I recently completed a police car project, but what good is law enforcement without some criminals to chase around? Fellow RCCA contributor Eric J. Miller was happy to oblige in this regard, and requested an illegal-looking car body for his TC4 drifter.
Eric settled on one of HPI’s awesome new Camaro 1/10th sedan shells in flat black, but without the drift livery decals that come with the body. Eric also picked up a light kit, mirrors, and muffler to provide some additional detail, and dropped everything off at my place for a little time in the paint booth.
Masking out the body and painting it solid black was easy, but finding a matte clear coat for the outside of the shell was surprisingly difficult. All of the major hobby websites seem to be out of the stuff; the closest I was able to locate a can was in Hong Kong. Then, by pure chance, I stumbled across some Testors plastic-safe matte clear coat lurking on the back shelf of a local store. It worked like a charm on the glossy polycarbonate and gave the Camaro a serious no-nonsense look.
Being careful not to mar the fresh matte finish, I mounted the lights and other accessories using a bit of reinforced foil tape and household Goop. The car still looked a little too plain, however, so I decided to try something new. I grabbed my hot glue gun and a handful of drinking straws from the kitchen, and I made a roll cage. Not only does it look cool, but it worked nicely to hide the wires from the light kit. I gave the cage a quick coat of red paint and glued it securely inside the body.
The light kit Eric picked out came with four tail lights and four headlights. Although the four tail lights look awesome in the Camaro, the headlights posed a bit of a problem – there are only two front light buckets. It was obvious that I needed to use the extra two LEDs as fog lights, but figuring out how to mount them was tricky. Digging through my RC junk graveyard, I came across an old touring car wing. The moulded Lexan standoffs for the wing made perfect fog light buckets with very little modification needed. I added a couple of screws to help aim the lights, and secured everything with Goop as usual. The end result looks very clean (from the outside of the body at least) and still clears the front wheels just fine.
The finished Camaro, now officially dubbed “Phantom SS”, came out great and is one heck of a mean looking ride. The only thing left to do now is get a little pursuit action going at the drift track.