Slot Car Painting Techniques: Brush Painting 1/64 Slot Car Bodies Using Vallejo Acrylics

02 March, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

 If you don't own an airbrush, or don't have access to one, excellent results can be had by brush painting your 1/64 scale slot car bodies using Vallejo acrylic paints. For explaining this technique, I'll describe how I painted a Full Circle Hobbies Triumph TR-6 resin body blue with Sunoco decals. The TR-6 unpainted resin kit, and Sunoco decals are available on this website. Photos of the painted car from this article are shown with the kit photos.

     To paint the TR-6 slot car body, you'll need these Vallejo acrylic paints;

    • 70.951 White.
    • 70.950 Black.
    • 70.992 Neutral Grey.
    • 70.790 Silver.
    • 70.841 Andrea Blue.
    • 62.005 Bright Red.
    • 62.003 Basic Yellow.
    • 70.520 Matte Varnish (Clear coat).

     You'll also need; 

    • Future Floor Wax (not really wax but a clear Acrylic)
    • Windex (Put some in a jar to clean your brush after using the Future).
    • 4 / 0 paint brush (Soft, good quality).
    • # 6 paint brush (Soft, good quality).
    • Q-Tips.
    • Ordinary tap water.
    • Rags for cleaning brushes.
    • Artist / craft paint tray with dimples

     Start by sanding off any mold lines. Assemble the kit and let the glue cure for a couple of hours. Fill a small bowl with warm water, and add a few drops of liquid dish soap to it. Mix it together, then place the slot car body into the bowl to soak for 45 minutes. Take out the car, and wash it gently with hand dish soap under warm running water. Dry it with a towel. If the casting still feels oily, scrub it with acetone, then wash it with dish soap under warm running water.This process will get rid of any oils left over from the casting process, and any oil from your fingers.

     The tricks to a successful paint job without any brush strokes, is to keep your paint brush free from any dry paint that hardens in the bristles. Dip it in water and wipe it clean on a rag often. The other critical trick, is to apply every coat of paint in a thin, flowing layer. Thin it with a drop or two of water. Don't let the paint thicken on your paint tray while you're painting. Mix some water to it (A drop or two at a time) if you start to see that the paint is thickening. If you do get brush marks, let the paint dry completely, then lightly sand the offending areas. Then continue with more thin coats. Also, let each coat dry for at least 2 hours before adding another coat. The blue paint that I applied to the TR-6 required six thin coats before it was covered completely. The reason why I like to use Vallejo Flat paints (not Gloss), is because they're more self-leveling than other acrylics, which makes it easier to achieve a smooth surface. Because you will be applying a Flat finish to the car, decals will not "snuggle" down properly, even by using Micro-Sol and Micro-Set. Under a microscope, the surface looks like sandpaper! Coat the entire car with Future Floor Wax (it's really a durable clear acrylic), wait 24 hours, apply the decals, then coat again to seal them. Also, Future Floor Wax is self-leveling, and it gives a nice glossy, durable finish that will stand up to rough slot car action. It is made for floors, after all!

     Now that the basics have been said, let's start the painting process step by step.

    • Use the small brush for everything except the inside of the body, outside body color, and clear coat.
    • Prime the entire body (Inside also), with Neutral Grey applied in thin coats until completely covered.
    • Paint the dash, tonneau cover, front grill, headlight covers, and rear body panel Black.
    • Paint the driver figure, his face mask, and his helmet White.
    • Paint the driver's seatbelt, gloves, the side wrap-around tail light, and middle tail light Red.
    • Paint the tail light between the Red ones Yellow.
    • Paint the far inside tail light White.
    • Paint the front grill bar, tail pipes, gauge panel, seatbelt buckle, driver's goggles, and roll bar Silver.
    • Paint the body Andrea Blue with the # 6 brush. Apply as many thin fluid coats as necessary until completely covered. Let each coat dry for at least 2 hours before adding another coat. Let the final coat dry for 12 hours before doing the next step.
    • Mix a "Wash" using Black thinned with water to about a 50/50 mixture. Apply with a 4/0 brush into all of the hood and door panels. If the wash doesn't flow smoothly into the grooves, add a tiny drop of hand dish soap to it. Immediately wipe off any overflow onto the painted body with a damp Q-Tip. Repeat if necessary.
    • Paint the rearview mirrors, gas cap, and hood / trunk pins Silver.
    • Paint the inside of the body shell Black. This darkens the underside making it look more realistic. Let it dry for 2 hours, then add 3 coats of Future Floor Wax letting each coat dry for 1 hour before adding the next coat. By applying a gloss finish of Future to the underside, it will repel oil and dirt better. After using Future, rinse your brush in Windex, then rinse with water.
    • Paint the exhaust tips Black.
    • Add a Black wash to the folds and low spots on the driver figure.
    • Apply Matte Varnish to the driver figure, driver's mask, dashboard, tonneau cover, and rear body panel.
    • Apply Future to the driver's helmet, goggles, mirrors, and roll bar.
    • Apply 1 thin coat of Future to the Blue body to prepare it for decaling, and let dry for 1 hour. Apply each coat thinly and fast! If you apply each coat slowly, the Future starts to dry and will leave brush marks. If you do get brush marks, let that coat dry, then add another thicker coat.
    • Apply a 2nd thin coat of Future to the Blue, and let dry for 24 hours.
    • Apply the decals and let them dry for 12 hours so that the glue under them can set properly.
    • Add another thin coat of Future to seal, and protect the decals on the body. Let dry for 2 hours, then add a final coat if necessary. You'll now have a smooth, durable, high gloss finish on your slot car body.

     This painting technique can be applied to any 1/64 scale slot car body, and in any color that you choose.

     If you want to add a bit more detail to your slot car, paint the wheels Silver. Let them dry for 2 hours, then add a black wash to the inside wheel design. This will give them a deeper, realistic look.

     Happy slotting!

    David Gurinskas / Owner of Full Circle Hobbies

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