Sunday, 2 December 2007

HOW-TO: Respraying Slot Cars

HOW-TO: Respraying Slot Cars
Fly's Porsche 917K 'fast kit'

NOTE: For the purposes of this how-to I have chosen one of FlySlot's 'fast kits' (as the model comes with decals already applied) but you can apply these techniques to any slot especially all the 'white kits' that are released these days by various manufactures.

So you've recently purchased a slot (or have an old one) and you're not that happy with the livery? Well for around $AU20 you can change it to something that floats your boat!

The above image is copyright Seth's Carrera Showroom (see our Links page).

The first thing to do is to carefully remove ALL detail from the body; driver, internal details, windows, lights, refueling caps, wipper, grills, etc. If you're starting with a fast/white kit then this step will be an easy job.  If you are stripping an assembled car, be carefully not to force the removal of pieces as you may damage them.  A lot of plastic detail is 'heat melted' to the chassis so you'll need a sharp knife to carefully cut the melted plastic from the chassis allowing you to remove the various pieces.  Be particularly careful when removing the plastic window detail. 

Once you have stripped all detail and you have a plastic body, give the existing decals a light rub with some dry/wet 1000 grit sandpaper, (you can actually wet this sandpaper which reduced friction). Don't get violent here, you just need to give them a light sand. Onve you have finished sanding be sure to clean ALL sanding dust from the model before painting.

Using Tamiya Fine Surface Primer, (light grey or white - I prefer white as grey can alter your final top coat colour choice) give your model 2-3 LIGHT coats. I use a half inch diameter stick, (approx. foot long) with a glob of blue tack to secure the body on the stick for painting. Be sure to get 100% cover with your primer, you will only need to wait 30-60 minutes between coats.

Pick your final livery colour, (in this case I used orange Tamita TS-12) and give your body 3 light coats. What you're aiming for here is to gradually build your bodies final colour, to achieve it in the first spray coat.

Once again, you will only need to wait 30-60 minutes between coats.  I use a fine brush, (as fine as you can get) to add some fine paint detail to the body.  Paint things like visible bolts, dash detail, drivers helmet and gloves, (in this case I painted my driver's helmet and gloves orange - you can see this in the top photo).

Leave the body for 24 hours, you really want the body to dry well prior to appling the decals. You can source your decals from numerous places but I used DMC 1/32 decals from Pendle Slot Racing.  Search for 'DMC decals' on google and you'll find a stockist near you or an alternative decal product, Patto's Place also provides a good OZ decal service.

The decals I used are designed for a Porsche 962 but decided to go with a 'fantasy' livery for my respray.

Take your time with the application of the decals, apply one at a time and lightly sponge dry. Be sure to achieve symmetry with duplicated decals on each side of the body. Allow the decals to set in a warm room for 24 hours (not in the sun) and then apply 2-3 clear coats to seal them.  I prefer a product called 'Topcoat' made by Mr Hobby but the Tamiya clear coat is also very good. Topcoat comes in a few different finishes, I prefer the gloss finish as it gives an impressive deep paint finish.

The final stage is to carefully add all body detail (a good plastic glue, super glue or even the hot end of a soldering iron will do the job) and put your new slot back together. A small thing to look out for is not to get any glue on the clear plastic windows - it makes them go cloudy.

Sounds like a bit of work but I can guarentee you will be grinning from ear-to-ear when you race your personal liveried slot. You can view more photos of the Bob Jane Porsche 917K in the 'Resprays' gallery here:

Find this useful?  Check-out ManicSlot's How-to page by clicking the below link for more useful slotting and scenery tips and tricks.

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