Everyone loves stickers! We’re going to do a relatively simple, three rattle-spray-can paint job using xxx main Racing Paint Masks and Stickers to show you how simple it can be to slap together an aesthetically gnarly lid for your RC ride.
PREP IT - Thoroughly wash your body with dish detergent and warm water to remove any contaminants. Rinse well with running water so no soap remains, then use a lint-free cloth or paper towel to completely dry your body. Once dry, apply window masks then rubdown the edges with your finger to ensure crisp, bleed-free paint lines.
MASK IT UP - We decided to go with our pre-cut Wicked Flames Paint Mask kit (Part # M037L). After removing all of the unusable portions of the paint mask from the sheet, simply apply the included clear Transfer Tape then install the masks pieces into your body. We went with a somewhat random array of flame shapes to separate our two main colors. When painting on the inside of a clear polycarbonate body you want to spray from darkest to lightest. Our paint scheme will have white and black main body colors with gunmetal flames. Since we want to hit the black paint first, we’ll use masking tape to fill in the areas of the body that will eventually be painted white.
SLAP SOME PAINT - Once all of the masking is complete, you’re ready to hammer some paint. Be sure to use polycarbonate paint only! We went with Tamiya PS rattle cans for this project. Start your first coat of black paint by dusting an ultra-thin layer down so you can barely see the coverage. This coat will help seal the mask edges to prevent bleed. Use a hair dryer on the low-heat setting to speed up the drying process. Hit your second coat of black; this time a little bit heavier, but still light enough to prevent paint from pooling around the mask edges. Again, use a hair dryer to speed drying between coats. Finish with one last touchup coat to fill in any light areas and ensure even coverage.
Gently remove the next layer of mask to spray the white portion of the paint scheme. Be very careful when removing the masking tape, as you want the flames and window masks to remain on the body. Hit three coats of white paint, starting with the same dusting coat as before and using a hair dryer in between to speed up drying. It's extremely important to let the paint fully cure before removing your Paint Masks or you could get jagged lines. Once you’re confident that your paint is dry, slowly remove all of the flames paint-mask pieces by pulling them away from your body, parallel along the paint line. Rub the window mask edges down one final time and then apply two coats of gunmetal paint to fill in the exposed portion, using the hair dryer between coats.
STICKERS - For this body, we used xxx main Dark Bloom External Decal (Part #S034). You’ll have to cut out specific pieces with sharp scissors or a hobby knife, trying to trim as closely to the decal edge as possible. Remember that external decals are printed on clear vinyl, so any excess border that is left around the decal won’t be very noticeable, anyway. Place your trimmed decals on the outside of your body to come up with a rough layout plan.
Once you are ready to apply your decals, don’t just peel the backs off and stick away; you may end up with air bubbles, especially with larger stickers. The trick we like is to peel back a small portion of the sticker backing and then cut it away. This will allow you to move the decal around over the body without it sticking; then, once you’ve found your location, simply press down the exposed section of the decal to secure it in place.
Flip the decal over, remove the rest of the backing, and roll it onto your body, being careful to avoid air bubbles. This method will keep your stickers straight and air-bubble-free without having to utilize the messy wet method of decal application that uses soapy water to allow graphic positioning.
Finish installing remaining decals, mount your body, and you’re done!
Here's a Youtube video version of this How-To Paint with Stickers article.