Part 2 - Choosing Bodies / Wings / Paint / Decals
One of the very cool things that sets RC F1 cars apart from those in other classes is that you can paint it to resemble your favourite F1 team. This article provides tips, tricks and links for doing just that.
Photo credit: Brad Palmer, F1 RCLAB
First - for those of you who want to get up and running without having to paint your own body there are a few places you can buy a pre-painted body online:
- F1 RCLAB paints bodies to order and have a great reputation. They did a fantastic job of painting our World Record car
- RC Expert have a large range of pre-painted bodies for many of the current F1 teams as well as a Senna body and a few others
- Nicola670Paint.com also paint bodies to order
- Use Google to search for other pre-painted F1 suppliers
Above: pre-painted Ferrari from RC-Expert
Buying a clear body which you paint yourself is the norm and allows you to let those latent creative talents loose! The manufacturer of your F1 chassis kit probably makes an F1 body specifically to fit their car. But a number of other bodies may also fit:
Tamiya make a number of F1 bodies (search Tamiya USA for them):
- Ferrari F60
- Ferrari F2012 (step nose)
- McLaren MP4-24
- Generic F1 for F104
- Type J
Above - Tamiya Ferrari F60 body set (includes wings and decals as shown)
- Speed Passion F68 - this body comes with 4 different noses and two different rear fins so you can mix and match for the look you are after.
- Protoform have released both a 2013 and a 2014 body set. See Protoform F1 Bodies
Where to Buy
Our Links page has a list of online shops that sell F1 kits, parts and bodies. However, the following have a particularly good range of bodies:
Optional Side Pods
Many bodies come with optional side pods. To fit them you cut off the side pods moulded into the body and use the provided screws, double sided tape, or Shoo Goo to attach the optional side pods. The optional side pods give the body a different look and often are narrower and/or more swept in at the rear. Where the optional side pods make the body narrower they can restrict the space available for wiring /electroncs. It is easier to use them if you use a shorty lipo and have your ESC and Receiver mounted on the main chassis rather than under the side pods.
If your car will never see a track then you can use any paint you like. However, if your car may ever crash then you need to use a flexible paint that will flex in a smash. See part 1 for manufacturers of flexible paint designed for Lexan RC bodies.
When painting bodies the only limit is your imagination! Here is an artists impression of what some older team paint jobs would look like on a modern F1 car.
- TQ Racing
- F1 RCLAB
- Traut Engineering - plain colour vinyl wing decals - either their website is down or they have gone out of business :(
- Custom (Google Custom RC Decals)
Tip - Some F1 decals can be quite difficult to apply because they are curved or are long and/or thin or they need to mirror exactly the same decal on the other side of the body. To give yourself time to position the decal spray that area of the body with window glass cleaner and then apply the sticker and you will be able to slide the decal around. Once it's in the correct position use a piece of spare lexan or a credit card or your finger and run it over the decal - applying pressure - to remove the glass cleaner fluid from behind the decal. Voila!
Some body sets come with the front and rear wing. Some don't. Check the listing so you are sure of what you are buying. A number of aftermarket wings are available from companies including TRG, Zen, and others.
Generally wings will either be Black or White. If you want to change the colour of the wing then it is recommended that you use vinyl decals rather than painting the wing (refer to the Decals section above). In a crash your painting efforts will quickly flake off unfortunately.
If you decide to paint your wing here's a tip from Will Haines: Use FASCOLOR paints, let dry overnight, then spray an automotive clear coat and dry that with a hair dryer. I did this to my FGX wing for the LOTUS 2013 with no cracks and no peeling. It didn't even show signs of fractured paint after sliding on the wing in accidents. Leave any masking on until complete as spraying the clear coat directly on the unpainted plastic may damage it.
You can also buy Lexan wings which are designed to be painted. Only use wings designed for F1's. Adding a touring car rear wing as the front wing of your F1 not only looks nasty but it may contravene the rules (and is not allowed by the Australian National F1 Rules).
We do not recommend using the Tamiya H Parts rear wing part number 51382, as they break really easily in a roll over crash.
- RC Universe Forum - 1:10 RC F1 Cars - Let's See 'em
- RC Tech Forum - F1's - Pics, Discussions, Whatever
The RC Formula1 Photo Gallery includes a lot of cool looking paint jobs as well as tips on taking great photos of your pride and joy.
Back to Part 1 - Painting Basics