RC Nightmare Community Blog

Painting Lexan Body Part 2/2: Painting, Decals

Now that our body is all masked off and ready let’s turn it into a masterpiece! ;)

Make sure you are using paint that is formulated for polycarbonate. Other paint types may not adhere correctly. I will be using Tamiya paint for polycarbonate: PS-5 (Black), PS-6 (Yellow). The ATTK-10 body is a 1/10th scale body and used up both cans of paint so depending on your design you may need more than one can of the same color.

For best results follow the directions of the paint manufacture. Paint outside or in a well ventilated location. If painting outside pick a spot that is not windy. Shake the paint cans good before using them. Continue to shake regularly as you paint (not while painting!).

When applying the paint, spray from a distance of about 10 inches from the body. Sweep the can across the target area in a steady motion. Always keep the nozzle moving as you are painting. Paint over/past the edges of your design. Apply the paint in 3-4 (or more) light coats. One coat could be one pass of the can – do not attempt to paint the body in one pass. This will provide even coverage and minimizes any pooling of paint. Let the paint dry thoroughly before applying the next coat.

TIP: I painted my lexan body at night so needed some extra lighting from a lawn mower. A side benefit of this was that I could hold the body up against the light to see if everything was covered evenly.

At this point the paint will appear to be a bit dull when viewed from the outside because of the protective film. It will be brighter and shiny once the film is removed.

When enough coats are applied to give the coverage you want let the body dry completely then remove the masking to reveal the surfaces for the next colour.  Repeat the same steps for this next colour and any other colours you have.

After the last paint coat is dried you may remove any final masking like the windows. If your body is not precut, now is the time to cut out the wheel wells and trim any excess materials. You are now ready to apply the decals.

Remember that there is a thin protective film on the outside of the body that must be removed before you can apply the decals. The film can be a bit tricky to remove. It is best to work on an edge with your finger nail or tip of a knife.

With the protective film off you can apply the decals as desired. Again, some decals are precut and some you will have to cut out.  It can be tricky to get the decal in the exact location you want. There are a couple techniques I use when applying decals.

TIP 1: Center Cut Backing

  • Partly peel the backing off the decal at the center
  • Cut a small strip out of the backing
  • Apply decal to body and adjust as desired
  • Apply pressure to the center location without the backing
  • Peel back one part of the backing from the center out
  • Apply pressure to the decal from the center out
  • Repeat for the other side.

Cutting a small strip in the backing will allow you to position the decal on the body without the whole decal sticking where you don’t want it. Applying pressure from the center out will minimize the chances of air bubbles getting under the decal.

TIP 2: Baby Oil/Water Solution

  • Prepare a water warm water solution with a few drops of baby oil mixed in
  • Wet your fingers in the solution
  • Peel the backing of the decal completely
  • Submerge the decal in the solution
  • Apply the decal where you want on the body
  • Adjust the decal as desired
  • Apply pressure from the center to the edge to remove any solution that may be underneath the decal

The baby oil solution will give you a bit of flexibility in adjusting the decals when applied to the body. It is important to apply pressure on the decal from the center out to remove as much water as possible. Wipe dry with a cloth.

That’s all there is to painting a clear body! Check out this video of me painting the ATTK-10 body!

Thanks for reading! Happy painting..

3 thoughts on “Painting Lexan Body Part 2/2: Painting, Decals

  1. batman says:

    wow never heard of using baby oil. I use baby shampoo and water, the same solution we use to install window tint.

  2. Allan says:

    yup. they all do the same type of thing. give you a bit more flexibility.

  3. [...] your body is masked off  you can start the painting. Painting Lexan Body Part 2 will be applying the paint and [...]

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