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· DT
8,026 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I don't post that much in this section, but now I have a couple of 1:32 cars to build up that are plain moulded resin.

Can someone please point me to some posts or links to other sites that may help me prepare these models, paint them and fit them out.

I'll take some photos when they arrive.

· Russell Sheldon
2,846 Posts
Painting resin bodies for the first time can be daunting. The good thing is that if it all goes wrong you can easily strip the paint and start again. Since none of the master-painters have replied yet, here's what I do.

With my first resin bodies, I used an airbrush with thinned enamel or lacquer paints, with mixed success. I always fancied the convenience and vast colour range of the automotive aerosols available from most hardware stores but the early cellulose paints often reacted with plastic. A few years ago I was advised to try the aerosols and I have never seen any reason to change. If I cannot get the colour I want off the shelf, most suppliers will mix up a matching colour.


The secret to painting any body is in the preparation. Most resin bodies have some imperfections to remove and there will often be air holes in some of the parts. On the body these usually occur along the base of the sills and front and rear aprons. There is also often some excess material to remove.

Firstly I open up all the blowholes to make them easy to see and fill. Use a soft automotive filler paste. It is important that the excess filler sands off before the resin. Sand down the filler using first a sanding block and coarse emery paper. Once the bulk shaping has been achieved, finish with a piece of wet 1200 grit emery paper.

The body will now be covered in sludge of dust and grease from fingers. Scrub the body with a mix of washing up liquid and cream cleaner and an old toothbrush. The soap is then washed off with the toothbrush under streaming clean tap water and the model carefully set aside to dry.


Try to use a primer made for plastic, these primers are intended for use on the plastic bumpers of modern cars. They seem to have an etch effect on resin but perhaps more importantly they are flexible and thus more able to resist any bending or crashing. You can get the primer in white, grey and red.

Mount the body onto something. I usually use a bent wire coat hanger and attach the body with a large blob of tacky putty - the type your daughter uses to stick posters all over the bedroom walls!

First spray a mist coat. Inspect to see if any awkward areas have been missed. The mist coat is so thin that it dries matt on contact and the colour of the resin can still be seen but it is enough to see if there are any flaws in preparation.

After about one minute a second coat is sprayed. This coat should be thick enough to almost obscure the panel lines and will have an initial gloss finish.

When the primer dries, it will leave a good even smooth coat with clear sharp panel lines. This should need no preparation before the topcoat is applied.


Once the primer has dried for 24 hours in a warm place, we are ready to apply the paint. Warm up the can and the body. Warm paint on warm resin is a good starting point towards a good finish. Moisture and dust are perhaps the greatest enemies to a good finish.

Spray in the same way as the primer, one mist coat then after one minute a couple of heavier coats. The fewer coats the better and also the fewer coats the less chance of contamination. Then put away in a warm dust free area to cure.

If it all goes wrong it is easy to strip the paint and start again. Automotive paint thinner will remove paint easily without damage to the resin. The removal should be done quickly with an old toothbrush. If the resin is left to soak some may be damaged by thinners but if done quickly there is very little chance of damage.


I like to leave paint for about a week before I finish the body. I do not like clear coats. Wash the body again and after drying, polish it with Finesse-it, a 3M polish.

A gentle polish with Finesse-it will remove greasy finger marks before applying decals. When the decals are firmly set a further gentle polish with Finesse-it will remove watermarks. I then polish with a good liquid furniture polish; most seem to contain an anti-static agent which helps keep the dust away.

Kind regards,


· DT
8,026 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Russell. That's just what I was looking for.

I'll tell you in a day or two what the cars are. I'm getting a new 1:1 car and was looking to replicate it in 1:32. Not easy as there are no RTR cars available. I found a resin body in Spain and have ordered 2. One to build up as near as possible to my real car and one to Pimp. Watch this space

· Phil Smith
4,487 Posts
Sound advice from Russell, but here are a couple of extra tips of my own for both resin and plastic bodies:-

Mount a piece of plastic tubing on a wooden base, about 4"x4", then you can attach the body by pushing the mounting post into the plastic tube, if the body has no mounting post then just stick it to the top of the tube with a 'sticky fixer'.
Also you can use 'sticky fixers' on small detail bits to keep them in place on a piece of scrap cardboard when you spray them.

Get hold of some 'Tack rags', available from decorators shops, to get rid of the dust on the car just before you spray, they are only a few pennies each.

If you live in the UK, use Halfords paints, they have every colour imaginable and they seem to work ok on all kinds of plastic and resin.
also in the UK, T-cut (or Brasso it's much the same) is great for polishing and thin it with Mr Sheen for the last go!

Can't agree with Russell more on the heat thing, make sure everything is nice and warm for the best and easiest results
and try not to spray when it's raining!
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