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Painting A Slot Car Body:

Profit hah! Fun! You bet. I paint my own slot car bodies for the fun of it. Then I try to make them as realistic as I can. Many have asked how do I do it? So here is the way I do it. First off my paint jobs are one off, no two alike. I do not bother with an airbrush as It takes too long to mask off the body and then the clean up for one body takes too long. I hand paint most of mine or use the spray can paint available. I use a brush which is not that difficult if you follow some guidelines.

First things first. Trim your unpainted body to fit the chassis and then mount the body while you can see where to put the pin holes so it lines up as it should. This is the easy way. Once trimmed and mounted take the body off and wash it out with liquid dish soap and hot water. Then dry the body off keeping your finger prints out of the inside. Make sure you get all the small water droplets out so it is dry all over. I use paper towels to really absorb the water well.

On paper make a rough outline of the design you want on the body. Then using a fine point permanent marking pen, carefully lay out the design as you want it, on the outside of the body. If you goof and make a mistake get some Ronson Lighter fluid and some Que-tips. Apply some fluid to the que-tip and rub the spot you goofed up and it will take it off. This dries fast so you can then go over the spot and make it right with the pen again. Start simple and make it just one or two colors and with the brush start with the darkest color first. Apply the paint to inside of the body following the design you apply to the outside of the body. Use the marker pen around any window openings and wheel well openings so you can see them and paint around them.

Allow the first color to dry awhile and then apply the next color again following your design and laying the lighter color carefully up against the last color trying not to overlap. If you do, don't go back over it let it dry and the paint will not disturb the first color. If you do go back over it will loosen the first color and cause the two to run together.

Use only paints designed for the slot bodies which are mostly Lexan or a derivative. Do not use real automotive paints as they will attack the body and it will shatter on contact during a race. One guy did that here and by the end of 5 heats he did not have enough body left to finish the race. Other paints such as acrylic will not stick to the body well and will come off with contact as you race. Though flat black Acrylic paint does work okay on the outside of the body to denote grill openings or other holes such as air scoops not actually cut in the body for detail purposes.

use small brushes to do corner or detail work, one size brush will not do. Where you have large areas to cover use a bigger brush. When the paint is done let it dry so you can handle it with out smearing it. Then again using that fine point marker pen on the outside draw in the detail body lines or door openings this really sets the car off detail wise and is so easy to do. If any of your original design lines are not exactly where you painted them you can take them off with lighter fluid and either redo them in the right place or use small strips of black or colored electricians tape to redo them for emphasis of you design. Add your spoilers or wings to the car and paint them also if you wish. Then get some of the great mylar decals made by Parma or Autographics and put some sponsorship on that car, give it a realistic appearance. Use the letter sets to spell out your name on it or what ever other name you want, just do the letters individually to make the words. These are not hard to do. Get a sharp #11 exacto blade and just cut lightly around the decal you want to use and then with just the tip of the knife lift up a corner of the decal and pull it from the sheet. Then carefully using the knife blade at on side or the other carefully position the decal over the area you want it. Stick one side of it down a bit and then gradually lower the rest of the decal in place trying to keep air pockets from being trapped. Don't press down hard yet as you can still lift it off to reposition if you have to. When it looks right where you want it, take the end of ball point pen cap or the back side of a brush handle and smooth down the entire decal. These are tough and once in position are very hard to get off. It doesn't have to be concourse quality to start, but you will be more proud of it. I have found over the years that racers do better when they race something that looks good and they are proud of. IF YOUR CAR LOOKS LIKE JUNK YOU USUALLY WIND UP DRIVING IT LIKE IT IS JUNK. Pride in what you have done will make you want to stay on the track more and you will find you are not coming off as much and staying out of the wall and not driving into others in your way. By doing this you will be racking up more laps and doing better. Hope this helps.

Larry Shephard

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