Slot Car Painting Techniques: Pit Lane & Pit Crews (Classic & Modern) Using Vallejo Acrylics

02 March, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

Painting accessories and figures for a slot car layout can be a nightmare for slot car enthusiasts. Most "Slotters" are not model builders, and usually prefer their layout accessories assembled and painted. What I have written here, is a very simple technique that will give you excellent results, even if you've never painted any model accessories or figures before. All of the acrylic paints I use are made by Vallejo, and can be purchased from several online sources. I find that the quality and price are excellent. Tremclad Primer spray paint can be purchased at any hardware store. If you cannot find, or want to pay the premium price for Vallejo paint, any acrylic bottle paints will also give good results.

To paint the pit lane and pit crew, you'll need these Vallejo acrylic paints; 

  • 70.951 White.
  • 70.950 Black.
  • 70.790 Silver.
  • 70.992 Neutral Grey.
  • 70.819 Iraqi Sand.
  • 70.826 German Cam. Med. Brown.
  • Plus colors of your choice for hair and shoes.
  • 70.520 Matte Varnish (Clear coat).
  • 70.510 Glossy Varnish (Clear coat).
  • 70.596 Glaze Medium.
  • P15999 Starter Set Toray brushes.

From a hardware store you'll need;

  • Tremclad Grey Primer spray paint (Light Grey).

You'll also need;

  • Paper towels for cleaning brushes, etc.
  • Artist palette with cupped areas for mixing paint ($ store).
  • Popsicle sticks for mixing paint ($ Store).
  • Tap water for cleaning brushes and keeping brushes moist while painting.

Painting The Pit Lane Surface, Wall, And Safety Fence

 Start by following the instructions on "Preparing Resin Parts For Painting", and clean all of the kit parts at the same time. Use Tremclad Grey Primer (Light Grey) spray paint to primer the Pit Lane. The primer also gives the Pit Lane base it's pavement color. Let it dry for 24 hours. Lightly sand off any dust bumps, then paint 70.510 Glossy Varnish over the primer if you're going to add Pit Lane decal lines. This will let the decals stick better. Use MicroScale decal lines, or pin striping tape that's used on full size cars, then finish by coating everything with 70.520 Matte Varnish to protect them. Add your own tire skid marks and oil stains, and the pavement is finished.

 Glue the screen to the safety fence frame, trim, then glue it to the Pit Wall. Primer the wall and fence with the Tremclad, then let it dry for 24 hours. Paint the wall with 70.951 White, and paint the fence 70.790 Silver. If you want, add your own sponsor signs to the Pit Wall, glue it to the Pit Lane base, and you're done.

Painting The Pit Crew Figures

 Start by cutting out the "web" between the figures arms and legs. Cut off any arms from the pour plug that have to be attached to the figures, and glue them into the position you want. Sand off any remaining rough edges. It's easier if you leave the figures attached to the pour plug  for painting. When you're finished painting, cut the figures from it.

 Primer the figures, tires, and the glued air hose booms with Tremclad Grey Primer, and let them dry for 24 hours. For the Classic Pit Crew, start by painting the faces and hands first, applying 2 thin coats of 70.819 Iraqi Sand. Paint the lips with 70.826 German Cam. Med. Brown. Let dry for 1 hour, then make a glaze with 1 drop of 70.826 German Cam. Med. Brown, and 12 drops of 70.596 Glaze Medium. A glaze, or filter, has to be transparent to let the underlying colors show through, and must be applied in very thin coats. It tones down, and blends the colors a bit. Apply the glaze to all of the faces and hands. Let this dry for 1 hour, then add a small dot of 70.951 White for the eyeballs. In this scale it's hard to see the pupils of the eyes, but if you want to, add them with a very small dot of 70.950 Black. Paint the hair and eyebrows next with the color of your choice. Paint the shoes black.

 The Modern Pit Crew Figures are a lot easier to paint, because the heads have helmets on them. Paint them 70.951 White, or the color of your choice. The visors, hands, and shoes can be painted 70.950 Black. Follow the instructions above for painting the Pit Sign Man, and Official. Their ear protectors can also be painted black.

 Painting the overalls and shoes for the Classic and Modern Pit Crew Figures are the same. They can be painted any color you choose to match any racing team color. After painting the overalls with the color that you chose, darken that color by adding a bit of black to it. Then dilute it with water to a 50:50 ratio, and apply it into and under folds, pockets, etc. of the overalls. Blend the darker shade into the lighter one as best as you can so that the two shades blend together smoothly. Next, mix a glaze with 1 drop of 70.992 Neutral Grey, and 12 drops of 70.596 Glaze Medium. Apply the glaze very thinly over all of the clothing to give everything a toned down, worn look. If the glaze is too grey and not transparent enough, add a few more drops of the glaze medium, or a few drops of water, or both. For the best effect, a glaze has to be applied very thinly so that the underlying color shows through.

 Paint the air wrenches for the crew figures that have them, 70.790 Silver. The air hose booms can be painted 70.950 Black, 70.790 Silver, or any racing team color you choose. The same goes for the hand held fuel can with the Classic Pit Crew Figure, and the large fuel tank that goes with the Modern Pit Crew Figures.

 The stacked and single wheels with tires, should have the tires painted 70.950 Black. The wheels can be painted the color of your choice.

 The sign board that comes with the Sign Man Pit Crew Figure in both sets, can be painted any color. Let dry for 24 hours, then coat it with 70.510 Glossy Varnish, wait about 2 hours, apply the sign decal that's supplied with the sets, then coat it with 70.520 Matte Varnish. The glue the sign board to the figure.

 If you want to add team logo decals, etc. to the overalls, apply a coat of 70.510 Glossy Varnish to the area first and let dry for 2 hours. Apply the gloss coat only after the painted figures have dried for 24 hours. Then apply the decals, wait about 2 hours, and then coat the figures with 70.520 Matte Varnish. The last step is to glue the air hoses to the air hose booms, and to the figures with air wrenches. For the Modern Pit Crew set, glue the refueling hose to the fuel tank and to the refueling crew figure. That's it, you're done!

 This technique may seem a bit long to follow, but trust me when I say it's easy, and you'll get excellent results. If you have more than one set of figures, paint them assembly line style. It'll go a lot faster.

 Happy slotting!

David Gurinskas / Owner of Full Circle Hobbies



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