of applying the paint will bring forth the best result, so feel free to experiment. Allowing paint to drip from the bottle onto the body works well. Hold the bottle at different heights to achieve various effects.
Add MORE PAINT! Yes, you heard me, add more paint to create more splashes. This step is optional of course, if you already have the look you want, move on. Step 5 finishes things up although it’s fine to read on. 🙂
I chose Createx Metallic Silver next and after that Faskolor Fluorescent Yellow. The Yellow allows all following colors to show through because it is semi transparent.
EVEN MORE PAINT! Yes, that’s right, going for two more colors, orange and another blue. I chose Createx Fluorescent Orange then laid Createx Caribbean Blue afterwards. To me these colors give the splash painting a decent pop. The body was starting to look much more interesting. At the last minute I decided to add some Createx Pearl Purple, although not necessary.
It is easy to see that this technique can be a bit messy. I recommend using an old box or something to cover the ground or floor, but that is optional.
Now it is time to step back and admire the messy yet quite creative paint job you have started! 🙂 One of the most important steps is to dry the finished splashes. It can be helpful to dry the paint after each color but not a must. A heat gun speeds up the process very much yet air drying works just fine. If you do not fully dry the paint before going forward to the next step..not good. To insure that different types of paint do not have a negative reaction, let the paints dry.
I did not thin my paints but feel free to try it for a different effect. You really can’t go wrong with this technique. Let your creativity run wild. Some of the extra thick areas of paint take longer to dry and can make removing masks tricky. If you have a razor handy there will be no worries, but make sure you know how to use it.
Taking a moment to admire the expressive work! 🙂
Filling as much free space as I could with color was the goal here, yet still able to base coat.
Splash Painting an RC can easily be a job for you and a young one. Not too difficult of a job with a bit of supervision.
Now it is time to take the dried splash work and back it with white. White will make all the colors pop more. I like to use Duratrax Backing Cover Coat because it is extra thick. The paint also dries pretty quick for the application of a second coat. Once again I stress that you make sure all your previous paint is dry or you may experience problems.
I like to lay spray paint down with a smooth side to side motion in a thin layer first. Follow with a second coat to seal the job up tight and if you like a third coat is fine. The thicker you spray your base coat the harder it will be to remove your masks. I always make about 2 coats of base color, and back with flat black last.
As you can see the white backer makes a difference.
Let’s take a look at the inside of the shell and see how the white stuck to the other paint. Faskcolor and Createx work in an airbrush and are very thin. Duratrax comes canned and much thicker although it sprays well. Heating the can before use can make it flow better. Do not over heat the can just warm it under hot water.
I removed an area of mask for painting. I had masked an area to make room for readable branding. A home for Pro-Line Racing decals…and you know it!
I also removed the back window masks to simulate a limo tint using black paint. Some people do not like the limo tint look so feel free to make your own choice. Black paint filled the top of the jeep where the mask had been although this area will be flat soon. I like to spray an area that will be flat black on top the same under but that’s just me. The fenders are also such an area for some black paint.
The back bumper received black paint as well.
I trimmed the areas where flat black paint would go and sprayed. This step is extra but does provide a nice finished look although not necessary. The overspray film can be your friend in this area of the job so make sure to take a advantage .
Cutting out trim around the windows and fenders look nice in flat black or the color of your liking. Try different things to get your own custom effect if you like.
Finish adding decals and your choice of scale accessories. Splash painting an RC is a blast. I hope you guys enjoyed the post and possibly try the technique for yourself one day. The look of the paint job is definitely out-of-the box but cool and unique at the same time. Not hard at all to pull off and a possible fun time with the kids.
Feel free to try this technique and send us a photo or share on Facebook. One shot of the finished product and I am out of here.
If you like this technique, check out a another cool painting technique using splashes.
Hemistorm R/C has a wonderful video in which he uses a similar technique of Splash Painting an RC body. Instead of splashing paint he uses ketchup to actually mask off the body, then later paints over it. You can achieve very nice effects using Chris’ technique. Check out the video below to see how!
Thanks for reading , have a wonderful day and make sure to share this post if your were inspired! Stay tuned for more awesome articles made for your enjoyment.
Radio Control Patrol