As I was shuffling through thoughts for this site. I though why not give you something that has and continues to put money in my pocket! In fact this is one of my most popular custom painted RC bodies styles. It's made me a ton of money over the last year, or so. The design and effect is absolutely super and really unique. I have yet to see anything similar coming from any other painter in the rc industry.
The most challenging aspect of painting an RC body is that everything has to be done in reverse. Instead of painting from background to foreground an RC body has to be painted from foreground to background.
What your going to need for this project are some basics. You will definitely need an airbrush, green and yellow dye based candies, white basecoat with reducer and a freehand shield with several different radiuses. You will also need an intercoat, or process clear. If you have all of those things you are ready to paint a killer flamed out RC body with a true candy finish.
Confused as to what a true candy paint job is? For some reason there is allot of disinformation out there, especially in the hobby world. A true candy is a transparent dye based color. A true candy paint job is simply that dye based color laid over a metallic, pearl, or other flake base. A true candy paint job provides a deep vibrant fishing that looks a 100x better than colored metallic basecoat.
So here is the body I am going to use for this project. I am not going to go into a bunch of detail as far as body prep goes. I will tell you I use an Xacto #11 Z-series blade to score the body lines. I then simply snap the score lines. It's quick it's easy and it's clean! You can use lexan scissors, or even a Dremel. I then use Scotch-Brite to scuff then entire inside of the body. As you can see I also completed the detail on the roll bars. This step is optional.
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The next step that I take is sketching in reference guides for the flames as seen here. This is an initial step that gives me reference when roughing in the initial flame design. For the longest time this step was not a part of the process. I would simply airbrush in the base lines with an airbrush. Taking the time to do this makes things allot easier and it also kind of solidifies the general feel and direction of the flames.
Now I load up an airbrush with over reduced basecoat white. It is important that you over reduce the paint that you are using in this step. I follow out my guidelines at this point. The lines that I am airbrushing here will give me a base to work in my highlight color white in. Remember we are working in reverse here. So the first step to building flames in reverse is airbrushing in the highlights.
At this point I use a freehand stencils to start working in the hard lines of the flame. You can see how I used my guidelines to build in the dynamics of these flames. Again the paint that I am using in this step is the same over reduced paint I used in the previous step. This first "highlight layer of paint is a very important one. This step will dictate what your end product will look like. Another tough part about painting RC bodies is there is no forgiveness! If you screw something up you can't just paint over it and start over!
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So this is what I have so far. As you can see even at this point my flames are looking killer. The flames that I am creating in this project are stylized flames. I am not shooting for a true fire effect here although I am using some of the same techniques used to create more realistic looking flames. I simply want some dynamic stylized flames that pop in the end!
The next step that I take is locking the work that I have done so far down. Dye based candies bleed allot if you do not take proper measures to prevent it. So because I don't want the candy from the next airbrush step to bleed I am going to use some intercoat, or process clear over the white flamed areas. Most paint systems offer a process clear in their line. If you do not take this step the layered flames that your airbrushing are going to bleed into each other and look crappy.
With the intercoat clear applied and dried I lay in my first candy color which is going to be yellow. For this effect to work properly I use true dye based candies. I am using House Of Kolor Kandy Koncentrates though there are several other paint systems that offer true candies. Spztix, Tamiya and even Createx offer dye based candies now although Createx Auto-Air pigmented candies will not work.
When applying the yellow candy I lay it in and around the flames that I created in previous steps. This is where this project would run into issues without intercoat, or process clear. This yellow dye based candy would absorb right into the white basecoat of the first steps. This separates the two layers adding depth and clarity.
I am now going to go back to my over reduced white basecoat to freehand in the rest of the flames in. In this step I use my freehand shield sparingly! You want to go kind of heavy on the white at this point seeings that this step is going to create the main body of your flames. This is the final step in the flame airbrushing process!
Before I get into the green I again spray intercoat clear to lock in the yellow and white bascoat layers. Again this is a very important step in this process. You need to make sure you lock in your previous work.
So this is where I come in with my main base color which is green. I shoot several light coat of candy green to build to my desired intensity. With the entire body coated in green candy we move on!
The next and final steps are spraying in your candy base. For this body I use a rainbow flake backed by silver basecoat. So I directly laid in my rainbow flake over the green candy. Once I reach my desired effect I then go in with a silver basecoat to back the entire body. The final back coat serves the purpose of looks and protection. Because there is no need to clear the back of this body the backing layer will be this bodies final defense!
This is the final product. Unfortunately I had a hard time trying to capture the amazing effect of the rainbow flake in these photos. Regardless of that this should give you a good idea of the effect I was shooting for here. Hopefully you got something out of this project. If you have any questions or comments use the comments area below.