How to Paint Lexan RC Car Bodies: Tips and Techniques
Lexan is a type of thermoplastic polymer that is used in a variety of applications, including the manufacturing of RC car bodies. Lexan is favored by hobbyists and professional racers for its strength, durability, and flexibility, which makes it ideal for creating custom-shaped car bodies that can withstand high-speed impacts and crashes. However, to make a lexan RC car body truly stand out on the racetrack, it needs to be painted. Painting a lexan car body can be a fun and rewarding project that allows you to express your creativity and personalize your car. However, it can also be a challenging task that requires patience, attention to detail, and some experience with painting techniques. In this article, we will guide you through the process of painting a lexan RC car body, from preparation to final touches, and give you tips and advice to help you achieve a professional-looking result.
Preparing the Body
Before painting the lexan RC car body, it’s essential to prepare it properly. Follow these steps to ensure a clean and smooth surface for painting:
- Wash the body with soap and water and dry it thoroughly with a clean cloth or paper towel.
- Remove any stickers, decals, or glue residue from the body using a plastic scraper or rubbing alcohol. Be careful not to scratch the body.
- Mask off any areas that you don’t want to paint, such as the windows or the bottom of the body, using masking tape or liquid mask.
- Sand the surface of the body lightly with 400 to 600 grit sandpaper to create a surface that the paint can adhere to.
There are several materials and tools that you’ll need to prepare the body, including:
- Soap and water
- Plastic scraper or rubbing alcohol
- Masking tape or liquid mask
- 400 to 600 grit sandpaper
- A clean cloth or paper towel
Some RC car hobbyists recommend using specialized cleaning products, such as Lexan cleaner, to ensure that the body is free of oils, dirt, and other contaminants that can affect the finish of the paint. Additionally, you might want to invest in a hobby knife or trimming scissors to help you cut masking tape and trim decals with precision.
What Paint for Lexan RC Car Bodies?
When it comes to painting Lexan RC car bodies, it’s important to use the right type of paint so that the paint adheres properly and doesn’t flake off. Here are some options:
- Liquid paint: water-based, solvent-based, or lacquer-based paint formulated specifically for Lexan material
- Aerosol paint: spay paint that is formulated for Lexan material
- Dye: a specialized dye that permanently colors the plastic
Some popular brands that make RC car body paints include Pactra, Spaz Stix, and Duratrax. Whatever you choose, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully for the best results.
Choosing Paint for Your Lexan RC Car Body
Choosing the right type of paint for your lexan RC car body is crucial for achieving a flawless finish. Here are a few things to consider when selecting your paint:
- Water-based or solvent-based: Water-based paints are easier to clean up and less toxic, but they may not adhere as well to the body. Solvent-based paints are more durable and have better adhesion, but they require more precautions during use.
- Spray can or airbrush: Spray cans are easy to use and provide good coverage, but they can be messy and may not offer as much control as an airbrush. Airbrushing requires more skill and equipment, but it can produce a very smooth and even finish.
- Color and opacity: Choose a paint color that complements your overall design and make sure that it has good opacity for even coverage.
When shopping for paints, keep in mind that certain brands and types are better suited for different types of bodies and applications. Some popular brands of paint for lexan RC car bodies include:
|Tamiya PS||Great color selection, good coverage, dries quickly||$7 – $10 per can|
|Spray Max 2K||Durable, high-gloss finish, professional quality||$20 – $30 per can|
|Spaz Stix Ultimate Mirror Chrome||Realistic chrome finish, easy application||$10 – $15 per can|
Before purchasing, be sure to read reviews and do your research to find the best product for your needs and budget.
What paint to use on Lexan RC body?
- Use a polycarbonate-specific spray paint for Lexan RC body.
- Brands like Tamiya, Pactra and Spaz Stix offer high-quality Lexan paint options.
- Make sure to clean and prep the body before painting, and use light, even sprays in multiple coats.
If you need more information, you can visit websites such as Tower Hobbies or RC Planet, which offer a wide range of paints and accessories specifically designed for RC bodies.
Applying Paint to Your Lexan RC Car Body
Once you’ve chosen the right paint, it’s time to apply it to your lexan RC car body. Here are some tips to help ensure a smooth and even application:
- Start with a clean, dry body: Wash the body with soap and water and let it dry completely before painting.
- Warm up the paint: Before spraying, place the can of paint in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes to thin it out and help it flow more smoothly.
- Use light, even coats: Apply the paint in several thin layers, holding the can 6 – 8 inches away from the body and using a sweeping motion. Avoid spraying too much at once, as this can cause drips and runs. Wait a few minutes between coats to let the paint dry.
- Work in a well-ventilated area: Paint fumes can be harmful, so make sure you’re working in a space with good ventilation or wear a respirator mask.
- Protect the paint: Once you’ve applied your final coat, wait for it to dry completely before handling the body or adding decals. A clear coat can also help protect the paint and give it a glossy finish.
Some products that can help you achieve a professional-looking paint job on your lexan RC car body include:
- Tamiya Masking Tape: Use this tape to mask off areas of the body that you don’t want to paint.
- Pactra Paint Mask: This liquid paint mask can be brushed on and peeled off to create custom designs or protect certain areas of the body from paint.
- Badger Airbrush: If you’re using an airbrush to apply your paint, a high-quality airbrush like this one can help you achieve a smooth, even finish.
You can find these products and more at hobby shops or online retailers such as Amazon or Tower Hobbies.
How to Paint a Lexan RC Car Body?
Painting a Lexan RC car body can be a fun and creative process. Here are some steps to get started:
- Start by washing the body with soap and water to remove any dirt and oil. Dry it off completely before painting.
- Use a spray-on polycarbonate paint designed for RC cars. These paints are flexible and won’t crack or peel off the Lexan material.
- You can use stencils, masking tape, and/or vinyl decals to add designs or patterns to the body.
- Let the paint dry for at least 24 hours before handling the body.
There are many websites and products available for purchasing Lexan RC car bodies and paints, such as RC Planet and Tamiya USA. Do your research and choose products that will work best for your specific RC car and painting project.
Adding Details to Your Painted Lexan RC Car Body
Once your paint has dried completely, it’s time to add decals, stickers, and other details to give your lexan RC car body some personality. Here are some tips for adding those finishing touches:
- Prep the surface: Clean the areas where you will be adding decals or stickers with rubbing alcohol or a mild detergent, and let them dry completely.
- Apply decals carefully: Peel the backing off the decal, center it where you want it on the body, and use a credit card or similar tool to press it down smoothly and remove any air bubbles. Let it dry completely before handling.
- Create custom designs: If you want to create your own custom decals or designs, you can print them on decal paper using an inkjet printer and then apply them to the body.
- Protect your designs: To protect your decals or stickers from wear and tear, apply a clear coat over them once they have dried. This will help ensure that they last for many races to come.
Here are some products that can help you add details to your painted lexan RC car body:
- Pactra Decal Set: This set includes a variety of decals and stickers that can be used to add details to your car’s body.
- Testors Decal Paper: This paper can be used to create custom decals using your own designs and an inkjet printer.
- Krylon Clear Coat: This clear coat can be applied over decals or stickers to protect them and give them a glossy finish.
Again, you can find these products and more at hobby shops or online retailers such as Tower Hobbies or Amazon. With a little creativity and attention to detail, you can create a truly unique lexan RC car body that will stand out on the racetrack.
How to Paint RC Lexan Bodies?
Painting RC Lexan bodies can be tricky, but with the right tools and techniques, you can create a stunning paint job. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Clean the body thoroughly with soap and water, and dry it completely.
- Use masking tape to cover any areas you don’t want painted.
- Apply a primer coat to help the paint adhere to the Lexan surface.
- Apply your desired colors with a spray paint specifically designed for Lexan bodies, in thin, even coats.
- Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next.
- Finish with a clear coat to protect the paint from scratches and UV damage.
If you’re looking for more in-depth instructions and product recommendations, check out websites such as RCUniverse.com or TowerHobbies.com. They offer a wide range of resources and products for RC hobbyists.
Final Touches for Your Painted Lexan RC Car Body
Once you’ve added all the details and allowed everything to dry and set, it’s time to give your painted lexan RC car body some final touches. Here’s a quick checklist of things to keep in mind:
- Handling: Make sure your body is completely dry and avoid handling it excessively or roughhousing with it to prevent smudging or damage to the paint or decals.
- Removing masking tape: Carefully remove any masking tape that you used to protect parts of the body from the paint. Use a hobby knife or trimming scissors to cut away any excess tape around edges or tight corners to get a smooth, clean finish.
- Attaching the body: Follow the instructions for attaching the body to the car chassis. Make sure the body is secured firmly and won’t come loose while you race.
Here are some products that can help you put the finishing touches on your painted lexan RC car body:
- Xtreme Racing Body Post/Tie Wrap Kit: This kit includes all the parts you’ll need to help secure the body to the chassis and make adjustments as needed.
- Spaz Stix Mirror Chrome Spray Paint: This spray paint creates a shiny, mirror-like finish that you can use to add highlights or details to your body or wheels.
- Wahl Trimming Scissors: These scissors are great for precision trimming and cutting along tight corners and curves to create smooth lines and edges.
Again, you can find these and other products at hobby shops or online retailers. With a little patience and attention to detail, you’ll have a painted lexan RC car body that looks great and will help you stand out on the track.
How do you prepare a Lexan body for painting?
To prepare a Lexan body for painting, you need to follow these steps:
- Wash the body with soap and water to remove any dirt or residue.
- Scuff the surface with a 3M sanding pad or a fine-grit sandpaper to create a rough surface for the paint to adhere to.
- Wipe the body with a lint-free cloth to remove any dust or debris.
- Apply a coat of paint specifically formulated for Lexan bodies, such as Spaz Stix, using a spray gun or airbrush.
- Apply decals or stencils, if desired.
- Apply a clear coat for protection and to give the body a glossy finish.
There are many websites and products that specialize in RC car bodies and supplies, such as RC Planet and AMain Hobbies, that offer a variety of paints and tools for preparing and painting Lexan bodies.
Painting a lexan RC car body can be a fun and rewarding activity that adds a personal touch to your car’s appearance. With the right materials and techniques, you can achieve a professional-looking finish that will impress other hobbyists and make your car stand out on the track. Remember to take your time, follow the instructions carefully, and use safety precautions when handling paints and solvents.
Whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced hobbyist, there’s always room for experimentation and creativity when it comes to painting lexan RC car bodies. Try different color combinations, designs, and techniques to create unique and eye-catching body shells for your car. You can find inspiration from other hobbyists or come up with your own original ideas.
So go ahead and get started on your next painting project for your lexan RC car body. With some practice and patience, you’ll soon be able to create custom car bodies that look just as good as they perform.