How To - Paint a Traxxas Lexan Body
How to Paint a Traxxas Lexan Body
The following instructions are for painting the Rustler body. Instructions for painting other bodies may vary. Most Traxxas bodies are now pre-cut. If the body is not pre-cut, paint the body first and then use hobby scissors to trim along the scribe lines.
PREPARING THE BODY
Lexan bodies are to be painted on the inside. The outside of the body has a removable peel coat to protect the body from scratches and paint overspray. Do not remove the peel coat until after the body is painted. When the peel coat is removed, the body will be clear and glossy. The body must be washed thoroughly with dish soap and water to remove any grease or oil (i.e. fingerprints) which may keep the paint from adhering to it. Dry the body completely with a soft, lint-free cloth.
Most racing regulations require that the windows be left clear. Use the supplied die-cut adhesive tape masks to mask the windows. Apply the window masks to the INSIDE of the body. Make sure to burnish them to the body (press them down completely) so that paint will not run underneath.
Mask off any stripes or custom effects with either painter\'s masking tape or special tape made for striping. This special tape is available from automotive paint supply stores and will provide sharper edges than masking tape. Do not use thin, cheap masking tape with the Pactra? solvent-based paint. The adhesive will dissolve and stick to the inside of the body when the tape is removed. For easy, custom-colored striping, automotive pin-striping tape can be applied to the inside of the body and painted over. Be sure that all of your striping tape is also completely burnished.
PAINTING THE BODY
There are several types of paint available for painting car bodies. Solvent-based paint in cans (such as Pactra® brand) are fast, convenient, and work very well. There are also water-based paints available (such as Faskolor® by Parma). These paints must be brushed or sprayed on. We have had customers report that certain water-based craft paints (available at craft and hobby stores) come in a large variety of colors and also work well. it's worth it to experiment. Plus, there is the benefit of water cleanup. Read the directions on your bottle or can of paint and shake, mix, or thin the paint, as required. It is very important to avoid breathing the paint vapors, as they are extremely harmful. Spray the paint outdoors in well-ventilated areas only.
Apply your first coat of paint. Apply the paint in several light coats to prevent runs and excessive pint buildup. Usually the dark colors are painted first, followed by the light colors. If your paint scheme would be easier to mask the body by covering the dark areas and spraying them last, be sure the light colors are opaque enough to prevent the dark colors from showing through. Light colors can be backed with silver or Pactra® "opaque white" to help make them opaque. "Candy" colors should be backed with silver for that metallic look. For a nice dark to light fade, try painting the body a candy color and then back it with silver in the front and black in the rear.
Apply your second coat of paint. Apply the paint to the body sparingly and in light coats. Be patient! Let the paint dry fully in between coats. This will prevent accidentally smearing wet paint. Take extra care to let the paint dry before masks are removed.
After the body is completely painted, remove the protective peel coat from the outside of the body. This peel coat protects the body from overspray.
Paint the *wing on the underside. Use double-sided tape to secure the wing to the Rustler body.
* These instructions are for the Rustler body and wing only. The method of mounting the wing on other Traxxas bodies may be different. Some bodies do not include a wing. Refer to your model's manual for instructions on how to mount the wing on your model.
You have now finished painting the body. If your body was not pre-cut, now is the time to cut out the body. Use the scribe lines on the body as guides when trimming. Curved hobby scissors will work best. These "body" scissors are available from your hobby dealer. To make the body mounting holes, use a tapered reamer, if available. A drill bit will not work on the Lexan body.
You are now ready to apply the decals. The decals for most Traxxas models have been die-cut for your convenience. If your model's decals are not die-cut, use a hobby knife to carefully cut around each image. The decals are printed on clear mylar, so that you won't have to cut exactly around the image.
Test the position of the decals before applying them to the body. Once the decals have been applied, they cannot be removed without damaging them. You can spray the body with window cleaner before applying the decals. This will allow you to reposition them. Once positioned, squeegee the cleaner from under the decal. The decal will adhere when it dries. If you have air bubbles in the decals, puncture the center of each bubble with a sharp pin and push the air out. If you have creases along the outer edges of a decal (especially when applied to curved surfaces), use a hobby knife to cut along the top of the crease and overlap the edges.
If you do not want to take the time to completely customize the body, the Traxxas ProGraphix body is a snap to paint! Since all the graphics are already applied when you purchase the body, all you have to do is apply the final coat using the techniques outlined above!