ONE OF THE MOST ATTRACTIVE THINGS about the RC car hobby is the chance to build custom dream machines in scale that would require a second mortgage (and a full-time garage takeover) to build in “real life.” In this article, I’ll show you how you can easily add details to your vehicle to increase realism and make it your own. In a case of perfect timing, Vaterra’s 1972 Chevy C10 Pickup Truck V100-S just arrived and is ripe for mods. It’s a great-looking truck out of the box and easy to transform into a personalized stunner that stands out from the stock machine. Here’s how I did it, with just a little time and not much money.
The Wheel Deal
If you’ve ever goofed around with the “view on vehicle” wheel-shopping gizmo at tirerack.com, you already know how much a set of wheels can make even something as basic as a Kia Rio look like a fairly cool car (especially if you lower it a couple of inches). The Vaterra C10 already has a slammed stance and a sweet set of wheels if you’re after a show-truck look, but I wanted more of a street-performance vibe. I installed the Volk CE28N replica wheels from Vaterra’s Ford F-100, and they look great.
All the Vaterra V100 models include nonfunctional brake rotor and caliper detailing that’s a big step up from the “empty wheel” look of most touring cars, but the red plastic calipers look like the plastic parts they are up close. You can paint them to make them look more realistic or just swap them for Vaterra’s optional machinedaluminum calipers. They come in blue and gold, and install in just a few minutes.
On-road cars with big blowers sticking out of the hood always look great. RPM’s scale blower and intake makes it easy to give any car or truck the same pro-street style. It’s designed to be mounted directly on the hood, and it looks fi ne from a few feet away when mounted that way. But to really make it look realistic, recessing it into a cutout in the hood is the way to go.
RPM’s Zoomie headers are a great complement to the blower assembly, and they are easy to install. Before you drill holes in the body, you’ll need to decide if you want the pipes to come through the body or below the body. Then you just attach the included template to the side of the body and use the markings to locate the mounting holes.
I thought the C10 body would look faster with a lowprofile wing on the tailgate, but no one makes one—so I got busy with sheet styrene again. I used .040 plastic and 3mm screws to do the job; the wing is just two flat strips, with gussets to set the angles. Showing is better than telling, take a look:
Don’t judge me: I striped the body using electrical tape. It sounds lame, but electrical tape is cheap, comes in colors, goes around curves, and can be easily removed if you want a new look. The key to making stripes look good—whether painted or tape— is getting them straight and properly positioned.
That Was Easy
Minor changes made a major difference in the look of my Vaterra Chevy C10. These techniques can be applied to any type of RC body; it doesn’t matter if it’s Lexan or an injection-molded “hard” body. Everything shown in this article was easy to do and doesn’t take much time to complete. Give these techniques a try and show us how you do; send your photos to us at ReadersRides@AirAge.com