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Painting Slot Car Body Shells

Image of Terry SmithTERRY SMITH shows us how to customise your slot car kits.

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Do you fancy a new car, but want something a bit different and use a competitive chassis you may already own? Then consider a plain white slot car body kit, which many manufacturers offer.

When Thunderslot released their Lola T70 Can-Am 'Spyder' body, I thought that I would re-body a T70 coupe and give the white body a spray job. The kit contains many parts options including different engines and those great looking high exhausts, which I just had to use. The thing is though, in real life they were only fitted on a blue car raced by Parnelli Jones and as the Thunderslot planned to release this as a RTR model I decided to give it a custom finish.

I wanted it to have a period look and thought that a metallic grey would look cool, but first I gave it a coat of white undercoat. A couple of tips for spray painting model car bodies: firstly, make yourself a miniature spray booth, consisting of a medium size cardboard box and bent wire coat hanger. The latter is an ideal way of mounting the body and the box stops overspray going everywhere. Before you spray anything, warm the spray can in a jug of hot, but not boiling, water. Take the can out every 30 seconds or so and give it a good shake and place back into the jug until you can feel the can become warm. This really helps the paint atomise when the plunger is pressed down and gives a nice consistent spray pattern. Another thing to remember when spraying - give the model an even pass with the spray, starting the spray before you hit the body shell and not letting up until you've passed it. You should end up with an even finish even with metallic paints, but it's always better to apply two or three lighter coats than try and paint it in one thick application. I always give the body a coat or two of clear lacquer to protect the colour coats and I decorated the finished body with some period 1960s decals from my spares box.

With a white kit, everything is white so details will also have to be painted. I used grey primer to paint the wheel inserts Matt Grey and also picked out things like the driver’s seat belts in Matt Black and painted his helmet metallic red. Inlet trumpets were given a dab of silver while I painted the inside of the white exhausts Matt Black. To pick up some of the detail on the exhaust moulding I gave it a wash of thinned down Matt Black. Once it was finished I simple removed the red Coupe body from the chassis and replaced in with my open topped Can-Am version, of course I can always simply revert back to the coupe when I want to.

White body kits are available from NSR, Policar, Sideways, and Thunderslot, check them out on our website and give one your own custom finish.

Not all kits have this many parts. This Thunderslot kit contains many optional parts including three different engine options.

A spray booth for £0, from a cardboard box and a coat hanger. White undercoat is sprayed first.

A nice shade of grey was then applied, in three light coats.

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A grey primer was used to paint the wheel inserts. I use masking tape to hold small items while they are sprayed.

I just had to use these. They were only fitted to one real T70 which was already planned for release, hence why I decided on a custom fictitious livery.

I removed the three body screws and replaced the coupe with my 'Spyder' body. Most manufacturers also supply complete white kits with all running gear included.

My bogus Can-Am car on the inside, up against a RTR Thunderslot car in a real livery - as driven in period by Dan Gurney.

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