RC Body Painting – Proline 2017 Ford Raptor
Out with the old and in with the new.
To paint an RC body can be a pleasure as well as a nightmare. Once a person masters the basics of laying down a clean paint job, it makes life a lot easier. Therefore, I would like to share a few tips and tricks in this post used to paint a new body for our Traxxas Summit.
The Summit has worn a few bodies in the past and was up for a fresh look for the new year. Previous bodies were the Apocalypse body and the Desert Raid body, both from Proline Racing. Both bodies served their purpose and held up well over time time. Let’s take a look why don’t we?
Now, it was time for something different on the Summit. We decided to go with a monster truck style this time. The Proline 2017 Ford Raptor was the body of choice. We used he Proline body mount kit on this body as well.
Here are links to the bodies we have used on the Traxxas Summit 1/8 scale.
Proline Racing discontinued the Desert Raid body. You might can find it online somewhere or maybe at your local hobby store.
Lets see that body!
Love the lines on this model 2017 Raptor body. The front grill and lights have a nice touch to them as well. The large Ford letters on the tailgate stand out for sure. The bulky extended fender flares are something else nice to note about the body. The body is rigid and very well designed, as always with Proline.
Getting to business
So far the process has been:
- Trim the body with both lexan curved scissors and X-acto blade
- Measure and drill holes for body mounts
- Clean the body with a little bit of dish detergent (I like to use the degreaser type by Ajax.)
- Dry the body down and make sure to not leave any finger prints on the inside
(I like to wear rubber gloves when I handle a lexan body. Helps me to keep oils from my fingers from getting on the body. I have experienced the results of paint not sticking to the body due to a fingerprint that I forgot to wipe clean. So for me, the gloves work like a charm.
We decided to paint this body two different blues with a dark fade on the tailgate. I purchased the paints from a local Hobbytown USA in Kennesaw, Ga.
I will also leave links to the paint used below:
The way I got flat black on this paint job was to spray it on the outside of the body. I have used primer for this task for years, and it works well if you put multiple thin coats. Of course it will scratch of over time, but if applied well on a clean surface, it does hold up decently. Here is a link to the primer:
Masking the body
When masking a lexan body before painting, I use different types of materials. For most cases 3M standard brown masking tape is fine. In some cases I have used the 3M Blue painters tape. It all depends on your situation and the type of paint your using. Any of it will work, but some of it makes life a bit more pleasant. For this particular job, I used the following product:
I did not end up using the wider tape for this job.
First things first…window masks. All you have to do here is try and make sure there are no air bubbles near the edges. Also, make sure to check the edges of the window masks between coats. The masks can sometimes lift up from the body during the painting process, so make sure to keep an eye on those.
After using the window masks, it is helpful to keep the backing paper in which they come attached to. This paper can be used to hold your masking tape strips later. This works great for cutting designs from masking tape as well. Just stick the masking tape to the paper backing, and make your cuts lightly. A cutting mat will make the job go easier and keep you from cutting into the surface you’re working on.
If not using gloves for the masking process, please be aware of finger prints. I cannot stress how much they can ruin a paint job if you overlook them.
Cutting the tape
4 stripes for the doors. I did slant the ends of the tape to go along with the body lines a bit in the front and rear. I kept the lines inside the wheel wells to not disturb the fender flares.
One stripe was applied to the roof of the cab. It is nice that the body comes with a sunroof mask as well. That will definitely give the body a bit more scale appeal.
On the hood I made 2 stripes for each side and one going down the middle to match the roof stripe. I used an X-acto to curve the ends of the tape to run along with the body lines once again.
Using the cut marks from the previous side, stripes were made for the right side of the body.
Things were looking good and now time for some spraying.
First coats of paint
I have done several jobs using candy, and some of them I learned from mistakes. A few things to remember:
- Like most paint, candy likes to be sprayed warm
- Candy paint needs to be sprayed evenly and in single full strokes
- Overlapping candy makes it darken in the areas that overlap
- The more layers of candy you spray, the darker the candy will be
- Candy paint has to be backed with a color
- Gold backing makes for a warmer color, while silver makes for a cooler, final color
- Flakes can be added to the secondary coats of candy as well as pearls. Leave the first coat pure for that rich shine
- Spraying candy really benefits from pressurizing the can a bit. Sit it in warm water or heat it a bit with a blow-dryer (Do not use a heat gun unless you really feel that you know what you are doing.)
- A dust free environment is very helpful as well. You don’t want trash or lint getting in your coats.
Now, let’s get to the process of how I laid down the paint on this 2017 Raptor body.
The process for this stage of the paint job was as follows:
- Lay down the blue candy in very light, even coats
- I let each coat dry 15 minutes in between using a heat gun to help out
- After the 3rd coat dries, I sprayed Basic Black from the rear towards the front of the bed (Be sure to make your spray pattern faded or gradient. From dark to light.)
- Dry the black fade for 15 minutes. Only one nice coat of black is needed. You can do two in the rear most part of the bed if you want to. The black is going to make the candy turn much darker near the rear of the truck
- Spray a nice thin coat of Silver over the candy blue. One thin coat and then two thicker coats. Dry in between coats 15 minutes
- Now, I let the whole body sit for an hour before pulling off the tape
- A heat gun was used to speed up dry times
Removing the stripes
Peeling off the tape should be done carefully. Each piece that comes off gives you a feeling of completion and progression! LOL. Make sure the tape does not leave any residue on the lexan. If so, you can carefully try to wipe the area free with a damp, lint-free cloth.
Once all the tape is removed, we can get ready for the next color.
Second paint color
As before, the candy was laid on in thin coats with 15 minutes in between. The Tamiya was the second color. It will be backed with silver as well. The Tamiya paint is more of a cobalt blue when the silver is added. Clashes nicely with different color candy sprayed before.
I laid down 2 silver coats after the candy had dried. Then, I let the whole body dry for another hour.
I think it turned out just as planned. Rich and saturated looking! just like candy!
Now things were starting to look nice and custom. The panels/stripes came out nice and sharp. No leaks and no runs made for a fine job.
Now it is time to get that trim work out of the way. Some flat black will work wonders on the bed and fender flares.
Painting the bed and trim
For trim work, I like to cut from the over spray film. This way it can act as a mask to keep the flat black from getting on the rest of the body. It is best to do this process the next day as you give the paint time to dry out. I use a heat gun throughout the time to make sure that the paint dries well.
After cutting the over spray film and wiping the area with a little alcohol on a lint-free cloth, I begin applying the primer. I cut out the bed area to make for a bed-liner look.
I cut some material from around the grill and hood scoop area. Both areas were sprayed flat black as well. I noticed a nice rocker panel at the bottom of the doors, which was painted flat black too.
I like to put a lot of coats of primer on the body. The thicker the better, as long as you are spraying thin coats and letting them dry 15 minutes in between. If you do not dry the paint long enough or spray too much at a time, it will run. Correcting runs is a pain, so keep it light and let each coat dry.
Finally, the job is finished and ready for the over spray film to be removed. I usually let the body dry for a few days before removal as to let all the gasses from the paint escape. Good rule is…when you can’t smell the paint anymore, it’s dry. So let it sit and let it dry. As always, heat can help speed up the process.
After the paint is completely dry, I like to spray black primer on the inside of the body. I allow this to dry and then the window masks are removed. Usually two medium coats is enough for the inside. The idea is to achieve complete coverage.
When the film comes off, the beauty shines through! Job well done indeed! Stripes on point, flat black on point, and fade looking great! Now it”s time to finish this body up completely with some decals.
Decals fit nicely as always when it comes to Proline Racing. The light design on the 2017 Raptor is rather nice looking IMO.
I do not favor the grill sticker. Would have been nice to 3d print a grill insert. Since this is a basher, the idea of a grill didn’t make it too far. The decal will have to suffice.
Here is the finished project sitting on the Summit chassis. Turned out beautiful in my opinion. The bumper of the Summit goes nicely with the body style as well. I did cut out some of the front of the body’s bumper to clear the bumper mount on the Summit chassis.
The tires and wheels are also new on the Summit. They keep up the aggressive look off the body. The massive knobs and wide stance make this RC look like a little monster! “Beast on deck!”
Tires and wheels are:
The contrast between the flat black and the glossy candy looks very nice.
The sunroof adds a nice touch of scale.
So that about raps it up for this post. I hope the information was helpful. I will continue to bring more of these posts as I paint more bodies. There may even be some videos in the future.
Thank you ladies and gentlemen for taking the time to read. I wish you all a good day. If you have any questions feel free to comment or use the Contact page to drop an email.
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